I am currently almost 25 and my story started long ago, when I was 16. I thought I was out there living my best life, but little did I know, in a short period of time I was on the verge of death. My body became extremely ill, very quickly. I was very sick, bed ridden at home and starting to become unresponsive. My parents rushed me to Children's hospital and come to find out, on top of being very sick, I was four months pregnant. I was then transported to another hospital because of the pregnancy. My body was still very weak and being less and less responsive. They came to a conclusion that I was experiencing kidney failure. My kidneys were not functioning at all, but they were producing puss. I was severely dehydrated, and the nurses were literally squeezing fluid bags down into my IV one after the other. My kidneys weren't the only problem, once they discovered my kidneys were failing, a lot of other problems arouse. I had fluid on my lungs, one of my heart valves was leaking blood into my body, my breathing was laboured and I was falling into deep sleeps and would actually end up not breathing. The nurses kept telling me you have to breathe, you have to try to breathe. Your kidneys are already shutting down, if another organ shuts down also, your entire body will, and we will lose you and your unborn baby. Later on they found out that the infection that was causing my kidneys to fail, has reached my blood stream. At this point they were running out of options on what to do to save me and my pregnancy. I remember the doctors telling my parents that they are researching my results and sharing them with doctors all over the country on how to properly treat us and save us. My body was so dehydrated it was rejecting my IV so they ended up putting a stent in my neck that went down into my heart where they would now be able to take blood from, and give me medications and nutrients. The last thing I remember was them covering my face with a blue sugerical paper and injecting my neck and then I was put into a medically induced partial coma. I couldn't really move or function on my own, but I could understand what was going on around me and could do basic commands. I honestly don't remember much of anything. All I remember was waking up 2 weeks later and wondering what was going on. The doctors finally figured out how to treat me and I was on a road to recovery. I had to gain my strength back, learn to walk again, bathe and take care of myself. I was progressing well and we thought all problems were fixed and everything would be fine. That journey was over but another one had just begun, when I woke up, I remember getting an ultrasound of my baby to make sure everything was progressing well, which it wasn't, I was told my daughter had a birth defect called gastroschisis. That is where the fetus doesn't develop the correct anatomy of the abdominal wall , leaving a whole in the belly and the intestines on the outside. Other organs can also protrude out of the whole, but that was not the case for us. The doctors aren't sure what causes this birth defect, it is still in research but for our case they believe that my infection caused malnutrition within me, which caused my daughter to not form anatomically correct. Babies born with this condition sometimes don't make it... or have health problems their entire life. At 16 years old I was on my death bed and survived the worst, only to be thrown another obstacle. Fast forward a few months, my beautiful daughter was born ON MY BIRTHDAY, after 3 days on being induced and hard intense labor, she was here and she was crying!!! She was alive. I saw her for maybe 3 minutes and she was rushed off to surgery. She had all of her intestines put back inside her body and had closure on the same night which is rare for babies born with this. We spent the next 34 days in the NICU. Which let me tell you, was a whole lot harder for me than being on my death bed months ago. In the NICU you see things you never want to see. You see parents crying and falling to their knees, you share rooms with eight other extremely sick babies all fighting something different, wondering how on earth did this happen to someone so pure and innocent. You see nurses running to tend to the code blue alarms, you see special books and molds made of tiny feet for the babies that aren't going to survive. You slowly drift off to sleep after being awake for nearly 24 hours and are awoken by beeping monitors. The worst of it is, you, yourself, go home empty handed, with no baby every night because they are so sick. It's a place where life and death can be defined within a matter of a minute. Where small milestones as little as pooping can become a victory meaning you are closer to going home. After 34 long days, we made it home and I was finally able to take care of my baby. You know, I hear that God sends you a child when you need a reason to live, I fully believe in that. My daughter was sent to save me. Although it was a long road in the beginning, she was meant to save me. I was in a bad place before her, with the wrong crowd, and if it wasn't for her, I would be dead in a ditch somewhere or in jail. I gave her life, but in reality, she gave me a reason to live. This year, on January 31 is eight years since I was so sick, when I found out I was pregnant. So as always, we will be celebrating life because it was almost taken away from us. Me once. her twice. Her eight birthday is in June, and I couldn't be anymore thankful that sh is here, happy and healthy today. We've grown so much since then, we've expanded our family, she now has a great father and even a little brother. It took a long time, but we made it and we will continue to strive for the best.
We encourage you to contribute to – or even start – a conversation with others; to share your story here in an effort to help others feel related to, and, conversely, to gain the support you may be longing for. If even just one person could be reminded that they are not alone in this world, we’d consider this a success.
We understand that telling your story may be hard, especially in a public forum. If you’re someone who would like to share your story, but remain private, please email us at email@example.com. We will post your story through our ‘For The Hayters’ profile, so that you may share with full anonymity. You know your story matters; We know so, too.