Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Miracle Child

Oy! If anyone watched the recent log by Geo of www.seekgeo.com, you will see one of the mistakes he made. Hilarious. I actually did my own stupid stunt vacuuming. I turned the vacuum cleaner on, and I heard it go on, so I vacuumed my entire floor. Then I stopped, and looked to see my floor still remained dirty! HUH?! How can this be?! I looked, and DOH! Stupid, stupid stupid... I had forgotten to switch the button to FLOOR instead of TUBE. So I vacuumed my floor while the floor button was off! DOH!! *smacks head against wall* I blame Geo for this!! His mistakes rub off on me now!! :)

Anyhow, you are probably wondering why I just titled this blog “The Miracle Child” I am talking about me. Why am I a miracle? I will divulge into this more, but I wanted to talk about a huge, medical problem I had concerning my stomach among many things that nearly took my life the day I was born. I mentioned some of things of what happened in my first blog and how it leads up to my hearing loss. However many people wanted to hear more specifics of what actually happened to me and how I survived the unthinkable.

February 1st, 1987 was the day I was born. At 10:50am history started to be in the making. My mother gave birth to me. This was not going to be any normal birth by ANY standard. When I was being created in the womb, the skin cells concerning my stomach failed to develop stomach skin. So my organs inside, particularly, my intestines, both small and large, liver, spleen, stomach, kidneys, bladder, everything but my heart and lungs. They remained in my chest cavity. The organs that I highlighted spilled outside of my body and were formed inside their own sac, attached to the umbilical cord. I virtually had a hole in stomach skin. So you would be correct in thinking I did not have a belly button and to this day still do not.

No one knew this was going to happen. Mom had one ultra sound, maybe two, but both were at early stages to figure the sex I believe and to make sure there were no problems early on. When my mother went into labor, the organs came out first, and then I came out immediately. My mother remembers the silence following after and a huge loud “UH OH” from the doctor. No mother wants to hear that UH OH while lying on the bed trying to give birth. It was every mother’s worst nightmare. Immediately they apologized to my father and said “we have to get the baby out, no time to cut the cord” The doctors had my mother keep pushing until I was full out, then brought me away. One hand holding the baby the other holding my organs in the sac. The doctors were adamant from the start I was not going to survive. There was not a maybe or if, I was not going to survive. They told my parents I was going to die; there was nothing they could do. Every baby who had this before me died, why should I survive?

They rushed me to the operating table to close me up and try to insert the organs back inside me. They succeeded in doing so but had no hopes of survival for me. Then they flew me by helicopter to the St. Louis hospital, Cardinal-Glennon in St. Louis, Missouri. They did a few more operations for me. My parents drove up later two hours after giving birth to me. Yes, TWO Hours later. They came in, grandparents drove up etc etc. Just sitting around waiting for me to die. Parents were in the waiting room still wanting to pick a name out for me. They didn’t want me to die without a name. They were thinking either Alex or Andrew, they wanted an A name for me to continue the initials of A.S.T. Doctors came out and said we did everything we could, but we don’t think he will make it through the night. I do want to prepare you for the worst, and start calling family and friends. I had already crashed twice, and “died” twice from my heart stopping, and somehow “came back”.

The unthinkable happened though. I made it through the night. Doctors said “now, hold on, we doubt he will make it through the week now He is still very weak. By the way I was actually born late, 3 days late; I was not a premature baby. Then something else happened, they found my trachea and windpipe had been enclosed. They were trying to figure out why I could not get off the respirator. A nurse spoke up and figured it was something involving that. They figured it out and operated on me more, about 5 surgeries on my neck. That was fixed.

More operations happened, more and more to fix me up. Each not knowing if I’d make the next night. I was given a medication so my body would not reject the organs. The side effect was that I could lose my hearing, some all or maybe little. Parents really didn’t have a choice, if I did not take it I WOULD die guaranteed, no ifs or but.

I remained in the ICU for nearly 2 months, and then regular room for the third month. Babies around me were dying of different things. Parents had to deal with me and then being surrounded by other parents who were losing their child to different things. Slowly hoping I would not become another causality of the ICU. They decided to name me Alexander, for Greek being ‘Protector of Man”. Fitting isn’t it? Finally after three horrendous months, when doctors were absolutely sure nothing else was wrong, I was given the ok to go home.

The day I got to go home, was a miracle for my parents. They never, ever thought they would get to take me home. Doctors, nurses everyone knew me on that floor. Calling me the miracle baby, or child. Doctors stated medically I should have died, there is no reason I should have lived. Perhaps there was a higher God that needed me for something and was not going to let me die no matter what.

My poor mother every day she would drive two hours back and forth to visit me all day every day while my father worked at a local news channel. 8:00am the visiting hours opened up, mom was there. 8:00pm when visiting hours closed, mom came home. She was so afraid of leaving me in case it was the last time I was going to be alive for the night. She did all this while being 24 years old, married to my father, and going to college all at the same time.

I don’t know how she did it. I know she couldn’t do it again. But I told her, she didn’t know she COULD NOT do it. She didn’t sit to think if she could do it or not. She just DID IT. Didn’t ask questions didn’t sit and cry (ok maybe she did once in awhile ha-ha) but she didn’t know she couldn’t take care of me. She just did.

Doctors claimed I was the only baby east side of the Mississippi river at the time of my birth to survive the medical condition I had. Another boy, 2 years older then I also had it but if I recall he did not lose is hearing like I did. Also my situation was much worse I had a stage 3 of the condition whereas he had stage 1 I believe.

So what did I have exactly? Glad you asked. I had a condition called Omphalocele. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omphalocele

This website talks a bit about it and such. Very informative. It is still rare, so you cannot find much information about it but the case itself is not unknown. Doctors use my case in St. Louis and all over with other doctors to try and figure out how I survived when no one else had survived it before me.

This is my story and I hoped this brought a better understanding of what has happened to me and eventually lead to my hearing loss. I became stronger as a result of this, and while I don’t remember anything, I see the pictures, the stories my mom says through her tears and just only sit back going “thank you” and wondering why I survived. I don’t take much for granted that’s for sure, and always, always appreciate the friendships I develop along the way, online and in person and hope I make a difference in each persons live as they do for me no matter how small or big it is.

Alex

13 comments:

Tassielady said...

Wow great story and i have heard of that condition a few times with friends whose friend had it or relatives. Its fascinating how they can fix it and you scarring shows that you did have that condition. You are human and have accept who you are as you are being upfront about it rather than hide it.
Have a good one !!! *sneezing.. bloody hayfever*

Seek Geo said...

Wow.. finally I get to hear the whole story of this. I can't imagine what you all had to go through especially yourself growing up but one thing for sure, you are very strong and very brave and so is your mother.

You definitely were a miracle baby and still is miracle guy! I wonder has your stories ever made it to news, newspaper, etc after your birth? Or at least anytime during your life time?

I see there is other guy who made the story from Calif but he's no worse than yours so why not your story instead of him, I think it might have to do with his ability to hear.

Oh speaking of hearing, sure you must have lost your hearing but I'm just glad that you are still here which is the best part. I am very glad to get to know you more, you are an awesome guy! :-)

Jes and I look forward to meet you this summer!

Hugs
-SG

Misha said...

Wow! That's a real gripping story! I had to fight back my tears reading how hard your parents had gone through during your birth. It must be very scary for them.
Alex, you really beat all the odds to survive all through this. You were a very truly miracle baby!
And also, you are very brave to tell this story because it's part of who you are.
Give your parents a huge hug for creating a miracle baby who is still giving so much. *wipes her tears*
I'm very pleased to know you since we first meet at seekgeo.com. Hopefully one day we could meet in real life, I'd love to give you a big hug before I bop your aching head. ;)

Misha :D

Misha said...

Oh by the way, Alex....

*bops* I can't believe you couldn't feel the vacuum cleaner's vibrations to see if it is running or not. But you didn't! You kept vacuuming the WHOLE thing, not looking to see if there is any speckle of dirt which were plenty! *bops* I think you must have vacuuming under influence. VUI! *gasp*

Misha ;)

Fairlady said...

I'm amazing by your mom's strength but then when I look at my own children. I remember my mom's words to me. There is no powerful as a mother's love to her child. Your mom has spoken thru her action and words to you.

You are here because of her. Her miracle child that survive many odds. You are here on this earth for a reason. You are special in your own way in the life you chose to lead. Keep rocking on thru this life with your own unique touch.

Abbie said...

You are our little miracle guy Alex. I was about a third way through reading this when tears started to coat my eyes.

You started your life off with what was suppose to be a irremediable diagnosis and was given a death sentence. As little as you were, you endured more then what most of us will endure in a lifetime. Just the fact that you are sitting with your head up held up high and typing away TODAY truly has to be a sign of divinity. Your parents had the weight of the world on their shoulders and all that weight created a diamond in the middle of hick town USA :)

I believe that everyone that you meet, whether it is in passing or for an hour or a lifetime, there is a lesson to be learned, whether it is readily apparent or learned later on. You certainly have managed to leave a lasting impression on the lot of us. I for one, am honored to be your friend and I want to thank you for sharing this with us!

*pinching cheeks and baby talking*
You are our lil miracle seekie! :)

Alex said...

Thanks All!

I had a hard time getting through typing it but felt it needed to be to "add on to it" as many others asked me to do.

Geo- I don't know if it did make any local news and such because of so many other things happening. I can ask my mom and find out if she did.

Misha- Thanks it will be great to some day meet as well! I think I was under GUI, Geo Under Influence as a result for watching his videos! and *bop* yourself! :-P

Abbie- the pinching hurts!! :( But thanks anyway!! :)

Fair- so true, and you can see as a mother also how it affects each us all.

Alex

Deaf Pixie said...

Wow,, I read and tear my eye.. I do remember my husband's nieces' son had similiar as your.. It is very rare diease.

I will ask my husband' niece she is really worry about her son go through similiar. he stayed few weeks to repair his stomach attachment.. Don't remember name of stomach.. but it is looking like that one of similiar your case.. I am not quiet sure if I'm right..
Her son is hearing.. but surprised that it might your case much worsen than Nicky's son Caleb is about 7-8 yr old.. he seem so fine since he was sick last summer. but turn out he is fine..
Nicky say whew.. scared her to death... Good things Dr found during test and warned her about the baby's diease.. Now Caleb is happy boy.. funny now.

Deaf Pixie :-)

Candy said...

Awesome story! Ya know, I had read something about this baby born with your condition, maybe it was you? Did the news media do a story on you?

I had a premature baby and practically lived in the Neonatal unit for three weeks and yeah, it was always tense in that unit because not every baby survives. And not every parent can be there 24/7 either. But, I was there every day and not only spend time with my baby, I also looked on others too and hoped they all make it. Back in mid to late 1980's technology was not as great as it is today and the fact that you survived has a special meaning, so that title of your blog is so appropriate!

Jodi said...

Alex what a great story !!!! It just brought the mommy out and I just bawled for your mom, and cheered for the BIG GUY UPSTAIRS for giving you a chance to kick some serious behind in life, which you appear to be doing now.
Alex you are indeed an inspiration to medical science :-D

Jodi

Edabelle said...

Your story is inspiring indeed. Last Monday, we found out that my Baby has Omphalocele. I want to add your blog to my blog list. I am praying that my Baby will also survive as you did.

Optimist said...

Hey, Alex ~

Wow, I've got waterfalls coming out of my eyes from reading this. I can't believe how you've managed to survive this. I am so glad that you are here with us because you have to so much of yourself to give to others. You are a bright sunshine in our lives. Thanks so much for sharing this story with us.

Hugs to you,

Optimist

Misha said...

Edabelle,

We're praying for your baby's recovery. Keep us posted if possible.

Misha :)