Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Story of a Boy...

five years ago today i was blessed with this little angel boy. although this picture looks a little scary...he was (and is) such a fighter...we knew he would be fine.
let me start from the beginning...
after doing some standard blood work - when i was about 4 months along, i received a phone call from the nurse at my doctor's office. she informed me that my test came back showing some problems - but, i shouldn't worry because they get a lot of "false-positives". she scheduled an ultrasound for me and told me all would be fine. so, mr. c and i headed to a lab to have the first glimpse of our baby. we saw his little hands and all seemed normal to us. the technician said nothing...except that our doctor would be calling us. we weren't in the door 30 minutes before he did call us. and my world felt like it came crashing down. with the receiver clenched to my ear, he told me that there was something wrong with the abdominal wall of our baby. more than likely, he would not survive. i couldn't breathe. this could not be happening.
we were to see a specialist the next morning.
the next morning (after little sleep) we headed downtown to Phoenix Perinatal Associates (PPA)...hoping they would shed some light on our lives.
again, we did an ultrasound. and again, the tech said nothing...
except that she would send the doctor right in.
dr. perlow came in, scanned the screen that held the image of our baby and suggested we go into his office and he would explain everything.
"gastroschisis...this is the condition your baby has."
he explained to us that (for some, unknown reason) a pin sized hole, to right of the umbilical cord, has not sealed. because of this hole, a potion of the intestines sneak out and develop on the outside of the abdominal wall. he reassured us (over and over again) that they have no idea why this happens and i needed to know that it was nothing i did. (easier said than believed.)
from there we met with the team of doctors from Phoenix Children's Hospital who would meet our son on his birthday...the surgeons, the neonatologist, nurses. we toured the nicu, PCH, watched slide shows...they did everything possible to prepare us for the inevitable.
i made weekly (sometimes 2x a week) trips to PPA. everyone was encouraging. positive. wonderful. and i felt strong and healthy. i knew the healthier i stayed...
the stronger he would be.
on august 11, 2004, i got dressed. curled my hair. called mr. c. and told him i didn't feel right. he was home within minutes and we headed to the hospital. my girlfriend's sister was a labor/delivery nurse there and happened to be working triage. (chrissy was a lifesaver.)
they eventually got me into a room. where we waited. and waited. the rude dr. i had through the night felt i should go home. but, as it turns 9am on august 12th...chrissy (our angelic nurse) saw the monitoring tape and immediately called the doctor (dr. strong)...who rushed me to emergency c-section. cade was stressed. fluid was gone. they needed him out. now!
dr. strong saw me for the first time that morning at 9:15. cade was born at 9:45. mr. c said my delivery room was like a scene from ER. my team of doctors...cade's team of doctors...bustling around...making everything all right.
i went to recovery, cade went to surgery. the above picture was the first time i had really seen him...several hours later...still in my gown. it would be another day before i could hold him. a nurse noticed me sitting. watching him. crying. and told me he needed me to hold him. but, i really think...i needed him to hold me.
for the next month, we lived at the nicu. the nurses became friends and family. i knew that area of the hospital like the back of my hand. and, at nights, while i would be awake pumping...i would talk to the sweet nurse who was watching over cade. they all loved him.
i remember, he was in the far corner - of the first section of the nicu. when we would walk in - we could hear him sucking his binky all the way across the room.
he was ornery...even at a few weeks old.
he left the nicu after 22 days. quicker than any gastroschisis baby.
we brought him home with a colostomy bag. he would still need another surgery.
he was home for two weeks before we rushed him to the surgery center at PCH. his bowels had strangulated themselves (they were dying). they rushed him to surgery. our favorite surgeon (dr. notrica) came out and told us he wasn't sure what he could do. he may lose all of that bowel and have another colostomy on his side. again, my world started spinning. we waited. and waited. dr. notrica finally emerged again and said to us,
"i don't know what happened. when we opened him up - everything turned pink and healthy. he has no colostomy. he will be fine.
he spent a week in the PICU at PCH. and that became my home for the week.
now, here we are five years later. and he is feistier than ever.
as my papa mac would say, "he's full of piss and vinegar."
we have had few repercussions from his initial surgeries. in fact, we had nothing until a year ago...when we had a possible blockage scare (from scar tissue).
he's missing a few portions of his colon.
and he has a beautiful man made belly button.
but, that's it. he's just your every day, car racing - dirt playing - picking on his sister -
little boy.
a little boy who turns five today.
a little boy who melts my heart.

1 comment:

keep calm and carry on said...

aww. love that boy!!! happy birthday cade!!