“They said she had distressed breathing, respiratory distress, and she looked like a Smurf,” the fitness guru, 37, exclusively reveals in the new issue of Us Weekly. “She was blue. I remember seeing her and I was like, ‘Wow! That baby is, like, dark purple. Blue.’ I remember being like, ‘Whoa, that’s weird.’ I guess her lungs could’ve been a little underdeveloped, and she had fluid in them. They just weren’t able to pump on their own.”
The California native attributed this condition to her baby girl’s C-section, explaining, “They don’t go through the birth canal, so the fluid’s not drained out and squeezed out when they go through there. So that’s what can happen.”
The newborn was put on a ventilator so her lungs “could kickstart themselves and work on their own,” Kitt added.
Carter, 41, chimed in that he and his wife were in “complete shock” when they were told that Pearl would need assistance breathing.
“I was seeing our newborn baby being hooked up to these machines, and she was very blue,” the Backstreet Boys member, who is currently working on new music with his band, told Us. “They had all these capacitors in her and fluids and all these different things. We just kept asking questions like, ‘What’s going on? What’s happening? We’d like to know.’”
The couple ended up staying in the hospital “an entire week,” which was “a different experience” for them following their son Odin and daughter Saoirse’s April 2016 and October 2019 births, respectively.
The Face the Music author alluded to Pearl’s condition via Twitter when he announced her arrival in April. “As a parent knows all to [sic] very well, sometimes things don’t turn out the way you plan it,” the New York native wrote at the time. “We have been experiencing some minor complications, but things are looking a little better after the first night. I wanted to thank everyone for all the prayers and good thoughts during this time. We will keep you updated.”
With reporting by Diana Cooper