Once a Holy Cross NICU baby, today Annabelle is a healthy 7 year old

April 10, 2014

Ann Smolinski, with her husband Matt by her side, was in labor with their second child. The pregnancy had been completely normal, and now, in the early hours of the morning, labor was also progressing normally. By all appearances there was time for Matt to run out to the parking lot and meet his brother so he could take their son home. But when he returned 10 minutes later, things had gone horribly wrong. By the time I came back Annabelle was born, the curtains were drawn and they were working on his little girl, while his wife was alone with an oxygen mask on.

About a minute prior to birth, the nurse lost the baby’s heartbeat, which was not necessarily unusual because of the position of the mother. However, when the baby came out, she was pale, with no spontaneous respiration, no heart rate, and so then the medical team started resuscitating. The nurse was doing the chest compressions and the respiratory therapist was doing the ventilation. Nobody lost their cool, nobody panicked. Everyone knew their role. It was very systematic.

At first, the medical team thought it was transitional, but after a couple of minutes it was clear that the baby was down more than transitionally. It was very intense and of course the family began to panic. The nurses were determined not to let anything happen to this little baby. The reason this baby was alive was because of the nurses who did not give up and gave Annabelle a start to her wonderful life.

AnnabelleToday, Annabelle is a healthy, normal 7 year old. And her Dad says this about her

“She has never had any problems at all, no learning difficulties. She’s hit all her benchmarks at the age appropriate level, as far as crawling and walking and being able to talk. Now she’s in second grade and she’s a fun little girl, very nice, very caring. She’s at the top of her class in reading, very smart, very creative, just a wonderful little girl to have. And it would be really sad not to have her, so I wanted all the doctors and nurses to know what a great job they did.”