This blog post is part of a series that I began for telling our story. You can read the first post here.

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As the day progressed on Wednesday, Samantha grew much sicker. She spiked a fever and started throwing up late in the day. Our pediatrician recommended we take her to the hospital where she was born, about a 30 minute drive south, because they have a NICU (our small local hospital didn’t have anything like that).

It was late – I don’t know how late at that point, but late into the evening, maybe even approaching midnight. I remember one of the nurses calling our little girl Pumpkin, a nickname we kept using after that night off and on. They kept trying to take blood, or give her an IV, I’m not sure which. But I do remember them trying to stick a needle in the top of her head.

At some point, they recommended that she get transferred to the bigger hospital in Houston’s medical center. I don’t remember what precipitated this, but it wasn’t something that terrified me yet. Maybe I was just too exhausted to think straight. According to Facebook, she needed a NICU specialist to help start the IV for fluids, but our hospital had a crisis in the NICU (surgery for another little one, perhaps?) and couldn’t help.

Travis got into the ambulance with her, and I drove home so that I could pump and get a few hours’ sleep. Unfortunately, sleep was not in the cards for either of us that night.

I was unaware of what happened next until I was partway back to Houston. Travis came into the hospital room with Samantha when she was admitted, and shortly after she stopped breathing. He witnessed the nurse hit a button on the wall, yelling “Code Blue!” and was rushed out of the room. He contacted some friends of ours who came and picked me up. It was while I was en route to the hospital that he talked to me on the phone to tell me what had happened. By that point she had been intubated and was breathing with the help of a machine. I think it was maybe 4 am when I got to the hospital and had to sit in the waiting room, waiting to see my daughter. Every fear I had ever experienced, every dread, every worry, settled into the pit of my stomach and I could not calm down. Even now, years later, I read through the posts from social media and comments from friends far and near praying, and I want to starting crying…

Next post coming Monday.

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