Monday Memories

March 14, 2011 at 2:06 pm 1 comment

Dear Gabe,

Happy Birthday! Five years ago today I went to the doctor for a somewhat routine sonogram and left there to go straight to the hospital to be monitored overnight. That was the longest night of my life. I was told I had no amniotic fluid and one technician thought your kidneys looked slightly enlarged. The next morning my doctor decided to perform a C-Section due to the fact that I had no amniotic fluid. I am grateful for that. You were born at 12:59 PM on 3/15/06 and we named you Gabriel Shai Karl. You were immediately whisked away to the NICU. You did make noises when you were born but your lungs were much more underdeveloped than anyone thought they would be. You had a double pneumothorax (air pockets) in your lungs and had chest tubes put in on both sides. You were then put on a ventilator and given surfactant. Then when you were about 11 hours old you were transferred by ambulance to a better NICU. The next morning you had 2 blood transfusions. It was a rocky first 24 hours for you, but you pulled through. You were on the ventilator for about one week, CPAP for one more week, transferred back to the original NICU after 2 weeks, and home at 3 weeks of age. And at 4 weeks you were diagnosed with ARPKD. Sometimes it seems like just yesterday because my memories of those first 15 hours waiting for you to be born and the first 24 hours of extreme dread while you were in the NICU are still so present in my brain. But then sometimes it does seem like forever ago when I think of all we have been through over the last five years.

My little baby will be five tomorrow. Gabe you are the sweetest and most cuddly boy. You wake up with a smile and come and snuggle with me. You love giving hugs and kisses and love hanging out and playing with me. You love animals, especially dogs, and love your trains and video games. You have a ton of friends and are a good “player”. You look up to your older brothers and love being with them. You love spending time with your grandparents and family. This disease definitely doesn’t define you. For the most part you take it all in stride. You don’t love giving blood but you do it. You are constantly wet but it’s no big deal to you. You take 6 pills a day that you swallow like an adult! You let me take your blood pressure and often go to the doctor for one thing or another. You often have really bad bloody noses but you just deal with them. You have adult sized kidneys but only complain a little bit about tummy pain.  I am so proud of you. I am so lucky you are my little boy. I am sad that my baby is so big but enjoy every new experience with you. Sometimes you say things that are so “old” for you. You asked me about when you used to be an old man before you were a baby and died. I love you so very much and want to wish you the happiest of birthdays!

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