Monday, May 4, 2015

May 4 - Dear Nicholas Sparks (Guest Blogger Andy & Carla Alexander)

Dear Mr. Sparks,

I was pregnant by surprise with out fourth son. He was due on May 5, 2002, but I had planned a repeat C-section on April 30, 2002. I went in for my check-up at 38 weeks on April 15th, and the ultrasound technician told me my baby looked underweight, so I was made an appointment at another office for a level 3 ultrasound on Thursday the 18th of April. It was just a routine check but that’s when it was found that we were having a child with CDH. We had no idea what this meant; we had never heard of it before. I guess ignorance is bliss sometimes, for had we known what we were about to get into, we would have been more frightened than we already were.

The doctor told us to be prepared for the baby to be taken straight from the delivery room because he would most likely be in respiratory distress. I was rushed over for an emergency C-section and at 7:30 p.m. on April 18th, Logan Andrew was brought into this world. He came out, and we heard him being suctioned, and then the most beautiful and strong cry came from behind the curtain. The neonatologist brought Logan around, and we saw him for about 30 seconds, and he was rushed to the NICU. It was later that we learned that he gave them all a run for their money; he was crying so loudly and fighting, the nurses who had been called over to assist said, “Well, he seems okay,” but he wasn’t. His X ray showed a left-sided hernia with most of the intestines and part of the stomach in his chest cavity. He also had one multicystic kidney that was full of fluid-filled cysts and did not function at all.

He was immediately put on the vent and nitric oxide. The doctor wanted to wait a few days to see what the bowel would do on it's own; he said sometimes it would come down on its own as the lung on that side is inflated. Two days later the doctor showed us Logan's X rays, and the bowel had slipped down half way and was showing a good sized lung. We were very hopeful.

On his seventh day of life , Logan was stable enough for surgery, and all went well. This was the first CDH surgery that had ever been performed at this hospital. He remained on the ventilator for five more days and was strong enough to be taken off of it. His lungs were still not strong enough, so he was put on C-pap for three days and then taken off and put on oxygen. He did well for a few days, but we were battling fluid because his one kidney was having a hard time. He was on lasix every day. Finally he was well enough to be taken off of oxygen, and it was Mother’s Day. It was such a great gift, but only two days later, he was put back on because he got pneumonia.

He was being fed and was getting sicker and more yellow. They told us he was jaundiced, and it wasn’t that bad so he wouldn’t go under the light. After a few more days, he was more yellow and sicker than before. He was eating well, but now he was throwing up. The doctor met with us and told us that he possibly had a condition called galactosemia, where his liver was missing the right enzymes to break down galactose, which comes from lactose, so he was immediately put on soy milk. His bilirubin went down. The milk had something to do with it, but DNA tests were taken and sent off. It took over a month to come back, but it all came back negative. He did not have galactosemia. That was great.

I am so thankful to God for Logan. He has such a story to tell when he is older. I love him so much and thank God every day for the progress he has shown. These little CDH babies are fighters. I have also learned so much from this, but patience most of all. Wellness does not happen overnight-- it takes time. Our babies are fighting a hard fight. Could we be as strong? God bless you all and remember us in your prayers. We will remember you!

Logan's parents, Andy & Carla Alexander

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