After having MAJOR bariatric surgery and losing over 200 pounds in the hopes of getting pregnant, after trying for over a decade to have a baby, having a miscarriage and then trying some more, being hospitalized with a "life threatening situation, finally, I gave up hope of ever being a mom to my own child. Then, 2 weeks before my 42nd birthday, it happened.
I was pregnant. My doctor confirmed it and sent me to a High Risk OB. With a history of miscarriage, advanced maternal age, complications due to weight loss surgery, anemia and reoccurring kidney infections and stones- I was indeed High Risk.
Everything seemed fine with baby, we did a DNA screen and it came back healthy and without any chromosonal abnormalities and we learned he would be a boy. I went to the doctor every 3 weeks where I would have an ultrasound and meet with the doctor. I had iron infusions for my anemia and as we got closer and closer, I saw the doctor every other week and then twice weekly for an ultrasoud and fetal monitoring. Baby was measuring very small.
Suddenlyat 2am at week 35, I started having major contractions and bleeding. We went to the hospital at 4am, as a safety precaution I packed a bag and installed the carseat between my contractions. I was sure they would give me some medication to stop the contractions and send me home. I barely looked pregnant at this point and when we checked in, the nurse thought I was crazy. They got me into a bed right away and my doctor arrived, said I was 4cm dialated and they were prepping the OR for me (we had already decided I would do a c-section due to my medical issues). I was having a baby TODAY. 5 weeks early. The day BEFORE my maternity leave was scheduled to start!
Hudson Liam was born March 1st, 2017at 3lbs 14oz. Teeny tiny! But he was strong! Nothing wrong with him but as they rushed him to NICU, I sent dad with the baby while they stitched me up. Quickly I found out there were complications- not with my tiny baby, but with me. The reason I had been bleeding was a ruptured blood vessel behind my uterus. As the doctor went to repair it, she lacerated my colon. I was in surgery an extra hour or so and finally was sent back to my room. Hudson spent 1 night in NICU for observation but he was fine, NO issues at all. 4 days later we were released from the hospital and came home.
Since then, Hudson has been nothing but joy! He charms EVERYONE he meets. Everyone says how adorable, handsome and cute he is! Through the power of the internet, he has "fans" and admirers all around the globe. He is a the happiest, silliest, flirtiest most charming baby you will ever meet!
About a month ago, I became concerned about the shape of Hudson's head. It seemed to be flattening in back. We went to his 4 month check up on July 3rd and the doctor agreed and sent us to a specialist. There they took photos with a special 15 camera set up. They put a little stocking helmet on his head and I held him still while the cameras surrounding him took several photos simultaneously creating a 3D image of Hudson's head.
The doctor confirmed what we had feared. Hudson was diagnosed with Brachycephaly (flat head), Bilateral Occipital Flattening, High head height in back, and Squamoid bulging. Basically his brain is growing up and out rather than within the skull.
This is due to him being born premature (meaning he had extra soft bones/skull), his rapid growth and weight gain (10pounds and 6 inches in 4 months) and from sleeping on his back as reccommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The fix? A DocBand
. A special brace helmet that will help shape his head to grow properly. He will wear this "helmet" 23 hours a day for 2-5 months. It is custom made to his head using 3D models and measurements done by the 15 camera set up and computers. Because he was a preemie, his adjusted age is actually 3.25 months, which is awesome beause the the earlier treatment starts, the more effective it seems to be!
Easy Peasy, right? Yeah, not really. His insurance (Blue Cross Blue Shield) denied it stating they consider DocBand treatment "cosmetic" unless he were to need surgery on his skull before hand which he doesn't. Which is ironic, because if he DOESN'T get the DocBand, he may end up needing surgery on his skull. Anyone who takes the time to research about Bracycephaly would learn that there are actually many issues associated with it if not corrected.
Here are just a few things to name:
- Vision Loss
- Eating Difficulties due to jaw malformation
- Learning Difficulties
- Speaking Difficulties
- Higher Risk of Hearing Loss
Chris (Hudson's dad), was hospitalized in January of this year, missing about a month of work. I ended up missing lots of work due to the complications from my c-section. I also had numerous medical bills due to the weekly and then twice weekly OB appointments and at least 1 ultrasound per week (they cost $200 each even after insurance!-which by the way is provided through my work, I am NOT medicaid) Chris' 2 adult sons have moved in with us as well and LOVE their baby brother. But with their background (one has serious medical issues), they were quite sheltered before coming to us and have had a difficult time adjusting. All of these things have lead to our savings being used up.
We are embarassed to ask, but the health of our son is more important than our pride. Time is of the essence. The longer we wait to get the DocBand, the less effective the treatment will be. This means even if we picked up extra shifts and saved up and were able to get the band next month- it would be less effective than it would be if we got it now. Meaning he may have to wear it longer or even get a second band when he outgrows the first. And even then his head may remain misshapen.
PLEASE help our little miracle baby. He has overcome SO much to be with us! He, without question, is the love of my life. His father and brothers adore him as well. And when he sees anyone he knows, his smile lights up the room! He has made us closer as a family. He is truly special.
Please consider helping us reach our goal of $3000, the cost of the helmet with fittings/measurements etc. Every dollar helps. We appreciate ANYTHING. Thank you so much for your support, both emotional and monitary. We appreciate it so very much!
- Don Mertes
- Megan McBeth
- Ilona Jaffe
- Kelly Parrish
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