Saturday, November 28, 2015

November 28 - Dear Nicholas Sparks (Guest Blogger Michelle Hudson)

Dear Nicholas Sparks,

Our daughter Samantha was born on March 21, 2000, one day shy of my actual due date. She weighed 7 pounds 6.5 ounces and was 21 inches long. I had been having contractions for the past 5 weeks so the doctor decided to go ahead and induce me. After finding out that my daughter had CDH on January 4, 2000, I was a little hesitant about what would happen after she was born, but I wanted to go ahead and do it, the waiting was killing us. My parents and in-laws were great. They all made sure our 3-year-old son was okay and taken care of. 6 hours after the doctor decided to induce, our daughter Samantha was born. She let out a little cry and was rushed to the incubator. There, with a total of 9 doctors and nurses there just for her, she was intubated. They let my husband and I touch her through the incubator and rushed out the door and to the Children’s Hospital that was attached by tunnel to the hospital she was delivered in. Two hours later we got to go and see her. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Seeing one of your children hurt is the worst possible feeling. Samantha was put on ECMO when she was 22 hours old, her heartbeat was 205. Day 5 on ECMO they decided to go ahead and repair her hernia. With the blood thinner medicine it was risky, but with her being stable, this would be the best time. On day 6, she was 7 days old; they had to open her back up because her legs were purple and swollen. There wasn’t any blood circulating to her legs. The surgeon told us it was because everything was in the stomach area now and wouldn’t let blood pass. He said they would possibly have to put in a gortex patch to make the stomach area bigger. Once they got inside they noticed her stomach was filled with blood and fluid, they left a suction drain tube and didn’t have to put in the patch after all. She had hypertension, this was keeping her on ECMO longer than they wanted, but on day 14 they decided it was time, she went through 2 circuits. Once we graduated to the progressive side we worked mainly on feeding issues. She had reflux so bad nothing would stay down. After weeks of trying on May 5, 2000 she had her 5th, and so far final surgery, to get a G-button and the Fundo wrap. This allowed us to feed her through a tube placed directly in her stomach, and the Fundo kept her from throwing up her food. Four days later, On May 10th, after 7 weeks and 1 day in the hospital Samantha got to come home!

Today Samantha is 4½ months old and still has feeding problems. We are doing all feeds through her G-button because she won’t eat by mouth. She is not aspirating; she just doesn’t want to eat and gags when we try, and she is on blood pressure medication to treat the hypertension. She is on track developmentally and physically and by looking at her you would never know what happened to her. She smiles all the time and makes everyone’s day. She is truly our family’s miracle baby.

Written by Samantha’s mom, Michelle Hudson (Texas)

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