Carlin Bates is opening up about some of the struggles her newborn daughter has faced. The ninth of 19 Bates family children, Carlin and husband Evan Stewart welcomed their first child, daughter Layla Rae Stewart, on January 31. Layla was born weighing 5 lbs., 13 oz. and was 18 inches long.
The 21-year-old new mom was filled with excitement at the birth of her little one. Layla’s arrival was an early one. Though she was due in mid-February, Carlin was induced upon discovery that she has two blood clotting disorders. Her older sister, Erin, had been diagnosed with the same disorders.
“Evan had to learn to give me two shots daily,” she explained of the medical revelation.
“We have had a lot of opportunity to pray and to try to trust God, as we have researched the different side effects and concerns. So although it has been a learning experience, we know we have an even bigger reason to be thankful that the baby is doing well.”
“I’m just feeling such an immense feeling of gratitude to be carrying this little life,” Carlin continued.
“I think it really hit us that we’re going to be parents when we saw the ultrasound and heard the heartbeat. Words can’t express the emotions you feel, knowing there is a little life that’s carrying your genes and DNA growing inside of you.”
Despite the unexpected circumstances around her arrival, Carlin and Evan were elated to welcome their baby girl. “How do you describe an experience so emotionally intense and so magically wonderful as welcoming a brand new baby into the world?” the couple said in a statement.
“We feel like our lives just became incredibly busy, but unimaginably blessed with little Layla Rae’s arrival!”
“She has already consumed our thoughts and intentions for these past pregnancy months and now, no day will ever be the same without her!” the couple continued. They first announced the pregnancy in September 2019, just months after their May 2019 wedding.
“Although she came earlier than we expected, this is the best kind of celebration we have ever experienced, and we are so in love with our new role as parents!”
Carlin has recently revealed that Layla has faced a number of health issues in her first few months of life. She discussed what they’ve faced in the caption of a photo of the sweet little girl on Instagram.
“There have been many ups and downs since our precious Layla was born. In some ways I feel like the hospital has become our 2nd home!” she explained.
“Although we’re still so nervous about the outcomes of everything, I know my God is in control and He’s writing our little story,” Carlin continued.
“I am so thankful for His protection over my sweet baby girl. We’ve been in some scary places, but I know I can lean on Jesus. I may have many fears and worries, but I’m doing my best to place them in His hands.
“Becoming a mother has grown me in so many ways, and I’m beyond blessed that God gave me this little girl. We appreciate all your prayers for Layla Rae 🥰.”
Included with the photo was a statement giving more insight into Layla’s situation.
“Since Layla was born, she has had breathing problems and episodes of turning blue where she can’t catch her breath,” she said.
“When these first started happening we thought, ‘Well, maybe it’s [because] she was premature, so that’s what’s causing her to struggle more.’
“If you keep up with our YouTube, I had become very sick and ended up in the hospital for a few days with meningitis.”
“Since the doctor couldn’t determine what I had at first, Layla had to go home with my sister Erin,” Carlin continued to explain.
“What we got a call the next day explaining that she was having rapid breathing and turning blue, I panicked pretty hard. She was rushed to Children’s Hospital, and I was overcome with fear of the unknown, along with feeling guilty that I couldn’t be there with her.”
Carlin explained that Evan was going back and forth between the hospital she was in and the hospital Layla was in until Carlin was released.
“When I got out of the hospital, the doctors told me Layal’s EKG levels weren’t reading right and told us we needed to have a follow-up appointment with a heart specialist,” she noted.
“We found out Layla has a small hole in her heart, which might be causing some of the breathing issues. The doctor encouraged us not to worry, because they will keep a close eye on it,and our prayer is that this small hole will close itself, as they often do.”
Naturally, this situation is incredibly nerve-wracking for a first-time mom. “We then ordered Layla a special sock that monitors her heart rate and O2 levels, because this nervous mother couldn’t sleep at night,” Carlin revealed.
Layla’s O2 levels caused Carlin and Evan a scare when they dropped to 80%. “Again, I felt like my world was turned upside down as I held her in my arms. I felt so helpless watching her struggle for oxygen.”
Oldest sister Michaella rushed over to wait with them for the ambulance. Thankfully, nine minutes later the levels went back to 100%.
“This time the EMTs recommended we not take her to the hospital because of COVID-19, so we made a follow-up appointment with her pediatrician,” Carlin explains.
“She’s now on medication because her doctor thinks it could have also been caused by an acid reflux episode.”
The little family has been through a lot, but they also have a deep love and appreciation for one another. Carlin and Evan have shown strength, and their faith will carry them through. With all the love around her, hopefully, Layla lives a happy and healthy life free of any other complications.