LAUCHLIN BY KAELA HENDRA
Lauchlin was born at 25 weeks and six days to his parents surprise, weighing in at one pound, 15 ounces. This meant he would stay in the NICU for three and a half months and have lots of tests for all of his little organs. Our initial round of tests discovered early on that he had what the doctors described as a “bleed in his brain,” but the hope was that it would clear up without surgical intervention. The neonatologists watched it closely with on going head ultrasounds and measurements. It wasn’t clearing up; we would need to have close follow-up after release from the NICU. We were so overwhelmed by everything going on in his little body. We were just praying for a healthy baby, whatever that meant at this point. Getting answers was next to impossible and no one could tell us what our future held and what struggles our family would face. It was terrifying. There were a lot of tears and moments of “why us?” But we couldn’t get stuck there.
We were just praying for a healthy baby; whatever that meant at this point. There were a lot of tears and moments of “why us?’ But we couldn’t get stuck there.
When we went to see Wendy and Dr. Pugh after his release, more tests came in the form of CT scans and MRIs, lots of them, until one day Dr. Pugh wasn’t there and we met with Dr. Mehta. His latest MRI wasn’t good; his hydrocephalus was progressing and he needed a VP shunt, and quickly. Dr. Mehta told us the risks and the benefits, and told us this is our reality. Our five-month-old baby, our nine-pound baby, would need surgery in two days. We spent that day preparing, getting ready for our son to have a catheter put into his brain and run down his little body, into his abdomen. It was terrifying. Lauchlin’s lungs were not strong and the last time he had surgery (at the NICU) resulted in him being intubated for days. There were a lot of tears, and more “why us.” Once again, Lauchlin was the strong one and we had to follow suit. We would get through this and we would do it together, no ifs, ands or buts.
On the leap day in 2012, just one day short of his five-month mark, Lauchlin was in the OR with multiple doctors and nurses. He had the best team possible and we were so thankful for that. He had the VP shunt put in place and rocked the surgery! Our miracle babe did it again, no issues!
We stayed at the Stollery for five days. It was hard to flash back to our beginning at the NICU, to be the family with a “sick kid.” This was our reality; we couldn’t show off our baby like most do, there were no trips to family and friends, no big baby showers and we were the “bubble family.” Sometimes I would just sit and cry. My beautiful baby was fighting for his life and it wasn’t fair. Why us? But there it was again – it was our reality. Once again we focused on the positive, fought as hard as Lauchlin fought and got through it. He was ours, he was here, and that was enough.
Lauchlin is doing amazing. He has only needed one shunt revision (surgery to replace a portion of the catheter), which went great. We watch closely for any developmental delays as that would be common with his diagnosis, but we are so lucky. Lauchlin has been developing at a rapid pace and is catching up to his peers. He is such a happy boy and has the best laugh. He is his own safety enforcer and is constantly telling others to be careful. It seems he doesn’t want anyone else getting hurt. What a thoughtful young man.
Lauchlin continues to visit the neurosurgery team once every three months. This visit usually entails an MRI, and a chat with Wendy, Dr. Pugh, or Dr. Mehta. We welcome these visits and the peace of mind that comes with them. We are so thankful to have their support and expertise in our lives.
We are now pregnant with our second child and anxiously awaiting a little brother for Lauchlin. We know he will be the best big brother. His laughs and hugs get us through. We still have the tough days, full of vomit, headaches and nights in the ER, but they are few and far between. We are strong, we are together and that is our reality.