This is me at my baby shower, about 2 weeks before Shane was born back home in Virginia. That's his dad. No, I don't know what's up with that beard. We were young, stupid, in love, newlyweds of a year and a half and not even old enough to buy beer yet. It was 23 years ago - not uncommon to marry young then. I don't recommend it. Shane came along before I started college... UNC Chapel Hill med school was my goal. Ironic that we would eventually end up there with Shane. These pictures are bad but they are all I have. Maternity photos were not in back then.
I was determined to have a healthy baby. I read all the books. I ate well except for constantly craving dill pickles and orange sherbet (not at the same time). I wouldn't use the microwave or the remote control I was so paranoid. No smoking, drinking, drugs (except for prescription antibiotics for that infection). We lived in the middle of farm community, I might have been exposed to pesticides. I don't know. Not that that's proven to cause CDH. My point is... I wasn't doing anything at all to "deserve" a sick baby (like any baby deserves to be sick).
I had a good pregnancy overall with no real morning sickness, just a bladder infection the first trimester and bleeding. A threatened miscarriage that scared the heck out of us for a few days but he held on. I had had 2 very early miscarriages before this pregnancy and didn't want to go through that again. After the bleeding stopped and we got a heartbeat on ultrasound, things seemed ok.
The 3rd trimester I was hospitalized for dehydration and what we thought was the flu. I had severe, undiagnosed polyhydramnios (too much amniotic fluid, indicating a problem with the baby).
I had 2 ultrasounds, one at 7.5 months. The doctor wrote down on my records (that I requested later) on the ultrasound check list "Cannot find stomach". They never told me this, never did another test, never sent me to a specialist. Nothing. They diagnosed nothing.
This was before we had ever heard of "Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia".
I dreamt every single night that something was wrong with my son. I knew he was a boy even though we didn't want to know the gender. I dreamed that he was born, turned blue, didn't cry, the doctors grabbed him and took him off to another room and I was left alone on the delivery table screaming "Where is my son?! What is wrong with my son?!" and woke up crying every single morning.
I told this to my OB multiple times and was dismissed as a "nervous first-timer".