[dropcap type=”3″]T[/dropcap]here is a certain confidence that comes with being pregnant with your third child. Somehow you just know everything is going to be okay. I had already given birth to two perfect, healthy baby boys. Certainly our third will come into this world just as healthy and perfect. When things didn’t go as planned there was no one more shocked than I.
[pullquote type=”2″ align=”right”]I handed my newborn baby over into the hands of medical professionals, praying to God they would bring him back to me, and praying for God to take care of him.[/pullquote]Cruz was born weighing 7 lbs 15 ounces, repeat cesarean at 39 weeks. He was born jaundice, which I had almost expected considering that our other two children where born jaundice as well. What I didn’t expect, however, was that he was born “squeaking” and gasping for air. Our third precious baby boy was born with a congenital birth defect called Laryngomalacia, sometimes referred to as LM. LM is very common, and most babies will “outgrow it.” LM is a partial airway obstruction with symptoms that include, noisy breathing, stridor, choking episodes, apnea, aspiration, failure to thrive, gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD), retractions in the ribcage and neck, and cyanosis. In 1-5 % of babies diagnosed with LM, it is life threatening. With Cruz’s diagnosis I was sure that my baby would outgrow it; of course he would. Little did I know that my baby was about to undergo major airway surgery.
Every waking moment my baby was SCREAMING. He was gasping for air, choking, and retracting so badly you could see almost every rib in his tiny chest with every breath he took. Cruz’s LM goes hand in hand with GERD. GERD is painful and would make him cry. The crying would swell his larynx, and the swelling would make it difficult for him to breathe. The breathing difficulty would cause him frustration, and cause him to cry more. This was a constant vicious cycle. Every waking moment, my baby was miserable.
Cruz was at the tender age of 12 weeks when he underwent supraglottoplasty. It was performed right here in Huntsville, by one of our very own pediatric ENT specialists. I handed my newborn baby over into the hands of medical professionals, praying to God they would bring him back to me, and praying for God to take care of him. There were no emotions to be felt. I had to be strong; there wasn’t a choice. My baby was being put under and I had to be okay with it. It doesn’t take much for me to relive those moments. I will never forget how helpless I felt.
When I walked into recovery after Cruz’s surgery, he was very pale, screaming, cold, and in pain. There was nothing I could do to help him, and there was certainly nothing I could do to comfort him. I was a terrible mother. How could I have put him through this? I have never been more on my knees about anything in my life. There is nothing worse than seeing your newborn baby in pain. There is nothing more still, more cold, or more unnerving than the pediatric intensive care unit. You will never know fear until you hear monitors going off because your baby’s oxygen level is dropping to a dangerous level. Recovery was long for Cruz, it took about a month and a half for him to starting acting like a “normal” baby.. He cried…I cried.. we cried … a lot.
Cruz is 9 months now, and he is doing amazing. He still has bad days, but those are few and far between. Can you imagine something as simple as breathing caused Cruz to struggle and fight for 12 long weeks?! What a strong little man he is!
In the midst of all this I found the most amazing support group called “Coping with LM.” I was able to seek out the support and advice of parents who were dealing with severe LM. They are so incredible and I will forever be grateful. Parents in similar situations lent me advice and comforting words. I now find myself one of the experienced LM mothers, but nothing anyone says or does will prepare you for putting your baby in surgery. I continue to find myself saying to mothers whose babies are about to undergo surgery to make sure they put their baby in warm cozy socks, because it will be the only thing of theirs that they can take into surgery.
Thus the reason for “Socks 4 Surgery,” designed especially for our special babies that are going into surgery, we are commited to donating our special surgery socks to hospitals and organizations. We are dedicated to designing socks to keep babies feet warm in surgery and to help spread awareness of birth defects. But not just any socks: special, fun, warm socks with encouraging and clever sayings on them. We just finished designing our Floppy Larynx babies surgery socks!! After all, if it was the only thing your baby could have of theirs in surgery, wouldn’t you put the BEST socks on your baby? Indefinately if you buy a pair of clever socks from Socks 2 Rock, every pair purchased is matched. You buy a pair, we donate a pair. It gives a whole new definition to “matching socks”
Socks for Surgery is dedicated to providing a keepsake pair of socks, a reminder of overcoming the adversity of surgery. Our mission is to improve their surgery experience by keeping their feet warm, while keeping a personal belonging with them. We believe health and wellness will lead to a satisfying and rewarding life. We want to inspire fellow friends to help spread awareness of birth defects.
Pictures of socks courtesy of Leaona Ford Photography
Screenprinting courtesy of Peake Screenprinting
To help bring awareness to this cause, Leaona Ford Photography and Socks 4 Surgery are sponsoring a giveaway for a free family photo session (valued at $160). Please enter and then help spread the word by sharing this post and our Facebook page and website with anyone you know who might be going through a similar struggle.