Dominic - Alabama

Dominic - Alabama

Hi, my name is Valyn and I would like to share the story of my son Dominic...

On Friday, August 28, 2015, I was 31 weeks pregnant and had a 4D ultrasound scheduled. This was the 3rd 4D ultrasound we were having done due to the fact Dominic's hands were ALWAYS in front of his face. Once again, his hands were in front of his face and the ultrasound tech is unable to get a clear picture. She asks if we would like her to weigh him so that we could have an idea of about how much he weighs. After measuring everything she immediately asks if my husband and I were small babies. We looked at each other wondering why is she asking this. She then says he's measuring a little small. She sends us back to a room to wait on the doctor. When the doctor finally comes into the room which seemed like forever. She informs us that Dominic is "not behaving" and is measuring small everywhere except his stomach. She wants us to go sit in the waiting room while she tries to get us in with a Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist. After 30 minutes or so a nurse comes and lets us know that they aren't able to get us in until Monday. 

Monday comes and we get to the MFM specialist and the ultrasound tech starts taking picture after picture. It had to be over 100 pictures. Measuring every little part of Dominic. Once she's finally done, she goes to get the doctor to have him look over everything. The doctor finally comes back and takes a look at the ultrasound pictures then looks at me and asks "Do you know how small your baby is?" And I think no? What kind of question is that? He then says.. "Out of 100 pregnant women with the exact same due date, 98 of them have bigger babies than you." And then says.."There are three reasons babies are small, either they aren't getting what they need from the placenta, genetics or an infection. He then points to the computer screen and it's a picture of the baby's head. He says, "Do you see these white lines right here? That's calcifications on his brain, that shouldn't be there. This and his small weight indicate he has an infection." Then he proceeds to tell us about CMV and how some babies are born with hearing loss which is most common, some babies loose eye sight and some die. This was one of the hardest days I've ever had. I did not want to believe it. I had never heard of CMV. Once we got to the car I got online and googled and the more I read the more I would cry. This went on for days. 

We followed up with the MFM specialist every week just to monitor the placenta, amniotic fluid, weight gain and make sure Dominic was growing and getting everything he needed. I was sick my entire pregnancy. I would get sick every single night, even if I didn't eat. I don't know if this was CMV related or not. 

When I was 37.2 weeks I woke up feeling like my water broke. I called the doctor because I really wasn't sure. They said just to come on in. So we get there and they get the monitors  on. I remember the nurse asking if I was having contractions because they were showing on the monitor. I really didn't know, I didn't think I was.  A few minutes go by and all the nurses start running around crazy. A few more minutes go by and more people start running in and they put an oxygen mask on my face, I started freaking out because at the time I had no idea what was going on. They tell me that the babies heart rate keeps dropping. The doctor comes in a says "We are having a baby today."

Dominic was born on October 12th, 2015 at 11:15am weighing 5lb 4oz and 16.75in long. It was very quite.. I kept waiting to hear him cry. After what seemed like forever he let out a little whimpering cry. I had never been so relieved. The doctors warned us immediately that he was covered in red/purple spots called petechiae, so that we didn't panic. 

Dad held him for a second and then he was immediately whisked away to the NICU. Due to congenital CMV (Cytomegalovirus) Dominic was born with: small size for gestational age, jaundice, a “blueberry muffin” skin rash called petechiae, enlarged liver and spleen, small head size (microcephaly), calcifications on his brain, problems with blood cell counts and low platelets. He failed his newborn hearing screen. His little lungs were also affected by not having enough room to expand causing him to be on a CPAP machine immediately. He also had a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), an inguinal hernia and later an umbilical hernia.

After 10 long weeks in the NICU, countless blood transfusions and finally reducing his oxygen to low flow, he was able to come home. He just recently finished taking his six months of Valganciclovir (antiviral treatment). This medication works by slowing the growth of the CMV virus. It helps prevent the spread of infection to other areas of the body. 

Dominic is now almost 7 months old and has not met any milestones. He is unable to hold up his head and has very high muscle tone. To this day he still keeps his little hands in front of his face, just like he did for each and every ultrasound we had done. He now has moderate to mildly severe hearing loss in both ears and wears hearing aids. He sees multiple specialists and has therapy sessions every week. I think the hardest part out of all of this is not knowing. Not knowing what the future looks like, not knowing when he will reach each milestone or if he even will. We are just taking one day at a time and trying to stay as positive as we can. We love this little miracle more than anything in the world. He makes our hearts so happy.

- Shared by his mother, Valyn