May 11, 2007

A very bumpy beginning

There's so much to tell about his life so far, but not nearly enough time or energy right now. In a nutshell, he's absolutely, ridiculously beautiful and horribly, terrifyingly sick.

Here's a snapshot of those baby stats everyone wants to know...

Benjamin Batey Fradin
Born at 11:34a.m. on May 9th, 2007
5 pounds 14 ounces
19 inches long

Beautifully pink with tons of silky, light blond amazing!

And here are the more rough and bumpy details...

He wasn't breathing when he was born, so he needed CPR. After a few minutes that seemed to last forever, he recovered and was stable.

The routine exam they do to newborns gave them some concern. They did some quick tests and discovered his GI tract isn't fully formed. This finally explained why he was measuring small in the ultrasounds...he can't digest nutrients.

Soon after delivery he was transported by ambulance to another hospital with a higher-level NICU. More tests revealed some more problems.

He is missing parts of some of his vertebrae as well as a rib. Also, his spine is tethered.

Strange as it would seem, the issues with his spine aren't as urgent as his digestive problems, so the latter will be tackled first.

The GOOD NEWS is his heart and kidneys are fine. The cardiologist said, "Well, you'll never be seeing me again. His heart is perfect."

Retrospective: The reason he was measuring small in utero probably wasn't from the GI issues; rather, it was probably the umbilical cord having only 2 vessels and/or just how his mama grows babies. His sister, Olivia, was even smaller. Also, it turned out his heart wasn't exactly "perfect"...however the problems - PDA and PFO - were minor and not outside the realm of normal variations of human anatomy. His kidneys, on the other hand, were anything but fine. Please understand there is a high likelihood of inaccurate information on this blog in these early posts as Mike and I were in shock, separated, sleep-deprived, and traumatized. Often a doctor would speak with Mike, who was at Ben's bedside, and he would then have to leave the NICU to call me because cell phones weren't allowed. I was recovering in the birth hospital dozens of miles away. I'd answer the phone to hear the horrifying news, cry hysterically, explain to whoever was with me that no our son hadn't died. Then try to remember and explain what Mike had told me. And then update the blog. (27 Sep 2013)


Dr. L. said...

You are all in my prayers. You couldn't have picked a better name! You know how fond I am of Benjamin!

Love, Dr. L.

Dr. L. said...

He is precious! Hang in there. Benjamin is a strong name for a strong young man! Please let me know if you need something and I can help.

Dr. L.

Elizabeth said...

hi rebecca its elizabeth i just wanted 2 say that im so glad ur baby is better now and that u r 2 i hope ur baby gets better and i will keep u and benjamin in my prayers. i tryed to call u on the day u had ur baby but now i understood why u didnt answer! well ttyl



Jennifer said...

Thanks for the kind words on my blog! I was reading about your son and it is amazing how VACTERL kids are the same, but different. My Evan has the "C" and the "R" (one kidney) and the "L", in addition to the "V". When I was reading this post I realized that I totally forgot that Evan is missing a rib, too. I also saw where you are from- I am from Kenosha, WI. Small world!