Saturday, April 13, 2013
Martha was engaged to her high school sweetheart, James, at the age of 16. A few months after their engagement Martha and James found out they were pregnant, so they got married immediately. They felt they were perfectly ready for their lives together as a married couple, and parents. But nothing could have prepared them for what happened to their son. At just 30 weeks pregnant Martha was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia, so she had to go in for a non-stress test every week to make sure her baby was growing healthily. At 37 weeks she went in for her weekly test and after being on the machine for three hours the doctor told her to get her stuff packed because she was being induced in one hour. She was scared but excited.
When Martha and her husband arrived at the hospital they were taken to a room and explained that Martha was being induced because the baby was showing signs of being stressed; and pre-eclampsia increases the risk of the mother and/or child having seizures which could possibly lead to death. Martha and James were terrified and hoped that everything would be okay with their son. Martha had her Pitocin started that day.
After two days of unsuccessfully trying to jump-start labor Martha had to have an emergency C-section done. They took her back to the OR at 8 am and by 8:45 am Dustyn was born. He was not healthy at all. Martha didn’t hear him cry, and the doctor never showed him to her. They ran out of the room with him immediately and James followed. Martha had to be in the recovery room for 45 minutes and all she could do was wonder what was wrong and if Dustyn was going to be okay. As she was being wheeled back to her room she expected everyone to be in there looking in awe at her newborn son. But instead everyone was standing in the hallway with red, puffy eyes. Instantly Martha’s heart sank.
Finally James came into the room and told her that something was wrong with Dustyn and his pediatrician had something to tell Martha. She couldn’t stand not knowing what was happening. Was her baby okay? Was he still alive? Where was he? Why couldn’t she see him? She needed answers immediately. The doctor came in at that moment and told her that Dustyn was having difficulty breathing and they didn’t have the technology to take care of him there so he was being Mediflighted out 2 ½ hours away, and Martha had to stay at this hospital to recover.
Martha insisted that she get discharged the next day. As soon as she was discharged she began the long trip to OKC (where Dustyn was.) When she finally got there they told her what she had been dreading since the morning before: her son wasn’t going to make it. At this point all she could do was scream and cry and ask God why he was doing this to her. Why had she just been given this beautiful gift of a son and already he was being taken away from her? She knew that she would do whatever it took to make Dustyn better.
The hospital had Dustyn on an ECMO machine which works as the mother’s body would to support him. Baby Dustyn had two holes in his lungs and three holes in his heart. He couldn’t breathe because of the holes in his lungs. His heart valve didn’t close when he was born so his body was still relying on his mother’s to support him. On top of that he had too much CO2 in his blood.
All Martha could do was pray, cry, and sit with her newborn baby in the NICU. She stayed with him for five days and hoped for the best. Her prayers ended up paying off. On the fifth day, to the doctor’s surprise, Dustyn’s holes in his heart AND lungs were almost completely closed. He was recovering beautifully. Dustyn still couldn’t breathe on his own so he had to be on a ventilator. But he was able to get off of the ventilator on Mother’s day. This was the greatest first Mother’s Day gift that Martha could have ever asked for. He was able to go home one month after he was born! Martha and James were stunned and thrilled, they had been told their son was not going to make it and here he was coming home with them! They knew they had been blessed. They had a long, hard struggle but in the end it all paid off. They now have a healthy happy three year old little boy.