Thursday, December 10, 2015

December 10 - Dear Nicholas Sparks (Guest Blogger Laura Edmiston)

Dear Mr. Sparks,

Although my pregnancy was nothing to brag about, I did have my problems. I felt like even though this was my fifth child (all of whom have had no problems either with the pregnancy or birth and all have been healthy children), I did have problems. I felt huge, and they said the baby was normal size. I went into labor early twice; both times they stopped it. I had 2 sonograms, one at about 2 months and another at 5 months and both looked normal. Even so, at 37 weeks, Joey was born. At first they said he was just having problems breathing, and after a few hours in NICU, he would be back with me. That sounded OK to me since 7 years ago, my daughter was born after a great pregnancy and had problems breathing and was fine after a few hours.

Four or five hours later, the neonatologist came in and said they had to talk to me about Joey. They said he had CDH and possibly had to be flown to Phoenix (two hours away) to be put on ECMO. I had honestly never heard of this, even though I had been a surgical tech for a few years! I wasn’t sure what this was, and the doctor explained it to me, but it still made no sense. All I wanted was to hold my baby and go home.

After two days, the doctors said Joey was doing better and probably wouldn't have to go to Phoenix. I was so thankful. I left that day (two days after he was born) thinking he would be OK. Three days later, after going to the hospital everyday in between taking and picking up my other three children to and from school, the doctor called and said they did have to fly Joey to Phoenix that afternoon. I was so upset that I could hardly drive back to the hospital.

Later that day, Joey left on the helicopter (with his three sisters and brother and me and his grandma saying goodbye) to go to Phoenix. His oldest sister Sky (18 years old) and I went up later that day. When we got there, he was already on ECMO.

Joey stayed on ECMO for 10 days. On his littlest sister’s 7th birthday, they told me that the next day they were going to do his surgery. I was so happy, but at the same time scared. I just hoped he made it through the surgery. His sister said that was the best present she got for her birthday, to tell her baby brother he was having surgery and maybe coming home soon. I wanted to cry. She was so hopeful; so was his brother CJ (age 5). CJ never once thought anything bad would happen to his brother.

Well, we were one of the few truly blessed families. After surgery, Joey came home to Tucson two days later, and after another seven days he came home to us.

Other than the fact that he nurses every two hours, he is absolutely perfect and is his mommy's little miracle baby. We all love him and pray for any other family with a baby born with this defect. We were lucky, and we know that most of the babies and their families aren’t this lucky.

Written by Joseph's mom, Laura Edmiston (Arizona)

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