Clayton, born 2011My pregnancy with Clayton was very normal. He was my third child and my first son. I was thrilled to have a son. I had four ultrasounds all showing a perfectly healthy baby boy.
Clayton William was born after a three hour induction weighting 7lbs 5oz and 19 inches long. I felt like something was "off" with him but couldn't quite put my finger on it. We brought him home and I noticed he wasn't peeing. The nurse assured me that once my milk came in by day 4 or 5 he would start peeing. On day three we got ready for bed and all night he was extremely fussy. He wouldn't nurse and just cried and cried. I was worried. He finally cried himself to sleep without nursing. At 7am I awoke to find him grunting with every breath. It was a Sunday so I called the on call pediatrician but I left for the ER before he even called me back. I thought he maybe had a cold. But after a chest x-ray showing an enlarged heart we were brought by ambulance to a hospital.
Several hours later his major heart defect was found by the cardiologist. Doctors filled the room to stabilize my 4 day old baby. It was the scariest moment of my life and I will never forget the cardiologist drawing a picture of 2 hearts and saying "this is a normal heart and this is your baby’s heart. He is very sick right now". Clayton spent one week in the NICU being stabilized since his tiny body was shutting down and he had come to the ER just in time. March 15, 2011, he had his open heart surgery to fully repair his heart. Despite his rough start he is a very happy, healthy little boy who loves playing with his sisters, is an awesome big brother, and loves Thomas the train.
I feel so lucky to be his mom and am thankful I trusted my gut and he is here today. I am now very big on spreading the word on congenital heart defects and noticing the signs and symptoms.
Story by Clayton’s mom, Alison – New York
Erin, born 1989