Monday, November 9, 2015

November 9 - Dear Nicholas Sparks (Guest Blogger Kristine Ross)

Dear Mr. Sparks,

I went in for my 18 week ultra sound hoping they would be able to see what sex the baby was, I never thought that there might actually be something wrong.

A Diaphragmatic Hernia? I had never heard of it before but after at 22 weeks when I had a diagnostic ultra sound and it was confirmed I started searching for any information I could find. I search the net expecting one or two sites and was shocked when my search engine found over two thousand sites.

My neonatal care was moved to Westmead Hospital so that after the baby was born and as soon as the baby was stable they could move him next door to the Children's hospital for surgery.

We lived Thirty minutes away from the hospital and in the last weeks of my pregnancy I was having nightmares of not making it to the hospital in time (my second labour lasted 1 1/2 hours) because I knew that if he wasn't born at Westmead he might not survive transport.

A week before Brayden was born I went in for my weekly appointment and was instructed that they would put me in for a induction on the 13th of March, it was the only day that week they could get me in and I didn't want to have him on that day because it was his daddy's birthday.

As it happens I didn't get a say in the matter.

I was due to ring the hospital at 6:30am to find out when to come in for the induction but at 3:10am I got up to go to the toilet and my water broke. It took all of fifteen minutes to get to the hospital (I was worrying for nothing) and at 12:16pm Brayden William was born.

I got a quick look at him after they had intubated him and of he went to NICU and I didn't see him again for three hours.

When we finally got in to see him he was sedated and was hooked up to every machine imaginable. All his lines ran through the open vessels of his belly button. When he was two days old he got a mild infection and the medication line in his belly button started leaking so they had to stick his belly button closed.

On Saturday 16th March Brayden was stable enough to be transferred to the Children's Hospital and the lines in his belly button were removed and placed in the artery in his leg. Finally it seemed like the first big hurdle was nearly over.

His lungs were oxygenating his blood well, but his blood pressure could not be kept high enough to keep the blood flowing in the right direction through the valve in his heart that connects the two upper chambers. Not enough oxygenated blood was getting through his body. By early Sunday morning Brayden's O2 levels dropped to just 9% and we were told that he wouldn't make it.

At 11am Craig and I had to make the decision not to prolong Brayden's suffering and had to call our family to tell them to come and say goodbye.

We had him Christened. Everyone got to have a cuddle while he was still with us, and we had moulds done of his hands and feet. Then Craig and I held him as he peacefully left us.

Everyone had another cuddle and we gave him a bath, with help from his sisters. We dressed him and took him out to the court yard for more cuddles and after our family left we said one last goodbye, gave him one last kiss and handed him to the nurse who sat outside with him until we left.

The hardest thing I have ever had to do was to leave my son and walk away.

We are grateful for the four days we had with Brayden, some people don't even get that.

Brayden's mum, Kristine Ross (Australia)

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