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Is this my colour Mum

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.

A smiling Ava!

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!