Aden Thao | CaringBridge

Aden Thao Aden Thao

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Aden was born on May 1, 2016 at 37 weeks at Regions Hospital. She was 5 lbs and 8 oz. I had my contractions at 4:00 AM and thought they were braxton hicks like the day before. I went back to sleep and woke up at 6:00 AM to sharp contractions. I timed them and they were really close so I woke up my husband and we called my siblings to come over to watch our 1 year old. We got to the hospital by 7:30 AM and I had her at 9:00 AM.  She cried a little and then fell asleep most of the time. I thought this pregnancy was much easier than my first because she came fast and delivery went smoothly. I was prepared to go home the next day; however, because she was much smaller, the nurse said that we had to put her through a car seat test to make sure she would be okay in our car seat. She passed the test but the nurse recommended that they check her blood because she seemed very pale. A few hours later the nurse came into my room to tell us that there was something wrong - it was urgent that we had to consent to give Aden extra blood because her hemoglobin was very low at a 5. The normal range for hemoglobin is 12 - 16. Hemoglobin is what carries oxygen to your body. We were in shock and scared because everything seemed normal one moment and it changed quickly in the next.

We decided that it would be best to transfer her to St. Paul Children's Hospital to the NICU where she would have the blood transfusion because she would be in an environment with other infants and with the hematologist doctor. (Hematologists specializes in blood.) While she was transported by the ambulance to the Children's Hospital, my husband and I quickly came back to my room to pack up all my stuff and drove over to the Children's Hospital.  It was  down the street from Regions but it felt like a long drive with unanswered questions.

At Children's Hospital, the hematologist doctor shared with us that they would have first get some of her blood to test before giving her the blood transfusion. Since she was so little and didn't really have any popping veins, they decided to extract the blood through her umbilical button which had not dried up yet. It was very hard to watch as the nurse was poking her through the umbilical area, but she finally got the cord in. Then afterwards, they gave her the blood transfusion. She had more color and did not breathe so hard anymore.

The next day which was day three, the hematologist told us that he wanted to do a bone marrow biopsy on Aden which is to extract some of her blood in the marrow to see whether they were normal or cancerous. He would be putting a needle through her hip area to extract the marrow out. After learning the procedure and risks, we decided to go ahead with it. She was put to sleep and the procedure lasted about 30 minutes. The hematologist shared with us later that the marrow had premature red blood cells which is a good sign because it means that the cells were making but just not growing. The cells also looked normal. He ruled out leukemia which was a huge relief to us.

We continued to stay at the NICU for a week and were discharged. It was just so uncomfortable because I was breastfeeding and always had to clean my pump in the hospital with a microwave that was a far walk out. It was also stressful because my feet were swollen and I was walking most of the time to the microwave or to the bathroom so my feet did not get better.

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