Sunday, January 18, 2015


It's probably time to tell the story about Chaim's birth.  It's been 4 months, and I'm still a little in awe of how God blessed him.  Since my uterus ruptured, his little body was fighting to survive in my body.  As he was delivered via emergency c-section, he wasn't breathing, and his heart rate was falling.  Once they were able to get his breathing up and his color back to pink, they placed a 'cooling cap' on his head, and ushered him to the NICU.  For 3 days, he had the cooling cap treatment, which is a cap placed on his head that is hooked up to a refrigeration unit.  They keep the head extremely cold so that the brain does not begin to swell.  Basically, the brain tries to over-correct itself when a baby is born without oxygen, and begins to place water on the brain.  This in turn causes brain damage.  The cooling cap makes sure that the brain stays in a stable condition and does not swell, thus minimizing and even eliminating the brain damage.  We prayed a lot during this time that his brain would be able to respond to this treatment. 

 Finally, after 3 days of being on the cooling cap, they took it off.  It took about 6 hours to do this, since they had to warm his head up slowly.

 And for the first time since he was born, I was able to hold my little Chaim Michael.  It was amazing to realize that both of us were going to be okay.  We still didn't have any of the tests for Chaim to confirm that his brain would function normally, but when I held him, it was like touching heaven.

 Each day, they removed more and more tubes until at last he was not hooked up with anything.  His EEG results showed that there had been trauma on the brain, and they weren't able to conclusively say if his brain would function.  That was a difficult day.  Finally, a week after he was born, he had an MRI which came back "normal".  It was a moment of pure relief and joy.  We still have to see specialists to make sure he is okay, but I feel like he is more than okay.  The cooling cap is a fairly recent treatment within the last 10 years, and they have found that newborns that would sustain moderate brain damage from birth trauma are not experiencing any sort of brain damage.  It's truly a miracle treatment, and we are so grateful for this medical advancement.

 Finally, we were able to go home.  As amazing as the NICU staff had been, we were so anxious to get this little guy home!

 Finally, the girls were able to meet their brother two weeks after he was born.  They had come to see me in the hospital once, but the rules didn't allow them to go to the NICU.  They were so relieved to come home and know that everyone was okay. 

 And suddenly, once he was home, he started growing like a weed!

 And that is how little Chaim Michael began his life.  I completely recognize I am biased, but I think he is the most amazing, handsome little boy.  Even though I'm completely exhausted from the newborn schedule, I recognize how lucky I am that I have this little one to cuddle in my arms.  We had chosen his name "Chaim" before he was born, because we loved that it is the Hebrew word for "life".  And each day, I recognize how amazing it is that we get to see Chaim alive and healthy.  L'Chaim! 

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