THIS is Why Mother’s Day is Special to Me!

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I wasn’t going to write a post about Mother’s Day, but then after some thought I felt it might be a great time to share how much our little Eva means to us. Eva’s journey to “life” wasn’t the easiest.  When she finally arrived, she had a couple more hurdles to jump.  Because of ALL this, I couldn’t be more PROUD to be her mom.  I also wanted to create awareness to my followers about some medical conditions, pretty uncommon.  And, if  you found me by searching one of these conditions and need support, PLEASE feel free to contact me.

When I was six week’s pregnant, New Years Eve 2012, I was positive I lost her.  My mother convinced me to head to the E.R. because our doctor was closed for New Year’s Day.   The Ultrasound tech turned the heartbeat on for me and I LOST it.

Bed rest began, I had a Subchoronic Hemorrhage.  A blood clot between the chorionic membrane and my uterine wall.

A couple months later, I received a new diagnosis, Placenta Previa.  These generally move before the baby comes.  We had our fingers crossed.   At our next ultrasound (we had MANY) the high risk doctor was sent in to our room.  It was pretty scary.  It was confirmed, I had Vasa Previa.

VasaPreviaUSA

Here’s the Run Down:

–  Eva’s umbilical cord was not fully attached to the placenta.  It was basically “hanging off.”

–  The fetal vessels in her cord were exposed.  If  one ruptured, she could bleed to death in under a minute.

– The fetal vessels were RIGHT across my cervix.

–  Thank GOD it was caught.  I could NOT go into labor.

Hosptial Day

[The Hubs and I the day I checked into the hospital]

At 30 weeks I was admitted into hospital bed rest.  I couldn’t leave my room for the first week.  Then I was allowed to walk the hallway twice a day.  It was June and beautiful.  I’ve never wanted to go outside so bad! I had to have an IV at all times in case of an emergency.

At 35 weeks, July 1st, I was scheduled for a c-section.

She came out and had some fluid.  They stuck a tube down her throat and it came back up.  Something wasn’t right.  It was so scary laying there helpless!

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[This is our first picture of Eva Grace]

Numerous doctors came into my recovery room.  I still hadn’t seen her.  They wanted to move her to another hospital.  They took an X-Ray and didn’t believe she had an esophagus.  I signed to have have her transferred to another hospital/NICU.

First time seeing

[I was doing well in recovery so they let me see her.]

Family

[My family checking her out through the NICU window.]

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[Finally in a room, they brought her in before they took her to Royal Oak, Beaumont.  About 30 minutes from where I had her.]

The hubs went with Eva and my mom stayed with me.  Thank goodness for her.  I knew I had to heal. The hubs and I communicated a lot and he sent lots of videos and pictures.  She was diagnosed with EA/TEF (Esophageal Atresia/Tracheo-Esophageal Fistula) [More Information HERE]

Dr Sketch

[Here’s the picture the Doctor had drawn for Aaron when he arrived at the other hospital.]

Snuggled

[Here’s Eva resting after her transport.]

Goal #1 – Get her lungs ready for surgery.  Eva also had a fistula (abnormal passageway) from her trachea to her stomach.  Her stomach was filled with air and very large.  This didn’t help her premature lung situation (Being born early at 35 weeks).

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[Daddy reading to her]

Day 2 – I was discharged from my hospital.  Eva was NOT doing well and we almost lost her a couple times.

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[Eva before surgery.  Already smiling]

Day 7 – Surgery.

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[Here’s Eva being pushed to the operating room.  Worst.Walk.Ever…….]

Surgery went awesome.  They corrected the fistula, her esophagus was “almost” connected which meant an “easy repair.”  She did not have to get a feeding tube.  (This was based on the repair and what they found once they got inside)  She had a chest tube because they had to collapse her lung to get to her esophagus and trachea.  (She has type C EA/TEF)

Day 10 –  Esophagram

They ran a dye down her throat and took an X-Ray to see if there was any leaks.  NO LEAKS!!!!

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[Our first time holding her.  FINALLY!]

First Bottle

[First bottle attempt.  (I had been pumping breast milk since day one every three hours!)  This baby needs it!]

It was difficult feeding her.  I had to put her on her side and let her take a couple sips and pull the bottle out.  We got the hand of it though.  Whatever she didn’t take in her bottle we would push through her feeding tube (going down her nose).

Feeding Tube

[Me giving her the rest of her bottle through the tube]

Once she could eat her whole bottle, increased her breast milk in take and was gaining weight, we were able to come home.

Day 25 – HOME sweet HOME

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[The good news came]

How is she doing now?  Eva has not had ONE problem.  Thank.You.Jesus.

With this condition, you never know what you’re going to get.  Some kid’s esophagus will close where the repair site is and food can get stuck.  In this case the doctors would go back in and “re-open” or “widen” the esophagus to what it’s suppose to be based on their age.  Also, with her fistula repair on her trachea, sometimes if Eva laughs or coughs hard, she kind of sounds like a seal.  This is because the cartilage didn’t grow properly where the fistual was on her trachea.  It’s “floppy.”  She should totally grow out of this by age 4.  My saving grace was a support group I found on Facebook.  This condition is NOT genetic.

She no longer has to go see her pediatric surgeon.  At her one year appointment she was named “Baby of the Year.”

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Newborn Photos: Elizabeth Anne Photography

bday Eva's first birthday 213

[First Birthday]

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Family Photos:  Sarah Beth Photography

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[Her last Friday, playing in the rain.  She’s quite the adventurer!]

Through ALL this, I met a really awesome new friend.  My life wouldn’t be the same without her.

Here’s our babes.  We call them “Vasa Sisters”

H and E 1 H and E

So THIS is why Mother’s Day is so special to me.  I have this special little babe, who has one of a kind anatomy.  I hope all you mother’s out there have a fabulous day! XOXO

17 thoughts on “THIS is Why Mother’s Day is Special to Me!

      1. Hello there! I just found your blog post via Pinterest. My Doctor called me late last night after my ultrasound yesterday morning and they think I have vasa previa… I had a subchorionic hemorrhage at 7 weeks and a cyst rupture at 12 weeks and I am now 17 weeks. I’m supposed to go to a bigger hospital 2 hours away to get a second look and a second opinion. I’m so scared, but your story gives me hope! I have stage 4 endometriosis and have already had 2 abdominal surgeries in the past year… this is my miracle baby ♡ I was to have a hysterectomy in 6 months. Thank you for posting this!!! Much love mama!

        1. Melissa, I’m SO glad you found me! I remember being in your shoes, in this moment, like yesterday!!!! That was my biggest motivator to write this post. Please know it’s OKAY. I’m so grateful our doctors found this BEFORE it was too late! Lots of healing thoughts are being sent your way. Feel free to write me anything at shabbygraceblog@gmail.com. I’d love to keep in touch with you on this journey. You’re right, this baby IS a miracle.

    1. I know, I’ve cried twice proofreading ….. Thanks for reading Mom. Love YOU. And thanks again for ALL you did through it all.

  1. You probably don’t know this but we made regular calls to Derek for “updates” because we knew the situation was dicey. I remember him telling me that the whole bed rest thing in June was torturous. The Lindsay’s prayed often that the looming cloud would let in a beam of sunshine and as things progressed, your world got a whole lot brighter. Happy Mother’s Day to one of my all-time favorites. 🙂

    1. Thanks for reading Kenny! I know you’re one of the most thoughtful people I know! It was something I’ll never forget but makes us appreciate SO much more. XOXOX

  2. What a beautiful girl and family! Happy Mother’s Day. And thank you for sharing your story. I’m so happy for all of you that everything turned out so well!

  3. Wow, that is such a tough situation to have been in. I am sooooo happy things turned out well. She is beautiful and obviously thriving now, I am so happy for you! I had a tough pregnancy with my last child. He had a 1 artery umbilical cord, which prevented him from getting all that he needed in the womb. I had a doctor look me in the eye and say it has a higher prevalence of still birth. Terrifying. I had weekly ultrasounds and held my breath during all of them. Because of this his kidneys and ureters were not fully formed when he was born. He had one smaller kidney which is monitored and twisty-like ureters which causes kidney infections. He will eventually have to have surgery. we are so lucky he has only had one kidney infection when he was 6 months old. Other than that he is my bouncy, crazy, wild child at 4 years old. We go to yearly urology appointments with a ultrasound to watch his condition. I also had my second son 7 weeks premature so know the agony of having a baby in the NICU. I know each Mom enjoys their kids, but going through scary things and wondering what if with your baby makes you appreciate them so much more. I hope you had a beautiful Mothers day!

    1. Thank you Emily! That is SO scary. Just the unknown and anticipation. My friend I met through all this with Vasa Previa, had the 1 artery too on top of it! Yikes. Her daughter is healthy. Oh that NICU. NO one fully understand unless they have been there. You’re absolutely right, I hold that girl even closer knowing all shes been through! Hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day! So glad your babes are all doing well!

  4. Oh, what gorgeous pictures of your family and daughter. It must have been terrifying to hear that they had to transport your baby girl to another hospital, but I’m glad she pulled through. So happy for you!

  5. I bawled my eyes out reading this. My daughter was born at 31 weeks via emergency c-section and had type B EA/TEF. She had her first surgery when she was a day old, disconnecting her esophagus from her trachea, but the gap in her esophagus wasn’t close enough to close yet. We had to wait until she was 6 weeks old for her esophagus to grow so she could have her second surgery. She ended up spending 55 days in the NICU and has had one dilation since then, another is scheduled. During pregnancy, you always think of all the things that go wrong. But this is something that so few people know about, it hadn’t even come close to crossing my mind. I was so shocked when the doctors told me what she had and that she had to have surgery. I cried for days and days. It definitely hasn’t been easy and I know we still have more hurdles ahead of us. It’s so reassuring to hear another mom’s story and know that we are not alone in this journey. Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Marissa, thanks for reading and sharing your story too! You’re so right, when you’re pregnant, your child not having an esophagus is something you NEVER think about. We never even heard of anything like that before. Thankfully, we were in good hands at our hospital / location. I think of that a lot now after the fact, how it all played out. We are NOT alone and that is what helped us so much. There’s support groups on Facebook that are very helpful. “US: Bridging the gap between EA/TEF” is wonderful if you’re not already on there. Please feel free to reach out anytime. I’ll be thinking about you and your sweet one!!!

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