Our family blessed with another Chance
By: AMANDA HILL BOND
A child is the most precious thing that God gives us and I believe there is a purpose for each and everyone of them.
After having two children, I decided that two was enough and had my tubes tied during delivery of my daughter.
A few years later, I guess I hit an early midlife crisis last year after hitting 30 and started thinking about how I wished I could have another child. Of course I was permanently sterilized and couldn’t have another child. I had learned of a woman who had a tubal reversal procedure and it was a success because she had a child. After discussing with my husband Chris, we both decided to give it a try. The tubal reversal surgery was last year on Dec. 3rd and I found out I was pregnant on Jan. 7th. It had been a shocking success however, it was just the start of an emotional and somewhat difficult pregnancy. From just barely four weeks pregnant I was at the doctor to get blood work to check hormone levels. Since I had just had a major surgery and the tubal repair was microscopic, the possibility of a tubal pregnancy was very high. I was very happy that I was pregnant but fear soon set in after I received a phone call late one night from the doctor who performed my tubal reversal. He explained that my HCG and progesterone was so low, and had been for a week before he received the results, that I had to immediately get to the nearest pharmacy and get some meds because more than likely it was too late and I would miscarry.
I had an ultrasound at five weeks and although the baby was growing where it was supposed to, it showed a blood pocket which could rupture and cause a miscarriage. So began the frequent OBGYN doctor visits, blood work, ultrasounds which continued throughout the pregnancy. I started having high blood pressure at just 13 weeks, also developed tachycardia (rapid heart rate) at 20 weeks and had to see a cardiologist. My baby was developing right on target each visit, usually measuring a few weeks ahead with ultrasound despite the fact I was having so many problems. At 30 week pregnant I started having pre-term labor, but managed to slow that down. Since I had high blood pressure, I had to get weekly ultrasounds and non stress tests which were monitors to see how the babies heart rate is doing. Each time everything was normal and I kept getting closer to a safe time to deliver, even though the doctor didn‘t think I would ever make it. Since I had two c-sections with other children, I had already scheduled my delivery to be at 38 weeks pregnant. Chris and I weren’t going to find out the sex of the baby since we had both a boy and girl but since I had so many ultrasounds and couldn’t keep from looking, we found out it was a boy. The name was so hard to pick, I finally just got so frustrated that I started asking people for suggestions. Someone told me that since I had taken a chance to have another child and all that I had been through, why not name him Chance. The name definitely fit the situation and we did decide to name him Chance.
The morning of Sept. 7th, was a very exciting one, I had made it to my delivery day and my little miracle was going to be born. The c-section went as smooth as possible, I made Chris actually video some of the birth this time around. After all I had been through, there he was, just as perfect as he could be, least that is what we thought. Chance Raylen Bond was born weighing 7 lbs. 15 oz and 19 ¼ inches long.
The next day, he was to have his circumcision, which is usually done the day of discharge but for some reason the doctor wanted to do it a day early.
I was waiting for them to bring Chance back in the room from the procedure when the doctor came in and told us to sit down. Shortly after his circumcision, Chance started turning blue and his oxygen sats were so low they got to 15, normal range is 90s. We are so grateful that the doctor knew what was happening and had ordered all the blood work, tests and had Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital’s Angel One Ambulance on the way before she ever came to tell us. She told us that more than likely he has a heart defect, and there is a special valve that closes shortly after birth and they must keep it open and administer a special medication. The medication also causes respiratory distress so Chance had to be put on a ventilator. I have to say that there were a lot of things that day I don’t remember, but I had just nursed my sweet baby when they came to do the circumcision, then I was seeing him in a special portable pod that had him all hooked up to monitors, ventilator, IV’s.
I did get released early from hospital to go be with my baby, I kept being positive on the way thinking surely after all I have been through to get him here, its nothing major.
When we finally found out what was wrong with Chance and the doctors were explaining the situation, I almost fell out of the wheelchair I was sitting in. For not long before I had Chance, I heard a heartbreaking story from a girl who had lost her baby to a heart defect known as Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) which is what they were saying he had but weren’t sure as to the degree.
Chance had a form of several conditions but what he had was a small left ventricle, small mitral valve, very narrow aortic arch, and his aortic valve was also too small.
While in the NICU waiting for a surgery date, he did really well, had good color, was breathing without oxygen. I would be so excited to get to change his diapers, check temperatures and hold when I got a chance. When your in that situation, its funny how the little silly stuff such as changing a diaper meant the most.
Chance had his first open heart surgery at 9 days old with the surgery lasting about six hours. The waiting room was filled with our family and pastor, we kept each other strong during the long wait but we could feel the power of the Lord giving us peace.
The surgeon repaired his aortic arch, and placed a shunt to help mix the oxygenated and unoxygenated blood. Most babies with HLHS don’t have any parts to their left side of heart but since Chance did, the surgeon decided to try and give the left side a chance to grow and didn’t clean out septum between the left and right ventricle.
Chris and I didn’t get to see him until later that evening and we weren’t as upset about seeing him with all the IV lines, chest tubes and ventilator as we were seeing him not yet stable from the surgery. I still had the memory of the site of my father right after his seven by pass surgery back in 2001, I was 9 months pregnant with my son at the time, ironically his next grandson was born exactly one year later.
We were happy to learn that after Chance’s surgery the chest was closed, almost all of the babies have an open chest due to swelling .
Shortly after we left the hospital that night, everything started getting to where it needed and he stabilized and was on his way to recovery.
The scariest day for us was a few days later after they had taken him off the paralytic medicine and we were waiting for him to start waking up. While on way to hospital that morning, his nurse called and said he was doing great but she thought he was possibly having some seizure activity. Our fears set in once we got there because the seizures started coming more frequent. I would be touching him, talking to him and when he moved I thought he was responding to me when in reality he was starting to have a seizure. An EEG confirmed they were in fact seizures and the neurologist told us that it was possible he had a stroke from being on the by-pass machine during surgery. I had been strong and positive until that day, I was starting to loose the faith that I had so strongly before and was struggling to get it back.
His seizures stopped after the proper dose of medication was administered. The next morning a head CT and ultrasound were performed and they miraculously were both normal. After that I knew that God still had his hand on my baby boy and we were going to make it through and I should no longer doubt.
Chance started getting better and better everyday with only a few minor complications.
A month after he was born, we were finally getting to take him home. This was a huge relief for us because we had been away from our other children so much and we were finally able to be a family.
Since then, he has grown at an exceptional rate, is developing like a normal baby even though we recently found out his thyroid isn’t working properly but is on medication.
A few weeks ago, an echocardiogram of his heart showed that so far the left side hasn’t grown like we had hoped which means he won’t be able to have a bi-ventricle repair. We are a little disappointed but know that since he has some of the left side, the single ventricle repair should be a strong one.
To repair the defects he has, it is done in three different surgeries. His next surgery will be at the first of the year at four months old, which will be to convert his heart to single ventricle and route the top part of his body’s un-oxygenated blood directly into his lungs. Then the next surgery will be done at 16 months to 2 years and that will take the bottom part of body’s un-oxygenated blood and route to lungs. Normal function of a heart is that the un-oxygenated blood goes in heart, out to lungs, then the oxygenated blood comes from lungs back to heart then out to body. With Chance, the un-oxygenated blood will be by-passed directly to lungs, so the single ventricle heart is working to pump only oxygenated blood to body. It is very difficult to explain, but that is the easiest way to look at it.
We travel to Vanderbilt every week to see his cardiologist and they are very pleased with his progress since some of the babies don’t even get to come home until after their second surgery.
Our family has been so blessed by all the people who have shown concern for Chance and us during this time. We honestly don’t have the words to thank everyone for it either, how do you? Our lives are forever changed with our situation, and even though we have still to overcome several more difficult surgeries and many possible complications, we remain positive that our Lord is right there with us and will be.
A special thank you to Dr. Richard Levin for a successful tubal reversal and helping to save my pregnancy. Thanks to Dr. Casal for the wonderful care during my difficult pregnancy and always comforting me and made me feel that everything would be just fine. Special thanks to Dr. Hall at CRMC for the quick thinking and response because she helped save our baby’s life. To all the many people we came in contact with at Vanderbilt, we are grateful for the wonderful care. Thank you Pastor Davis for being there once again during our difficult time. Thanks to all the other pastors who called or visited and offered us words of prayer, they were much needed. Thanks to the Hull York Chapter 5 DAV for their kindness, and the churches for the gifts. Thanks Misty Dowdy for coming up with an awesome name.
To all the people who called or gave us gifts and cards, you have no idea how much we appreciate it and I really couldn’t name everyone because there are so many of you, we are just overwhelmed by the love and comfort. To my girls at the Press, I am so grateful to have you. The paper wouldn't be out right now without you, I love you. God is working his miracles and we are seeing it everyday.
Please continue to keep the many other families who are dealing with the same struggles as we are and those who have lost their precious angels in your prayers.
Chris, Amanda, Hayden, Anna and Chance Bond