At 20 weeks we found out we were having a boy. We were so excited, we already had a girl who was 2-years-old. However there was something wrong in the sonogram and they sent my husband and I, with our daughter to a children's cardiologist to look at the enlarged atrium they uncovered. We were so nervous. After six hours trying to get a fetal ECHO, the doctor came in and believed that it was a coarctation of the aorta. It was a common procedure for the heart surgeon to fix. Every month I went for a follow-up with them and for growth and weight. I also had my regular OB/GYN appointments. I felt pretty positive that things would be OK.
It was the day before Easter. I was 33 weeks. I just came back from a 1-year-old birthday party. I decided to take my daughter to my mother-in-law's with me so I could help prepare dinner for the following day. While stuffing artichokes I started to feel cramps, but thought nothing about it. I figured it was Braxton Hicks. This went on for about an hour before my husband told me to call the doctor. He told me to come in to the hospital, he was on call, to get checked out. The hospital that I was suppose to deliver in, was 15 min away and a children's hospital. He figured he would give me a shot and I would be on my way.
However that didn't happen. I was already 3 cm dilated. I was told that they were going to give me a drug to try and stop the labor for three days, and they were going to give me two shots in the butt to help the baby's lungs. We knew we had to get over to the other hospital just in case. Although the staff kept on assuring me that even if the baby needs care, this was a really good hospital with some of the same rotating doctors, and if needed, the baby could be transported without a problem. I wanted to be with my child and not be in a different hospital. Thank goodness for my doctor who already called EMS to transfer me since the baby and I were stable. I labored through the whole transport with myself only being monitored, which at that time I didn't think anything of.
Keep reading to see the rest of this baby's birth story.
By the time I arrived at the children's hospital, I was already 7 cm and nurses were not happy that EMS did not have me on my side. I was in such pain with the labor I called for an epidural. My doctor met me at the hospital and broke my water. Three pushes later, my son was born. They showed me him for two seconds and rushed him to the NICU. At that point my placenta did not want to come out, so I had to be rushed to the operating room. It took an hour. My husband still had not been allowed to see our son. When it was time for me to go to my room he went to see our son. I will never forget seeing him upstairs crying to the nurse and walking away. I thought my son didn't make it.
He finally made it to the room and explained to me that the doctor said that it wasn't his heart that was the big problem, but there was a mass in his chest and they didn't see a right lung. Our son was a lot sicker than they thought, and they didn't have any idea what was wrong yet. I was numb. The next day after running some tests and doing a sonogram, my son wound up being diagnosed with a right sided congenital diaphragmatic hernia. Basically the diaphragm doesn't fully form during utero, which can allow other organs to seep up into the chest area where the lungs are. It can also happen on the right. My son's entire right side of the diaphragm was missing. His liver was sitting on top of his lung. I was so nervous I didn't go see him for an entire day because I didn't want to get attached. He was also diagnosed with an ASD and a VSD (holes in the heart).
Fortunately for my son, he only spent 26 days in the hospital. He had surgery on his third day of life and recovered quite fast, considering what was wrong with him. He actually had a full left lung and a functional right lung with all the sacs needed for him to breathe. It was just a lot smaller. His surgeon said he was borderline on how he would do. I am so blessed that he got stronger everyday and never needed any oxygen. He continues to amaze me everyday. Although he is smaller, because he was born early, he is quickly catching up.
So next time you are pregnant and people ask you whether you want a boy or a girl, say you want a healthy child because nothing compares to that.
A person's story starts before he or she is born. There's an amazing tale to be told of how each baby enters the world. Share your child's story in our Birth Stories group over in the LilSugar Community.