Prayers for baby Carter

We found out we were pregnant January 12, 2014. We were ecstatic! We had been waiting for this day for a VERY long time! Not long after, at 5 weeks I thought I was starting to miscarry. After having a miscarriage before, I was devastated! I went to the doctor several times and amazingly, my hcg levels continued to rise! We had an ultrasound a few weeks later and saw a strong heartbeat! I continued to have problems, but we stayed hopeful! At 15 weeks we went to get an elective ultrasound to find out the sex of the baby. It's a boy!! We also found out that I had placenta previa, which could explain the problems I had been having. We left, happy, sad, and relieved to finally know what was possibly causing the problems. I tried to take it easy. At 18 weeks I started having contractions. I tried to ignore them but they got more and more frequent and I was having 12 within an hour. I was advised to go to labor and delivery to get monitored. I was there for what seemed like forever! I was monitored for contractions and tested for amniotic fluid. The test came back negative and I was told I just had an irritable uterus and sent home on bed rest. A week later at 19 weeks, the contractions continued and I went back to the hospital, only to be sent home again. At 20 weeks I had an ultrasound that morning. Everything looked great, even the placenta previa had resolved! After that I headed to my 20 week OB appt. On the elevator up I felt a big gush. I was worried. I mentioned it to the doctor and he thought it was just normal pregnancy stuff. He asked if I wanted him to test for amniotic fluid to reassure me but since he was so confident I decided not to. I went back home to bed rest, constantly having small gushes here and there. At 21 weeks I passed something very odd and had never seen before so I went straight to the hospital. They sent it off for testing and tested me for amniotic fluid. It came back positive They did it twice just to make sure it wasn't a false positive since I was so early and shouldn't be leaking. I was scared to death. I had to go up and see the perinatologist (high risk doctor). He did an ultrasound and told me that my water had broken and there was no fluid left. I was devastated. I had never heard of this happening before and thought it was over, I was going to lose my baby boy. He told me I had two options, abort or be admitted on strict bed rest, start IV antibiotics, and wait it out to see what happens. My baby had a strong heart beat. There was no way I was going to abort and give up on him. I stayed in that hospital bed for weeks seeing the perinatologist and having ultrasounds twice a week. Received countless doom and gloom speeches. I never had any measurable fluid accumulate but somehow he was still getting some! He was practicing breathing and his little bladder was always full! The worst part was not knowing what was going to happen. When it was going to happen. I knew I would be having an extremely premature baby, but when? Would I even be taking a baby home alive at the end of all this? Without fluid, even if he was born past viability (24 weeks) his lungs would not be of a 24 weekers. They need the amniotic fluid for their lungs to develop and he had none the entire 5 weeks. We had countless ultrasounds and even an echo because there was concerns about his heart, but we wouldn't know anything for sure until he was born. At 25 weeks 3 days, I started contracting again. They hooked me up to the monitor but since my uterus was still so small it was barely picking them up. They kept getting more painful and stronger. I felt like no one was taking me serious. But then.... his heart rate started dropping with every contraction, going down into the 60's and 80's. I was finally taken to L&D and the doctor measured me. I was dilated to 4cm!! There was no stopping it. They prepared me for a c-section. I've never been so scared in my life. He was only 25 weeks and no way to know if he would survive. June 11, 2014 he was born at 1:59am 1lb 11oz and 11 3/4 inches! The first thing I asked after waking up was if he was ok! I didn't get to see him until the next night. I had never seen a baby that tiny. His skin was red and translucent, eyes still fused shut. He had tubes and wires coming out everywhere. At 3 weeks old he developed an inguinal hernia and had to be flown from GSMC to Children's in Dallas. They had to do emergency surgery in the NICU as soon as he got there. He was too unstable to move to the operating room. He was very sick and not expected to make it through the night. He has had 5 surgeries, 25+ blood transfusions, numerous bouts with pneumonia, bone infection and numerous health problems including pulmonary hypoplasia, pulmonary hypertension, chronic lung disease, tracheomalacia, and others. He now has a tracheostomy and G-tube. He is ventilator dependent and currently struggling to transition to the home vent. He can not go home until that happens. He is almost 10 months old and has been in the NICU/PICU his entire life. I live in Dallas with him, staying at the Ronald McDonald house. His daddy works and is only able to come see him every weekend. He also has a 6 year old sister who comes up every weekend to visit!

All donations will go toward medical bill gas and any other needs the family may have
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Courtney N Bryan Hoffman
Longview, TX

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