Look How Far She's Come...

Look How Far She's Come...
11.20.09 3 lbs. 3 oz. 16 in.

Fiona's Story

The beginning:

Tom and I were incredibly happy that after almost 18 months of trying we finally found out I was pregnant in May 2009! We had a little scare at about 5 weeks, but everything was fine. I went in for an optional 12 week ultrasound on July 13th, which ended up being one of the worst days of my life. I can still remember it like it was yesterday. The ultrasound tech was very happy and talkative at first. Then she got very quiet. We were looking at a big screen in front of us as she was doing the ultrasound. She had it in 4D mode and had paused it. She said "I have to go get the doctor. I will be right back." leaving Tom and I there staring at this picture that seemed a little off. I said, "Look at the baby's belly. It looks weird." And Tom said, "It's fine, the baby just has a Buddha belly!" The doctor came in a couple minutes later and restarted the ultrasound. He kept talking to the tech, but wasn't saying anything to us. Finally he looked at me and said, "There is something wrong with your baby's belly." Everything after that is kind of a blur. I heard bits and pieces of what he was saying in between the thoughts in my head and my sobs. He took us into his office and showed us some pictures in a book. He explained that there were 2 conditions and that they couldn't quite tell which one it was yet. He said the names and then said, "Just remember there is a 'G' one and an 'O' one and you really want to hope that it is the 'G' one." The way he explained it to us was that there was pretty much no hope for a baby with the "O one". Devestated was an understatement. In the next few weeks after that we found out that it was an Omphalocele, had an amnio,  and found out that everything else seemed to look fine besides the O. We were transferred to a doctor in Pittsburgh and spent the next 3 months traveling back and forth, having tests, seeing specialists, touring the NICU, and trying to prepare for the unknown.

November 20, 2009:

This was one of the best, but scariest days of my life! My water broke around 4:30 am. Tom rushed me to Dubois Hospital (about 35 miles from our house). They seemed to be taking their good old time even though I was clearly in labor and I was only 30 weeks pregnant. They finally got me into a room, hooked me up, gave me an IV, gave me steroid shots to hopefully help her lungs develop since he thought it would be a couple days until I delivered, and gave me something to try to stop my contractions. He examined me and said I was about 2-3 cm dialated. He called my doctor in Pittsburgh and they decided to life flight me there. By the time I got into the helicopter my contractions were about 4 minutes apart so obviously the medicine to stop my contractions wasn't working and I had absolutely no pain medicine at all. I remember screaming, throwing up, and telling them to hurry up! The medic was actually checking to make sure she wasn't crowning. They called the hospital and had doctors and nurses waiting on the helipad because they thought for sure that I was going to have her in the helicopter. By the time they got me in there I was fully dialated and they were going to let me start pushing until I yelled at them that I couldn't have her that way! They rushed me in for an emergency c-section and actually had to push her head back up to get her out of the incision.

Fiona Jane made her appearance at 8:53 am weighing 3 lbs. 3 oz. and was 16 inches long (I was 30 weeks and 3 days). Her apgars were 8 and 8 and I heard her yell (which is the only thing I heard for a LONG time). I got to see her for about 30 seconds until they rushed her to the NICU. They took me to recovery and I layed there by myself (since Tom and my family were still at home) wondering what was going to happen. Thankfully my Aunt Di and 2 of my good friends came to the rescue! I saw her again for about 1 minute this time before they transferred her to Children's Hospital. After everyone got there and saw me for a little while, they went over to see Fiona.

The main picture on the blog was the first picture we got of her which was taken by my recovery nurse so that I could send it to Tom to tell him that she was born! But here is the picture that Tom took of her to show me since I was in a different hospital:

I didn't get to see her until the next day. She was in an isolette and we weren't allowed to touch her. Most of the doctors didn't have much hope for her. They told us worst case scenarios and prepared us for the possibility that we would not be taking her home. They said they had never seen such a big omphalocele on such a tiny baby. They gave her 2 weeks to live. She decided to prove them wrong and amazed them every single day. She spent a total of 98 days in the NICU at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and another 12 days and The Children's Home of Pittsburgh where we learned to do all of her home care and use her equipment. It was a major roller coaster ride but in the end we got to bring home our beautiful, amazing little girl on March 8, 2010.