Cassie and Braxton – The Nebraska Medical Center


Cassie was having a very normal pregnancy,
until her 20-week ultrasound. I was about four to five months along. I felt
fine, wasn’t sick or nothing else. At her scheduled ultrasound, her obstetrician
in Kearney said she had a baby who had a small hole in his abdomen, which didn’t close
during development and allowed his GI tract to stay outside of his body in the amniotic
fluid. A birth defect called gastroschisis. She’s like, “Hmm, there’s something
here.” And she thought it was gastroschisis, but she wanted me to go to Omaha to make sure. Her obstetrician referred her to The Nebraska
Medical Center maternal fetal medicine service. It was kind of overwhelming; being a first-time
mom and having something wrong. We take the parents through the NICU; have
them meet the NICU nurses and other staff so that they some familiarity with who was
going to be taking care of their babies so that they are confident that their baby is
going to receive the best care. We had a nice plan in place for the day of Braxton’s delivery.
When it was time for Braxton to be delivered, everyone assembled: the neonatology team (which
includes a neonatologist physician, a neonatal nurse practitioner nurse who’s available
24-7, transport team (to transport the baby from labor and delivery to the NICU), bed-side
nurses and respiratory therapists. All gathered together for the delivery of Braxton, and
that’s in addition to the high-risk maternal fetal medicine team and all of the nurses
and techs that would be involved in a regular delivery. Once he was born, we stabilized
him and transported him to the NICU where we could further manager his abdominal wall
defect. They took me down to the NICU and I got to
see him for the first time. We couldn’t hold me, we could just touch him. He was on
the ventilator and that night, he went back to surgery.
We were working so hard to get his bowel inside his abdomen and we couldn’t have that upset
by moving him back and forth from her arms. But as soon as it was absolutely safe, we
let Cassie hold Braxton and she just flowed when he was placed in her arms. It was awesome. I couldn’t stop smiling
or kissing him. We worked closely in consultation with pediatric
surgeons and neonatologists to help maintain the health of the bowel and to work with the
surgeons to put the bowel back in the abdomen. We also worked with Braxton to provide him
very good IV nutrition to maintain his growth and development and to protect his liver. Braxton’s parents were involved beautifully
from the start. They were very confident in their ability as parents to participate in
his care, placing his tubes, changing his dressings. They were very active and involved
parents. Our nurses work very closely with the parents to teach them the skills that
they’ll need to take the babies home even when they have complicated medical needs at
discharge. They have awesome doctors, excellent nursing
staff. I love every single one of them. I miss them. This is Braxton, that’s TR. Thank
you to the awesome nurses and the wonderful doctors at The Nebraska Medical Center. Braxton
wouldn’t be with us, if they weren’t here and didn’t do the things that they had to
do.

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