Friday, May 22, 2015

May 22 - Dear Nicholas Sparks (Guest Blogger Jane Bell)

Dear Mr. Sparks,

This is a picture of my daughter Chella Jane Bell. She was diagnosed as having a diaphragmatic hernia when I was 37 weeks pregnant after a routine scan.

I was complaining of having really bad backaches and was sent for an ultrasound. I sensed there was something wrong as the radiologist spent quite a lot of time looking at the ultrasound. He fetched a colleague in to come and have a look at the ultrasound. All I kept saying was, "Is anything wrong?" I was on my own and got quite anxious. They fetched a consultant who told me that the baby had shadows around the heart, and they weren't sure what was wrong. It was a week before Christmas day. They made me an appointment for Christmas Eve for a detailed ultrasound. I came away from the hospital in tears. In a daze I rang my husband at work, crying, thinking there was something wrong with our baby's heart. The week went by very slowly not knowing what was wrong.

The day finally came around for my ultrasound where they found that our baby had a diaphragmatic hernia. I asked if they would be giving me a Caesarian, but they said no. While the baby was still inside my womb, it would be OK; the problem would be when it was born.

I was shown around the neonatal unit, all the Christmas decorations were up, the tiny babies in their incubators. I was due to deliver on the 4th of January 1988. I went into labour on Wednesday 6th of January 1988 at 9.30 at night. I didn't have a difficult labour-- just pethedine for the pain-- and Chella was born the following morning at 8.10, weighing 7 lbs 8 oz. I had a quick glance at her, and they took her away. The peadiatrician came to see me sometime after to tell me that she had been taken to the ICU. I eventually saw her when she was two and a half hours old. That same night at 7.30 she was operated on. We saw her again before she went down for surgery, then again around 11.00. She looked so sweet, even with the ventilator and all the tubes around her. She spent six days on the ICU, then came back up to the maternity ward with me. Everything was a success. She's now a 14-year-old with a very delicate scar on her left side of her tummy. She has one sister, age 12, and a brother, age 9.

Chella's mom, Jane Bell (Great Britain)

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