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My Story

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We found out on my 40th birthday that I was pregnant. What a birthday gift!!! At our 20 week ultrasound they discovered that it was a boy and apparently he wasn’t shy about showing that off!!! J Unfortunately, they also discovered that our sweet boy has a congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). This is a hole in his diaphragm that has allowed his stomach and intestines to move up into his chest cavity and push his heart over to the right side of his chest (his heart should be on the left). The organs being displaced have also inhibited the growth of his lungs. Four weeks later at the next ultrasound, they discovered that the baby also has a heart defect. This is unrelated to the hernia. He has a hole in his heart, the pulmonary valve is narrowed, and his left ventricle is smaller than it should be. Both the hernia and heart defects are surgically repairable with fairly good prognoses individually. However since he has both issues, it decreases his chances of survival. They are giving our son 40-50% chance of living after he is born. He will be delivered by C-section on November 14th at Vanderbilt Children’s hospital in Nashville. This is because they have a machine called ECMO which is a heart and lung bypass machine. As soon as the baby is born, he will be evaluated in regard to the severity of his heart problem and whether his left ventricle will be able to both sustain his life and withstand the surgery needed. If his heart is strong enough, they will do surgery to repair the hernia a few days after he is born. He will most likely be in the NICU at Vanderbilt for 2 to 3 months following his birth. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

They keep saying that this little guy had a “long road” ahead of him. Even though the pregnancy is coming to an end, it feels like not only are we not out of the woods but that we are just now entering into a very dark forest. There have already been some very dark times of unknowns and uncertainties, but there is no denying that God has been with us in mighty ways. We have been able to feel His presence, experience His provision, and have seen His power in mighty ways. He has blessed us with His body of believers who have loved us, ministered to us, and prayed for us. God is so good all the time!!! Thank you for being a part of this journey with us. I’m reminded of Jesus’ words in regard to the man who was blind from birth, “This happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” (John 9:3) Already God has used this sweet little one to display the work of His hands. It has been an honor to already have an opportunity to be a part of what God is doing, to already be able to love this little guy, and to eagerly anticipate what God will do next!!

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Leanne Ballinger posted a new journal entry, "Drew's 1st Birthday".

I have a confession… I was so anxious about how to spend Drew’s birthday. Poor Mike. Every few days during the weeks leading up to November 14th, I kept asking him, ... Read more

Meridith Worden signed Leanne's Guestbook.

Leanne, my heart continues to break when I think of Drew and the journey you traveled with your precious son and the journey you continue to travel with Mike and Nate. ... Read more

Kristin Frazer signed Leanne's Guestbook.

Leanne, God has put you on my heart today.  I just wanted to tell you that you and your family continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.  I think of Drew often when ... Read more

Andrea Darden signed Leanne's Guestbook.

Leanne.  I am still praying for your family... even though you don't know me at all.  You have made a huge impact on me, and I am grateful our paths crossed just once.  ... Read more

Stefanie Whicker signed Leanne's Guestbook.

Praying you all had a Merry Christmas and a happy new year! Still praying for you and will never forget sweet Drew...:) Hope and pray you are well! Read more

Cathy Shell signed Leanne's Guestbook.

So very glad to read your post about Drew's birthday. You, Mike, and sweet Nate have been in my prayers and thoughts continuously. So grateful to read how God is working ... Read more

Becky Johnston signed Leanne's Guestbook.

Leanne,  It's wonderful to read an uplifting message from you.  Drew's birthday is on mine and Sam's anniversary, so I'll always remember that special day.  I can't ... Read more

Piper Burch signed Leanne's Guestbook.

Leanne!  When I saw you had posted - My eyes lit up!  I couldn't wait to read what you had in your heart.  Oh you teach me so much!  Thank you for sharing how you were ... Read more

Amy Johnston signed Leanne's Guestbook.

Leanne,What a beautiful way to remember Drew!  Thank you so much for sharing his wonderful birthday celebration!  We have prayed for you as we always do, but especially ... Read more

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