My best friend fell pregnant last year, around the end of July/ beginning of August. On December 23, she went in to have an ultrasound to find out the sex of the baby. It was a girl! So much excitement resonated the walls of that room, as she already had a boy, only for things to take a turn for the worst. Upon examination, they determined that the baby had what is called Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH) and some of her organs had protruded into the diaphragm, causing issues with lung growth. For the next several months, my friend underwent several tests, had to see specialists, and was told she would have to deliver in another state. With a CDH baby, initially, there is a 50/50 chance of survival. The cases are all different and depend upon the severity. At 33 weeks, she started to go into premature labor. Medications were given and she was transferred twice, until she met her final destination at Children's Hospital in Cincinnati. Labor continued, and she was on medications to stop it until it just couldn't be put off anymore. On April 4th, she had her last dose of a labor deterring medication, and on the morning of April 5th, her water broke. At 1:35 pm, she delivered a beautiful baby girl via c-section. They put the baby on an oscillator, and into the NICU she went. My friend went to her recovery room. Upon further examination, it was found that the left lung and heart had developed so very little that they did not function properly and the right lung wasn't strong enough to sustain much either. At 6:38 pm, 5 hours and 3 minutes after she was born, my best friend had to make a choice that no parent should have to make. She selflessly let got of her baby girl, knowing that she wasn't going to get better in time and would become an angel, whether she wanted to let her go or not. She stopped her from suffering any further. I was looking for something that reached out to her, and I found this. This is beautiful and speaks to me for her on so many levels. I can only hope that it speaks to her as well. I want to raise awareness for this horrible monster of a disease, known as CDH. No child should have to suffer through it and neither should a parent.
It's inpiring for Susan to hear how you feel about your Willow Tree piece. Your personal interpretation is so meaningful... thank you for taking the time to share it.