Saturday, May 9, 2015

May 9 - Dear Nicholas Sparks (Guest Bloggers Julie and Bruce Baker)

Dear Mr. Sparks,

This is a story of my son, Joshua Bruce Baker. Born 21-4-03 to 23-4-03.

I had an ultrasound at 18 weeks. Everything seemed normal. My husband Bruce and I found out we were having another boy (baby number 4) which was really nice and we were excited. By 32 weeks, I looked and felt that I was having twins. I had fluid around my ankles, which I thought was normal. I decided to go to my G.P. that week. I asked him if I had the correct dates. He said he gave the correct dates but he checked the size of my belly. He wanted me to see the Flying Gyno in Roma, who was going to deliver the baby by C-Section. So Bruce and I went with the kids to Roma. The doctor sent me for an ultrasound to see why my belly was huge. He just said I had a lot of fluid.

The radiologist that did the ultrasound said that he had a hernia. He told me to go back to the doctor and he would explain everything to me. I just thought he had a hernia and it could be fixed. I wasn't that worried. When the doctor told me what was wrong, he told me that it was out of his hands and I would have to deliver in Brisbane. We didn't want to go there as we lived on a cattle farm (and still do) and we were 5 hours away from Brisbane. But we knew we had to go.

The next day I was flown out by the Flying Doctors to Brisbane. When I got there, they wanted me to have ultrasounds to see how the baby was doing. When they really explained what was going on, we just didn't want to believe it. But reality struck when the specialist told me they were giving the baby 50/50 chance of survival. When Bruce drove down they wanted me to explain to him what was going on. He was devastated. I spent a week in hospital. During that week, I had 2 litres of fluid drained from my stomach to relieve me from being uncomfortable, but 2 days later the fluid returned and I was uncomfortable again with this huge belly.

The next morning we went down to see him. The nurses said he had a bad night and he was looking a little grey. They told us we had to prepare for the worst. It was the hardest thing. We, as parents are expected to die before our kids, not our kids before us. We stayed with him for a while. I had to rest as I was so tired from the caesar. On the 23rd of April we were rushed down to be by Joshua's side. His sats were really low. The doctor told us that if he kept going his heart would fail. They gave us the choice to turn the machines off or pray for a miracle. The nicest thing we could do was to turn the machine off for him, to be free and to be our little Angel. It was the hardest decision that we ever had to make in our lives.

The saddest thing is we never saw his eyes open and we never heard him cry. He died in my arms. This was the saddest day of our lives. Everyday I think of him. He would be 2 this year. We miss him so much. He is our little Angel in Heaven.

We had to stay at the Ronald McDonald house for 7 weeks until he was born. He wanted to come a day before a scheduled C-Section, so it was all hands on deck. When he was born, they briefly showed our baby, Joshua, to us. I didn't hear him cry at all. The doctors said he let out a little cry though. Four hours went by when Bruce and I went down to the ICU ward. He was hooked to everything. They said he was doing fine. I took heaps of photos of him. He didnt like to be touched and when we did his sats dropped. He was the most beautiful baby boy. He was so perfect on the outside, imperfect on the inside. He had a left sided hernia. His heart was pushed to the right side of his body and his lungs were under developed.

Joshua's parents, Julie and Bruce Baker (Australia)

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