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A VACTERL FAMILY

Isaac's Mommy
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I had waited so long to have children, not by choice but that is just the way things turned out.  Martin and I were married in 1989.  After about a year we started trying to have a baby but it just wasn't in the cards for us.  We started to see a fertility specialist and when we got to the point of doing an in-vitro we could not afford it and we had to stop.

We moved on with our lives, but about 5 years later I started getting that urge of wanting to try again.  So we went to our second specialist, but once again had to stop when we got to the in-vitro.  Well 5 years past again and in 2000 we sold our first house and purchased our second one.  We had a little extra money so we decided to look for a new fertility specialist.  In May 2001, after a few months of infertility work-up, we were finally ready to do the in-vitro.  A routine blood test was done before the in-vitro, to our surprise, we discovered that I was pregnant.  In January 2002 we welcomed our first son, Isaiah.

Soon after Isaiah turned one we decided that we would start trying to have another child.  After all the difficulties we had the first time we didn't want our children to be too far apart in age.

Once again, to our surprise, in June 2003 I was pregnant again.  During one of the ultrasounds we discovered that I had a single artery umbilical cord.  At this time we were told that there was a possibility of some lower intestinal problems.  Everything else on the ultrasound seemed normal.

In February 2004 I had a c-section and we welcomed Isaac into this world.  It was fairly quickly that they discovered my son had an imperforated anus.  My OB try to comfort me as much as he could with words of encouragement, but even today I can't remember most of what he said.

Within a couple of hours my son was transferred to Presbyterian/St. Luke's Hospital (P/SL), a specialty hospital that could handle his care better.  Since I had had a c-section I could not even get out of bed so I could be with my son.  I remember them bringing him into my room before they flew him to P/SL.  He was already in the helicopter incubator so I couldn't even touch him.  As they took him away I cried like I had never cried before.  I prayed that my son would be watched over and taken care of.  Thankfully, my OB convinced an OB at P/SL to take over my care so that I could also be transferred.  I was so grateful to both of them for doing this for me.

Over the next couple days there were so many test done to my poor son.  They final told us that he had VACTERL, I had no idea what that was, I had never heard of it.  But as they began to tell us what was wrong with my son I knew we had a long road ahead of us.

I don't think I ever felt hopeless.  I just knew he would be okay, I felt that in my heart, I guess that it's just a mother's instinct.  When I would hold my son I could feel his strength.  Now this is not to say that there weren't trying times but I knew it would be okay.

The only time I think I got nervous was at 2:00 a.m. one day when my husband called and said my son had stopped breathing and they were rushing him to ICU, it happened to be the first night I had come home to sleep.  My heart just sank.  I got ready as I waited for my mother to get to my house to take care of Isaiah.  I know it only takes about 15 minutes to get from her house to mine but it seemed like hours.  I don't even remember how I got to the hospital but when I got there they had already stablized him.  They told me that his heart never stopped beating and that he would be okay.  What had happened was that his body was not processing the morphine quickly enough so his body just relaxed a little too much.  What would I have done if we had lost him?

After what was to be a routine day surgery, to repair his hernias, we had another scare.  His little body got extremely blotted, it looked aweful.  Needless to say, he was admitted to the hopital and after a scary night he was fine.

One of the best days of my life was when he came home from the hospital.  I was so happy to finally have my entire family under one roof.

So many months have past since then, Isaiah has turned 3 and Isaac has turned 1.  The last year has been somewhat of a blur, but I do remember so many of the important thing.  I look at my boys now and can't believe everything that has happened.

I know that there will still be hurdles to jump but I know that everything will be okay.  When I look into both of my boy's eyes how can it not be okay.

Written April 2005