This blog is an uncensored look into my soul. I am writing this as part of my healing process, but am leaving it public so others can follow me through my journey.

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Tracheo-Esophageal WHAT???

I was laying in my hospital room waiting for Sean to come up with a picture of our new baby girl.  The doctors wouldn't allow me to get up until my bleeding had stopped for several hours, so I still hadn't seen her yet and was going crazy!  When the door opened though, it definitely wasn't my husband, as I had expected.  Instead, it was a doctor in a white lab coat with a ridiculous accent and tons of folders and paperwork.

He walked in and sat on the edge of my bed.  Next thing I knew I felt like I was literally in some foreign language version of the Twilight Zone.  Not only did I not understand a word of all the medical terminology he was spouting off, but I also didn't understand a word of his English...assuming that's what he was speaking.  All I remember hearing is..."Hailey has Trahglagohaglahgoagulkgiaglkgg," ...we've seen this before."  " esophagus attached to her throat." "...will need a surgery to repair..." "...we'll go from there..."  

Okay, where was my husband and why didn't this doctor wait until he was there with me to tell us this together and why didn't they send a doctor who spoke English, or at least a translator who could speak both English and Medical?  He drew me a picture, which helped a little, and then asked if I had any questions.  Seriously?  Yes, I have one..."HUH?"

Anyways, he walked out and I just sat there on my bed, staring out the window, literally unable to move.  I was frozen.  I couldn't take all this in.  I was still reeling from the sudden birth of my daughter 8 weeks premature, almost having to have surgery to stop my bleeding, and the fact that after about 6 hours I still haven't held or even SEEN her yet.  Now this!  I was seriously in shock and trying to process the events of what should have been one of the happiest days of my life.  

After what seemed like hours, Sean walked in with an excited smile on his face!  He had just been down visiting Hailey and brought me up some pictures.  I felt absolutely horrible to be the one completely ruin this moment for him. I think he could tell there was something wrong so I just blurted it all out.  I think he heard pretty much the exact same thing I heard.  I showed him the picture the doctor drew and told him our little 4 pound baby was going to need surgery.  

Next thing I know he had the doctor back up in our room to clear everything up.  Apparently Sean can understand heavy accents and medical talk.  I was pretty impressed.  Anyways, next thing I knew, he put his arms around me and said, "We can do this.  She'll be okay."   My husband is seriously an amazing man.  If you've ever seen one of those huge, unmovable boulders on the side of the road...that's him.  Nothing seems to shake him.  I am so blessed to have him because I don't think I'd be as strong if I didn't.

Anyways, I looked at the pictures of my baby girl, smiled at how adorable she was and then picked up the phone to give the heart wrenching news to everyone else...

Okay I know it sounds mean, but I totally don't like this picture, but it was the first one taken.
She was way cuter than that!!!

On a side note: 
Hailey had Tracheo-Esophageal Fistula.  Here's the description in our terms: (People in the medical field, please forgive me for butchering this!)  Anyways, we have two tubes leading down our throat, our trachea (windpipe) which brings air to and from our lungs and our esophagus which takes food and liquid to our stomach.  These tubes start as one and during the first several weeks of pregnancy break into two separate tubes.  For some reason, Hailey's didn't completely break apart.  Instead of her two tubes being separate, her esophagus remained attached to her trachea.  So basically when she swallowed, her saliva, food or drink had no where to go.  See the picture below for a better idea. According the doctors this is totally a fluke thing.  They assured me it is not genetic in any way and also was not caused by anything I did or didn't do during my pregnancy. I'll describe the surgery in my next entry.

Hailey had Type C.  
The pink tube is her esophagus and the white tube is her trachea.

1 comment:

  1. Wendy -

    I've seen these pics a million times (or ones like them), but not since Jackson was born. Since I was not able to be there when Michenna was born, I had not had the experience of holding and being with my new child until Jackson. Seeing these pictures with Hailey on oxygen and other assorted tubes brought a tear to my eye as I imagined what it would have been like for me to see Jackson in the same situation. I think you and Sean are wonderful - not because you had the strength to go through it (because you would have never picked this trial and the alternative to going through it is simply taking your own life), but because you took your sorrow and grief and turned to the Lord with it. THAT takes strength and faith, and for that, you two are my heroes.

    Love you both.