Hudson Bradley’s Birth Story: Part 4

In case you need to catch up on Hudson’s ongoing Birth Story I’ve been chronicling here…

Hudson Bradley’s Birth Story: Part 1

Hudson Bradley’s Birth Story: Part 2

Hudson Bradley’s Birth Story: Part 3


After attempting to get some sleep from Hudson’s much too eventful birth day (I was still too hyped from anesthesia meds to sleep), we headed up to the NICU to see our fifth born son. We chatted in the elevator about how we hoped he would graduate from the NICU and back into our room possibly that day, since we went to bed with his oxygen support being low and all signs showing he was improving.

We scrubbed up and Brad pushed my wheelchair to the middle area of the NICU where baby Hudson was stationed the night before. Immediately we noticed that there were several medical staff dressed in surgical attire surrounding the bedside. Our first thought was that they had moved Hudson. This happened with our boys in the NICU when they needed their spots for two more critical babies. Instead, we learned that it was our baby that they were hurriedly assessing, x-raying, and prepping. The neonatologist informed us that he hadn’t had a chance to come tell us due to his urgent need for intervention, Hudson had developed a pneumothorax.

We were in shock. We didn’t even know what a pneumothorax was, let alone know how serious it could be. Turns out, because of Hudson’s immature lungs his air sacs were more susceptible to rupture. If a baby is born with lung disease, some air sacs are open and others remain closed. Like a balloon being blown up, it is easier to put lots of air into an air sac that has been opened previously than it is to put a small amount of air into an air sac that has never been opened. Pneumothorax occurs when air is trapped inside the chest between the chest wall and the lung, due to the tear in the lung. {source}

We threw out about twenty questions in a row, but could sense the urgency surrounding his bedside. I don’t remember a lot of our questions we asked in those few moments, but I do remember us asking if this was life-threatening and hearing that yes, some babies do pass away from this condition, but many survive. We were asked to leave for the procedure which would attempt to release the air trapped in between his lungs and chest cavity.

We returned to my hospital room in disbelief. We prayed aloud, prayed silently, googled, and waited anxiously until the neonatologist entered our room letting us know that Hudson had tolerated the procedure and that a chest tube wasn’t needed at this time. He was able to draw out the air from his chest cavity with a catheter. However, the tear in his lungs would have to heal on its own in its own timing. They would be watching his lungs and Hudson’s condition very closely.

As we returned to the NICU later that morning, we found a different baby than we had left the night before. He was breathing rapidly and seemed uncomfortable. I was able to hold him skin to skin which often regulates breathing, but it was over an hour before he finally settled and calmed to sleep.

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Once he calmed and slept, we all crashed together for about an hour in our little pod area, Brad in a rocking chair, I in a recliner, and Hudson on my chest. As our nurse carefully returned Hudson to his bed, she let me know that we probably wouldn’t be able to hold him again until his condition improved. It took him too long to stabilize and his oxygen needs were increasing.

As we headed into the late afternoon, it became clear that C-Pap was not sufficient for Hudson’s lung issues. His blood gas levels weren’t looking good, and his breathing was even more labored. His respiratory rate was up to around 130-150 breaths per minute. It was so difficult to watch him struggle and fight, as his chest and abdomen rapidly rose and fell in uncoordinated rhythms.

My baby was very sick.

Thoughts and questions flooded our minds and conversations, one more constant being, “Would we be bring a baby home with us?” The Lord gives. The Lord takes.

We pleaded with God to GIVE.

We knew ventilation was the next intervention and as much as we didn’t want to have to see him intubated, we knew he desperately needed a break. The respiratory therapist and neonatologist allowed him a little more time for his levels to improve, but we all knew where it was headed.

I walked out of the NICU not able to hold back my distressed tears. I REALLY didn’t want to see my sweet new baby, who looked so big for his age, and perfect in every way on a ventilator, but I REALLY didn’t want to see him struggle this hard to survive. About an hour later, we learned through our neonatologist that Hudson was going to be intubated. She hugged me and teared up with me, but we all knew this was what was necessary. I felt a strange mixture of disappointment and relief.


I could tell you many stories how God shown his faithfulness on us on Hudson’s second night of life. Although we struggled with fear, we didn’t feel alone. We were confident in Hudson’s care at St. Vincent’s NICU. We were assigned a doctor who specialized in his specific (and incredibly intuitive) vent. In addition, my c-section recovery was going remarkably well. I was able to walk the hallways and decided to not take any narcotics for pain. This helped my digestive system, my ability to walk and move around better, and allowed me to emotionally process what was happening better than being drugged. (For me personally, the side effects weren’t worth the pain relief.) 

My newborn son, on the other hand, had been given a concoction of drugs to help him tolerate the ventilator and to calm his body from fighting so hard. While it did seem to improve his respiration rate and agitation, his oxygen needs remained higher than expected, so he received a second dose of surfactant for his fighting lungs.


This was my post on Facebook as we I settled back in my hospital room while Brad checked on Hudson one more time for the night:

Listening to babies cry in the rooms around me on the postpartum floor is so hard, when I would love a crying healthy baby in my own room, but reminded that I still have a living baby under the same roof tonight that God is holding in His hands. May his little struggling life bring Him glory!

The prayers, posts, texts, offers, are bringing us to many tears of gratitude for you all!


My gratitude continues for these prayers that were prayed over Hudson by so many this day, and the days that followed…

11 thoughts on "Hudson Bradley’s Birth Story: Part 4"

  1. Covington Grandma says:

    How thankful we are each time we see Hudson, that he survived all of this trauma. The Lord is good and his mercies endure forever. We can’t ever stop praising Him for his life and the 4 lives of his brothers.

    1. So true! All praise to Him!

  2. Laura says:

    Your post is bringing back so many memories for me. My son spent his first 3 months of life in the NICU waiting for heart surgery. He was also on hi flow, CPAP and intubated. Praise God that we both have healthy babies now

  3. Belle says:

    So thankful for a good God who cares and heals! Amazing story! We’d love to see a current picture of that sweet boy!

    1. Just trying to get through his birth story and then I’ll catch you up on his current cuteness! Thanks so much for reading and rejoicing with us! He is faithful!

  4. Charissa says:

    Wow, I can only imagine how scary! We had respiratory issues with our youngest with 2 NICU stays so we know a little of how scary it is. So glad he is home and healthy now. It takes a lot of healing though for a parent to “recover” from trauma like this! I’m sure God has been very near!

    1. He has been so good to us. Every day is just precious reminder and joy of his life and the Giver who has entrusted us with him!

  5. Katherine Roland says:

    Congratulations and thank you for sharing your journey with us! It is hard to believe that all that was going on during the time I was preparing to marry on June 25. You have a beautiful faith, outlook, and family! May God continue to richly bless you on your journey! 🙂

    1. Congrats to you too! I’d love to see your wedding pictures! God bless you both!

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