My Son Has Cerebral Palsy

March 2005, I found out I was pregnant. I was excited, yet, scared that I was going to be a first time mom. I never thought in a million years that I would be a mom. Not saying that I didn’t want to be one, I was just in awe that it was finally happening and with someone who wanted to be there and support my decision to keep my child.

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Me and my autistic brother

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Like everyone else, I went to all of my doctor’s appointments, took my prenatal vitamins, and drank lots of water. I made sure to research items that I would need for my baby, I wanted to have any and everything possible to help make the experience smooth (so I thought would be smooth). I even went as far as taking a birthing class, which by the way, didn’t help when labor hit me.

December 15th 2005, I woke up a little after midnight with contractions. I sat up, rubbed my belly and took nice deep breaths.

As the contractions continued to intensify, I took my birthing ball into the shower and bounced my little heart away. Again, as the contractions continued, I started to forget all I learned in the birthing class. Those contractions were indescribable, there is no pain on this earth to describe contractions. I finally woke my mother up to take me to the hospital (at this time my son’s father was still living in Ohio and had not made the transition to Georgia). By the time we get to the hospital, I was in so much pain and I begged the nurse to give me something to take it away. The nurse made me sit in this tiny room to make sure I was in active labor (now, if you have experienced labor pains, you already know I was not a happy nor polite person in this tiny room)

Finally, I moved to a room and at this time, I was screaming for an epidural and after making very harsh threats, I got my epidural. As I am in this room, I am connected to the fetal monitor so the nursing staff can keep an eye on the baby. The nurse kept coming in looking at the monitor, yet never gave indication that something could be wrong. The entire time they are checking to see how much I have dilated and keeping me informed of how close I was to delivering. The entire time I didn’t see the doctor until it was time to deliver, which I paid no attention to. Besides, it’s my first baby and they are the medical staff. How dare I tell them how to do their job? Especially since I have never experienced child birth before.

When it was time to push, I followed all of the instruction I was given by the nurse, “take a deep breath in and hold it, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 now, breathe out”. After many attempts to push my son out, the doctor had to intervene with the vacuum. If you aren’t familiar with the vacuum, it’s a suction cup that goes on top of baby’s head that grabs hold and allows the doctor to pull the baby out. In my case, the doctor used the vacuum 4 times (one too many times) and it didn’t work. As we are working to try and get the baby out, there is a room full of medical personnel waiting for baby. Again, I didn’t find anything alarming about a room full of medical staff waiting for my baby to arrive. There was no indications that anything was wrong.

After several attempts at pushing and using the vacuum, the doctor said to me that an emergency c-section was needed. He pushed the baby back up into my tummy, gathered everyone to say a prayer and wheeled me off to the OR. As this is taking place, I still am not worried, because, again no one said there was anything to worry about. Once my son, Anthony Jr. was born, I was put to sleep for emergency surgery on my cervix. I needed the repair done to my cervix due to my son being pushed back up by his head into my tummy in order for the emergency c-section to take place.

After twenty four hours, I was fully awake and in the bed talking to my mom, I knew there were some complications with my son. I would soon find out how severe the complications were. As I am talking to my mother, a neo-natologist came into my room and told me to go hold my son because he had a very difficult time. When I finally get to the NICU and put my eyes on him, it was such a hurtful moment. He was connected to a lots and lots of machines. The nurses told me he went with out oxygen which is why he was hooked up to so many machines.

Anthony spent three weeks in the NICU due to not breathing for close to one hour during the delivery process. It was later determined that my son was showing signs of distress while I was in labor and had an emergency c-section been performed sooner he wouldn’t have suffered.

As of today, my son Anthony aka Moo, is 11 yrs old, he has Cerebral Palsy and epilepsy along with a host of other challenges due to the complicated birthing experience. Anthony went close to one hour without oxygen and til this day, I still have a very hard time digesting that. To know he was still gifted the chance to live is something I will always be grateful for. Anthony is non-verbal, wheelchair bound, wears diapers, eats via G-tube and has visual impairment. He’s had over 9 surgeries with a few touch and go moments, better known as code blue moments. This child is truly my miracle, I cherish every moment I have with him. He keeps me going and shows me that no matter what there is absolutely no excuse for anything. He has smiled through the worst of times and no matter how much he endures, he keeps pushing forward.

I hope this helps a mom realize that even through difficult times, you can make it through. There will be hard days, there will be easy days, however, there are no days when you are allowed to give up. You can take a break and even cry as long as your cry has a purpose, you just aren’t allowed to give up. As long as you have breath, you can do anything your heart desires.

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