Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My last 4 months

Sorry for the long delay in posting to NuschlersNews. I'm sure I lost a lot of readers along the way as potentially this could be thought of as just another forgotten blog. I'd like to reassure those of you who still check in here that this isn't just another idle site, but that I am still around and will begin postings again. Let me take a minute to share with you about my life, outside my life long obsession with the San Francisco Giants. As it turns out, there is something more important.

Back in April of 2009, my wife and I found out we were expecting our first child. More excited than anyone can imagine, although I expect anyone who is happily married and has been in the same situation was equally thrilled as we were. We tried for 3 years to get pregnant and finally had. Early on, it was an extremely difficult pregnancy for my wife. She was sick 24 hours a day until 16 weeks along.

At 18 weeks, we found out it was a girl. At the same time, we discovered our daughter had a fairly common kidney problem that usually went away prior to birth but they wanted to monitor it with complete ultrasounds monthly just to be safe. Although at worst, this would require a small surgical procedure post birth to clear a block in her urinary tract, it turned out to be a life saving discovery.

At both the 22 & 25 week ultrasounds, the kidney problem remained fairly unchanged but not too worrisome for the doctors. At the 28 week ultrasound, our life changed.

Our daughter was diagnosed with Ascites on Halloween and we were told she would likely need to be born via emergency C-Section within the week to hopefully keep her alive. We went home for the next 30 hours thinking things couldn't get worse but we were wrong.

First thing monday morning we had another ultrasound at our perinatologists office and complete body Fetal Polyhydrominoes, or Hydrops, were discovered. The doctor told us, at 28 weeks 3 days, that our daughter had a 10% chance at living born today and 30% if we could keep her enutero until 34 weeks. Our options were to home and "let nature take its course" or check ourselves into the labor and delivery unit for both my wife and daughter to be on 24 hour monitoring with the first signs of fetal distress, an emergency C-Section would be performed. The doctors all agreed, they didn't expect us to make it to 29 weeks, but were just hoping against the odds we could make it to 34.

Hydrops is fluid buildup in a body cavity, usually isolated to one area. Our daughter had it everywhere. Around her heart and lungs, putting pressure on them and causing the lungs to stay collapsed inhibiting development. Around her head, between the scalp and skull. In her abdomen. In all 4 extremities. At 28 weeks, she measured 34 in size.

It turned out we had a brilliant perinatologist and she diagnosed the Fetal Hydrops origin. She was able to perform both an amniocentesis on my wife and a thorocentesis on our baby. It was caused by a block in her thoracic duct of the lymphatic system backing fluid up everywhere. The Thorocentesis worked and the lungs expanded instantly. From then on, the fluid gradually receded. It was a long process, but well worth it. It was one of the hardest things I could imagine. Feeling the pain my wife was going through with the giant needle in her stomach and watching my squirming unborn child have that same needle enter her tiny chest, just centimeters from her heart.

My wife was in the hospital the entire month of November. She had Thanksgiving in a hospital bed. Our daughter slowly beat the odds and at 34 weeks, my wife went home. 35, 36, 37, and 38 weeks passed and out December 31st ultrasound showed complete resolution of the Hydrops. Something we never thought possible.

January 14th my wife went into labor as her water broke... which coincided with what would be my late brother, Jeff's, 30th birthday. At 0345 am on January 15th, our daughter, Clara, was born.

Completely healthy.

We are home now and trying to raise a little girl. 5 days old and the center of our lives.

Some things do take the lead over the Giants apparently. But please stick with me everyone. I'll be back writing Giants posts very shortly... hey, look there, Bengie Molina just resigned with the Giants...