The day had finally arrived that I would find out the sex of my second child. I was so excited. With my mom and son sitting next to me the nurse said the words "It's a Girl!". Me and my mom were so excited. My mom then took my son out because he was getting restless. I looked back over to the nurse and noticed a look on her face I'll never forget. As she tried to be calm I could feel myself anticipating the worst. She sent me for a level two scan at the local hospital and said they would call with the results. As I paced back at my moms house I was dreading that phone call but also needing it. The phone finally rang and I picked up, the same nurse that I had done my ultrasound earlier was on the other line. I'll never forget her words, "there is indeed fluid on the baby's brain". The next step was a level three scan in Indianapolis with a diagnostic obgyn team.
The day finally arrived that I had my level three scan with Dr. G and team. I was a nervous wreck. Feelings of fear ruled my psych. As I laid there surrounded by the team while the scan was being performed I didn't know what to say or do. Finally Dr. G sat down next to me and with concern in his eyes began to explain," there is a significant amount of fluid on her brain. This has been here for awhile and we can't guarantee how high functioning she is going to be". As a mom I just wanted to protect her and take all her suffering on myself. I had a fetal MRI that evening and the doctors continued to sugar coat the results until after she was born.
The day finally arrived when I would be delivering my baby girl. Aila Emberlynn Elmore was born via C-section on August 14th. I was preparing myself for the worst. I expected to see her on a vent for her transport to Riley Children's Hospital and so did the medical staff, but she is a fighter! They wheeled her in while I was in recovery and she was breathing room air! I knew then she wasn't just going to fall victim to this condition. The next day I finally got to go visit her and her surgeon was there to discuss her surgery. He told me that her Cerebral Cortex was almost completely fluid. That smacked me in the face like a ton of bricks. Surgery day arrived and I was once again a ball of nerves.
I just wanted it to go smoothly. They told me before surgery to expect to see her on a vent after and not to be worried it was normal. After an hour and half the surgeon appeared and said everything had went great and she was on her way back to NICU. As I braced myself to see my baby girl breathing with a machine and tubes I slowly walked to her bed. There sat the vent but as I rounded the corner I saw that she wasn't using it!! I of course cried at the site of her shunt but was so proud that she was only using a little oxygen through her nose and within two hours was back to breathing on her own.
They explained to me that in her case they could not drain all the fluid off but had to basically keep it stable at the level it was at. Since her cerebral hemisphere is almost completely absent if they were to drain it all off her brain would collapse.
The next week was full of her proving everyone wrong. She was able to breast feed and bottle feed without problems. She held her temp steady, continued to breathe on her own and all functions were working properly. They told me to anticipate at least a two week stay after surgery and she went home six days after surgery!
Aila means strong as an oak tree and Emberlynn mean beautiful as a precious jewel and I think she has lived up to her name. She continues to shock and amaze and I am so proud to be her mommy!