Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sharing A Piece Of My Heart Today...

Recently, I have become a fan of the television show called "The Little Couple" featuring Dr. Jennifer Arnold and her husband Bill Klein. Jen, as she is known to viewers, is the Medical Director of the new Pediatric Simulation Center and a Neonatologist in the Texas Children's Newborn Center. Watching their show and seeing the tiny little babies treated at the hospital, brought up a yearning I have had in my heart since mid-2007.

When my oldest son was four weeks old his spitting up got so bad that I knew something was very wrong. This wasn't normal spitting up, it was projectile, across the room (no exaggeration) spew. After several calls to the doctor's nurse, I finally spoke to the doctor on Finley's four week birthday and he advised me to take him straight to the local hospital for a barium swallow test. He explained that they would do an x-ray to see what was going on. Me being the Internet Googler that I am, I had a pretty good idea what the diagnose would be, but I didn't voice my opinion to the doctors.

Long story short, I took him to the local hospital where he swallowed the thick white barium out of a bottle and they performed an x-ray to see what was going on. Shortly after, when the x-rays were read and the pediatrician received the results, we were sent straight to Texas Children's Hospital because Finley was diagnosed with pyloric stenosis (click on the words for a good site that explains it well, in my opinion... it's the site I found during my "googling" when Finley was so sick). Basically what pyloric stenosis is, is a condition where infants vomit forcefully. It requires immediate treatment (surgery). Food cannot empty out of the stomach correctly. The next morning he underwent surgery and was released the following Monday.

The picture above shows him shortly after his surgery. He was so tiny, only 7 lbs. and so vulnerable. He needed to be loved and held. He needed his family and friends around him. Thank God he had us all there. It was a holiday weekend and my husband was off as well as other family members (I hadn't gone back to work yet either). Looking for photos from that time, I came across some video as well and thought I'd share it with you.

Sadly though, not all babies have constant arms to hold them when they're hospitalized and it's not because their parents don't love them. Many parents have babies that have to stay in the hospital for weeks or even months. Those families have to make ends meet and take care of other children. I am sure they want to be there, but they can't always be at the hospital. It broke my heart to hear little babies crying in their cribs with no one to comfort them. I know it must break those parent's hearts to leave them as well.

After the surgery, my Finley was 100% ok. He did end up having other unrelated outpatient surgeries, but we were always able to be there with him. So for two years now, it's been on my heart that I want to be a "baby holder" at Texas Children's and volunteer in other ways as well. Today, I took that first step and hope to be able to comfort other babies that need love while their families are taking care of things that are unavoidable.

I just wanted to share this very personal post with my readers because it was on my heart. Finley has had several health problems (all different issues) since birth, but with modern medicine and prayer, he has had a much easier road than many babies that are much worse off or gravely ill. He will be getting a few more tests in August since he's having some trouble with balance and walking and the neurologist wants to see what those tests show. I did get blessed news today that all of his genetics tests and other labs were 100% normal. Praise God!