I found out I was pregnant in March of 2006. My husband and I had just started trying and were thrilled that it happened so soon. It was definitly not an easy pregnancy as there was minor complications such as bleeding in the beginning and than gestational diabetes later on. I had bad heartburn, was sick a lot, and gained more weight than I should have. But throughout the pregnancy, I was continuously assured that my baby was doing great and was healthy.
I was scheduled to be induced on November 21, right before Thanksgiving. However, Gabriel had a different idea. The Saturday before my scheduled induction, my water broke at 5:40 in the morning. I called my doctor and he told me to go in immediately so they could monitor my blood sugar. We drove to the hospital and got ready to meet our baby.
The labor was relatively easy and fast. I didn't start active labor until around 3 in the afternoon and at 5:55pm Gabriel Eric Nava was born. That was when everything started spiraling down. Immediately it was obvious that Gabe was having problems breathing so they took him away before I got to see him. After over an hour of waiting a doctor finally came back and gave us the news. Gabriel had CDH and had to be transfered immediately. They brought him in for me to see in an incubator where I was able to touch his hand before they took him away to Women & Infants hospital.
When we arrived there later that night they had Gabe semi-stabilized and started to explain what was wrong and what needed to be done. They hoped to be able to stabilize him there for a few days and than do surgery. The next two days were awful. They tried desperately to keep him stabilized by trying different ventilators and settings but his O2 SATS kept drifting down. He needed to be transfered again to a hospital that had ECMO.
They took him by helicopter up to Mass General Hospital and the doctors there put him on ECMO. From then on it was a roller coaster ride of emotions. Some days he would look like he was doing great and improving, but there always seemed to be another complication that needed to be overcome. Gabriel showed he was a fighter and surprised the doctors a few times by overcoming an obstacle they didn't think he would. He was on ECMO for 36 days. After multiple failed attempts to take him off he finally suceeded the day after Christmas and things looked good for awhile. We were able to hold him for the first time on New Years Day and he seemed to be making progress and getting a little better.
Unfortunately he had become very swollen in the beginning and they couldn't seem to get the fluid off of him after his repair surgery. They ended up having to put him on a dialysis machine (CVVH). While he was on ECMO it pulled the fluid out of the tubes already attached to him and it worked beautifully. When they took him off ECMO they also took him off the CVVH in hopes that his kidneys would start working again. After a while when it was clear that they still needed help they decided to try to put him back on the CVVH. They tried three times to hook him up to the dialysis but his body couldn't handle the new demand of the machine.
The night of January 11th he took a serious turn for the worse. He was severely swollen and now they couldn't keep his O2 SATS much above 70 even on full support on a Jet Ventilator. There was nothing more they could do. We knew Gabe was telling us that he couldn't fight anymore. We had to let go. Early in the morning on January 12th we held our boy for the 2nd and last time as he passed away peacefully in our arms. He was loved by so many and will always be in our hearts.