March 15, 2019
Today Bodhi Mystic Del Moro, our second son, turns 5 months old. He was born in the middle of the month on October 16, 2018, at midnight, on a 1/2 full moon in the sign of Libra. Balance is what this little dudes exudes. Life & death, birth & rebirth, day & night, he was living in the viel for the first 9 days.
He is has most vivid blue eyes with a slight purple hue which make him feel & look even more angelic. We feel blessed by his presence every day and our so grateful for if the year of his birth was 1918 versus 2018 today we would be mourning his death instead of praising his beautiful life.
I knew something was wrong before he was born. Even tho I had the most peaceful and glorious home birth with our first son Marley , early in my pregnancy I had developed serious fears about the birth.... realizing in hindsight that it was what was to come after the birth that had my mama intuition pulsing... Switching midwives at 32 weeks, crying, praying, sleepless nights, calling in women’s circles ... I just had this feeling something was off yet all the scans and tests came back saying we both were 100% healthy.
Alas, That was not the case.
On Bodhi’s due date , at around 9pm in the evening Chris & I snuggled in bed speaking of our unborn child and sending him love...then pop, whoosh, my water broke in a great flood and the first contraction started hot and heavy. We called the midwives and within 1/2 an hour they were by our side and wow, our little man was in my arms 3 hours later. Born at 12:05am under the light of the crescent moon in the same space Marley was born a few years previously.
His apnar score was a 9, he latched perfectly and he was the most wonderful angel I had ever seen.
We had a beautiful first night, no sleep, just in awe of our new baby. I wanted to let my guard down , he had arrived, safely at home! Yet I still had lingering feeling something was off...
The next day my worst fear was realized when Bodhi vomitted bright yellow. At first, the midwives said it was just colostrum, but when it kept happening I was desperate for answers... but there were also overwhelming signs he was healthy.
He was even making eye contact, latching well, did not cry very much. He seemed good. Except for his vomit was bright yellow. We decided to just watch him over the next few days . I wanted to believe he was healthy. But I was so scared.
We had the midwifes come every day and they gave him the check off of good health at the end of every visit. But four days after his birth day I could not take it any longer and needed modern medicine to tell me his yellow vomit was ok...It was a Saturday so our only choice was to go to the ER. We spent nine hours there. And his tiny body underwent three x-rays, bloodwork, and an ultrasound. I kept waiting to hear the bad news. Chris was his eternal optimistic self and held solid space for us all , willing Bodhi to be healthy .
I was shocked however when the ER doc said he was perfect and sent us home. That should have made me feel better, but it made me feel so much worst. The next day ( Sunday) his condition escalated and he started vomiting after every feeding. So we took him to the pediatrician on Monday. She weighed him and he looked good so she sent us home as well with a clean bill of health.
At this point it was a week since he was born and I was not sleeping or eating I was just a mess. Everyone pretty much thought I was just suffering with postpartum depression and tried to soothe me but I just kept saying& feeling there is something wrong with our baby.
Two days went by and we tried to get him in the gastroenterologist specialist, but he could not fit us until the following week. And then Bodhi started projectile vomiting green. That is when everyone around me started to believe that he was indeed unwell . And so we went back to the ER 8 days after his birth, again.
Luckily my good friends husband was working that night and took our case more serious. He ordered a barium G.I. x-ray and that is what ultimately save Bodhi’s life.
When I got to the x-ray room there was a surgeon who greeted me and said if they find a malrotation with volvulus in his belly they will do surgery within the hour. When they finally started the x-rays I held my breath. The surgeon did not think he had the worst case scenario but he did have a very serious condition which needed open cavity abdominal surgery to repair. Finally we had an answer ... and the confirmation he was very sick for very little milk had passed from his stomach into his intestines.
He has been starving to death since birth.
The next day was the surgery and Chris and I spent a sleepless night next to Bodhi in the NiCU. We cried and prayed and believed he was a strong little boy who could handle this. He was born a pound and a half bigger than our first son so we felt his body was preparing for this event in utero.
The feeling of seeing your newborn hooked up to a million tubes, under bright lights, on morphine , hooked to breathing machine, its indescribable....morning showed up, the time for surgery was now & The doctor gave us both big hugs and said we would see Bodhi in 4 to 5 hours. Needless to say those is where the longest hours of our life. When doctor came back into the room to tell us the outcome of the surgery I knew right away the doctor had big news....He said Bodhi did not have what they originally thought , but he did indeed have life threatening - malrotation with volvolus.
This condition is rare, happening in about one in 2000 babies. This presents at about 8 to 10 weeks in utero when the intestines are spinning back into the stomach cavity. (they actually grow outside of the embryos body!) then re-enter with muscle tissue holding them in place. But with Bodhi - the intestines came in backwards , twisted and the muscle tissue incorrectly grew and actually blocked off the intestine from his stomach which is why he was vomiting.... and slowly starving.
The major reason it is an emergency surgery is when the intestine becomes twisted it can cut off blood supply and when that happens the intestines and occasionally organs die. Which is why if it’s not caught very quickly large portions of the intestine have to be cut out or the infant dies because too much has already turned black & septic inside the belly.
Thank God that is not our story.
The doctor was able to untwist his intestine with no injury and do a LADDS procedure. This basically means that Bodhi’s intestines look nothing like yours or mine. They are in a new configuration and he has an 85% chance of leading a normal life with no digestion issues.
That’s the story of our little Bodhi Mystic.
He is a warrior and a survivor and has the 5 inch long scar on his stomach to prove it.
His healing journey was & is a beautiful one.
The first few months were definitely intense & trying as his body learned to function with the new intestinal flow. Many sleepless nights in addition to simply having to recalibrate as a family of 4. However it all felt doable as we were surrounded by the constant love & support of our family & friends. Everyone showed up in the most wonderful way, we feel very blessed.
Bodhi is now thriving! Laughing, smiling , loving life and even sat up solo for the first time yesterday. So even though we survived serious rings of fire and it was very hard, it all turned out fine. Life is like that sometimes, it can be so scary & painful one month and blissful & beautiful the next.
Needless to say this situation has brought our family much closer and we have a new outlook on life. Savoring every moment. Marley is more in love with his baby brother every day, as we all are.
Learn more about the warning signs of of Intestinal Malrotation are below. Educate yourself and your loved ones.
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