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There are loads of different medical problems out there that we are unaware off until you are going through one yourself. In my case my unborn baby has got CDH (Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia) which is a hole in the diaphragm which results in the intestines and sometimes the stomach entering the chest cavity preventing lung growth. It usually occurs on the left side of the chest.
I went for the 18-21 weeks scan which is the anomaly scan that checks the baby is developing properly. I went in so excited to find out the gender of my baby number 2 (IT’S A BOY), which I was so made up about as my other little boy Zachary will have a baby brother but did I know I would be leaving with mixed emotions because I got the news that every mum to be dreads, that there is something wrong with your baby and looks like he has a hernia which is known as CDH. You don’t ever expect that something like this could happen to you and your baby and its just a natural feeling to blame yourself and think you have done something wrong throughout your pregnancy and when your getting told what CDH is by the sonographer your not able to take anything in, just going in one ear and out of the other. All I wanted was for my partner to be here but due to work he was working away and all I could think off was having to break the news over the phone.
The sonographer then referred me to the Liverpool Women Hospital for further testing and scans which the Drs confirmed that the baby does have CDH. I was took into a private room by the Drs and midwives who explained in more detail what CDH is and what the next stage is. Drs had stated that it can happen to any unborn child but if I wanted to find the course of CDH, I was offered the amniocentesis test to look for any birth defects e.g Down Syndrome or, a chromosomal abnormality or if it was just down to bad luck. It took me a few days to decide to have it done but I went through with it to give me that little bit of direction to help take the right path and make a decision of what the best thing to do for the baby and what his quality of life could be. After a few stressful days of waiting the results had came back normal so it was down to bad luck.
This wasn’t the end of the appointments as I was going back and fourth to the hospital for testing (echocardiography) to check the baby heart as its getting pushed to one side due to the stomach/intestines going into the chest cavity there had to be testing done to see if the heart is functioning properly which everything is but they can’t rule anything out until he makes an arrival so every few weeks his heart will be getting checked to see if there is any major changes which fingers crossed there hasn’t been. Also on one of the scans the baby has got a large amount of water on his brain which they are having to keep an close eye on, you just instantly think what else can happen but just have to stay positive throughout the pregnancy.
The last appointment I attended was a check up on the baby’s development which everything seemed ok and there doesn’t seem to be any huge changes which is a positive thing but the most important appointment is coming up which will be talking to the surgeons from Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, to discuss the surgery and what’s going to happen when the baby is born which I already know that as soon as he is born he will be put into a incubator and moved over to Alder Hey. Also on this appointment I will be having a counselling session to help me and my partner get through this tough time and give the support, guidance and advice on whats next to happen.
On our final appointment we had been told we would be getting induced on the Monday 11th November but early hours on the 11th my waters had broke on their own. Labour didn’t go to plan because I was pushing for over 2 hours but he didn’t want to move so the Dr’s came to the decision of taking me down to try forceps and if that didn’t work to have a C-section. They gave me the injection in the spine to make it a little more comfortable to bare but 15 minutes after using the forceps our little boy made an arrival.
Noah Andrew Smith
11/11/19 @ 06:08
Weighing 7lb 11oz
Knowing what was about to happen next to help our baby boy, I only got to have him on my chest for a few minutes before they took him away. Noah was took to NICU which we knew he was going to be in the best care as he would have one to one care. Due to his condition he had to put on a ventilator to help him with his breathing as everything was getting squashed due to the hernia. As he was doing so well and he was stable I was able to hold him for the first time properly for at least a hour which was such a special moment for me.
2 days after being born Noah was doing amazing he was responding well to the ventilators and he was stable throughout so the Dr’s was happy to transfer him to Alder Hey for his surgery. When he got to Alder Hey he was put onto the Critical Care ward, so at 3 days old surgeons came around to review Noah but they had found that his chest was filling with air but they didn’t know whether he could have a hole in his lung or in his bowel so they decided to take him down for surgery. Rather than having 1 repair to do they now had 2 repairs to fix.
The surgery had took 5 hours, longest 5 hours of our families lives but when they eventually brought him up the surgeons gave us the good news that the surgery went amazing and they only had one repair to fix as they couldn’t find a hole in either of his lung or bowel so they only had to repair the hernia which the surgeons think due to the lung being squashed by the stomach that caused the air to come out, it was such a relief!!
After the operation Noah was put on a special ventilator to help him breath but then also help get rid of the CO2 which he was struggling to do on his own. As the days where going by Noah was doing amazing, he was stable so the Dr’s started lowering the function on the ventilator and was lowering the sedation which will allow him to start coming around in a few days.
Noah was our strong little soldier, he had fought through everything that came at him but unfortunately Friday 22nd November our baby boy took a turn for the worst his little body couldn’t take it any more, he had grew his wings. We are so honoured to have had such a little fighter who we called our son, he will forever be loved and in our hearts. RIP our gorgeous little Noah.
Noah Andrew Smith
11/11/19 – 22/11/19