Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

Ashley’s Birth Story

My name is Ashley. I am a 23 year old single mother of 2 boys. My oldest son Logan is 3 and my youngest Parker is 2. My NICU baby was Logan.

At my 24 week ultrasound I found out that my son had a birth defect. The OB I was seeing at the time referred me to a perinatologist. I found out he had gastroschisis which is when a child’s abdomen doesn’t completely close and leaves a small hole and then the bowel (intestines) come out and float on the outside of the baby’s body. I was a high risk pregnancy. 
I went in on the morning of November 23rd because a doctor and I made a plan that I would go in on that day get an amnio done and then we would then ripen my cervix and I would deliver naturally… Well, that changed when I went to that doctors appointment on the 23rd I had low fluids but the one doctor told me to go home for 2 days and come back and we would try to do an amnio. I disagreed with this doctor and told her that I wanted to speak with the doctor with whom I originally made the birth plan. I then had to go to the maternal assessment center. The doctor I originally made the plans did another ultrasound and he said that my son needed to get out ASAP because his intestines were dilated to 4 centimeters. 
Logan in the NICU

I then was prepped for a emergency c-section. I had my son at 4:35pm and he was 6 pounds 7 ounces. He was 36 weeks 5 days when he arrived. They considered my son full term because he was almost to 37 weeks. My son was automatically rushed to the children’s hospital that was directly across the street from where I gave birth to him. They decided my son needed to have surgery the night he was born. Then 14 hours later, another surgery. 

My son was born November 23rd and wasn’t discharged from the hospital until the second week of February. He had a total of 14 surgeries before he was released from the hospital. That wouldn’t be the end of his bumpy road. Upon discharge I was asked to make the hardest decision of my life to get my son on a transplant list or take him home on TPN and lipids and wait for him to die. I chose a transplant. My son was going into liver failure while waiting for his transplant. He was on many narcotics to keep him somewhat comfortable and sedated. I quit my job to take care of him full time. Then in March 2010 we made a trip to Omaha to get him on a transplant list. In June 2010 my son got really sick and was transferred to Omaha. He was in complete liver failure and was dying in front of my eyes. July 3, 2010 was the day my son received his transplant – the surgery began at 6:00pm and wasn’t finished until about 1:00am.

The day after Logan’s triple organ transplant
Logan & Parker

My son will be 3 years old this coming July and you would never think he has had such a battle to stay alive. He still does go into the hospital from time to time when he gets sick but usually only for a couple days. This will be my life, but my son is a blessing and God wanted him to be here. All these babies deserve a medal of some sort – they are such troopers.  I am blessed to consider myself a NICU / ICU / PICU / peds / organ transplant mom.

Aimee Sprik About Aimee Sprik

Aimee Sprik (IL) is mother to Connor, born unexpectedly early at 26 weeks, in December 2008, due to an infection. Connor, with his parents, survived a complicated 120-day NICU stay, which changed their lives forever. Since bringing her son finally home, she's felt passionately about volunteering her time and resources to supporting fellow NICU parents, both at the hospital where Connor was born, and by co-founding Life after NICU, an online parent support forum now moderated by Hand to Hold. You can follow Aimee on her personal blog, Sprik Space, or send her an email.

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