Bringing Up Bates' Carlin Bates Reveals She and Husband Evan Stewart Were Diagnosed with COVID-19
"We are on the tail end of recovery and are both doing better," the mother of one revealed on Aug. 17
"I have gotten some messages from some of you checking on us, because I have been a little MIA with our insta fam. Thank you for thinking of us. Evan and I both came down with COVID, so we have been a little out of it," Bates captioned a photo of herself and Stewart snuggled and sitting up in bed.
"We are on the tail end of recovery and are both doing better," continued Bates, who shares 6-month-old daughter Layla Rae with Stewart.
The mother of one — who is friends with some of the Duggar daughters — concluded by saying that she is praying for those who are still battling the virus.
"We feel for you that are struggling with COVID right now and we are keeping you in our prayers," said Bates. "Y’all please stay safe out there! Xoxo."
In a statement to PEOPLE, the couple said that after learning about their positive diagnosis, caring for Layla was their "first concern."
"We recently tested positive for COVID-19. Of course, our first concern was for our little Layla, as she has already had some breathing difficulties since birth. Fortunately, Layla was already visiting Evan’s parents when we found out we had the virus. We lengthened her stay there, continuing to stay separated from her through the majority of our quarantine," the couple explained.
"Unfortunately, some of Evan’s family members also tested positive, so we felt it best for Layla to return with us, where she could at least continue to get antibodies from nursing. We had mild cases, and are thankful as we are on the final leg of recovery," they continued. "However, it has made us so much more mindful of the many who have already faced the threat of exposure or who have dealt with fears in some manner. We will continue to pray for healing for our country and we are grateful for those who have sent such kind messages to our family."
It's been a bittersweet year for the reality star couple.
“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!“
The new parents added, “She has already consumed our thoughts and intentions for these past pregnancy months and now, no day will ever be the same without her! 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!”
But in May, Bates shared that “there have been many ups and downs since our precious Layla was born,” specifically that "since Layla was born, she has had breathing problems and episodes of turning blue where she can’t catch her breath."
Bates added that initially, she and her husband thought their daughter’s health problems had to do with the fact that she was born prematurely. Bates' due date was in mid-February, but she had to be induced after being diagnosed with the same two blood-clotting disorders as her older sister Erin.
Little Layla’s health went on to become more worrisome.
While Bates was in the hospital herself for meningitis, her daughter stayed with the reality star’s sister Erin. “When we got a call the next day explaining that [Layla] was having rapid breathing and turning blue, I panicked pretty hard,” she wrote. “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. Evan went back and forth from hospital to hospital, checking on us both. I felt so alone.”
Doctors told the couple that their daughter’s “EKG levels weren’t reading right” and recommended that she see a heart specialist.
“We found out Layla had a small hole in her heart, which might be causing some of the breathing issues,” she explained. “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. We then ordered Layla a special sock that monitors her heart rate & O2 levels, because this nervous mother couldn’t sleep at night!”
Since then, Layla’s health problems have continued.
“Recently, she gave us another scare; she turned white and her O2 levels 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,” Bates wrote, adding that fortunately, within 10 minutes, Layla's color returned and her oxygen levels went back to normal.
Their baby girl has been put on medication as her doctor believes her recent health scare “could have also been caused by an acid reflux episode.”
“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,” Bates wrote. “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!”
Earlier this month, Bates posted an update on their little bundle of joy, including that Layla is "scooting all over the place and getting SO close to crawling."
"I’m totally obsessed with every little stage of growth she goes through! Those chubby smiles, adorable laughs, and even the late night wake up calls that keep us on our toes, are all things keeping us wrapped around her finger 😇 She just started trying solid foods and we are cracking up at her expressions! She’s also scooting all over the place and getting SO close to crawling 🙊," Bates captioned a photo of the mother and daughter.
"She’s finding her voice and makes the cutest squeals of excitement when she sees her daddy come home from work ☺️ She reaches for absolutely everything, so we have to be careful at the table 🙈 We just keep counting our blessings and doing our best to soak up each of these little moments, because they’re flying by way too fast 💞 #GodIsGood," she concluded.
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