It was on February 15, 2005 when I found out I was pregnant.
I can’t describe all the emotions that ran through me
when I looked at the test that read positive. After four different
tests, it finally hit me. I was going to be a mommy. My pregnancy
was pretty uneventful until I got my results from the triple
screen test at 16 weeks. I will never forget the feeling when
I checked my voicemail and heard a message from my doctor saying
we needed to discuss the results of the test and to call the
office the next day.
The next day when we talked, he said that my baby had a high
chance of having spina bifida. All at once my world came crashing
down. I was terrified. I cried for the four days that I had
to wait to get an ultrasound. The day of, I waited anxiously
until I got to see my little one on the screen. To my relief,
as soon as I saw her the technician said that she did not have
spina bifida, but it was Gastroschisis. After explaining exactly
what it was I was still very scared, but also relieved. So what
was there to do now, but research and scare myself to death.
All the horrifying stories I read, that’s somehow what
got me through it all. From around the 34th week and on Ava
wasn’t very active. I was constantly put on the monitor
because there were days that I would not feel her move at all.
I guess it was a mother’s intuition because I pushed to
have my last ultrasound, feeling that something was not right.
On October 6th I went in for my last ultrasound before my scheduled
Cesarean Section on the 16th. To my surprise the doctor came
in and told me I would be having her that day because her belly
was filling up with fluid. I look back and don’t know
how I held it together, but left the appointment and headed
to the hospital in tears. I was prepped for surgery and off
I went to have my baby. Overwhelmed with
emotions, I just wanted to hear her cry and see her beautiful
face. From then on everything went in slow motion and was a
blur. I can’t explain the relief and emotions that came
over me when I heard her cry for the first time. That was one
hurdle, now the next was her surgery. It seemed like I was in
the recovery room for only minutes when Dr. Chaet came in and
told me the surgery was over and went better than expected.
He was able to get all of her intestines in and she was in recovery.
Ava was on the incubator for 48 hours.
The toughest part was leaving the hospital without my baby.
The only thing that got me through was seeing her everyday.
Now it was the waiting game, we had to wait for her organs to
start working and the bile to stop draining. The 3 ½
weeks she was in the hospital was a rollercoaster, there were
many up’s and down’s. One day I’d see her
one way and the next she’d have her tube back in and her
IV would be in a different place. The worst thing for me was
knowing she was crying because she was hungry, but not being
able to do anything about it. It was also very hard having to
leave her everyday.
Once I got the good news that I could feed her 1cc of Pedialite,
I was ecstatic. Everything was going well until they started
to increase her feedings and she started throwing up. We would
have to start all over again from square one. Next they had
to give her enemas since she couldn’t poo on her own.
They thought she might have a blockage, once again prayers were
answered and there was no blockage. Third time was the charm,
she started tolerating her feedings and she was pooing. I never
thought I would be so happy to see a poopy diaper. I was able
to start breastfeeding her on Halloween night and the very next
day she got to come home! When I look back, the only way I got
through all this was my faith in God. Ava is truly a miracle
and my reason for waking up everyday. I hope that my story will
help someone get through their own hard times. Just take one
day at a time and know there will be many ups and downs. In
the end it is all worth it!