I don't really know how to start this post and it might strike some people as a bit odd, but I feel compelled to share. And it is my blog, after all. I'm not sure exactly which order these two events happened in because when your newborn baby spends time in the NICU all the days and nights of hoping and praying seem to run together. But two things happened while we were there that has led me to the decision I'm writing about. First, we were told that Bailey showed signs of developing something called pulmonary hypertension. I had never heard of it and immediately googled it as soon as I could get to a computer. I still don't really have the slightest clue what it is because it's very "medical" when you try to read about it. But I did learn that the two treatments for it are nitric oxide and ECMO (the heart lung bypass machine). Bailey would have had to have been flown to a bigger NICU that had these things on hand had she developed it so Sid and I were VERY thankful that she did not develop it and talked about how hard what we were experiencing was, we couldn't begin to even comprehend what it would have been like had she been airlifted to UAB or some NICU in some other state.
One day Sid and walked into the NICU to find the neonatologist on the phone with UAB arranging for them to come pick up a baby that had been born the night before. I heard him tell UAB that the baby was showing signs of Tetrology of Fallot. I had heard of this before and even had a child in my one of the classes that I have taught in. So I knew this was a heart condition and very serious. Sid and I were in the NICU when the helicopter got there for the baby and we were all asked to leave so that the baby could be loaded up and stabilized. Sid had already been emotional over learning this baby had to be air lifted. But when I actually saw the team come in for the baby, I lost it. We were both thinking, by the Grace of God there go you and I. We knew we had been fortunate. Later that night, the nurse practitioner was on the phone with someone telling them that once the baby got to UAB, they had decided it was not T of F but something called pulmonary artersia. Again, as soon as I could get to a computer, I was a googling fool. PA is just about the same thing as T of F, both are congenital heart defects and require surgery on the heart. But again, very medical and more than you want to know in reading this blog post.
Just to show what a small world it is, it turns out that Ben, Sid's brother, actually works with the mother of the baby that was air lifted to UAB. He has had a stint put in his heart and is now back in Mississippi. He will return to UAB when he is 6 months old for the surgery to repair his heart, but he is doing well. As much as Sid and I hurt for this family, we were grateful for the opportunity to know the baby is doing well.
But I digress. The point in telling you all this is that in googling all these heart conditions, I came across many, many blogs and care pages of babies with cogential heart defects and babies needing heart transplants. It led me to start thinking about being an organ donor and I thought and prayed about it and then ran across the website to actually sign up to be an organ donor.
So tonight, I'm going to give you the web address that will tell you what you have to do in your state to become an organ donor and I urge each of you to really consider it. I don't know that much about what really happens when they harvest your organs and you mean to leave them for donation. But I look at it this way. I don't really need those organs once I leave my earthly body. So I might as well leave them here for a good cause. And not that pulmonary hypertension would be something that Bailey would have needed a new heart for, but what if she'd been born needing some type of transplant. I'd have been eternally grateful for whoever had been the donor.
So, here's the website and if you've already become an organ donor, you are one step ahead of me and "thank you". http://www.donatelife.net/CommitToDonation/index.php