- Family and Parenting
A Medical Miracle Named Eddie
Eddie's Battle Against Hypoxia Ischemia
This lens is about my son, Eddie (or Eddie Spaghetti...the name he insists on being called). He is a medical miracle. He beat all odds and ignored everything the doctors had to say about his experience with hypoxia ischemia and his future.
Eddie was born unresponsive. No heartbeat (or at least not a detectable one) and not breathing. He was what the doctors have described as basically dead. He was revived immediately. But he had been without oxygen for several minutes. His will to live was instantly called upon to fight. He met that challenge head on from his first breath.
A Christmas Baby!
Never, never say "I don't care when my baby is born as long as it is not on Christmas day"! I was not due until February, but I felt that this baby would come early. I don't know why I felt that, but I did. I must have said that I did not want him born on Christmas 50 times.
On Christmas Eve I found myself feeling very sick and unable to bake cookies or do anything I had planned to do with my girls. It was all I could do to get myself to the restroom and back to the bed. It was horrible. I tried to eat a couple of times, but it did not stay down. So, I turned the computer on and had it following Santa's location for my girls (http://www.noradsanta.org/). This made them happy and excited.
Finally, I knew I had to get to the doctor and I called my husband home. We dropped the kids off at their grandmother's house and off we went. This is where the real adventure began.
We didn't know it yet, but Eddie would be born on Christmas Day.
What is Hypoxia Ischemia?
When I arrived, I immediately went right in. No waiting. The nurses tried to get a heartbeat on the baby, but could not find one. I began to panic. They called the doctor in and he immediately decided the baby had to come out now. He could not find a heartbeat, either.
I remember being led down the hall on a hospital bed and that is it. They put me out and got that baby out. My husband was told to wait in a private area and he said that within minutes he saw the doctor running out holding my baby and at the same time performing CPR. They ran into a waiting elevator and that was it.
When I woke up, the doctor came right in to tell us that the baby was alive, but had suffered Hypoxia Ischemia. It is basically insufficient blood and oxygen to the organs to keep them working. Here is the definition as found on MedTerms.com:
Hypoxia-ischemia: Blood flow to cells and organs that is not sufficient to maintain their normal function, combined with a lower-than-normal concentration of oxygen in arterial blood.
Eddie was struggling and had suffered several seizures in the few hours since birth. The doctors felt he had suffered some brain damage, but didn't know how much. They asked us for permission to try voluntary hypothermia with him. They wanted to cool his temperature to help slow or prevent further brain damage. We had to decide immediately as this treatment has to be started within 6 hours of birth. We immediately said yes.
an agonizing 72 hours
Eddie was put onto a cooling mat and had a temperature control above him as well. He was completely naked and had a total of 8 wires and/or needles in his body when I finally got to see him. My heart sank. His body was already turning the slightest shade of blue. There was no healthy pink baby waiting for me.
We were also asked not to touch him as he could not be stimulated. The doctors and nurses were trying to stop the seizures that just seemed to keep coming.
For those who have not gone through this, it is agonizing. Your baby looks miserable and cold. When you can not touch or hold your child, you feel horrible. A mother's instinct is to hold your child when they are suffering.
Finally, after 3 days, they began to slowly warm his body. He turned pink very quickly. This made me extremely happy. You learn very quickly to be thankful for the little things. Life becomes much clearer.
I will say, I am very thankful for the fact that Eddie's doctors were able to offer voluntary hypothermia. Not every doctor or medical facility can. I believe it is one of the reasons Eddie is the child he is today. That and his own strong will.
When I went through this there was nothing to be found online about voluntary hypothermia. I hope I can offer some sort of comfort to mothers going through this. The 3 days WILL come to an end. I, for one, am sure this treatment helped my own son.
Video About Voluntary Hypothermia
Oh, how I wish this would have been available when I was going through this. But, here it is for you!
Great Reads While Sitting in the NICU
This would be a great read when sitting in the NICU with your child.
A beautiful companion journal for the time you spend in the NICU. This journal was created just for you from someone who has been there.
We Made it!
Day to day, we did everything we could to make sure someone was with Eddie all of the time. We even got to touch him after about a week. And we got to hold him after about two weeks! This was so exciting. Finally, I held my baby. Though it was a little scary due to all of the wires I had to be careful with (including one to his heart), my heart was so full when I had him in my arms.
Eddie got better with every passing day. The seizures stopped. Wires slowly started coming off. But he was so heavily medicated he did not open his eyes or wake up very often. He was medicated to decrease his brain activity and to stop seizures. But he was alive and beautiful.
The doctors weren't sure what his future would look like. They were unsure of the extent of his brain damage. We were at the point that we did not care, we just wanted him home.
Finally, he was ready to come home. We were called in to an office and his doctor told us he had extreme brain damage. That he would possible be a vegetable with no brain function, be severely retarded (I know this term is offensive to some and I don't mean to be, but this is how it was said to us), or at the very best he would have cerebral palsy. We were very sad, but we just wanted to bring him home and start his life.
The next day one of the nurses told us that there was an argument among the doctors regarding the extent of his brain damage. So, Eddie would be held another day so that doctors from San Antonio and Houston could come in to evaluate him. Some doctors believed his lack of brain function was due to drugs.
Finally, we were told nothing new and Eddie came home.
Note: This baby is not Eddie. But this baby IS super adorable!
Bring Your Preemie Home in Style
Nobody plans for a baby to come too soon. Here are some cute outfits to help your baby go home in style. He or she has earned it!
Babies love to be swaddled. This swaddling blanket is just the right size.
Our Own Happy Ending
This is not a sad story. If you have hung on this long, I thank you for sharing it with me.
Although we were not sure what we were facing when we left the hospital, Eddie is now a healthy and normal 3-year-old boy. He has no signs of brain damage other than a sometimes lazy eye. But this will be corrected and may have nothing to do with what he has been through. Here he is today, a 3-year-old boy who loves trains.
I put this poor little guy through so much the first year of life to make sure he met his milestones. I worked with him every day. I learned how to make money from home so that I could be with him, no matter what he faced. I own a rhinestone transfer business that is pretty successful (www.therhinestonetransferstore.com and www.wholesalerhinestonetransfers.net). I also learned how to make money online with affiliate sites. It is amazing what you can do when you need to.
Eddie also went through brain scans and probes with needles in his head. To this day, he is terrified to get his hair cut. The poor boy remembers and doesn't like anyone coming at his head with anything.
But Eddie is wonderful. The doctors have called him a medical miracle. His lack of brain damage does not make sense to the doctors. But I will take this miracle as it comes and I am so thankful for it. Watching this little boy do something as simple as count to 10 and tell his sisters that he loves them is what melts my heart. It always will.
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Had you heard about voluntary hypothermia used on babies before this lens?
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