Thirteen years ago today, after night of labor and no progress, I was laying in the hospital listening to the sound of a little heartbeat on a monitor, and I heard it stop….and start again. A bunch of people ran into the room and turned me onto my left side and slapped an oxygen mask on my face. The little heart kept beating. I kept listening. A little bit later the doctor came in and said that they were going to have to take me down for a C-sect. In prepping me to go, the took the monitor off his scalp. I could not hear the heartbeat. Once I got to where I was going, the nurses could tell I was scared to death. They got a monitor on my belly so I could hear him. He was born a little after 9AM that morning. Matt was there. He watched them take him out. I heard one of the nurses say “Oh my God.” I have always thought it was because of his size, 9.5lb. His hands looked huge to me. That was the first thing I noticed. The second was that he looked like Liam Neeson
That evening his doctor came to check him out. My big, pink healthy boy had a bit of a heart murmur, more than the doctor felt comfy with. He ordered an echocardiogram for the next morning. That morning, I waited for the nurses to bring my boy to me, I waited a long time. My dad was with me. I asked him to help me from my bed so we could go see what the holdup was. We turned the corner just in time to see them wheeling my boy away from the nursery, away from me, toward the NICU. A doctor I did not know was coming toward me. He saw my face and knew I was the mama. He took me back to my room. Dr. Boals was in the nursery visiting another newborn when Adam’s EKG was being done by a technician. He glanced over and said “Is that what I think it is.” The tech said “I think so.” Dr. Boals called our doctor Immediately and asked permission to send Adam to NICU. If he had not been there it may have been hours before the results were reviewed by someone other than the tech. He carefully explained to me that Adam’s pulmonary valve was not functioning. He said that there is a vessel called the ductus, that moves blood from the heart to the lungs before birth that had remained open to do the job. Normally that vessel closes right after birth. Adam’s had not. He was taken to NICU and hooked up to monitors. He had an IV in his little hand to pump stuff in to keep the ductus open, and an extra line in his little foot in case something happened to the one in his hand. If the ductus closed he could have died.
He had to go to Chapel Hill in order to have a life saving surgery. They talked about air lifting him, but decided to go with an ambulance instead. Meanwhile, I just had abdominal surgery the day before. When my doctor came to see me I said, “I am going to Chapel Hill with my baby, and you won’t stop me.” He said, “okay.” Matt and my mom followed the ambulance. Dad took me to get clothes and prescriptions. Thank God for Percoset! We met Dr. Frantz, a pediatric cardiologist at UNC-Chapel Hill. He explained that the next day, they would insert a balloon through A vessel in Adam’s leg and feed it into his heart. They would try to push it into the pulmonary valve and inflate it to open the valve. I have to interject a bit about my state of mind during this trial. You might think that I would be a basket case. If you know me well, you know I am capable of that. However, I was calm as calm could be. We had tried for several years for this baby. I just knew He was not going to take him back so soon.
Needless to say, the surgery was a success. They opened the valve, and it began to do it’s job immediately. Adam was born on Wed, Jan. 3, transported to UNC on Jan.4, had surgery on Jan.5 and was home on Jan.7. He was wonderfully healthy at that point. Mama, not so much. I got very, very sick, and had my life saved by Dr. Byron, and my amazing, wonderful mama. Sparing you the gory details, I saw Dr. Byron every day for two weeks for wound care. he met me after rounds, after hours, during rounds at the hospital, whatever I needed. My sweet mama also took care of my wound morning and night, while simultaneously caring for my son in a way that I was not able do to my weakened state. She stayed with me for a month. The hands and feet of Christ.
Adam still has a slight murmur, but he is perfectly healthy. God was so with us in so many ways during this difficulty. The ductus stayed open. Dr. Boals just happened to be there to see the EKG. The care I received after I got home. The fact that I was still able to nurse Adam and bond with him despite such difficult circumstances. So, Adam Eleazar’s name is appropriate. Man is dust, but God is our hope.
If you stuck with me this far, thank you!
Happy thirteenth birthday to an amazing young man! I am so very glad that I get to be your mom.