Baby of the Week: Ericka

Cynthia Dermody
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baby in a bouncy seat

Photo by Bubbles318

A weekly post to help us get to know some of our CafeMom cuties ...


Who: Ericka Elizabeth, 10 months, daughter of Bubbles318. The birth itself was typical. But what followed was truly miraculous. Immediately, she had to put on a ventilator and oxygen and all sorts of medication pumps and IVs for severe pulmonary hypertension. I wasn't able to hold her or see her till later that day. 

Surgery to repair her congenital diaphragmatic hernia was scheduled for later that week, but since her hypertension was not subsiding, and had to be transferred to a bigger hospital in Boston.

The surgery went well, but two days later, her oxygen saturation dropped and she was put on life support for the next 20 days. She swelled, she was heavily sedated, and it seemed like hope was fading fast. Every time I looked at her I just wanted to break down in tears ... but somehow I managed to keep it together. At one point, the doctors called a "family meeting." She wasn't improving as quickly as they'd hoped. Two more week and they'd have no choice but to turn off life support.

Six days later I got the phone call of my life....

Her surgeon said she was doing so well she could come off life support. I raced up to Boston. All the equipment was gone! From there, she skyrocketed! The doctors said she could go back to the hospital closer to home, where she continued to improve. She weaned off the oxygen, started developing normally, and was pretty much a normal baby.

But before she could go home, she needed a more permanent way to be fed, since she'd been fed via tubes her whole life. So G-tube was placed, and she spend the next 22 days in her third hospital getting her caloric intake up and various medications weaned.  

Finally, on June 26, after three months and eight days, my baby girl came home! She is everything I could have ever asked for in a baby and, I'm proud to say, extremely healthy!

How long does she sleep?

She goes to bed around 9 or 10 and sleeps usually through the night, until around 7 or 8 am. During the day, she naps every 2 to 3 hours. If I'm lucky, she'll sleep for an hour or more but that's rare.

What's her latest milestone?

Just today, she ate a half a jar of baby for the first time! This is amazing considering her initial aversion. She never liked the bottle much. She'll drink a little bit now but she's doing great with spoon-feeding!

What makes her smile?

She's a very happy baby! She smiles at certain toys, she smiles at me and her dad if we make funny noises or faces or tickle her. She smiles when we praise her and that's a lot because we are just so proud of how far she's come.

What will her future career be?

I think it would be great for her to go into pediatric medicine to sort of, give back to the profession and people who saved her life. But she's such a ham. She LOVES to be the center of attention. It wouldn't surprise me if she became a model or an actress or something that would have her in the spotlight 24/7.

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Introduce us to your baby! -- post a photo tagged dailybuzz and PM me with the answers to the above questions if you'd like your new addition featured in Baby of the Week.

Previous Babies of the Week:

Seven

Brennen

Shelby

Eisley

Luke

Lucas

Joseph

Sophia

Aurora

Alexander

Gavin and Elijah

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