Not all births are "normal" and not all births are for everyone to see, so please read the story and then decide if you want to see Val and Jason’s story.
At 20 weeks pregnant Val and Jason discovered their baby girl was going to be very special. Val already had 4 children and Jason 1, and this new bundle was going to need to establish early that she was unique. Val and Jason learned that their baby had a condition called Gastroschisis. A very scary big word that means that some of the baby’s organs are outside of the body, and some part of the stomach area is not closed in by skin. It’s one of those conditions where no one was sure how bad it would be, what the health of the organs would be and if that was going to be her only battle.
Like all news I’m sure it was very scary for both Val and Jason. Val set up a facebook page for friends that wanted to know about baby’s development without her flooding her normal page. Baby Isabella was named and the journey to birth began.
At roughly a month before her due date Val and Jason traveled to Edmonton, from the Grande Prairie region, so that their baby could be born with the best available doctor’s close by.
I joined Val and Jason at the hospital the big day of the induction. As they waited to be induced in an adjoining room medical staff practiced and prepared for how everything would happen. The plan, as described to me, was for her to be induced, labor and deliver naturally in a nice room at the Royal Alex, baby would then go through a door to the adjoining room where baby would be assessed and if necessary stabilized. Dad and myself would be able to follow Isabella into the other room and mom would either be taken to see her or Isabella would be shown to her and then sent via “the stork”/ambulance to the Stollery Children’s Hospital. The overall outlook was that after about 10 days surgery would place the organs back in Isabella and then she would be closed up. Then if everything went great after 3-6 weeks she could be transferred to the Grande Prairie hospital, and then after a time she would be able to go home.
The induction went smoothly and with the help of an epidural Val was in great spirits. Val’s dad joined us, as he happened to be in the area, and we all bet on the weight of Isabella. With the last ultrasound saying she would be 4 lb 11 oz we all took guesses and then we all shifted our guesses down after the nurse cautioned that our guesses seemed high. (My original guess was right by the way.) The labor went beautifully and with only a few pushes Isabella came earthside. She was shown to her mom, and then taken to the adjoining room to be assessed. Jason and I followed Isabella and I was able to capture some great pictures of the process.
Not only was her weight great, she had no issues and didn’t need to be stabilized. As a result, once she was tucked into some bags to protect her organs, she had a few lines introduced for medical purposes and she was wrapped up and placed into her mom’s arms. First mom, then dad and then grandpa got to hold this beautiful baby girl.
After a short while Isabella was transferred to the stork and was taken via ambulance to the children’s hospital. I drove dad to the other hospital and shortly after arriving the surgeon was able to look Isabella over. He was greatly surprised that while manipulating her organs into a bag (the bag uses gravity to put the organs back in Isabella) she had a bowel movement. One of the big scary things about this condition is that sometimes organs don’t work, or require surgery’s to get them working, so this bowl movement was awesome.
Little Isabella was a fighter, despite there already being a baby with her condition in the hospital Isabella passed him and had her surgery within a week. She had a bowel movement not long after surgery, and despite the original timeline after only 2.5 weeks baby Isabella was able to go HOME, no extra hospitals…just home.
Because this was such a special story I made many trips up to the hospital so that her journey could be well documented. One day Isabella can watch her story and see that she excelled beyond doctors timelines and she will know that she came into this world a fighter and incredibly special.
There are some images of a graphic nature, and as such this may not be a video for everyone.
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