(Stay tuned to a picture of me)
Mommy gave birth to me after an uneventful, term pregnancy. I was born at about 8:00pm on a windy day and after daddy cut the umbilical chord I got to cuddle with mommy for a while. That night, I cuddled and cried with mommy and daddy, but mostly, I slept - like a new baby should. The next day, my first full day of life, it turns out, could have been my last.
(Stay tuned to another picture of me)
The next day seemed like any other first full day, but as the day wore into the afternoon, my condition had been worsening. Neither mommy, daddy, nor any of the other nurses knew I had been born with a broken heart. In a moment of serendipity, the pediatric doctor happened to be visiting the hospital.
The pediatrician stopped by, and noticed that I didn't look as flush as a new baby should. She examined my fingers and lips and toes and saw that they were slowly turning blue; a worrying sign that I wasn't getting enough oxygen into my blood stream. My family later learned I had life threatening defects in my heart. We later learned that I had these congenital heart defects:
- Critical Pulmonary Stenosis - A narrowing of the pulmonary valve. In my case enough to be life thretening.
- Hypoplastic Right Ventricle - An underdeveloped right side of my heart.
- Ventricular Septal Defect - A whole between the and left sides of my heart.
Mommy and daddy were beside themselves with worry. The medicine was keeping me stable, but it would only be useful for a couple of weeks; we needed to get some expert help, quickly! Even with all their fears, mommy and daddy were amazing. Mommy and I got into an ambulance with nothing more than the clothes we put on that morning. The ambulance took us to the airport where a medical flight was waiting to take us to Seattle. The flight was bumpy, but the pilots made the landing feel soft and smooth. Lastly, we rode another ambulance to Children's Hospital.
Back at home, Daddy could not contain his tears for my well being. But, even through teary vision and fits of worry, he packed bags for mommy and himself. He made arrangements for my home, and my doggy, both of which I haven't seen yet! Daddy didn't know what to expect, and bravely drove on towards uncertainty, doubt, fear, and worry. Daddy even gave up all of his poker winnings, from that month, so he could have cash for necessities while visiting Children's Hospital, in Seattle.
Grandma and grandpa, mommy's parents, came over too. I was placed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit where they gave me an ecochardiogram, which is a fancy word for an ultrasound of the heart. The doctors and nurses connected me up to all sorts of tubes and wires. With all the lights, wires and tubes, I looked like how I imagine a baby Borg would! Since I'm a newborn baby, and everyone else were adults, I found that resistance was futile, and that I was going to be assimilated, dispite my most vocal refusals. Eventually, I settled into my new bed at Children's where mommy and daddy met with the doctor, a neonatal cardiologist, who was able to explain what went wrong.
Coming up, I'll tell you about my second day. A day of pokes, prods, exams, and baloons (but not the kind you think); all while feeling miserable all the time...