Tuesday, August 4, 2015

August 4 - Dear Nicholas Sparks (Guest Blogger Gerald and Amy Curtis)

Dear Mr. Sparks,

My OB sent us to a specialist in Birmingham when she saw Abby's problems. I was 4 months pregnant. Abby had the diaphragmatic hernia and also a hole in her abdominal wall, allowing her intestines to float outside of her body (omphalocele). The specialist gave her a 5% chance. They told us the problems Abby had were connected with other defects and led us to believe that if she survived, she could have mental problems. They wanted to do a test to see if she had a "terminal chromosome." If she did, he said she would be born at our local hospital, and nothing would be done to help her survive after birth. But we knew that God could give life to babies, even if they had terminal chromosomes. We refused the test. They also strongly suggested abortion, which we didn't even consider an option.

A lot of people were praying. Our church prayed over a prayer cloth, which I pinned to my slip and wore every day. It was God who gave Abby life, and I knew that she wouldn't die until God wanted her to. Still, it was a terrible battle on my mind.
At my 8-month ultrasound, her intestines had gone back inside of her, and the hole (omphalocele) in her abdominal wall had closed up to only two cm. Jesus had done "in-the-womb" surgery and although He did not fix her other problem, the diaphragmatic hernia, it gave me confidence that He would take care of her.

While in labor, the doctor told me that Abby probably would not breathe. But when she was born, she cried. She was sent to Children's Hospital the same day and was put on the ventilator and all the IV's and wires that we all know too well. Dr. Harmon did her repair when she was 11 days old. She got off the vent, and we held her for the first time at three weeks old. At six weeks, she came home with an apnea monitor and a feeding tube through her nose.

She had severe reflux and could keep nothing down. A month and a half later, we were back at Children's for a fundoplication surgery, and they put in a feeding tube button. We still face feeding issues. She takes her formula some, but not enough. She will not drink juice and won't eat much baby food. We are encouraged that in the past couple of weeks, we discovered that she loves table food. Crackers, cheese, and baked beans are her favorites. She is not behind in any other area. She is nine months old now and crawls around the house chasing her older brother, Josiah, who is three.

Abby's parents, Gerald and Amy Curtis (Alabama)

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