It's time more people knew about a birth defect called CDH, and that it's not a death sentence for your baby.
Parents who were told to "let their baby go" when a birth defect was detected in utero are speaking out in the hopes of raising awareness about the lesser-known condition their daughter ultimately beat.
On Imgur, the dad shares how at 20 weeks, their baby was diagnosed with a "congenital diaphragmatic hernia." He adds, "Survivability could be less than 50% depending on several factors. One of our perinatologists told us it's better to just let this one go."
But that answer wasn't good enough for the couple.
A consultation about the severity of their daughter's case led them to realize, "We had to receive care at a place that is familiar with the condition." So the Florida-based parents-to-be traveled hundreds of miles to Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida.
"Within five minutes of meeting Dr. Kays and his team we knew All Children's was the right choice," the dad shares. "It followed at 39 weeks that our second child was born, immediately intubated and moved to critical care. She was intubated, sedated, on dopamine for blood pressure support, had multiple peripheral and central lines, and was on parenteral nutrition."
The baby had surgery to repair her diaphragm on day 4. Now, 29 days after her birth, the grateful dad writes, "I don't ever intend on letting her go."
"What we found in talking to other parents was that their experience was similar to ours. They had also been told to let their kids go. They had also searched desperately for alternatives," he says, adding, "There was a realization in talking to other parents that CDH is misunderstood."
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He hopes that in sharing their experience, he can raise awareness about a condition that is clearly frightening, but can result in a happy ending.
Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and soon-to-be mom of 4. Find her on Facebook where she chronicles her life momming under the influence. Of yoga.