At just 32 weeks of pregnancy, Lindsey suddenly just didn’t feel right. Following her instincts, she took herself to the Rockyview General Hospital where close monitoring showed that her baby wasn’t moving. Baby Mia was delivered that same day via emergency c-section and came into the world weighing just 4 lbs. She was whisked away before Lindsey could even really see her, let alone hold her. The initial decision was made to transfer her to the NICU at the Foothills, but when a scan showed that Mia’s intestine had actually twisted, her doctor said “This baby needs surgery!” and she was immediately transferred to the Alberta Children’s Hospital. So with Mum still reluctantly at the Rockyview recovering from her c-section, Mia had a surgery to remove 90% of her small intestine, which had died off – and install an ostomy (a bag where her waste would go). Thankfully, surgeon Dr. Andrew Wong was able to confirm that Mia still had pieces of healthy intestine – which was hopeful. But experts still couldn’t say if Mia would ever poop or be able to eat normally again. The next months would consist of the fine balancing act of feeding Mia enough milk so she could grow – and not giving her too much milk to overtax her bowel. At one point, she was losing a few grams each day and Lindsey says she was frantic.
She gained trust for Dr. Wong when she asked what she had done to cause this and he actually yelled at her so she’s understand that she did NOTHING to make her baby sick. Lindsey says, he actually snapped her out of it and it was exactly the approach she needed. The nurses and other NICU experts worked with Mia and her family to get her to the point where she was tolerating her feeds, she was growing – and at 2 months old, the day came where she was able to have a surgery to “put her back together again”. The ostomy would be gone, her intestines reconnected and she was eating and pooping normally. On May 12 they got to go home for the first time and Lindsey says she was a wreck the day they left the NICU because it was like leaving family. But today, Mia is thriving. She’s eating like a pro, weighs 14 lbs and is almost walking.
Lindsey says, even though they almost lost Mia and had many scary moments, when you spend time in the NICU, you can see many families who are worse off than you. They are grateful for the team who saved Mia – and saved their sanity through the scariest time of their lives.
To hear more stories like this or to donate to the 2017 Caring for Kids Radiothon in support of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation visit www.KidsRadiothon.com