When I moved back to California, our IVF had a tumultuous start. We had no sign of success until my second semester! All the while, I was being told, “You’re most likely going to miscarry, so we’ll just keep an eye on you.” Even though eight fertilized eggs were implanted, we had ONE show signs of viability at around 15 weeks! Never did I experience morning sickness or any other telltale sign. We had ourselves a fighter.
He was born in June of 2003, and even that wasn’t without drama. I was a couple of weeks overdue and being seen every day to monitor. Again, never feeling a contraction, etc. On a Friday in June, the doctors told me to come back on Monday. I simply did not feel I could wait that long to get my next monitoring. A girlfriend/doctor reminded me to follow my maternal instincts and require that I get admitted that night. My doctors agreed and scheduled inducing for Saturday morning.
I had a room full of friends and family in my hospital room on Friday night when a nurse came in calm but hurriedly had everyone leave. She then told my husband and me that the instruments were showing I was having contractions and that my chord was tightly wrapped around my baby. She said that if I experienced even one more contraction, I’d be giving birth to a stillborn. So, Friday night – Friday the 13th, 2003 – our little fighter was born via C-section!
Fast forward a few years to his ten-year wellness appointment with the same doctor that had seen him since birth. She “heard” something faint, yet unusual, with my son’s heart and sent us to a pediatric cardiologist.
The cardiologist didn’t seem concerned but said “your doctor is requesting pictures, so let’s go do an echocardiogram.” Minutes later, I was told my kid needed open-heart surgery to repair a giant hole that had been there since birth! Again, he had zero symptoms. It was basically a ticking time bomb. His first surgery actually happened at 11 years old. At the one-year follow-up appointment, we were told he needed another one. His second open heart surgery was at 13 years old. Now, he’s 16 and appears to not require any additional open-heart surgeries. But, obviously, he will be monitored for the rest of his life.