A few hours after delivery, we decided to let the nurse take Gavin to the nursery for a bath and his hearing test while we were being transferred to the postpartum wing. We were getting settled and a NICU doctor came in to our room. She started talking about Gavin having trouble breathing and needing a chest x-ray. I was thinking to myself, this lady has to have the wrong room or something, she couldn't be talking about Gavin. But she was. My sweet baby boy was having trouble breathing and thankfully, the nurse in the nursery caught it and called the NICU to come take a look at him.
The doctor explained to us that it might be pneumonia. They took him for an x-ray and when the doctor returned the news was much worse than we expected. They had discovered that Gavin had a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. It was explained to us that he had a hole in his diaphragm and his intestines had gone through that hole into his chest cavity, pushing his heart and lungs to the right side of his chest. The doctor then told us that Gavin was being transferred to Children's Hospital right away and that he would need surgery.
I was able to get my midwife to discharge me from the hospital so that we could be with Gavin at Children's. Many of the details are blurry to me, I was running on adrenaline and had been up for over 40 hours. I honestly don't remember a lot from the first couple of days that Gavin was there. . We spoke to a lot of doctors and everything was explained to us. His condition is very serious and there are many babies who don't survive this birth defect.
|Gavin's amazing team at Children's|
Gavin's main doctor at Children's told us that he needed to be stable on the ventilator for 24-48 hours before they would consider doing surgery. Of course, our tough little guy was stable pretty quickly and was even trying to breath over the ventilator. They decided he was strong enough for surgery on the 25th. The surgery took about 4 hours and he was very sedated afterwards. The surgeons said he did very well during surgery and they were able to put his intestines back in place and repair his diaphragm laparoscopically. They also told us that his left lung was a good size which was a relief to hear!
|Gavin and Daddy after surgery|
Gavin had his ventilator removed on the 27th and has been doing great without it. He can cry now, although he doesn't very often. He still has some oxygen support that they are weaning slowly. Today he got to have pedialite through a feeding tube and hopefully tomorrow he will get to start breastmilk from the tube, then a bottle, and then we can hopefully try nursing. It is going to be a process for him to learn to eat since he hasn't had to swallow or suck for food since his first nursing right after he was born.
|the first time I had seen his eyes since he was born|
Today I got to hold him for the first time since he was born, I can't tell you the happiness and peace I felt having him in my arms. We are hoping that his chest tube is able to be removed tomorrow as well as his arterial line. After that, he only has a line into his belly button that will probably be the last thing to go. We were told that he would be staying at Children's for 3-4 weeks.
Things have been hectic and days are running together, but we are beyond grateful that Gavin made it through a very scary diagnosis and surgery. He has shown us how strong he is and we are so proud of him. I am also proud of Emily and how well she has adjusted to not having her mom and dad with her all the time. Steve and I are making every effort to have dinner and put her to bed together every night and I think this has helped a lot. Steve's parents have been watching her during the day and she is loving every minute of the extra attention.