Faces of Prematurity Friday~Zane's Story

Friday, September 28, 2012

We're back and ready to share miracles and angels of Prematurity.  We pray that you find hope and even healing in these miracles stories. 

Zane's Story

Our journey began on January 13, 2010.  My back was hurting in an unusual way and we decided to go to the ER.  Later on they said that I needed to be airlifted to UT Medical Center but did not let my husband or I know all the specifics. 
When we arrived at UT, a nurse informed us that we would soon be having a baby.  I had developed HELLP Syndrome, with Toxemia, Preeclampsia, and Hypertension on top of this rare “disease” (as they called it).  My blood pressure was 213/191 and while Zane was very healthy and loving life in the womb I was slowly dying and my body was looking at him as a foreign object and soon would kill him too.

It was now January 14 and the doctor said that we would have Zane within 2 weeks, within minutes we were informed that he would be here by noon the next day.  Everything seemed to be moving so fast and we were soon told that we needed to move faster and go immediately.  My husband was given his attire to go in and was soon told that he couldn’t and I would be put to sleep for an emergency C-Section.  I was then wheeled away from my husband and put to sleep!  Zane was born 5:47am weighing a total of 2lbs.  At 28 weeks he was 14 inches long (just a little longer than a Bic pen). 

And so our NICU journey began…….

Although I didn’t see Zane for a few days (because of the disease) the NICU Nurses, Doctors and Staff were so incredibly great with their pictures and encouraging words.  Zane had a lot of complications because of his gestation and just being so small.  He did not have any problems in the womb but once out his struggle for life was evident. 

We were told right away that Zane needed blood transfusions, bili lights, and maybe even heart surgery.  Right away I was scared because I had no idea of the decisions that my husband and I were going to have to make for our precious little child that we have yet to hold, kiss, cuddle, all the happy things a “new” family would enjoy.  Let alone make long lasting life decisions for a not even a couple of hours old baby. 

Over the next few days we learned that Zane had a valve in his heart that wouldn’t close.  He had several rounds of Ibuprofen but the valve just wouldn’t close on its own.  So at only 7 sweet days old Zane had a PDA ligation to close the small valve.  It was a very scary day when we received the call that they would begin in 45 minutes and we lived and hour and a half away.  We made it in time but it was very scary to know that your baby was about to be cut open and you couldn’t even kiss him before he would be heavily sedated.  I had full confidence in the Heart Doctor and his staff but my heart was full of hurt and grief for my sick, sick baby.

The procedure only took about 7 minutes and things seemed to be going well soon after.  Our nurse explained the whole procedure and was so knowledgeable about not only her job but the doctors as well.  I don’t know how many times we heard, “You will be amazed at when he hits 40 weeks how things will just click.”  As a preemie parent I am sure you all have heard this as well BUT as a preemie parent I just didn’t want to hear anything at all.  My husband and I went home a while after the surgery in all hopes Zane would be great, but around 3am we get a “not so good call” that our baby was just not doing well and things didn’t look good at all.  I could actually feel my heart hit the floor.  We grabbed our clothes and shuffled and fumbled to get out the door to our sweet baby.  By the time we got to the car we got a call from the same nurse who said, I am so sorry to have even bugged you at all, he is doing so great.  It is like a complete 360 from where he was only short minutes ago.  Preemie’s have a way of dealing with things and doing things that are beyond amazing.  I would say God was in complete control! 

Things started to go very well for a while and then it would be like we would take 80 steps back.  We would get discourage and then there were those wonderful nurses that would assure us everything would be OK and that we would be surprised how he would turn around. Zane had several feeding issues that started with severe reflux, a little aspiration (which turned to just penetration), gaining weight, breathing issues, and just learning to do things that babies learn in the womb.

Zane left the NICU after 82 very long days without machines or oxygen taking very little breast milk (which soon changed).  He had to have several eye check-ups because the muscles weren’t fully attached to the retina.  His actual due date was April 5 and we brought him home on April 6.  “Things” did indeed seem to click! 

I am so thankful for the experience that my husband and I shared and all the sweet and wonderful people that we met.  The best medicine your baby can receive is the LOVE that only a mother or father can give and that is what eventually will bring them home.  Zane is now a very healthy “terrible” little 2 year old!  UT Medical Center and NICU will always be a HUGE part of our lives and the reason we have our special miracle!!!!

THANKS just doesn’t seem enough!!

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