Little Miss Kylee Jo

How “Little Miss” will always be close to her parent’s hearts. What a beautiful story.

Hello! I was beyond excited when I saw you were doing this project! I think it is such a great idea and couldn’t wait to share my story because this song will forever be in my husband and I’s hearts! Where to begin……

Little Miss Kylee Jo…..
I was due Christmas Day with our first baby! A girl! We could not wait and my pregnancy had gone really well…we had a healthy baby girl on the way! Kylee Jo decided to make her arrival on Sunday, December 19th and words cannot describe how we felt to instantly meet this little person and fall completely in love! Immediately you know you would do anything for this little person. A few hours after she was born, a nurse thought her color looked a little “off” and put the pulse oximeter on (a way to measure the oxygen level) and it was 60%!! It should be close to 100%. She thought the monitor was broken because our baby did not look like one who should have an oxygen level that low. Well, it turned out to be correct and was not coming up when they put oxygen on her. My husband and I sat for what felt like hours watching a whole crew of nurses and doctors come to assess her. Away to the NICU in an incubator went our little baby girl and we could not have been in more shock. What was happening? We did everything right to prepare for this baby and what was wrong with her? We weren’t sure if she was going to make it or not until we could find out what was wrong with this full term, healthy baby.

As it turned out, Kylee had a heart defect called Transposition of the Great Arteries, that was missed during my ultrasounds. We are beyond blessed to have been at the right hospital with the right people and a nurse who followed her gut instinct and realized something was wrong before we were sent home. We may not have our sweet baby girl with us today had this been missed before going home. It is hard to think about that, but we have so much admiration for our daughter and learned to never doubt her strength ever again. She underwent open heart surgery at 11 days old to correct her defect and things could not have gone more smoothly for our baby girl. It was a long 11 days to get to surgery and then the LONG day of surgery, but she is worth every minute of worry, panic, and stress that we went through! We went home FINALLY when she was almost a month old!

Having to be in the hospital for our baby girl’s first Christmas was very hard, especially because we pictured sitting with her around the Christmas tree at our home opening ALL of her presents (she was spoiled before she was even born!!). My husband and I would hear the “Little Miss” song everyday either on the way to or from the hospital. One day my husband read my mind when he said that song reminded him of Kylee. I couldn’t stop crying! I thought the exact thing! This song means so much to us, especially the parts:

“Little Miss you’ll go far, Little Miss hide your scars”
because although she has a scar that is visible and will always be a part of her, she is here to make her mark on the world and will not let this define her. My husband and I have scars in the inside of our hearts for her, but everyday as her heart has healed, ours have healed too. She is such a strong little fighter! She is more brave and tough than anyone I have ever known, and I could not be more proud to have her as my daughter!

The part that gets me every time in the song is:
“Little Miss big ‘ole heart beats wide open, she’s ready now for love”
For me, this speaks volumes! Kylee had open heart surgery and literally let her heart beat wide open and now that her heart is fixed, we are able to love her all the more! The love you feel for your child is unlike anything I have ever experienced and if I could have endured any of what she went through, I would have done it in a heart beat. My heart beats for hers.

What I envision my courageous daughter saying to me one day is:
“Little Miss I’ll get tough, don’t you worry ’bout me anymore”
I don’t think I will ever stop worrying just like Kylee won’t ever know what we as parents went through and how scared we felt. It is overwhelming being first time parents, let alone making the decisions we had to make within her first few hours of life. We learned our first parenting lesson very early on, which in a weird way makes us very grateful. We learned to not take one single day for granted with our baby girl. We leaped out of bed at night to feed her and take care of her once we got her home! (which was only a week after surgery! Our little girl amazed some of the best cardiac doctors with her recovery and strength!) When she cries, we tell her she can be as mad as she wants! It wasn’t fair what she went through the minute she was brought into this world, but we always tell her she has a very long time to make herself known in this world! She is here for a reason and we could not feel more blessed and grateful for every minute of every day that we have with her! She has such a bright future ahead of her! Kylee Jo is our own “Little Miss Everything”
“It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright, It will be alright again. I’m okay. It’ll be alright again.”

Thank you Sugarland for making such beautiful music! You are my favorite band and I am beyond thrilled to be going to see you on the Incredible Machine Tour! I could hardly wait when I found out you were going to be in my hometown! My husband, Rob, and I will be at your show March 18th in Bloomington, IL!! I know there will be tears in both of our eyes when you play this song! It holds such a special place in our hearts and helped us get through such a scary time! Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of our hearts! (I attached a couple of pictures of our Little Miss Kylee Jo! She is quite the firecracker and is very sassy at her young age of 2.5 months!)

Stephanie Epperson


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