I hope that by meeting these courageous mothers that have navigated their way through the toughest of circumstances, they can be uplifting and encouraging to those of you who may be experiencing the same. If you ever want to submit your story for consideration, you can always email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org with a little snippet of what you would love to talk about!
Finley’s Miracle Story 3/2/2015:
I had just turned twenty-one, was newly married, and just had my first baby, Finley Cash. He was everything I dreamed of in a baby boy! Finley and I took our first flight when he was a 1.5 months. We went to visit my family in Arkansas for two weeks. The day before we were supposed to fly back to California, Finley began to act…not his normal self. My mom was actually the first to point out that he felt a little warm. We took his temp an it was around 99. I knew it was a low grade fever, so I kept an eye on him. That day he began VERY lethargic, slept more than normal, and would throw up everything he ate. I was very worried for my baby and knew something wasn’t right. At around 10:30 that night, my mom and I decided to take him to the Children’s Hospital in Little Rock just to be safe. I had consulted with my doctor back in California and that’s what he had suggested to me. We got into the ER and was checked in. They did the routine checks and said that his temperature was 100.8. They said that was a high fever for a two month old. They also said he was dehydrated from not being able to keep anything down. They seemed to think that it was just a little bug he contracted. The nurse was holding Finley and we were walking to another room. All of a sudden she starts running and yelling for other doctors to come. They took him into what looked like a triage room and he was immediately surrounded by at least ten people. I had no idea what was going on at the time, but apparently the nurse said he started to turn gray as she was holding him. The entire time he was in that room, surrounded by nurses and doctors, I was crying. I was praying. Yet, I still had no clue what was going on. They said they had to start bagging him and had to sedate him so that he would be still enough to get an IV in. They finally let me into the room to see my baby. He was hooked up to so many things on his little body, a man was standing there feeding him air, and my baby…he looked lifeless.
We were transferred into a PICU room and considered a high risk case. No one knew what was going on or what had happened to our little Finley. They kept him sedated on medication and had him on a breathing machine to give his body rest. He was “asleep” for two days. Finally, they took out his breathing tube and began weaning him off the sedation medicine. I was finally able to hold and nurse my baby again after three days. I had been pumping religiously every 3-4 hours to keep my supply up and to make sure they were feeding him my milk through his feeding tube. It seemed as if we were starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. As I was holding and nursing him for the first time in three days, I began to feel his body twitch. It was only on the right side of his body. I thought that maybe it was just his nerves reacting to the medicine that he was coming off of. The twitching was subtle at first and then would stop. I mentioned to the nurse who casually brushed it off. He would stop twitching when I would try to show the nurse. I mentioned it to my mom and she then noticed it when she was holding him. The twitching began to get progressively worse. We knew something was wrong. My mom told the nurse to get a doctor up here as soon as possible because she believed he was having seizures. The nurse said he wasn’t, but got a doctor anyway. When the doctor finally came, she witnessed what we were seeing and ordered an EEG be done. When he was finally hooked up to the EEG monitor, our fears were confirmed. He was having seizures. Multiples seizures and they were getting worse and becoming more frequent. The twitching that had started out very subtly in his shoulder, was now happening on the entire right side of his body. His arms and legs would convulse every time, and I would cry and cry because I felt so helpless. “Why is this happening to me??”, I asked God. I begged for God to heal him and make him whole again.
The doctor wanted a CAT scan done on his brain to see what he was having seizures. The scans came back that my little 2 month old Finley had had a stroke on the left side of his brain. I didn’t want to believe it. I vividly remember getting the news from the doctor. I broke down and cried…and cried…and cried. I didn’t want my perfect baby to disabled! I knew having a stroke was a bad thing. Finley had seizures for 24 hours straight. They were giving him the highest doses possible to try to keep the seizures from happening, but they progressed. I slept on the bench that night, as I had done for that entire week. I didn’t want to leave his side. I remember jumping up every time the alarm would go off, letting us know he was having another seizure. It felt never ending. I knew what it was like to have a disabled child in the family, because my cousin had a seizures at three years old that left her with brain damage. I knew how hard it was for my aunt and uncle to go through that trial with their daughter, and I didn’t want that for Finley. They intubated him again with a breathing tube and sedated him, trying to wait out the seizures. I prayed so hard; begging God for a miracle. I cried more tears that I thought possible.
Another day passed, and we were nearing the one week mark in the hospital. Finley had finally been seizure free for 24 hours. The next step was getting him weaned off the paralytics and sedation medication, and extubated. After a few tries, they were finally able to extubate him they moved us onto the Neurology floor. We were finally on the road to progress. The first couple days in the new room were rough. It had been days since I had held my baby, and all I wanted to do was hold him, feed him myself, and sleep with him. His oxygen would keep dropping lower than they wanted, so there were more sleepless nights worrying that he would stop breathing. He was still coming off of the methadone they had given him, so they would have to come in every 2 hours to give medication. However, it was progress from what we started with. Each day, Finley showed signs of improvement and I began to see his little personality starting to shine back through. My baby was coming back to me. We did physical therapy daily with the nurses, and he was starting to regain function in his right side.
The Neurology doctor came in and explained to us that only time would tell of the damage that was done to his brain. But I had hope. I knew that my baby was going to be ok. God had given me peace about the entire situation. The last hurdle we needed to jump was to have Finley feeding on his own again. He still had the feeding tube in his nose…which was the worst. Every time the PT would try to get him to eat (from a bottle of my milk), he would start gagging. I told them that he had NEVER taken a bottle and didn’t like them. BUT, the still tried and he still gagged. They said for me to try, and I did. He still gagged and couldn’t drink. I told them that the feeding tube was why he couldn’t eat right and asked if they could remove it. They said no, because he has to suck the bottle first. I was adamant about ME trying to feed him…naturally. After asking and begging for them to just let me try nursing him, they removed the nasal feeding tube and let me nurse. Whaddaya know….the little sucker latched on like a pro and didn’t skip a beat! Finley was released from the hospital 2 days after that. We had spent two solid weeks in the hospital….the longest two weeks in the world. I know NOW why I went through what I did. I grew so much in those two weeks. I became a STRONG woman and mother. I knew that God had let me go through this so that I could share with others a positive and encouraging message. I knew that Finley had a testimony and that he was a miracle child. I knew that I had chose the right name for my child: Finley, which means, STRONG WARRIOR.
Finley is now close to three years old (December). He is so full of life and personality! He’s smart…too smart! 😀 He brings so much joy to my family. Finley has completely recovered and is off ALL medication. He has NO disabilities and uses his right side perfectly fine. People are in awe when I tell them he had a stroke at two months old. Finley is a living miracle and I couldn’t be more proud of my boy.
So Mamas, I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. Whatever it is that you’re going through, there is hope when there seems that there is none. Hold your head high, and stay strong. Finley is proof that the situation can turn around for the better. And I am proof that you can make it and come out on the other side stronger and better than before.