This site is dedicated to my son, Taylor Adam "Zachary" Holler who was born with a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. CDH is a severe birth defect that affects 1 in 2500 babies born each year. For detailed information on this defect please visit any of the links on this page.
In April of 2004 we found out that we were expecting our third child. We were thrilled at the thought of having another bundle of joy brought into our lives. We already had two beautiful girls so we were hoping for a baby boy to complete our family.
At our 24 week check-up, much to our delight, we found out we were having a boy! We had his name picked out already. He was to be named Taylor after my husband. The girls were thrilled to welcome a baby brother into the family.
After our 24 week check-up, things started going downhill. At 26weeks I started having contractions. I went to the emergency room where it was confirmed that I was indeed having contractions that were not the false ones. I was given breathine to stop them and sent home. The contractions never stopped, but they were not painful enough to worry about. At my 27 week check-up I was told that my blood pressure was high. My ob told me to lay back in the dark for a few minutes and go to a happy place. After about 5 mins. he came back in and checked my pressure again and it had gone down. He didn't seemed too concerned, so I wasn't concerned either.
I went back for my 30 week check-up complaining about how big I was getting. I was so uncomfortable and still having contractions. I was sent to labor and delivery for an in depth ultrasound and stress test. It seemed like it took forever for the ultrasound to be over with. I went back to see my ob and he said there was some concern with the baby's heart. The tech couldn't see all the parts of his heart and I was carrying too much amniotic fluid. So my ob sent me to see a perinatologist the next day. She too had trouble getting a good visual on his heart and couldn't find his stomach. She said she thought he could possibly have a congenital diaphragmatic hernia or a blockage in his esophagus. She then sent us to see a pediatric cardiologist to have another look at his heart. The cardiologist was able to get a visual on 90% of his heart and said everything looked great from what he could see. He even thought he saw the stomach. We were feeling much better when we left his office. Our hopes had picked back up.
On November 4, 2004 I went in for my 37 week check-up. I told my Ob I was still having contractions. He did an exam and said my cervix was starting to thin. He sent me to labor and delivery again to monitor my contractions. I was given breathine again to try to stop them. Unfortunately it did not work.
My ob then told me to go ahead and get to Tulane and he would be right behind me. He left the room to go make a phone call to let them know I was on the way. When he came back he said that the perinatologist was on vacation and not available. He then asked me what I wanted to do!! "What do you mean what do I want to do??? What should I do??" He said he wanted me to talk to the neonatologist on call at the hospital I was already at. I said okay. The neonatologist came in and I explain everything that I had been told. The perinatologist thinks the baby may have CDH or an esophagus blockage. He basically told me that they were just trying to scare me and there is probably nothing wrong and that if the baby has CDH he would definately be able to see it on an ultrasound. So he orders one. The ultrasound technician, who was very unprofessional, does the ultrasound and said she saw the baby's diaphram and stomach lining, but is more concerned with his heart. My Ob came back in and said that he did not see that the baby has CDH, but something wasn't right with his heart. I then re-emphasized that we have already ruled out the possibility of a heart defect. He said that felt comfortable with me delivering at this hospital. I, trusting my doctor, agree to deliver there.
I call my husband to let him know what was going on. We're going to have a baby!! He rushes to the hospital just before I go in for a c-section. I'm prepped and given a spinal epidural and they begin. With my hubby by my side we wait to hear our little baby boy's very first cry as he enters the world. It didn't exactly happen like that. He's born, there are no cries. The pediatric team takes over and suctions and does everything they can to try and get him to cry. They are unsuccessful and must intubate. My poor baby crashes and they successfully bring him back.
After about an hour I get the news while half out of it in the recovery room. Not at all what I wanted to hear. It is confirmed that my baby does indeed after all have a congenital diaphragmatic hernia. My husband and I are informed that there is nothing that they can do for him at this hospital and he must be flown to one that is equipped to handle his birth defect. After 8 long hours the flight team from the other hospital finally arrives to take my baby to where he can be better cared for. We are told that he may not survive the helicopter ride. They wheel him into my room before take off so that I can see him for the first time. He is the most beautiful baby boy I have ever seen. I reach out to touch him, he grabs my finger and opens his beautiful blue eyes. And then they take him away. He is life flighted to Ochsner Hospital in New Orleans. My parents are there with me so I tell my husband to go and be with our son.