Wednesday, September 23, 2015

September 23 - Dear Nicholas Sparks (Guest Bloggers Denise Dunfee & Tony Mudderman)

Dear Nicholas Sparks,

I became pregnant with my third child after losing a baby, Jesse, a year and a half before to anencephaly. On June 23rd, my water broke, and we went to the hospital in Waterloo to deliver what we thought was a healthy child with no problems. We were going to have a repeat C-section (I had a C-section with my first). I was prepped, and we were giggling and having a good time. I was giving Tony a hard time because I wanted a girl, and we didn’t know at the time what we were having.

The baby came and Ryan Matthew Mudderman was born into the world at 4:00 in the afternoon. He was blue minutes after delivery, and I was told he was having trouble breathing. I didn’t know all the details because I was still on the operating table. Later I was in my room, and the priest was in the NICU baptizing my baby. They called specialists to take Ryan to Iowa City by helicopter because he was diagnosed with CDH. I hadn’t seen my baby yet, and the nurses were telling me that I wouldn’t be able to see him until I got to Iowa City. I told them that he was not leaving this hospital until I saw him. Well, you’ve never seen nurses move so fast-- two hours after a C-section I was on my feet in the NICU.

My little boy was so full of tubes and wires, it was like a nightmare. I saw Ryan’s doctor Nicole, who flew directly to receive her little patient. She told me that Ryan might not make it through the helicopter ride, and I lost it. I was transported an hour after that by ambulance to Iowa City, and there I asked to see my little boy and wanted to know how he was. They said he was holding his own. My little angel was never coherent after that; they had him on so much medication, and he was so sick they could not stabilize him enough to have the surgery that he needed. They said they could not do anymore for him, and he was put in my arms, his tubes removed. Before he went to heaven, he was visited by all his family, and his big brother Jayson held him and counted his little toes and kissed him goodbye. Jayson gave Ryan three toys to play with in heaven-- Thomas the tank engine to remember his brother Jayson, a John Deere tractor to remember his daddy because daddy makes them at work, a helicopter to remember his first flight, and I gave him a stuffed rabbit that was made by me before we knew that he was a boy so it had ribbon flowers on it.

Ryan's parents, Denise Dunfee & Tony Mudderman (Iowa)

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