June 10th - OB Doctor Appointment

June 10th 2015
Meeting with my OB Doctor.

It was surely a long wait... and expense? Whooy, don't even ask. We all know what it's like for non citizens in the US. 
The OB Doctor was very nice and friendly, he asked for a brief explanation of what I know, what I have been told by previous doctors, and what I understand about the situation I am in. As an avid reader I googled CDH and Youtube CDH survivors every hour of the day I had free I was reading about CDH, the process and what to expect during delivery. Even thou I read a lot it is nothing like actually going through the process and having that skipping heart beat. He did a general check up to a pregnant woman, and later an ultra sound to see how CK's heart beat is doing and the flow of the blood between his heart and his lung this is done through an 'Echo'. Babies with CDH tend to suffer from high blood pressure 'pulmonary hypertension' and the main concern with the blood pressure is the pressure of the blood flowing between the lung and the heart along with the oxygenation. After my OB Doctor, I was directed to another building to find Dr Anthony Hogan the pediatric surgeon who works especially with CDH babies. 

Dr Hogan is such a pleasant man, so pleasant that my mother in law would tease his name to me (Italian guy, wink wink, jk). He asked firstly what is the name I have for the baby boy, I said 'Cecil Kobe' he said that's an older mans name and giggled. He then explained all over again what was CDH, and also about the science studies that no one has found the reason as to why babies are born with CDH, or what are the causes. He then took a paper and pen and mapped out what the diaphragm looks like with a hole in it how the intestines pass through and what is the repairing procedure.
- Years back babies were given surgery upon birth, studies found that most babies that have surgeries immediately after birth usually have little time of life. So they changed their means of repair to waiting a couple days after Birth for baby to stabilize on the machines, in this case CK was on the 'oscillator' which is the strongest of all ventilators and also on the 'nitric oxide'. 
During surgery the intestines are moved from the chest cavity and places back into their proper place in the abdominal cavity. The diaphragm is then stitched or patched depending on the size of the hole (CK one was a bit large so it was patched). He explained the duration of post surgical hospitalization varies depending on the baby's condition and weather or not other medical issues arise. Being in the hospital for long periods of time can lead to many different infections especially with so many tubes in place. 
He stated that there are chances that after surgery babies require help for the lungs to stabilize which leads to ECMO. ECMO is a mini surgery involving two tubes connected through the neck area. ECMO is a heart-lung by pass used in severe cases of pulmonary hypertension. ECMO performs the task that the heart and lung would be doing. Putting oxygen into the blood stream and pumping blood to the body. 60% of CDH babies end up requiring ECMO and only 30% survival rate after ECMO. It is a life saving procedure but the after effects are also critical and can lead to the loss of an infants life. Dr Hogan also explained that their is a 2% chance my future children and CK's children could be born with CDH. 
1 in every 3 infants born with CDH will have another birth defect in these cases may be heart defect, chromosomal abnormality, trisomy 21 or Down syndrome. 
All this had me puzzled just so much for my brain to intake and my heart to understand, but yet being happy that I have found help not even thinking about what I will go through I just wanted the best for CK, whatever i needed to do I would have done.

What took my attention the most is when Dr Hogan had tears running down his face. This showed that this man has a great passion for what he does, he loved babies and would do whatever it takes to save my little CK and any other little prince and princess's life. I thought as tough as it is and as tough as it might get when I'm getting off that delivery bed with stitches and all I can say I have the best surgeon in my hands and the greatest God looking over CK, myself and my family. I trusted Dr Anthony Hogan with my little boy, and to this day he has showed me how much he loved 'Cecil' and the attachment he grew into with him. 

I know sometimes we tend to judge that people only come close to God in times of need, but I believe that if God does not give us our moment of trials and struggles we would forget who he is and Even thou I should have searched deeper for him even before being a mother I am grateful for the struggle. The struggle is painful but it has bought me to where I am today. Making me a mother to an angel and being very much satisfied that my angel is in the best of hands, way better than if he was on this earth where gruel and evil people live. He was too much of a bubbly baby to be here on earth.

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