My first baby, Jade was diagnosed with gastroschisis
at 13 weeks gestation. During a follow up ultrasound they
also found that she had a single umbilical artery and a choroid
plexus cyst in her brain. We opted not to have the amniocentesis
because we didn’t want to put her at any greater risk.
Little Jade was already on the bad end of the statistics.
We were carefully
watched during the rest of the pregnancy. Every 3 weeks we
had an ultrasound to inspect the bowel and watch her growth.
Luckily, the cyst disappeared after 29 weeks, and the SUA
never seemed to cause any problems aside from a bit lower
birth weight common with gastroschisis babies anyway.
Jade on the day she was born
After 30 weeks, the ultrasounds become weekly as well as
non stress tests. At 35 weeks, Jade stopped moving and we
were sent to the University of Utah Medical Center in Salt
Lake City Utah. The next day, May 8th 2002, Jade Anne made
her entrance by C-section. She was 4lbs 6oz, 17 ½ inches
long. Her gastroschisis included her stomach and parts of
both large and small intestine. On a scale of mild to severe,
we were told her level of damage from the amniotic fluid was
moderately severe. The intestines were swollen 10 times their
normal size. Thankfully, they were complete and intact and
didn’t seem to have any other problems.
Jade three weeks old
She was taken immediately to surgery at Primary Children’s
Hospital(thankfully, joined to UofU by a hallway). After 3
hours we got the call from the surgeon that amazingly they
were able to do a primary closure and Jade was doing fine.
They had cut out her umbilicus in order to get all the bowel
back in and be able to make a good closure. Seeing the before
an after surgery pictures, it’s absolutely amazing that
her scar is so tiny! They did fashion a bellybutton of sorts.
To those that don’t know otherwise, they probably wouldn’t
know anything was wrong.
Jade was on the ventilator for just 4 days. On the 2nd or
3rd day she was given a PICC line for her TPN. She also had
the AG tube pulling up juices from her stomach since it couldn’t
move through. Now it was just a matter of waiting for her
bowel to begin moving.
Jade at four months
We waited anxiously for that first “messy diaper”.
I never thought I’d be so happy to see one! After 3
weeks, there were bowel sounds but not movement. They gave
her a suppository to help things move and it sure did! Two
days after that we started her on Pedialite, and the next
day ½ strength breast milk.
On May 30th Jade was doing so well she was moved from the
NICU to the infant unit. There she developed an infection
in her PICC line. The PICC line was removed and she had to
start working up to normal feedings a bit sooner than they