Major was born December 16th of 2009 at Kennestone Hospital. His delivery was quick and easy, very different compared to my first child. As they began to examine him after delivery, the nurse said she thought she saw a cleft palate – meaning his lip was fine, but he did not have a roof in his mouth. I thought to myself, “Well, if you want a birth defect, that’s the one you want because it is completely repairable and not life threatening.” Warped, I know, but I try to always look at the positive side of any situation. Nonetheless, I was able to hold Major for a few minutes before he was taken to the NICU for further examination.
Major was gone for what seemed like forever. I eventually sent my husband and mom to check and see what was going on – then, they were gone for what seemed like forever. My mom came back to the room after about an hour. I could immediately tell things were not good. She didn’t want to say much, but I could tell by the look on her face things were not right. Within minutes, my husband came back visibly shaken. There was a lot more going on with Major than just the TEF/EA. Major was believed to have malformed ears with possible hearing loss, malrotated intestines, heart issues, horseshoe kidney, a large hematoma on his head, cleft palate, cranial anomalies, and micrognathia (his jaw was severely recessed). It was overwhelming to say the least.
Once he arrived at CHOA, he was checked from head-to-toe. Within two days of his birth, Major had surgery to repair his esophagus. A week later he had metal rods called distractors put in to repair his jaw. It was an emotional time for us; as we feared for the well-being of our son, we had to try to maintain some sense of normalcy for our three year old daughter Berkley. Major was at CHOA for 25 days and had two surgeries while there. We cannot say enough wonderful things about the doctors, nurses, and staff at CHOA! They helped turn a fearful situation into wonderful memories.
The first year was very difficult for Major and our family, as he underwent multiple surgeries. He was also hospitalized twice for complications due to RSV, a respiratory illness. Those who saw Major in the beginning would probably not recognize him now. While we still see numerous specialists and therapists, Major has come so far – he is now a healthy toddler running around getting into everything. Our biggest struggle now is his speech delay due to his hearing loss. My husband and I are grateful for the joy he brings to our family.
I am so thankful to our friends and family who truly wrapped their arms around us throughout the last few years. God has continually shown us favor through His grace, provision, and unfailing love. My family understands from personal experience the struggle to attain funds for hearing aids, which is why we formed Miles-4-Major.