Wednesday, November 11, 2015

November 11 - Dear Nicholas Spark (Guest Blogger Ryan and Heather Saylor)

Dear Mr. Sparks,

November 1999 my husband and I found out that we we're going to have our first baby. We had been trying for seven months to get pregnant and then it happened. We were so excited. We were married five years the year that Colton was to be born. My pregnancy was a normal one. I had two months of morning sickness and was very tired. The baby was always very active and his heart rate was always at 160. I only gained 20 lbs with my little guy, never had any swelling and stayed very active throughout. At every doctor's visit I was told, "sounds like a healthy baby in there." Boy were we wrong! I don't blame them in any way. After all, he did sound healthy because he wasn't relying on his lungs inside my womb. We went to the hospital July 14th at 1:30am and delivered Colton Ray Saylor at 6:24am. We had a boy. The look on my husband's face was priceless! Colton looked like a healthy baby boy until my husband cut the umbilical cord. July 14th was the happiest and saddest day of our lives. When he cut the cord, Colton started gasping for air. Our Midwife took him over to examine him and started bagging him. Then the nurse listened to his heartbeat. That was when they realized that Colton was not a "healthy baby". His heart was.on his right side of his chest so they took an x-ray. All his intestines were up in his chest cavity, where his lungs were supposed to be. We never got to hold Colton that day. They took him by life flight to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. They practiced with ECMO there and that is what he needed. He was on ECMO for a long time. Longer than they like you to be. They did his surgery to repair the diaphragmatic hernia while he was on ECMO.

The surgery went well but his little body was not able to get off ECMO. His left lung was very small and he had significant pulmonary hypertension. August 13th 2000 was the worst day of our lives. The risks of ECMO set in and his head ultrasound revealed large bleeds in his brain. They told us they had to take him off ECMO right away or he would suffer a stroke. We knew this was the end because they tried to clamp off the machine a couple of times earlier that week and his numbers would drop. When they were explaining this to us I was in such shock that I didn't realize what this meant. I thought they were going to tell us a new game plan. Then I looked at my husband and he was crying so hard. I never saw my husband cry so hard. There was nothing more they could do. I held Colton for two hours before he went. I sang to him and told him how much we loved him. The 30th day of his life I held him for the first time and the last. I will always remember how he felt in my arms and the way he yawned and stretched. I am sure he knew I was holding him. He seemed so content. We held him for five hours after he went home to be with the Lord. I will never forget him and the way he smelled and his facial expressions when we talked to him. We will never get over the loss of our son. He will be with us always. It has been 4 weeks today and my heart still aches like the day we lost him. I don't see how we will ever be the same.

Colton's parents, Ryan and Heather Saylor (Pennsylvania)

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