We had been trying for three years to have a baby. We had a son who was four and wanted him to have a brother or sister. When we found out we were ecstatic. All through my ultrasounds every thing was fine. My baby girl was growing and measuring like she was supposed to.
Then when I was 34 weeks I went in for routine check. My amniotic fluid level was too low and Alyssa was in distress. So we were admitted to the hospital on April 21st, 2010 for a C-section. Alyssa weighed 5lbs 3ozs. I thought that was great for a 6 week early baby. She didn't even have to be on a ventilator or have oxygen. She was fine. We were so happy.
Then the signs starting showing up, even though we didn't know what they were. She couldn't suck her bottles right. It would take 2 hours to get her to eat 2oz of breast milk. She wasn't maintaining her body temp properly. She would sleep a lot, even for a newborn. The doctor told us it was because she was a preemie and would catch up.
Then she started crying a lot and couldn't stand for us to move her or touch her head. We called the doctor at home and told him. He said to bring her in to his office the next morning. So we did. Alyssa had been having weekly checks for her weight and temp because she wasn't gaining weight either and still couldn't maintain her body temp. So when he measured her head he said it was growing slightly faster than it should be and sent us for a CT-scan the next morning.
That is when we were told she had hydrocephalus. We didn't even know what it was. We were rushed to LeBonheur Children's hospital where we found out the reason for it was aquaductal stenosis. She went into surgery for a vp shunt. She got better so fast, and started eating and maintaining her temps right away. She grew and grew. Then a week after her first birthday we started noticing signs that she wasn't acting right. She would cry for no reason, and her smile wasn't showing as often as it usually did.
She would get irritable more so throughout the day. Then she started running a low-grade fever. We took her to the emergency room at LeBonheur to find out it was her shunt. Another surgery on May 2nd, 2011. She bounced back so fast from it and was playing and smiling the very next day. Then just four months later, September 7th, 2011, she woke up crying one night and threw up.
Back to the ER, and sure enough, another shunt malfunction. That makes three surgeries for my baby in her 17-month lifetime. We sincerely hope that will be it for a long time or perhaps forever, but Alyssa is the strongest person I know. She is amazing.