After what appeared to be a picture perfect pregnancy, we were so excited to head to the hospital for our first child, Caleb, to be born. This day, which began with excitement and joy, would turn into a roller coaster of emotions.
After hours of labor, it was apparent that Caleb was in trouble. His heart rate kept dropping. Finally his heart rate dropped and would not come back up. I was rushed back to do an emergency cesarean. When he was born, Caleb’s oxygen saturation never went above the 60s. A normal person’s oxygen saturation is usually above 95. I kept asking to see him and the nurses kept replying, “we just need to pink him up a little.” As naive new parents we accepted this explanation. However when they finally showed him to me, they told us something was wrong and he would need to be taken back to the special care unit. After a couple of hours of trying to diagnose the problem, it became clear the complication was related to Caleb’s heart and he would need to be transferred to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
Caleb was brought to me in an incubator where I was finally able to touch his hands and feet. While I tried desperately to soak in these brief moments with him, the transfer team explained to us that something was wrong with his heart and that he would require open heart surgery most likely within the first week of his life. My husband then went with our son, while I had to remain at the birthing hospital. At Children’s Hospital they diagnosed Caleb with a Congenital Heart Defect called Transposition of the Great Arteries.
Only three days later our sweet newborn son had open heart surgery to save his life. Kissing our son and sending into an operating room with doctors and nurses we had only just met the in the last couple days was one of the most excruciating moments of our lives. After hours and hours the surgery was finally complete. Caleb did well in the surgery and recovered quickly with very few complications.
Looking at our son now still amazes us sometimes. He has needed some extra help in areas because of developmental delay and he does have a couple complications with his heart that his cardiologist is monitoring. But over all Caleb is a typical little boy. He plays basketball, loves playing outside, and can tell you anything you want to know about his video games. Our miracle boy fills our lives with joy and laughter. He has changed our lives forever and reminds us every day to focus on what is truly important.