Holding my "before" favorite shirt after losing 125 pounds on my journey to better health.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A Tale of Two Babies

This post is a tribute to my daughter and the two little baby boys who have impacted our families lives in the last two years. My daughter has struggled for a few years with the health issues that plague a lot of people who have excess weight. I say this with great love as a mother. She had forgotten how to take care of her own health as she helped take care of her family and work a full time job.  She found out that she was expecting a baby and we were cautiously  excited as we knew the risk of her carrying a healthy baby to term with diabetes and high blood pressure.  She was really struggling with her diabetes and had to begin insulin injections very early on. She never felt good and seemed to catch a lot of infections.  Because she was over 40 she was encouraged by her Dr. to have genetic testing and she agreed.  At that time she was told that there were two genetic conditions that would make the baby unable to survive. That they were very rare and the Dr. had only had two babies with either condition  in his many years as a high risk Dr. One day she got a call from the Dr's office that she needed to come in right away. She asked me to go with her as we knew there must be a problem  As we sat in the Dr's personal office we talked about what we thought it could be and the challenges of raising a special needs baby but she felt she would be a great mom to such a baby.  The Dr. came in very solemnly and said I am very saddened to tell you that your baby boy has Trisomy 18 one of the  genetic conditions that a baby will not survive.  We sat there stunned. This had to be a mistake. He said before we repeat the test we will do an ultrasound to confirm.  She was immediately taken into the ultrasound room and there we saw that this little baby would not survive. The tears flowed and my heart broke as I watch my little girl tremble and sob as she looked at the images up on the screen. We have talked a few times about that day and the images of that special baby will be forever in both our hearts.  Several days later he was delivered and all we have of him are the prints from his tiny feet.
After this my daughter functioned and did what she needed to do but seemed to just survive. Any mother who has lost a baby and dreams of the future know this terrible time of mourning.  She began to feel better and started taking some interest in her health. Going through this had made her realize that her health needed to improve greatly . I am so grateful for this little boy and the motivation he gave to his mama to fight for her health and her life.

I now want to share with you about the second little boy.  My daughter was once again expecting and of course the concern was high. The pregnancy was going well and as perfect as could be.  She was  following all the guideline for healthy eating. I can not imagine how many finger pokes she endured while pregnant to keep a close tab on her diabetes.  It has to be in the hundreds if not thousands. She kept in close contact with her doctors, visited with diabetes specialists, and followed their guidelines. Each month as she went into her OBGYN her doctor would say everything was "gorgeous!" Her diabetes, blood pressure, and weight were in good control.  In mid December she woke up one morning to a gush of blood.  After contacting the Dr. and being evaluated by an ultrasound it was confirmed that the baby was fine. She was sent home to bed rest. She had 4 more months to go.  I can't imagine the fear that was in her heart. Put on bedrest during the holidays, having to step down from her teaching job and the impact that would cause to the family finances. But she did as she was told and settled in for the long haul.  She began having contractions frequently and that added to her concern.  She had two genetic tests to see if all was well with the baby and those came up "No Results." Apparently if a baby and mother are close in DNA markers it will not show if there is a genetic change.  Also heavier mothers often get "No Results." The high risk specialist did several diagnostic ultra sounds to try to determine if there would be any genetic conditions that would affect the baby at delivery.  Every ultrasound came back that the baby fine. About 3 weeks ago she began having symptoms of early birth and pre eclampsia. Her blood pressure was going up and she was retaining water. She spent a weekend in the hospital while the tests were all completed and she was given through an IV the medication that would help the baby's lungs develop and function if he was born so early.  She went home on continued bed rest and at that time had to start doing frequent finger sticks and give herself injections of insulin to keep her blood sugars in line. She was seen every other day by a high risk Dr.  At one of those visits it was determined that she needed to deliver as her blood pressure was going to high for her safety. That she had fought the fight to hold onto this little boy for as long as was medically possible. Her baby boy was born and rushed away to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit.  He needed assistance with his breathing.  He had many of the issues that premature babies have. She went home and left him in the care of the specialists. She has healed rapidly and been able to go in and spend time with her little "miracle." One of the things she has been most proud of herself for accomplishing is that she is almost 15 pounds less than she was when she got pregnant. That is very impressive as most mom's gain 25-40 pounds with a pregnancy. That shows how determined she was to be healthy and give this little boy the best start possible.  Her little boy continues to grow stronger and will soon be leaving the hospital to go home and join his brothers.  He just has to work a little more on learning how to eat. I want to say how proud I am of my daughter. She was given a second chance and she did everything in her power to have this great outcome. Her 3 sons and husband worked together and did all they could to make sure this little brother had the best chance possible.  Miracles do happen!