Friday, April 10, 2015

April 10 - Dear Nicholas Sparks (Guest Blogger Dearne Merrick)

Dear Mr. Sparks,

We were planning on having a second child when my daughter Dimity was 4. This did not go as planned. With 2 miscarriages, surgery, and fertility drugs I conceived 2 years later. I was under my OB/GYN that I had for my daughter as well as seeing him for my other complications with conception.

At 24 weeks gestation I became very big. My Gynaecologist said that the baby is going to be another big one due to my daughter who was born 10 pounds. Weeks went by and I started getting bigger with severe heartburn, which was very uncomfortable. I went back and saw him. He scanned me said every thing was fine and also done a sugar test the blood test came back normal, as he thought pregnancy diabetes. Days went by and the heartburn was so severe that some days I could not get out of bed. As soon as I stood up it would start and food was a nasty word the heartburn was terrible. My next check up which was every 4 weeks, I told him this ain’t right something is wrong due to already having one child so I knew that this heartburn and the size I was growing was not normal. Had another scan being 28 weeks he diagnosed me of having Polyhydramnios, carrying to much fluid in the sack. He prescribed me with Zantac for the heartburn. I asked him if this was anything to worry about he said no all is well with baby, being an Ob/Gyn I believed that. When I came home I looked up what polyhydramnios was yes a lot of fluid it also read the baby could be born with a defect or deformity.

Well with that I started to worry then I thought no he said baby was fine and nothing to worry about. Next appointment I told him what I read he said the baby is healthy. Weeks went by. The Zantac stopped working. I was so big and the heartburn was at its peak. I rang the doctors room in tears telling him that I am not well. He told me not much he can do, put your feet up and rest (what I have been doing). With that I demanded that he see me. He organised a scan that day at the John Hunter Hospital to measure the fluid. I was now 36 weeks it was another doctor that done this. The baby was also breech as he had so much fluid to swim in he was up and down all the time. Took the report to his rooms and he said yes to much fluid we will have to do a C-Section. He booked me for 2 weeks when I would be 38 weeks. The baby would not be able to engage due to the fluid.

At 38 weeks 1st September 1998 I was booked to have him and also relieved this was going to be over and my baby was finally arriving arranged for my mum to be at the hospital with my daughter so soon as the baby was born she would be first with her dad to see her new baby brother/sister as I had a GA. Darrin my husband came in and watched the birth and took photos.

Blake was born at 4.50pm 1st September 1998 weighing 9 pound 4 and after he was born they gave him oxygen as standard procedure. After a couple a minutes the doctor that was bagging him said to Darrin he should be breathing by now. The doctor said he is a bit sleepy due to the GA that I had. At this stage my Gyno had finished with me and was off on his way went to recovery and Blake went around to NICU.

Darrin went out and told the news to mum and Dimity that the baby is born being a boy and that he is having trouble breathing at the moment due to the GA. Darrin not knowing what was wrong he went back in to see him there were all these doctors around him bagging him still trying to find why he was not breathing for himself. They then told Darrin to have a seat outside as the baby was still having trouble. Then about 5 minutes later one of the doctors came out and told Darrin that the baby is very sick and if we don’t find out what is wrong with him in the next ½ hr we are going to loose him. My mother said my daughter is in recovery and does not know a thing. They said quick lets go get her as we might loose him.

The doors of recovery flew open and the doctor came rushing over and said to the nurse we have to take this patient to NICU. The doctor was nearly running down the corridor with my bed started panicking asking what was wrong I looked up at Darrin and my mum and they both were crying I knew that something terrible was wrong. The doctor pushing my bed said your baby is very sick. They pushed me into NICU and there was my little boy all hooked up to machines. I did not know what to think my mind just went blank I said what is wrong with him. At this stage they had the chest x-ray, it showed that he had a large mass of intestines up in his chest sitting on his left lung. They then said it is what we call a CDH.I did not know what they were talking about as I never heard of it and I was also very angry this was not picked up in my scans.

The nurse was there a taking photo of him. I was feeling very numb and thinking this is not happening. They took us into another room and explained to us that he is very sick and may not make the night. Darrin and myself were devastated. We stayed close to him as of his condition did not want to believe what they were saying to me. Due to the GA I was very groggy and tired as well as being on morphine due to the c-section. I was drifting in and out of sleep do not remember much as to that night. Darrin sat at Blake's beside that night.

The next morning the neonatologist took us into a room and draw a picture of what was wrong with Blake and explained things aren’t good he has a twisted bowel and he has pulmonary hypoplasia and pulmonary hypertension with serve high blood pressure which they were having trouble stabalising. His heart was pushed over to the right hand side of his chest and he was very gray in colour. He then told us he was a very sick little boy and may not survive the next 48 hrs. I was in shock I could not talk and just did not want to hear what he was telling us.

The next 48 hrs went by. He was still hanging in, they put him on nitric oxide and he started to respond to this. His blood pressure stared to come down but was still on 100% oxygen. They told us there was a slight improvement but he can still not pull through.

Every minute was so precious to us with Blake. We sat be his bedside and sang and talked to him there was a little more improvement and we were praying so very much for our little boy. Day 6 came the day after Father's Day they told us he was going to theatre to have the repair of the diaphragm. The doctor sat and told us he has come to a stand still and during the operation he may not come through. It all started again the tears the not knowing was the worst. They also bought him out of the paralysation they had him in to keep him still. They did this so we could see him with his eyes open. When he open his eyes it was the most wonderful time but very sad as I could not nurse him only stand and look at him. He never took his eyes off us it was like as if he was trying to tell us something said to him that mummy and daddy are hear and you are going to do your very best and that we love him very much. The surgeon told us he would do his best and if everything goes well it will be a 2 hr operation.

We went with him to theatre where he was bagged all the way there. I felt so helpless as we walked behind this was the worst day of my life not knowing if my little boy was going to come through the operation or this was to be the last day with him. It was that hard saying goodbye to him as they took him through. We went down to the chapel at the hospital and prayed.

Three hours went bye and that was the end of me. I said to Darrin something is wrong the doctor said only 2 hrs. We were so very upset. After 4 long hrs the surgeon walked into the room we were in and threw his hands in the air and said he was happy with the repair and all went well he is a strong little boy. He explained that it was very delicate surgery as they used a gortex patch for the repair and sewed the other half as it was a very large defect. We went in and saw him. The neonatologist told us he has done extremely well and are very pleased with the repair but is still not out of the woods until he can come off the ventilator and breath for himself. After they moved the gut and etc out of his chest he had ½ lung that is what kept him going every day went by and he started responding very well. He was doing every thing right. At day 12 he came off the ventilator and went onto CPAP and never looked back. He then had to learn how to feed which took 2 weeks. Our little fighter fought for his life we are so very proud of him.

Written by Blake's mom, Dearne Merrick (Australia)

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