Fighter from Birth

My husband and I listen to your podcast, and never did I think that I would have a story like this to share. I would like to tell you about my son’s greatest never quit story which consequently lead to our greatest never quit story. Edward’s greatest never quit story began before he even took his first breath. My son, Edward, fought to live at only seconds old and endured some pretty tough conditions the days after his birth.
My pregnancy came as a huge surprise to my husband and me, as we were not actively trying to have children. He received the phone call that forever changed his life on his way to the wilderness for a week to caribou hunt. The pregnancy went according to plan up until the last month. My doctor determined that I was having pregnancy related complications and decided our son needed to come sooner. I was induced on April 23, 2018 and went through two days of labor. On the afternoon of the second day, my doctor determined that things needed to progress so they broke my water. Afterwards seemed to progress until I got up and all hell broke loose. Edward’s heartrate took an immediate deceleration. The next moments of our lives was both a blur of activity and a nightmare. We had nurses and doctors piling into the room. Everyone doing something to try to get his heartbeat back. Seconds turned to minutes, and it felt like time stopped altogether. They gave me oxygen and I followed directions as they had me move in different ways to try to get his heartrate back. This is when panic set in, you could feel the urgency in the situation. As moment by moment went by things continually got more intense, after about five minutes of trying they told us they needed to get me into the operating room for a possible c-section. I was whisked to an operating room leaving my husband to grasp at what just happened. He eventually was taken to a recovery room and told that if it was possible they would get him for the delivery. My last memory is me climbing onto the table, in tears, and quickly answering the anesthesiologist’s questions. I am told that it took twelve minutes to get him out and the entire event took roughly 17 minutes…
Edward was born on April 25, 2018, at approximately 18:30. He was born without a heartbeat and not breathing. They found that he had the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and was pinched above his head. That’s when the ultimate fight for his life began – they began performing life saving measures. His APGAR score a 0 at birth. The doctors began to small signs of heart rate around three minutes. He continued to have no tone or respiratory efforts for 10 minutes of age when he started taking some intermittent breaths. They put in a breathing tube, and went to retrieve my husband to meet his son. Tentatively, the doctor said that he was fighting to breathe on his own but did not give much hope for what was to come. As I came to in a foggy haze, everyone tried to explain what happened and I got to see my son for the first time. Later that night, around midnight, we received a call to the room saying that they had removed the breathing tube and he was breathing on his own. I asked my nurse, how I could go see my son again. She told me that I would have to sit up and get out of bed… so to her surprise that’s exactly what I did.
Since it was unknown how long Edward had been without blood and oxygen they needed to protect his brain from further damage by putting him into a hypothermic state. They placed him in a plastic blanket with circulating water to keep his temperature at 92.3 degrees Fahrenheit. During this time, he had constant EEG monitoring and other procedures to see if he had unusual activity such as seizures. This process was done for 72 hours. After that time was up, they began a warm up process. It took a total of 12 hours to bring his body temperature back to normal. During this time we were able to touch him, but that was the extent of human interaction we could have.
On April 29, 2018, we finally were able to hold our son for the first time. This was one of the happiest moments of our lives. They began the process of weening him off of the pain killers, antibiotics and IVs. Slowly he started to look like a “real boy” with the removal of cords and leads. He was finally able to have able to be fed other than through IV. Each day we were provided updates from the medical team of the hurdles he had to overcome before being released. They told us he was doing better than it was ever expected. Many of the nurses and medical staff that were present during the delivery came by to check on us – many of them had never experienced something like this.
We were finally able to take him home on May 3, 2018, eight days after his birth. Edward is doing better than anyone could have expected, there is still concern about long term effects. We have an appointment in a few months with a pediatric neurologist, and are optimistic that we’ll get a good report. We both have our moments where reliving the day of his birth is too much. My husband and I never tire of changing diapers or hearing him cry. We both realize how close we were to losing him. Someone in the NICU told me something that has helped us to cope tremendously. She said, “I don’t know if you believe or not so I hope I don’t offend you, but when I heard your story the first thing that came to me was God need to hold him first and then he sent that little boy to you.” Edward is one of the strongest people I know, he has endure more his two months than many do their entire life. My husband and I feel very blessed for the miracle in our lives, and feel that he is called to do great things.

Author: Rachel