July 18th 2009 at 2:10 am
Makenzie Rye Webster was born.
This tiny 6lb 19 1/2 inch. beautiful girl.
As soon as they placed her on my stomach her eyes popped open.
Her arms stretched out and she was here.
She never cried.
She was just happy to be alive.
Everything was perfect.
She did amazing the first 2 months of life.
At 2 months Makenzie started to breathe a little funny. She was making a squeaking noise and acting like she was working a little harder to breathe. Her pediatrician kept assuring us it was normal and that she would grow out of it. By the first part of October she started having spells where she would lose her breath and be gasping for air. After the second time she did this we rushed her to the children's hospital. We ended up spending the night and checked out the next day with no answers. They couldn't find anything wrong. As the next couple weeks went by it was almost daily that we were calling her pediatrician saying she isn't getting better and is almost getting worse. During this time she also started eating less and less. She didn't seem hungry. I was nursing until the beginning of Oct. when she completely quit. At the time we didn't know why but found out later it was because she didn't have any strength to suck so a bottle was easier for her.
The first week of November she seemed really bad so we took her to her pediatrician who said she didn't look right and referred us to an ENT (ear nose throat) doctor at Primary Children's Hospital. After we meet with the ENT he decided to try surgery for what he thought was laryngomalacia. They cut away a flap of skin in her throat and hoped it was the cause of her difficulty breathing and eating. After surgery we stayed at PCMC for 2 nights before we were able to go home. After we got home our little girl seemed to keep getting worse. She wasn't eating hardly anything and was only wanting her Mom. She would only lay in one position and would cry if you held her any other way. Her doctors assured us it was just because she is having trouble after surgery and that she should be fine soon.
On November 17th my mom was babysitting Kenzie while I went to work. I got a call half way through the day from my sister, who was with them, telling me Makenzie kept turning shades of grayish blue. She was worried about her and said she thinks I should take her to the doctor. I left work and took Makenzie to the ER at IMC. I decided if I went to the hospital like that and she really needed to be admitted they would take us by ambulance and she would be seen sooner. AND. That's exactly what happened. They hooked her up to the pulse ox. and her oxygen levels were in the 70's when they should be in the high 90's. They put oxygen tubes in her nose and rushed her in an ambulance to PCMC. I rode in the ambulance with her while Ryan followed behind. They admitted her to the 3rd floor for testing. Her weight had dropped to 8 lbs. At her 2 month apt she was 9 lbs. She was extremely dehydrated and malnourished.For the next 2 days they ran hundreds of tests. We were hardly ever in her room because we were going from one xray, to one mri, to another test. They had to keep turning her oxygen up because her stats kept dropping. On November 19th a team of specialists came into Makenzies room. By this point she was having so much trouble breathing she was laying on her side and arching her back so much her little head was touching her back. She was trying to get air anyway she could. As I stood next to my little girl that day trying to catch words I could understand in that doctor lingo being thrown around I felt alone. I was scared. This whole time I kept thinking she would be fine, there is just some medicine she needs to get put on and everything will be okay. That day was the first day I was completely unsure. Within minutes the neurologist order for Makenzie to be transported to the PICU and intubated. Everything was thrown in her crib, I grabbed my bag and we were off. Down to the second floor. We were greeted by Ryan (who raced to the hospital as fast as he could from work) and a team of doctors and nurses ready to help Makenzie. They asked Ryan and I to go out of the room while they intubated her. We sat out in the hall trying to digest everything that just happened. We were scared. In a matter of minutes we had to mature enough to understand our daughter was in the hospital, intubated and not sure whats wrong with her. We are young and this shouldn't have happened to our family. We haven't lived yet, we haven't showed our little girl the world yet. After we went back in the room we were amazed at the difference in Makenzie. We were with her every second of the day the past few months. It was hard for us to really see how much she was struggling to breath until we saw her breathing with ease. We both broke down. It was so amazing yet so horrible. We held her little tummy that was so small her skin was just hanging there. We kissed her millions of times and rubbed her little arms and legs.
The next few days were filled with tests... tests... more tests... and introduced to the wonderful new world of CPT and cough assist. Since she had this breathing tube in, she was unable to move around her secretions like the rest of us. When you cant move around secretions they build up and your lungs start to collapse. Every 3 hours were these treatments and every 3 hours Makenzie hated life.It was on November 21st that after many test we were told Makenzie most likely had whats called Spinal Muscular Atrophy = SMA. They had to send in a blood test to confirm but all other test pointed to SMA. We were devastated. We were told right up front there are different forms of SMA and she may not have the more sever case and could live a fairly normal life. We understood no matter what type she had she most likely would never walk, run, dance, sit up... SMA is a degenerative disease which would mean at some point -whether it be at 1 year or 20 years she would lose everything and become paralyzed. Her brain however- would always be perfect. SMA doesn't effect the brain so she would have the brain of anyone else her age. We did research. We talked to other families with SMA. We prepared ourselves for life with SMA. In order for us to do this financially we put our house up for sale, Ryan's truck, We listed most all of our things online to sell, I even told my boss I wasn't going to come back to work and to find a replacement. At the time we felt we were given this new life and although its not like we imagined and dreamed we were going to take life by the horns and run with it. We realized our dreams have changed and as long as we have each other nothing else matters.
November 30th 2009. Makenzie was scheduled to be extubated (breathing tube taken out). They thought we could take the breathing tube out making that the first step to getting our girl home. That morning was amazing. Kenzie and I kept counting down the hours and minutes until she was tubeless. Anticipating being able to hold her whenever I want and spin in circles with her, kiss her lips! I couldn't get the smile off my face that whole morning.
But as they extubated her she became distressed. Her levels started dropping. The doctors kept saying she just needed to calm down and take a breath. I was pretty much laying in the crib with her. I was holding her face and stroking her arms. I kept telling her to just breath and that she is okay. I tried to reassure her that she is doing a good job and that I'm here. She wouldn't stop looking at me. Her eyes will forever be in my mind. She was struggling, hurting and I wasn't helping. She was scared. I kept asking if they could do something for her. What felt like hours but only minutes passed when they said she isn't ready and that they needed to intubate her. They rushed me out of the room and began putting that damn tube back down her throat.
She is our world. She is our future.
She is our everything and we will live for her for the rest of our lives.
If you want to read everything in more detail you can start from the moment we announced I was pregnant HERE!