Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mom to Laura
Born July 8th, 2010, Passed away July 22nd, 2010
Pawtucket, Rhode Island

Around November of 2009, my fiancée and I found out I was a few weeks pregnant. Although we had not planned on having a child just yet, we quickly became more than excited! The first week in January of 2010, we went to our first appointment and found out that the due date would be August 1, 2010 and that we had a nice and healthy little baby growing. We broke the news to our  family and friends who also shared our excitement. My twin sister was especially thrilled because she has a young daughter of her own. 
We went to our monthly check ups and I took my prenatal vitamins as directed. My pregnancy was all smooth sailing with no morning sickness or any problems. I felt great and was looking forward to the big 20 week appointment to find out the gender. We were hoping for a boy because of the over abundance of girls in my family, but when the ultrasound tech said "It's girl," we immediately adapted to the change of thinking and fell in love with our little girl growing happy and healthy. 
Two weeks later I returned for another ultrasound to get a better look at the heart, because the tech could not view it well the last time. The tech noticed the heart looked different but could not tell what was wrong. We were sent to a fetal specialist to better "examine" the heart through ultrasound. For weeks, the pediatric cardiologist and fetal specialist tried to come up with a diagnosis for the heart. The pediatric cardiologist in Providence referred us to Children's Hospital-Boston. CHB has the best pediatric heart team in the country, so we knew not to worry too much. 
At 35 weeks, I became very ill with non stop nausea and vomiting. I was having contractions that I was not feeling at first. I was transferred from a Rhode Island Hospital up to a Boston, MA hospital. I spent a week in the hospital, still with constant nausea and vomiting. Laura's (the name we came up with) heart was monitored constantly during my stay, with no problems what-so-ever. On the night of the 7th, my water broke and I started going into labor. Then finally, on July 8th, 10:05 am, with the room filled with teams of doctors and cardiologist, Laura entered this world, crying and screaming, weighing 4lbs 8oz. We were so relieved to see how healthy she looked. Laura was brought across the street to Children's Hospital-Boston and underwent her first open heart surgery on the 12th of July. Laura came out of the surgery fighting like a champ. We were so proud of our little girl. 
The week following Laura's surgery, the doctors became more and more concern each day because little Laura was not getting any better. The surgeons did a lung biopsy. On the 22nd of July, just two weeks after Laura was born, the doctors informed us Laura has a serious lung disease, Alveolar Capillary Dysplasia (ACD). A lung condition so rare, that less than 50 cases have been reported in the United States. There is no cure and the longest survivor was only 2 months old. The doctor informed us that Laura would not make it much longer, as she was getting sicker and sicker as the days passed. 
We made the decision to say our good-byes and take her off of the life support. After spending that day crying and taking pictures and getting hand prints and foot prints, Laura passed away in my arms at 4:41 pm on July 22nd. The saddest day of my life. It has been very tough since the loss of our infant Laura, but I am thankful, I got to cherish every moment I spent with her.
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Megan said...

My little girl was born the same day with a heart condition as well. We were scared for her to have open heart surgery but an intestine infection is what ended up taking her from us. I'm sorry for your loss. I'm sure our little angel daughters, Laura and Mackenzie, are up in heaven right now playing and having fun. :)

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