Share the first part of Easton's story for readers on Sleuth! When and why did you start to feel concerned?
Easton's story started before he was born. At about 28 weeks pregnant, I found myself very sick in the ICU with an infection, pneumonia, and relentless fevers. At the time I was blissfully unaware of what cytomegalovirus (CMV) was. However after weeks of testing, I was diagnosis with CMV and told that there was a chance that my child would be born with a congenital form of CMV as it could pass through the placenta. However, I was told to not worry and that it was unlikely to cause issues. This was far from true for us and so many. A few months later, Easton was born! At 36 weeks and 5lbs, he was doing well but had issues from the get go. He did test positive for CMV at birth but I was again reassured that he would be fine, and there was nothing to do for it. He was jaundice at birth and didn't as eat much as I felt he should. Every time he ate he would spill so much milk around his mouth that it soaked his shirt and mine. He sounded like he was gargling milk when he drank, almost like he was drowning. It was so concerning to me, but it was brushed off by doctors very frequently. I took him to his pediatrician, lactation consultants, chiropractors... I was desperate for help, He cried all the time, slept restlessly, and developed thrush. He was diagnosed failure to thrive at two months old weighing just 6lbs 7oz. This is when we were able to move to a larger children's hospital and start on this journey!
Share the first part of J.'s story for readers on Sleuth! When and why did you start to feel concerned?
When my son was born, I said, “His breathing sounds super-congested.” The doctor said, “Yeah, he probably swallowed a little amniotic fluid. Don't worry about it.” I saw his chest pulling in a little bit when he breathed, and I kept on questioning. (Now, I know those were called “retractions.”) They said, “Don't worry about it. That's normal.” He was born at 35 weeks. We knew that potentially at 35 weeks there could be some minor respiratory issues. But he was six pounds eight ounces. He looked great. His Apgar scores were really good. All the things that we use to measure the typical stuff were good. Then, my husband pointed out that he was not really responding the way our other son had responded 24 hours into being in the world. Bright lights weren't really making him squint. A bunch of things just weren't happening that we thought were normal. (My first son is a healthy, typically developing six year old now.) He also has what I call his “cute” ear, a malformed ear. That was something I also pointed out, and the doctor said, again, “Listen, your kid is healthy. Don't worry about it. He's okay.” My son was born in Jamaica because both my Husband and I had successful careers there. It was a private hospital with a reputation for great doctors. So we thought, “We got this. This is okay. We didn't need to come back to the U.S. to have a baby.” They transferred him to an ICU unit because of his breathing. He had a little jaundice. We were in the ICU unit for about a week. While we were there, I kept on asking questions: “You know, when he cries, I noticed his mouth is a little lopsided.” (“Don't worry about it, Mom. It's not a big deal”.) “His breathing is still a concern to me.” (“Don't worry about it. He doesn't need oxygen. His O2 is fine.”) He wasn't feeding well, and they said, “Well, sometimes with babies it just takes a little time for them to figure out feeding.” They discharged us from the ICU because they had more critical kids. They handed me a syringe and said, “Just keep squirting some milk in his mouth until he gets sucking under control, and head home.” I thought something doesn’t feel right. We went to our pediatrician, and he said, “Listen, I hear your concerns. I can refer you to any doctors you want. Yeah, his breathing looks a little off. Maybe he has something like a PDA (patent ductus arteriosus), which is very common in a lot of kids.” He sent us to a cardiologist who seemed to be rushing. She said, “He has a minor PDA. It's nothing to worry about.” My husband said, “Listen, this is actually good news. It's not like he has a major heart condition.” But again, something felt off. We went to an ENT (ear, nose, and throat doctor). They said, “Everything looks great. His airway is perfectly normal.” I thought, okay! But again, he still wasn't feeding. We just kept on pushing and pushing. It was constant: “Mom, you're freaking out too much. There's nothing to worry about. It just takes time.” But while this was going on, he was losing weight. I could see it. I mean, I could see it. He was the most miserable baby as well. My other son was such a happy little baby. I know kids are different, but there was just something about it that didn't feel right.
difficulty breathing observed at 0 years & 0 months
chest pulling in while breathing observed at 0 years & 0 months