"God is bigger than any statistic!"
On December 23, 2008 my husband, myself and my mom all huddled inside the Ultrasound Techs office to find out the sex of our baby. After hearing that we would be buying blue paint we were also told that there appeared to be some kind of abnormality with the baby's heart. We were sent to St. Louis Children's Hospital the first week of the new year and were told that they did not *think* there was actually anything wrong, but asked us to come back after a month so they could look again. We continued going up every four weeks until I was 32 weeks pregnant. At that appointment we were told that they were confident there was nothing wrong with our little one. The doctors all agreed that the baby's heart was growing in the left side of his chest and that he had nothing actually physically wrong with him. We were given the clear to have him at our local hospital. A week later, I received a call from the Head of Cardiology at STLCH who asked us to come back in for an appointment with a Doctor who had recently retired. She came in as a favor to the HoC and we are so incredibly thankful that she did because she immediatly diagnosed our son with CDH. We were swept away and given a tour of the NICU, held a meeting with the Surgeon that would be treating our child after birth and who also sent us into further emotional turmoil with words like ECMO, 50% Survival Rate and Indefinite NICU stay.
On May 2nd, 2009 at 1:58 AM the most perfect and beautiful creature I have ever laid eyes on came into this world. The clearest memory I have of that night is hearing Cash cry after we were told he probably would not be able to. He was immediately transported next door to St Louis Children's Hospital where he remained for 6 days until his Surgeon decided he was stable enough for his CDH repair. They were able to go in laproscopically and replace his colon, spleen, stomach and intestine and suture the hole closed. He was in recovery after less than 4 hours.
He remained stable until 3 weeks when he started developing SVT's, which were treated with medication. At 3.5 weeks old my husband and I were able to hold our baby for the first time and at 6 weeks we were able to bring him home. Thank you God!
Cash was cleared from appointments every 3 months when he was 6 months old. At his First year check-up he was taken off all medications. At his 2nd year check up we were told he did not have to come back to see the Cardiologist, but unfortunately his chest xrays did show a small reherniation of his colon. In June of this year, he had his second repair and excessive amounts of scar tissue removed. He spent one night in the hospital and we came home the next day. Two weeks ago, he was once again given the all clear.
No parent should know what it is like to even have to face losing a child and my heart breaks every single time I hear of another CDH baby earning their wings. When I hear of someones pregnancy I pray they never have to know what its like to decorate a nursery and not know if it will be used or to know what it feels like to sit and cry and not want to go to your baby shower because who knows if you will even be able to hold your child. I thank God for the blessings he has given us through our little guy and I pray for an end to CDH everyday. Cash's CDH experience has been such a journey. I still sit and bawl my eyes out sometimes because of how fresh in my mind his struggles are. I am so thankful for some of the amazing people and groups I've met along the way and I look forward to watching Cash grow and seeing his amazing, bright life unfold.
~Lerin- Cash's Mom