Twelve years ago today was one of the most joyous days of mine and Mike's married life, but it was also one of the scariest. I gave birth by c-section to our first daughter, Haley. She was full term and gave a good cry when they pulled her from me. But just moments later things became really hectic around her. They discovered something wasn't quite right, but couldn't tell us more than that until "after they ran some tests". Mike held her briefly so I could see her and they whisked her off to the NICU.
And so it began, our scary journey to a child born with a birth defect, and our education on medical terms we never thought we'd have to learn. Here I am holding her for the very first time, just moments before her intubation for her first surgery, she isn't even 24 hours old.
The medical term for her defect was Tracheoesophageal fistula, and we would learn later that she actually had 2. Type A and an H-type. Her esophagus never attached to her stomach and in her throat the esophagus attached to the trachea. She had 2 surgeries by the time she was 3 weeks old and we were finally able to bring her home at 4 weeks.
She required 2 further surgeries when she was 2 and several tests, and doctors appointment to monitor her growth and etc. for the first 5 years of life. We were truly blessed however!! Most babies born with this abnormality typically have heart, kidney or limb anomalies, she had none. She has 3 permanent scars from the surgery as well as a paralyzed vocal chord, none of which have lasting effects.
My Haley is a beautiful 12 year old girl who came into this world having to fight and be strong. I thank God every day for blessing us with her, but especially on this her birthday!! Love you Haley, your strength still inspires me today!