Marla Sokoloff’s Blog: My Daughter Underwent Lung Surgery

08/03/2012 at 03:00 PM ET
The nurse’s bought Elliotte a barrette — Courtesy Marla Sokoloff

Our celebrity blogger Marla Sokoloff is a new mama!

Since audiences first got to know her at age 12 as Gia on Full House, Sokoloff has had many memorable TV roles — Jody on Party of Five, Lucy on The Practice, Claire on Desperate Housewives – as well as turns on the big screen in Whatever It TakesDude, Where’s My Car? and Sugar & Spice.

Sokoloff, 31, also sings and plays guitar and released an album, Grateful, in 2005.

She wed her husband, music composer Alec Puro, in November 2009 and the couple — plus pup Coco Puro — make their home in Los Angeles.

You can find Marla, now mom to 5-month-old daughter Elliotte Anneon Twitter.

July 11th:

I am writing this blog from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Calif. The last time I was at this hospital, it was to visit my dear friend Kristy, who had just given birth to her son Cohen. Sadly, I am here today for a less celebratory occasion.

I am currently sitting in the waiting room with my husband Alec. We are doing everything and anything to distract ourselves (which is proving to be an impossible task) because — at this very moment — our 5-month-old daughter Elliotte is having lung surgery.

Just minutes ago, we endured the hideous task of handing our precious girl over to a nurse, as they don’t allow parents in the operating room, obviously. (They did kindly allow us to stand in the doorway as they put her under anesthesia.)

This little lady has been by my side since the moment she was born, and I just watched as a complete stranger carried her away. A stranger who has promised to update me every hour over the next five hours while Elliotte is in surgery.

(For the record — my brave little girl didn’t shed a tear — she even smiled as they took her away. Mommy and Daddy are a different story.)

I know this news may come as a shock, as I have never mentioned any of this before — but it’s no shock to my family and me. Remember that second trimester scare I had? Well … the blood work was in fact a false positive, and the amnio did come back showing a completely perfect little baby girl … but when they performed the level 2 ultrasound, they saw some very worrisome lung tissue.

Divine intervention is putting it mildly, because if my blood work wasn’t red-flagged, we may have never known about Elliotte’s condition, as there was no correlation between her lung issue and my abnormal blood work. I couldn’t see it at the time because I was so scared and confused, but someone was definitely watching over my family and me.

Very soon after the finding, my husband and I met with a pediatric surgeon by the name of Dr. Steve Chen, who explained to us that Elliotte would need surgery within the first six months of her life — if not sooner — to correct her lung.

Elliotte was born with a rare abnormality of lung development called congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation (CCAM). I know — even the name is scary.

CCAM is a cystic area within the lung that stems from an abnormal embryogenesis. No one seems to know why this malformation occurs, and only about 1 in 30,000 babies are afflicted with this condition. If left untreated, CCAM can develop into a serious infection and it can even turn into lung cancer later in life.

My baby’s hospital bracelet — Courtesy Marla Sokoloff

During my pregnancy, weekly ultrasounds kept a close eye on the CCAM’s development. I went from having no morning sickness or really any pregnancy symptoms whatsoever to a high-risk pregnancy that was so anxiety-filled, I was actually counting down the days until it was over.

It was during one of those weekly ultrasounds around the 25th week of pregnancy that we discovered that the mass in Elliotte’s lung had doubled in size, causing much concern for her other developing organs.

The main worry was that her heart would be pushed to the side by the fast-growing mass or that fluid (also known as hydrops) would develop in her lungs, which is a prenatal form of heart failure.

As a soon-to-be first time mom, this news was beyond devastating. I wanted nothing more (and I truly mean nothing more) than for my baby girl to be safe in my belly. My maternal instincts were already intact and I just prayed and prayed and prayed.

This development was obviously a game-changer for me. I suddenly found it very difficult to be excited by this pregnancy, as I was terrified that it wouldn’t have a happy ending. When people would congratulate me (as my belly was now large and round), my heart would ache.

I cried almost every single night, wondering if my baby girl would be okay. I wanted so badly to be excited, but this giant fear was blocking me from going there. Even my baby shower felt bittersweet.

The weeks leading up to my due date were very scary for me. I knew that there would be people from the NICU in the delivery room waiting to take my baby once she was born. The hospital and my fantastic OB, Dr. Emily Sikking, were completely prepared and ready to support Elliotte with whatever she may have needed once she arrived.

Our little fighter came out with a perfect Apgar score and didn’t require any extra oxygen. She skipped the NICU and even got to stay in our room for her first night, which in my humble opinion was her first major milestone.

For the next few nights as Elliotte recovers from her operation, my husband and I will sleep on a cot in her hospital room. Something that feels incredibly unnatural and unfair.

July 23rd:

We’ve found ourselves in the hospital yet again. Elliotte was out within a few days of the surgery, but Alec and I noticed that she’s been having some breathing issues. Her doctors want to monitor her for 48 hours just to make sure there are no surgical complications.

I can’t believe we’re back in the hospital just 10 days after leaving! Once again, I’ve been blown away by the strength my daughter has shown. In order to rule out every possibility, they’ve had to run a lot of tests and Elliotte has been a total trooper.

Nothing serious has come from her stay this time around (thank goodness!!). It was most likely a little virus messing with Elliotte’s breathing pattern, but enough to make her parents really freaked out.

Wearing my glasses days after surgery — Courtesy Marla Sokoloff

July 26th:

It’s now been two weeks and one day since Elliotte’s lung operation, in which Dr. Chen (a.k.a The Puro Family Mascot) successfully removed her entire upper left lobe.

In the months leading up to her surgery, everyone kept telling me how resilient babies are and how amazed I would be at how fast she will recover. I cannot tell you how annoying I found this advice to be.

I just couldn’t wrap my brain around any of it. I think it’s very easy to discuss the resiliency of a baby when it’s not your child. I didn’t even want to think about my little one going through any of this.

Well, they were right. Babies truly are resilient. If you saw Elliotte just days after her operation, you would have been amazed. It was absolutely remarkable. I swear it was way harder for my husband and me to recover from the whole experience!

If you read my blog on a regular basis, you know that I hold nothing back. I post unflattering pictures of myself — remember the one of me moments after giving birth, or my split maternity pants? — and try my very best to paint a real image of what motherhood is truly like for me.

When PEOPLE.com asked me to write this blog, I knew that I could only do it if I was 100 percent myself. I hope you understand that I needed to hold back on this one thing. This one thing that plagued me and terrified me for 20 weeks during pregnancy, and then another 20 weeks after Elliotte was born.

More than anything, I needed to protect my family and my daughter. I just couldn’t stomach discussing something so serious while I was still in the midst of it — it felt way too private and delicate.

I even considered not writing this blog anymore because I hated not being upfront about the crisis we were dealing with, but I knew that once everything was okay and we were out of the woods, I would share.

So now we’re out of the woods … but I guess as parents we are never really out of the woods, per se. I will always worry about my little girl, but now I can finally check this extra large super-sized worry off of my list.

Feeling better and kicking it poolside — Courtesy Marla Sokoloff

For any parent that reads this that has had a child with a health crisis or that has spent any time in the hospital with your little one, my heart sincerely goes out to you. This has far and away been the hardest thing I have ever gone through and to be completely honest — I’m still recovering.

It has changed every part of my being and I’m not sure I will ever be the same again. I will forever look at my daughter and my husband differently. We went through the trenches together and our little family unit is now stronger than ever. I feel as if we can get through anything as long as we have each other.

As per usual, I read every comment and every Tweet, so let’s chat.

Until next time — xxo,

– Marla Sokoloff

August 7th:

Thank you all so much for the incredible outpouring of love and support. It means more than you will ever know and to say that we are completely overwhelmed would be an understatement!

The very personal stories that you have shared have touched me so deeply and I want each and every one of you to know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

For the CCAM mommies that are either pregnant or awaiting surgery — your comments have completely broken my heart. I know exactly where you are right now and it’s terrifying. The unknown is truly the scariest part.

I’m happy and relieved to finally say that the mystery is now behind us, and if I knew someone who had been through it that could have answered some of my questions it may have alleviated some of my worry.

Please feel free to email me with your questions — I’m not an expert by any means but I’m a mom who is happy to help and hopefully I can take away some of the worry … even if it’s just a little bit. I’m at marlasokblogATgmail.com.

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Showing 340 comments

Courtney on

Glad to hear things went well.. I will keep your family in my prayers.

Heather on

What a sweetheart. It really is awful to watch our little ones go through something that we have no control of!

Your story had me in tears. My son had abdominal surgery at 3 days old, it was the hardest day of my life, and 3 years later I still cry at the thought of that day.

Like you, we found out at our level 2 ultrasound there was an issue and I spent the rest of my pregnancy full of anxiety and fear. We are fortunate that there are no further complications-I’m thankful for that every day.

I’m so happy your sweet girl is doing well, and thank you so much for your post!

Renee on

Oh, bless your heart and your family. What a difficult road you have had in the last year. I was brought to tears reading this- I never comment but just couldn’t let this pass by without a response. So glad that she is on the mend and that things are looking up for all of you. Sending good thoughts for everyone there.

mamaofthree on

What a terrible scare! While I think that as people we should be honest about who we are, no one ever gives out all of the information about ourselves to every person we meet. For that matter, I’m pretty sure everyone doesn’t want to hear every detail of everything! However, on something so personal and terrifying, I can’t imagine that there would be anyone who wouldn’t understand wanting a little privacy.

Blessings on your girl and your family as she heals from her surgery and you heal from worry and go on to enjoy life with your now healthy baby!

Connie on

Thank goodness for happy endings!

What a brave family you have there. Here is to many years of health and happiness for all of you!

overseas on

I’m so glad your baby girl is ok, It must have been a terrible time. I hope that now you’ll enjoy every day with her.

As for the blog, I don’t think anyone can blame you.

Good luck with everything ;)

A reader from Europe.

Lisa on

Wow Marla! I have never written a comment on this site, but your blog brought me to tears just now. I have a 14 month old myself and I am in awe of the strength of the three of you. May Elliotte continue to prosper and may God bless you all…

Megan on

I am so sorry you had to go through this. I’m sorry your little girl has had to go through this! I’m glad the issue was discovered and fixed, though, and that you are all in a place of healing. I’m so sorry for the terror you all went through! Thank you for sharing your story.

vanessagraybartal on

My daughter was also born with a CCAM four years ago. She had the right lobe of her lung removed when she was 7 months old. Handing her over to surgeons was the most difficult thing I have ever done, no matter that I knew they were some of the best in the world.

When we were going through the process, we met a 7 year-old-boy whose diagnosis had been missed. He spent several years dealing with recurring pneumonia. No matter the trauma of high-risk pregnancy and surgery, everyone tells me we’re the lucky ones because it was caught so soon and before any permanent lung damage could be done.

Blessings to you and yours.

Hayley on

SO glad everything went well. Bless your heart, what a scare! Thinking of you and your sweet family!!!!

Sarah on

Marla, your story is so heartfelt, honest, and beautifully told. The torment, uncertainty, and helplessness you feel when your baby is sick cannot be understated or even understood unless you have lived that experience. Your love and strength have paid off – your daughter is healthy.

Congratulations on enduring this hardship and coming out stronger on the other side. Your baby girl is lucky to have you.

Kami on

I cant even imagine having to go through this with my baby. I have a six month old and a three year old and every day i thank God for their health. I have had friends and family members who have had babies with health scares or issues such as hemophelia, and any time your child has to endure a surgery has got to be unimaginably heartbreaking and difficult.

You are a great mom, and I am so happy things worked out well and your baby is healthy. It’s hard to keep something so private a secret and put on a smiley happy face for others… I hope the future brings lots of health and happiness for you and your family.

Meg on

So glad you had a happy ending Marla and your sweet baby is heathy and happy….all the best to you and your little family.

KLP82 on

Wow, how scary for you and your family! I’m not a mother yet, so I can’t really put myself in your shoes, but I am an auntie to 3 beautiful children under 4, and I could only imagine how scary it would be to go through what you went through. SO happy to read that your little one is on the mend. All the best to you and yours :)

Julianna on

Thank God everything went just fine with little Elliotte (love the name!) and her surgery! Loved this post – I love how Marla is always so sincere and honest and as open as possible (I can totally understand the secrecy) about everything she went through on Elliotte’s health crisis.

Congratulations on your little trooper, Marla. She’s a beauty!

lynn on

you are a fabulous writer and made the right choice for your family :) i had a little girl dec 26th, they are too precious for words! congratulations.

Kate on

Thanks for sharing your story. So glad to hear that Elliotte is doing better and that you’ve all come through this tough time. Best wishes for only good health and happy memories in the future!

Darcy on

As I read your story it brought back memories of my youngest daughter’s birth six years ago today (Happpy Birthday Nicole!).

My daughter was born with a congenital heart defect (a few of them actually) and had her first surgery at the young age of just 5 days old. I consider August 8th her second birthday. She had one more surgery at 17 months and has been super healthy ever since. Thank goodness for the doctors/nurses at Children’s Hospital in Oakland, CA.

I can relate so much to your story. It is so stressful and people always ask me how my husband and I did it. You just do it. It is not until afterwards that you think of it and realize how stressful it was and also realize how blessed you are.

I am so happy that your little girl is doing well. Take care.

Lina on

Thank you for sharing your story. Bless you and your family.

Jess on

It takes a lot of courage to go through this experience and to talk about it. My son was born with birth defects and has required 8 surgeries to date (he is 6 now) and may need more. I completely understand what you went through and are going through. Babies truly are remarkably resilient.

I, too, don’t share the personal details of my son’s situation with people because it is very complicated and they do not understand sometimes. You have gotten through this experience and you will get through whatever life challenges are thrown at you. While I wish that my son or my family did not have to go through what we have and still do, I have found reserves of strength that I never knew I had. My son brings an inordinate amount of joy and love to my life and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

Best of luck to your family and little girl. Thank you so much for sharing your story and know that you are not alone.

Misty on

I don’t think anybody would hold it against you for keeping this quiet until everything was settled and your girl was healthy! I also love that you do share everything that you do – it could mean hope for another mom going through the same, or similar, situation. What a sweet, strong girl you have, and you’re a pretty great mama too.

Jess on

I cannot even imagine what you have been going through – if people give you a hard time about keeping this terrible ordeal from them in your time of fear and anguish, don’t listen to them. You are an inspiration and did everything a mother should. You protected yourself and your family. I will be praying for you and a total recovery!

Sara on

Marla!

Oh my goodness. I don’t have children, and so I can’t ever truly relate to what you’ve been through, but it must have been SO difficult to keep writing this blog, even reading all the POSITIVE comments, as you were going through this. I am so sorry that we weren’t able to support you in what you were TRULY going through. I can feel in your words that you’re still not quite yourself – but grateful, and relieved, etc.

I am SO HAPPY for you that everything turned out all right. Elliotte is completely darling ( I loved the picture with her little tongue poking out that you posted awhile back!) It sounds like you’re doing all the right things to get through. And don’t be afraid to ask for a little professional help if you really need to (I know, I’m a counselor myself).

You and your dear family take care, sweetie.

shannon on

I am so sorry about your daughter but glad she is doing great! She is beautiful!

Meghan on

My oldest was diagnosed with a congenital defect at the 20 week ultrasound. We too sent our baby girl off to surgery at cedars when she was 4 months old. They genuinely are far more resilient than adults or older children even.

So happy your daughter is well!

Jen P. on

Hi Marla, Your blog is one of my favorites and I’m glad you decided to keeping writing it. I’m so glad your daughter is doing better and I wish you and your family all the best now and always.

larsona2 on

Wow, thank you so much for sharing your story, and I am so happy your daughter is doing well! She is beautiful!

Annie

Perlla on

So happy things are looking good for your baby. God is so good! And don’t apologize for not saying anything earlier! This is your baby, your world. You need to do what’s best for ya’ll. Many blessings to you!

Christina on

Bittersweet is right,I am so glad baby Elliotte is doing great! I truly love your blog, please don’t ever stop blogging!!! Love all the pictures you post and love reading your blog! Elliotte is just so precious and beautiful!

Jessica on

I have never posted a comment online about anything but I was just so touched by your story and your strength and honesty and fierce love for your adorable little girl. I’m so glad that you are all ok and thank you for sharing your struggles – I’m sure a lot of people can relate.

Ashley on

The babes, Elliotte – absolutely amazing! I can’t imagine the heartache you and your family went through during the process. Sending positive vibes your way for a full recovery!!

Nikki on

I am so happy to hear that all turned out well for you, your husband and daughter! While I can’t say that I have gone thru the same thing, I can sympathize with your fears. I was high risk as well, due to my age, I was 38 when I delivered. My bloodwork came back questionable while pregnant so we were sent to a specialist and told to “prepare ourselves”. Fortunately all was well but the fear felt was very intense and truly makes you re-evaluate!!

Your daughter is beautiful!! Good luck to you and please continue to blog….I really enjoy reading them!

writerofthereal on

So glad all is well and things are behind you. It really is amazing how you just buckle down as a family and get through stuff. We had a tiny scare when my daughter, Afton, was 6-weeks-old. Just a virus (she had a 105 degree fever that wouldn’t break) but because she did not yet receive her 8 week shots they had to do a spinal tap, catheter and IV.

It was nothing compared to what others have gone through, I know, but those two days in the hospital were awful. Especially trying to breast feed while she was hooked up to a million machines. But we got through it, as did you, and are stronger on the other side!

P.S. I have the same necklace with my daughter’s name on it! I wear it everytime I am away from her <3

Maria on

You had every right to hold back and think about your family first I would have done the same thing.. I’m saddened to hear this but happy to hear your girl is out of the woods… I wish you and your family all the best and thank you for sharing your story with us….

Sheema on

The picture of your baby’s hospital bracelet had me in tears. I have two sons, and the younger of the two recently had a health crisis, so I know how you feel. He had become severely anemic & needed blood transfusions. I can tell you that any beep on any machine had me frantic with worry. I was going to pieces, mentally & emotionally.

My son didn’t need surgery, though, and he recovered quickly, thank God. One of his doctors also mentioned the point about kids being resilient, which he was.

I think you are being very, very strong and brave! I can’t imagine handing my baby away to a stranger like that! Your family is in my prayers! I hope your baby recovers completely and never has any health issues again : )

Berker on

Thank you so much for sharing your story. You are brave and amazing. I can’t even imagine what emotions you must have been dealing with or hard your situation was. I am so glad everything is okay and that you are “out of the woods” – or as much so as you can be. Life is a gift.

robynbatz on

Thank you for sharing your story. My son was also diagnosed with CCAM, discovered during my 20 week ultrasound. I can completely related to your anxiety and fear of the unknown and I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for validating my feelings of fear and unease.

After receiving our diagnosis, my husband and I were surprised by the lack of information available to us about the condition. The absence of information added to our anxiety and that of our concerned family. By sharing your story, you are opening up a dialog about this condition that can be shared with others finding themselves with the same diagnosis.

My son is almost 4 months old and his surgery is fast approaching. I am so happy to hear that your daughter recovered quickly. Thank you for helping me understand that someday this will all be a distant memory.

Angela on

Beautifully written. Thank you for sharing. I am so glad you are out of this. I am a single mother of 2 small boys (3 and a 2 year old autistic son) and I know I will be in the ER a lot once they start really hurting themselves. I dread that day.

You are a strong, amazing mother. Your daughter and husband are blessed to have you, as you are blessed to have them :)

Ashley on

Marla-
Thanks for sharing your story. I can’t imagine what you and your husband went through. Thank god for happy endings!

Jan Darrow on

Dear Marla, first and foremost, don’t beat yourself up about wanting some privacy to deal with a difficult family issue. Blog or not, you were under no obligation.

In June of 1980 I gave birth to my wonderful son Ryan. I was scheduled for a repeat C-section and was admitted to the hospital the night before. They came to draw blood and about 2 hours later they came back and drew again. A couple of hours after that they came back for a third time. I was alarmed about this, but no explanation came from anyone until the next morning.

When I was being wheeled to the operating room, I was told they had discovered that I had become a carrier of a rare antibody called “Kidd”, they weren’t sure what the outcome would be, but it would cause hemolytic anemia in my baby. Babies systems don’t produce new red cells until about 20 wks after birth and my son’s would continue to break down until his system started. We went in for weekly blood draws and his count continued to decline until at 19 weeks the Dr. said that if it didn’t go up by the next week he would need to be completely transfused.

The AIDS epidemic was in the beginning stages at that time and they didn’t know that the blood supply had been compromised. We could have lost our son so easily. On the 20th week his count went up and we were so relieved it wasn’t even funny!

My son is 32, in 2009 he graduated Summa Cum Laude from college with a degree in History and is now studying for his Master’s Degree in Library Science. He was a delightful child and is such a good man. The world would have been diminished to lose him.

I know this is not the same thing, but I can relate to how difficult this was for you at the end of your pregnancy and after. Take care and give an extra hug to your little girl for me.

Ellen on

As a baby nurse and a new mom to a 9 month old little girl, my heart goes out to you! I’m so glad that Elliotte is thriving and healthy! I’ve had several lung surgeries myself, and Elliotte will adjust to not having her upper lobe and won’t ever know any different…a plus to being so young!

Thanks for reminding me to be more thankful for our daughter and our health! Love reading your blogs!

Meghan on

Your daughter is absolutely beautiful and I love her name :)

I cried reading your post. You are a very strong Mommy, Elliotte is very lucky to have you. It is so true that you can get through anything with your daughter and husband by your side. It really puts things in perspective as to what’s important in life and what’s not. The unconditional love between a mother and child is the most important :)

PS-I love that shirt she has on, the little owl is too cute!

Sonya on

Wow! Thanks so much for sharing. It is so brave and generous to share something so difficult than the fear for the health of your baby girl. It IS a private matter and totally your decision whether to share at all, and if so, when and how.

I am so glad little Elliotte is doing well and that you had a great medical team to monitor the situation during your pregnancy and after your baby’s birth. I will take away the info gladly regarding this condition. Thanks!

Shannon on

I totally can relate to what you went through. When our son was born he had a stroke and a collapsed lung. I held him for the first time when he was 10 days old. He spent 3 weeks in the NICU and after 2 brain surgeries I can happily report that he will be a healthy 17 year old (in 2 weeks). Babies are truly resilliant.

K10 on

My heart goes out to you and your family.

No one can truly understand what you went through, and are still going through, but I understand how scary it is to have a high risk pregnancy. I had just had two miscarriages back to back when I found out that I was pregnant again. I was 5 months along when I found out I had gestational diabetes, a mild case of placenta abruption (where the placenta starts to peel away from the wall of the uterus, sometimes causing the baby to have a lack of nutrients and/or oxygen) and a severe case of pre eclampsia.

I lived in terror for the entire duration, I know what you mean about how hard it was to get excited over the pregnancy; I was so afraid that I would lose my little boy before I would ever get to see his face. Thankfully, my OB/GYN was a miracle worker, I was induced two weeks before my due date, and my little one was delivered safe and sound with no complications. He is my miracle child.

I want to thank you for writing this blog, I think sometimes as mothers we feel isolated when we are going through the hardships that life inevitably throws our way. Thank you for being so honest and supporting moms supporting other moms. Your daughter is beautiful, you have a lovely family :)

Shelly on

Your story really caught my attention. My son was also born with CCAM, I was almost 30 weeks when he was diagnosed. He had surgery at 4 months old, and had about half of his left lung removed. He is now 5 years old, so healthy! He is incredibly active, extremely smart, and just bears a small scar on his left side as a reminder of what he went through.

Your story almost parallels mine, I’m glad you told it because there is not much awareness about this condition! I am so glad to hear everything went well with your daughter, I know she will grow healthy and strong just like my son.

Kate on

I am so happy that your little girl is okay. I can’t imagine how scary that must have been. I’m currently 21 weeks pregnant and worry every day something like that will go wrong with my little man.

Danielle on

Hi,

I always read your blog, I find you very interesting and your truth is refreshing. As a mother of 2 beautiful boys, I can’t imagine how hard it is to go through all of this. I understand your mind running in 100 different directions, all while your heart is breaking.

Just wanted to send you a quick note to keep your head up and cherish that adorable little girl of yours. All will be just fine :-)

-Danielle from sunny Florida

Autumn Blackmon on

I will remember you and your daughter in my prayers tonight. I only have one daughter who is grown up now but she still has my heart every day. I do not know if I could have handled what you are doing without being able just feel like giving up. God Bless You.

A.B.

Alexis on

I totally understand those emotions! When my son was 18 months old, he was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder. The initial diagnosis was cancer – I thank God that it turned out to be something else, though his treatment (chemotherapy and steroids) is very cancer-like.

During his hospital visit, he went to surgery to insert a port (which makes his blood draws and chemo treatments SO much easier), he was laying on his stomach (thus pressing on his port) a few hours after surgery. His doctor said that her teenage patients would have still been asking for pain meds at that point. I guess babies really are resilient!

My heart goes out to you. Being in the hospital for your baby leaves you feeling so helpless. I hope your daughter continues to heal and grow into a happy, lovely little girl!

Holly on

I just wanted to give you some reassurance – not that you need it, but it always helps. I was born with CCAM in 1989, and here I am a healthy 22 year old woman, with a daughter of my own. If they could help me in 1989, I have no doubt that your little girl is being well taken care of now. They also removed the upper lobe of my left lung. I still have the scar on my side, but I just call it my battle scar.

I have no asthma, or any abnormalities breathing. I believe your little girl is going to be just fine. I can’t imagine what you went through, as my mother often conveys to me how difficult it was to watch such a little baby hooked up to so many machines but be reassured your daughter is in wonderful hands.

Also, CCAM has not been proven to be a family trait, so I wouldn’t worry about that either. I was so worried when I was pregnant that my daughter would have CCAM from my genes, but she was born with no signs and as perfect as could be. Your family is in my prayers, and I have to say I had never known it was so uncommon (1 in 30,000 is uncommon to me at least.)

Have a great weekend,
Holly

Missy on

I’m so sorry that your baby girl went through this. I said a little prayer for you and your family. We all want our babies to be healthy and happy, and I can only imagine how devastating it is to see your baby suffering in any way. These babies really make you grow up quickly, and they put everything into perspective.

I wish you and your family much health and happiness.

Leanne on

Thank you for sharing this private experience with us. Your story brought me to tears as I too had my son undergo surgery as an infant. I can remember exactly how I felt four years ago when the nurse carried my son away to be put under. I felt helpless, nauseas, and nervous. It was nice that they let you stay in the doorway when they put Elliotte under.

I am so glad that she is making a full recovery-as are you and your husband! All the best! She is absolutely beautiful!

Erin on

As a first time mom myself, I would have also kept this close to my heart, I don’t think anyone could possibly blame you about that! I will keep your sweet little girl in my thoughts… keep on blogging girl, it’s been great to share the journey!

Amanda on

I completely understand why you kept this close to heart and did not share until now. What a terribly difficult thing to have to go through. :( As a first time mother of a 10 month old baby girl, I had to hold back some tears reading this. You, your husband and your sweet little baby girl are so strong!

I am so happy to hear that Elliotte is doing well. She is beautiful (just like her mommy) and seems so very sweet. :) I wish nothing but health and happiness to you and your family. <3

Jenn on

I completely understand what you’re going through because my little girl had the same exact surgery when she was 11 weeks old. At my 20 week anatomy scan they found a mass in her lung which was diagnosed as a CCAM/BPS hybrid. I also endured the weekly ultrasounds and uncertainty but I can happily report that she is now a happy and healthy 9 month old. We had her last follow up appointment at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia a few weeks ago and her lung tissue has grown back and she couldn’t be better =)

Take strength in knowing that this ordeal is much more difficult on us as the parents than it is on them. Here’s to happy and healthy babies!!

Deanna on

Your story had me in tears. You and your little girl are amazing. God only gives us what we can handle and you are incredibly strong.

God bless your family. And please keep writing your blog!

Ona on

How very brave and beautiful. I cannot imagine the pain and anxiety that you both had to have been experiencing. Well done, Mom and Dad! I think that you did a wonderful job staying strong for each other and your little one. Good health and happiness to you all.

Miesha on

Dear Marla,

Thank you for sharing your story. I have been following your blog and I have enjoyed your honesty throughout. We were pregnant around the same time – experiencing the excitement of becoming first time mommies!

I did not know until now that we shared a similar experience with our little girls. My daughter had open heart surgery day four and another surgery at 6 months. I also call her my little trooper. Wow, her strength and resilience was and continues to be amazing! Your recent blog touched my heart because I felt all that you described.

I never really paid too much attention to the words “mom and baby are healthy and doing just fine” or “the miracle of life”, until after my daughter’s surgeries. Now everytime I hear those words I offer up a prayer of gratitude.

Thanks again for sharing and a prayer for both of our daughters to have a long life of good health and happiness.

Kari on

Aloha Marla,

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I was in tears as I too had a scare with my little boy when he was born. Noah was born 3 weeks early, by c-section, and he swallowed a lot of amniotic fluid during the birth which he could not get rid of. I got to see him right when he was born, but they whisked him away quickly so I had a feeling something was not quite right.

After I got to my room, I wasn’t able to see my baby until the next morning. That was so hard! He was hooked up to monitors and oxygen and could not come out of the nursery. We live on Maui and there is no NICU. We were hoping Noah would be able to get rid of the fluid and be able to come home or even stay in my room, however he just couldn’t and needed to be airlifted to another island, Oahu, and the children’s hospital and NICU.

It was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. I could not fly with my son and had to meet him on the other island. Noah spent 6 days in the NICU and my husband and I never left his bassinet. Fortunately, Noah recovered, however he still has breathing issues that we deal with whenever the weather changes here.

Mahalo (thank you) for your honesty and candor. All my best wishes to you and your beautiful ‘ohana (family).

Tracy on

Your correct in saying as parents we are never really out of the woods, its a package deal I guess! I am breathing a sigh of relief for your little girl and your family, thank goodness this was taken care of early on. Both my daughters were born premature and they had to have procedure after procedure for certain health issues as infants, I know the feeling of terror you and your husband felt.

My daughters are now 13 and 11 yrs old, healthy and happy….I wish continued good health and happiness for Elliotte and your family. Thank you for sharing your story Marla.

shannon on

My son is 17m now but 3 days after he was born he ended up in the Nicu for two weeks due to breathing problems. I know how hard it can be its actually the worst for parents with full term babies vs premies. I wouldn’t of felt inclined to share with the world. It was a private scary time for my husband and I but it does make you and your marriage stronger and you can appreciate this tiny being so much more!

Abby on

So glad to hear all is ok and so sorry for all you have had to go through. I think that as parents it definitely shortens our lives a little when we go through a crisis with a child. My children are grown now, but I recall very vividly my son having to go through open heart surgery as a baby.

I honestly believe that you don’t know how strong you are until you face something that forces you to muster up all the reserve strength you have. Tragically, we had already lost his newborn brother prior to this, so we were beyond petrified to go through serious surgery. Him having to be on the heart-lung bypass was the scariest…but thankfully all went well, we are forever grateful, and he’s now an awesome, healthy grown-up!

Best wishes to you and your adorable little girl…hope she has a healthy childhood from here on out.

Big Fan on

There is nothing harder than to have a baby have a serious problem. My niece went through it, and sadly passed at age 2.5. Best to you and your precious miracle.

NW Mama on

Wow, what a terrible thing for your family to go through, I remember when my daughter was born not breathing and laying there on the bed after delivery with your daughter turning blue, the feelings that go through you and all the fear, but the hospital staff (like 20 people) came rushing in to tube her with oxygen and when she cried, oh what a sound that was, Now she is 19 and a thriving athlete.

God Bless you and your family for all that you have endured and here’s wishing nothing but the best for all of you for a very long time.

Just Me on

Elliotte looks SO cute in the top picture :) I feel so bad for you! I hope she’s OK and you never have to go through that again! By the way, I always thought you were so pretty on Full House :)

Stay Strong!
-JustMe

Stacey on

Marla~ As a mother who delivered a son who was dead and then spent 15 days in the NICU on a ventilator; I totally understand what you have been going through. Let me tell you though, it is no joke when they say babies are resilient; at the time I was tired of people telling me that, however, now I know it is the truth.

You are correct that it takes the parents much longer to recover, and to this day (15yrs later) I still worry about my baby! I can happily report that he is now 15 and has had a very healthy, active life.

I sincerely hope that your little ANGEL will have a healthy, active life from here on out! I wish you ALL the best and God’s Blessings!

bamagrl33 on

I have been looking for your next blog as I love yours so much and was so sad to read why the long delay in writing.

I have a little girl who is almost the exact same age as Elliotte so I love reading your thoughts. I am so glad to hear that your beautiful little girl got through surgery and can’t imagine the anguish you felt and I’m sure still do worring about your precious little one.

It is amazing how strong you are to share your story, I can’t even begin to imagine what a hard thing that is to do, but I know there are so many out there who appreciate it and find strength in your story! I am actually a surgeon (for adults) and can’t imagine being the one watching my little girl being put to sleep in the OR…

Debbie on

Thank God she is all right. That is all that matters. God bless her that she is fine … Thank God….

Beth on

Positive thoughts and prayers to you and Alec and Elliotte. You are very brave to relive this through the blog to potentially help some other mother when she has to live with those fears.

Bless the people who tried to boost you up with inane comments about babies resiliency. People just don’t know how to help.

I remember when my dad died, I was completely torn up and some of the things people said, unbeknownst to them, just made it worse. As an adult I actually feel for those who try to say something. I look back and can appreciate the intention. Sometimes I just think it’s best to say, “I’m sorry, I love you, I’m here for you.”

Take care.

Tara on

Oh dear friend…I can certainly relate to what you are going thru…reading this brought back a sad memory of my first born daughter as well…she was born with a congenital diaphramatic hernia…and as she was growing, the hole in her diaphram was letting her intestines up into her lungs and her breathing was labored.

She would gasp after every breath during nursing, and her Godfather thought it was odd…I never had had a baby, so I didn’t know what was bad and what was good-and I will forever be thankful to her Godfather for putting us on notice-as the next night she kept throwing up breastmilk and bile-took her to the hospital, and we found out what was happening.

I remember that same feeling you must have felt to have to hand over your precious baby and putting it all in God’s hands…I also felt so helpless as they took her off. They gave her a 30% chance-but she was a fighter! she defied the odds and people kept calling her that miracle baby.

I am happy to report that my little miracle baby just graduated High School and is still as fiesty as ever! She has a war wound that looks like she was literally cut in half (which she pretty much was) and she has learned that having that scar is proof that God has some special plans for her.

I wish you, Elliotte & your hubby all the best!! She’s just precious…and I have a feeling that she’s a fighter as well…

XOXO T♥

Lisa on

Fyi. heaven forbid you are ever in another situation like this , but if you are, there are many hospitals that will allow for parent participation induction. My son had surgery when he was three and i was there when he fell asleep.

Selena on

It’s remarkable to hear things are starting to get back to fairly “ordinary” in your lives. Ordinary seems so nice in times like this, and fairly ordinary is a good compromise. It must have been so hard never showing the fears you’ve had. Everyone thinking, and probably commenting on how, you must have been so reassured to know your unborn baby was healthy when you felt quite the contrary.

I can never know your pain; I can never know your family’s resilience. As a mom you’ll always worry about your daughter, and you’ll worry considerably more and for additional reasons. No matter the situation you were given, you’re a great a mom and you’ve got it covered. I know the medical concerns aren’t over, but it sounds as if the most terrifying parts are through. Now, my hope for you is to have more bliss than fears as you can finally settle into the real fun stuff because you deserve it!!

Great job on the blog!!

Cindy on

This kid is a cutie, and I hope she’ll live a long and happy life.

Deserae on

Prayers for continued success on this path of Motherhood! She is truly a blessed baby to have such an amazing set of parents!

madfilm on

My son had a lobectomy at 2 weeks of age. It was also the upper left lobe. He is now almost 7 months old. Glad to hear your little girl is doing well.

Deserae on

And btw–I always thought that saying “To have a child is to watch your heart walk around outside your body” was lame but once you have kids you get it. Our children are pieces of us that are connected to us in such a deep way.

Abbie on

Thank you for you honesty Marla. I am tearing up as I am writing this. My heart goes out to you, Alec and most importantly Elliotte. I am not a mother, but I grew up with a sibling that had to spend a significant amount of time in a hospital at a very young age and as she got older, so I do know the emotions involved.

Also one of my best friends had their little girl in November of 2008 when she was actually due in March 2009. And I will say that little girl has been through hell and back, she is the strongest person I have ever met and she isn’t even 4 yet. She still has to go through a kidney transplant in September and she has a smile on her face everyday in and out of all the hospitals she goes too.

I wish your little girl health and happiness and again my heart goes out to you and your family.

Kristina C. on

I’m crying as I’m reading. So glad everything is okay now. She’s simply beautiful!

Jessica K on

I am so sorry you and your family had to go through this. But I am so very glad she was able to have the surgery and that they found the problem in time to be able to correct it. There is nothing worse as a parent than not being able to “fix it”. May God continue to bless you and yours.

Desaree on

Dear Marla,

Thank you for being so honest about your life. I’ve been wanting to comment ever since you blogged about your struggles with breastfeeding. I too was struggling with that at the same time. My baby girl was born on March 11th. You are incredibly strong & wish you many blessings with your little girl. Just wanted to tell you that you really helped me by writing your blog.

Sincerly, Desaree

Lana on

Thank you for sharing your story Marla. I’m so happy that your little girl is ok and I’m sure she will live a long and healthy life! I’m on 25th week right now of a high risk pregnancy so I know the worry you went through on daily basis. I’m counting down the days until I deliver and hope and pray that my baby will be ok. Good luck to you!

Stacy on

Your amazing post brought me to tears. I am so glad your adorable little babe is doing okay now. I can’t imagine the stress of what you went through, and I think it is completely understandable that you kept the situation private until Elliotte was successfully through surgery. I’m glad you’ve shared it with people now, but of course even more glad you all are okay. Have been a fan of yours for forever, and am an even bigger fan now!

Finley's mom on

You’re amazing! Thanks for sharing your experiences. I for one totally understand not putting something like this out there until you were ready. She is a beautiful little girl and she is so lucky to have you as you are to have her.

Lesley on

What a beautiful little girl……

Jennifer Rice on

I am so glad you read every comment. I wanted to tell you, I cried reading this. And yes, I understand your thoughts behind when to share. I’m so glad everything is ok. Enjoy those cuddles! I miss them, mine is almost 4 years old.

Jen on

Thank you for so much for sharing. My daughter was also born with multiple congenital anomolies with no known cause. We discovered it at 20 weeks as well, and there is something grossly tragic about being so worried during your pregnancy and many moments after they are born. There is true grieving about the joyful experience so many people around you are having.

My daughter is almost a year old and she has had eight hospital stays and four surgeries. And yes, everyone who says she is resilient is correct, but that comment always angers me because she shouldn’t HAVE to be – she’s a little tiny baby who shouldn’t have be poked and prodded and repaired. It’s a hard journey, but I’m grateful for moms who understand the emotions and can commiserate!

Best wishes to you and your little lady.

4coconuttymonkeys on

Oh, this post totally brought me to tears. I’ve had to hand my baby over to surgeons to work on my baby boy and nothing can explain the feelings that a parent goes through when doing that.

Thank you for sharing your daughter’s story! I love reading what you have to write/say and love your raw honesty, it’s refreshing.

Obviously you are enjoying the moments that you have and this isn’t the annoying “are you going to have another baby?!” question… just truly curious… it this a totally rare thing to happen or is it likely to happen with anymore children that you could have?

Grace on

I applaude Marla for talking about this, My daughter was born with a rare birth defect and we found out the day we were going to take her home from the hospital. For two whole days the hospital staff assured us she was perfect and then boom the world stopped for us.

My daughter had 3 operations her first 3 months of life, the first at 6 days old. It was the hardest time of my life and I still dont think about it without crying.

Good luck to marla and her family her daughter is just beautiful.

Lindsey on

I’m so thrilled to read that she (as well as mom and dad) are doing well after such a scary ordeal. I can relate to your fear. I’d like to add what my husband wrote about our little one not too long ago.

During the pregnancy, the triple test results came back positive for Spina Bifida. An ultrasound found no evidence of it, but showed enlarged ventricles (the fluid filled areas of the brain). An amniocentesis (test of the amniotic fluid) came back normal and we were sent for a fetal MRI. The MRI results showed; absent corpus callosum (the bundle of fibers that links the two hemispheres of the brain), small cerebellar vermis (the site of termination of the spinocerebellar pathways that carry subconscious proprioception), abnormal brain tissue and worsening enlargement of the ventricles. New Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) is constantly being made, circulated, and reabsorbed, but she was not reabsorbing it fast enough, a condition called Hydrocephalus. Her head size increased faster than the rest of her body due to all the extra fluid. Mom produced extra amniotic fluid that was nearing dangerous levels for her own health, and Alivia’s head reached full term size by 32wks. She was induced at that point so they wouldn’t have to do a c-section. Alivia was baptized in the hospital on the night she was born. She was in the NICU and ICN for 45 days before we got to bring her home. During her stay, it was noticed that she had trouble coordinating the sucking and swallowing needed to eat by mouth and a gastrostomy tube(g-tube), (a feeding tube placed in the abdomen that goes directly to the stomach), was placed. After signs of increased pressure in her head were noticed, a VP shunt (valve and catheter to drain excess CSF from the brain to the abdominal cavity), was placed on April 20th. Around the 3rd weekend of June, she started showing signs of the pressure building up again and a surgery was set up to find the problem. The shunt valve had become blocked, which is far too common, and it was replaced. The CT scan after the revision showed a subdural hematoma (bleeding from the blood vessels around the brain), which was drained with a needle. The hematoma moved slightly at first, also fairly common, and then another one showed up on the other side of her head. They placed another shunt to drain the blood, but warned us of it becoming blocked easily due to the fact that blood clots. All the things the specialist at Seattle Children’s had told us were coming to fruition. She was eating through a tube, could only see lights and shadows, and having seizures(staring spells). We made the decision to not put her through more surgeries after that, as she was living the exact life we didn’t want for her, one where she spent all her time in the hospital being cut up and medicated. If we felt or the DR’s felt, that she could have some quality of life with a few more surgeries we would have been all for it, but the Neurologist, Neurosurgeon, and others DR’s agreed that this was the best choice for her. We were blessed to get the time with her that we got. Though an incredible amount of tests have been run, no cause, or single condition/syndrome has been found.

Alivia Dawn Spaulding 12/28/2010 – 7/13/2011

Our story obviously has a different ending. But thats OK. I’m glad that yours has a very happy end and a bright future. God Bless your family.

Mandy on

When I was pregnant with my little girl, I went for an ultrasound at 23 weeks and was told that she could have a mass on her lungs known as CAMM’s. I freaked out, we had to wait 6 weeks to have another ultrasound, to see if that was indeed what it was. That was the longest 6 weeks ever. I read everything about it, and made me even more scared. Thank God it was not CAMM’s I do not know what I would have done if it was.

God bless your little one, and your family.

Ashley on

So glad that sweet Elliotte is doing well! I have an 11-month-old and I can’t imagine how it would feel to go through something like that. Thank you for sharing your experiences with all of us! I am always looking forward to your next blog post!

Jeana on

God Bless

Jennie on

I’m glad you’ve gone this next to your family is very supportive of you.

My prayers are with you and your family.

Remember: God does not give you a heavier cross from which you can bear the load.

And that little person is the engine of your life and reason to fight every day. Congratulations on your courage to share your experience.

Anniebug on

I can’t imagine going through that. I’m the Mom of a two week baby girl and I thank God every day that she’s healthy and thriving.

God bless you and your family with many many years of health and happiness :)

Alissa on

I am also someone who has never responded but felt the urge to do so after your newest blog.

Thank you for sharing this with us and thank goodness your daughter is doing well after such a serious and invasive surgery.

There are so many rare medical disorders out there that are so rare that very little information and research are available to those whose lives are affected by it. Hopefully, your courage to come forward will allow for there to be more awareness to these kinds of issues.

Best wishes to you and your family!

Lynne on

Marla,

Y’all are such troopers!! My sons (twins) were 7 weeks premature. Their 1st 2 weeks were spent in the NICU. Then the littleist one ended up having undescended testicles. At 6 months he had the first operation. That anxiety of watching your baby being wheeled away is so traumatic! His second operation came when he was about 18 months. Talk about resiliant–he was jumping off the back of the couch right after we got home (with stitches in his groin–no less!).

I’m so glad Elliotte is doing good, and she is so adorable!! Give her all kinds of big hugs for me, and a super big hug for you and your hubby!!

Can’t wait to read more!
–Lynne

Lynn on

I so feel for her situation. My 10 yr. old was born w/ cleft lip & palate. She had her first surgery at 3 months old. I remember giving her over to the nurse and she smiled at me as they carried her off. She had a 4 hour surgery last year on August 1 and even though I’d been through it before, it didn’t make it any easier. I hope that her baby is doing well and that nothing else will have to be done for her later. It is very difficult as a parent to entrust your child’s life to someone else. It is one of the hardest things a mother can do.

Paula on

I know how you feel. My daughter was born with pulmonary stenosis and we did not find that out until she was born. They were not going to let us leave the hospital with her.

Three months after she was born she had to have heart surgery that went up through a vein in her groin. That was a scary process. Every two to three years now we have to have a eckocaridiogram done to make sure her surgery worked. It is so hard every time we have to have it done. She is a healthy little girl, but every time she has the procedure done I always am concerned.

I hope your little girl stays healthy.

Paula

Kristine C on

My 1st daughter was diagnosed with a CCAM while in utero also, and underwent surgery to remove her left lower lobe at 6 months. I’m happy to say that she is now 7 and is perfectly normal, plays in sports, and has no respiratory problems whatsoever.

Even now I still vividly remember finding out about it at 18 weeks, getting ultrasounds every other week, and being prepared for a baby in distress at delivery……only to have her come out perfect. I thank my lucky stars that they discovered the CCAM and removed it, and we don’t have to worry how it could have affected her if it wasn’t discovered.

Enjoy your beautiful baby, and know that soon this will just be a distant memory…..with a very small faded scar.

Heather on

I hope your family is able to truly enjoy all the memories that are ahead of you. Sometimes fear can keep a stranglehold on us no matter how hard we fight against it. The worries never end; part of being a parent. Also, my heart broke a little with the pic of the hospital bracelet. So happy things are moving in a happy direction.

Maria on

Keeping a positive yet realistic outlook is the best way to recover. Your little one is a strong soul, she knew she would be ok! Kids are beautiful in that way. Many blessings for wonderful years ahead!

TracyLA on

Marla – like many others commenting here, your blog brought me to tears. I am so glad your precious little daughter, you, and your husband are okay.

Having to see your little baby go through tough medical issues is extremely painful. But, it really is so true that babies can be very resilient. Thank God for that! My baby was in the NICU for the first week of his life but is completely fine now. It was the toughest experience of our lives to see him in the NICU.

Our best to your family.

Heather on

@Alexis: Does your son have histio?

Alissa on

Thank you for not sharing when you were in the middle of it and for now sharing when you are out of the scary place.

Although I appreciate others’ abilities to be transparent in a crisis, I do find it odd or uncomfortable. I feel like the person should be 100% focused on the obstacle in front of them instead of sharing feelings about it. And then I feel obligated to have that same ability to wrap my mind around the issue and emotionally process it all in less than 10 minutes. Well I can say, I don’t have that ability and end up crying and feeling terrible that I can’t be a pillar of strength for that person.

So again, I say thank you for waiting to share this news. I am happy the story has a happy ending and that you have had time to process all of your emotions and gain perspective or should I say have a change in perspective.

Also I am glad you did share your story since there are so many other parents going through similar events who need their feelings validated and need to hear that good news can follow bad news. God Bless!

Allyson on

Your story brought me to tears…my baby girl (now 15 months) had surgery to correct a spinal cord defect when she was 4.5 months old. Your description of handing over the baby to the nurse, waiting the longest hours of your life while she was in surgery…I just relived it all as I read your words and so identify with what you have been through!

It will be a year ago this month that doctors performed the surgery, and I am beyond grateful for how they took care of her during that time. Talk about the resilience of babies- she is walking (almost running!) and shows no signs of the health complication she faced. Only the scar that runs along her lower spine serves as the reminder. I still cringe and sigh when I remember those days in the hospital with her, but it was all definitely harder on me and her daddy than on her- just like you said!

Your post was beautifully written. Thanks for sharing and for your honesty. I know we moms (especially moms that have babies with health challenges) will always worry. Take the advice of one of the many doctors we’ve seen over the past many months…keep the worrying in check and try to ENJOY your baby! I’m sure you do.

All the best,
Allyson in LA

Krissy on

What a beautiful family. I am so happy that everyone is feeling much better now. God Bless!

Edna Rodriguez on

Hi Marla,

I first want to thank God your daughter is doing better today. I sat here reading your blog and with tears in my eyes i was able to relate to your story, even to how annoying certain comments that truly were meant for encouragment, but just don’t bring any comfort. Life is never the same when your children go through serious events when just starting life.

I have 3 children, two of whom which were born with ARPKD a kidney disease that put both my daughter and son on diaylsis at only months old. My daughter who will be 3yr this month recieved a kidney transplant October of 2011 and got her daddy’s kidney. My son who is 2yrs old will receive his kidney transplant we hope within 2 months and he’ll get my kidney.

Needless to say there were many, many events in the midst of all this that put our family through alot, but our love and values have gotten stronger. I believe my kids have a huge purpose in life with an amazing story already to start them off. And you precious girl will also have an amazing purpose with an incrediable story to start with as well. And you’ll see as they grow they live life a bit different and so will you…a way to admire. To have health is a privilage and we learned to be grateful for even the smallest things in life.

Blessings to you and your family.

P.S you’re doing a great job and Elliotte has the best hand picked parents :-)

Jess B on

Thank you for sharing your story with us. I’m sure your candidness will be a comfort to moms, and families, going through similar struggles. So very happy to hear your little miracle is doing well!

Christi on

Marla ~ I can’t say I know much about a CCAM but do totally understand handing your child off to a surgeon. I have a son who is now 2 years old. When my son was 13 months old, they found a tumor on his right lung. And prior to this he had been sick on and off for about 3-4 months. When the tumor was found we were admitted to the childrens hospital in our area to figure out what was next. When we got admitted it was on the cancer ward of that hospital because at that time we didn’t know whether or not he had cancer. When I thought he might have CANCER, I wasn’t sure how to go on living day to day. I felt guilty..like maybe I’d done something wrong when I was pregnant with him.

He went through surgery to have the tumor removed on March 3oth of that year. Passing my son off to the surgeon (who was absolutely wonderful) was without a doubt the hardest thing my husband and I had ever done. While family (and our 5 year old son) waited in his room, we went outside to just be alone together and cry. We didn’t know whether our son had cancer and what would happen during the 5 hour or so surgery.

To make a long story short, with lots and lots of prayers our son came through great with no cancer!! He had a twin that was lost early on in my pregnancy and that was what happened. The baby that didn’t make it attached to him and that is called a teratoma. He bounced back so quickly, like Elliotte and is much better now than before. God definitely answered our prayers and made sure our babies would be ok. May God continue to bless your family and your precious little girl!!

Bree on

My heart goes out to you and your beautiful family Marla.

It is nothing short of a miracle that my own baby girl did not have to lung surgery within the first 24 hours of her birth. When my water broke (finally, I was 13 days late and induced) we knew something had gone wrong, there was blood and muconium. The NICU was immediately put on alert as was surgery because if I couldn’t deliver within 8 hours it would become a health risk for both of us.

Thankfully I was able to push her out myself but before I even delivered the placenta she was in the NICU and being x-rayed where they found a pinhole. She was put on oxygen and we were told she had 24 hours to start healing on her own or it would be surgery. That was the longest day and night of my life but she started to heal and within 48 hours the hole was gone.

She spent a total of 75 1/2 hours in the NICU with my husband and I going down every three hours, day and night, to visit her and feed her and then we spent one night in the mother baby unit together before all being discharged together, something that would not have been possible had it not been for my amazing doctor.

Today Elianna is a healthy active 8 month old who takes pleasure in proving to her daddy and I that there is absolutely nothing wrong with her lungs!!

I can only imagine how hard the end of you pregnancy and those days in the hospital were for you all. I still wake up in a panic at night and have to make sure Elly is still there and we aren’t back in the hospital waiting and having to see her hooked up to endless machines and monitors.

I pray that this soon becomes nothing but a bad dream for you and your husband as well.

Eliotte is absolutely adorable and looks like a total sweetheart, love the picture of her in the glasses!!

Cami on

I am sorry to hear that you struggled for that long. I can also relate, my daughter also had to get surgery when she was 5 months. She had a cyst on her skull, and we were in the same boat (had to bring her back to operation room). No fun, but I tell you our daughter was better within a day (stitches and all). It was like nothing ever happened to her (my husband and I a different story too).

Good to see your daughter also bounced back quicker than you imagined! Good luck to you all! Hopefully it is all in the past now and you can move on!

Shannon on

Like so many others, I have never commented on anything but I just felt I had to for this heartbreaking yet wonderfully inspiring story – thank you for sharing it!

As a mom of 3 little girls, I know how much anxiety and fear can go into parenting on a daily basis and that is not including health scares such as what you and your sweet family have endured!

I am so happy that your beautiful baby girl is on the mend and will no doubt go on to lead a healthy and blessed life. Prayers for you and yours from one mom to another!

Erin on

As a mother of 4, one who recently also had surgery at 11 months I know the fear and feelings you have described.

So glad she is out of the woods and you can move on, leaving the black cloud in the dust!!!

And do not apologize for holding back. Regardless of the choice to blog for people, the health and safety and privacy of you, your baby, and your family comes first!

Prisca on

Wow my heart goes out to you. It brought me to tears reading everything you and your family have been through.

I too know what it feels like to have your little girl in the hospital. My daughter was in the NICU for the first week of her life. I held her for the first time when she was 5 days old. Only to be back in the hospital at 11 months with pneumonia. And then surgery last year to remove her tonsils.

So hang in there girl! It will get better. I am happy to report that my “little” girl is about to turn 8 and is healthy and happy.

em on

May God bless you all. May Elliotte have excellent health.

Jodi on

I have never commented on these blogs before but your latest post touched my heart. Your emotions are so relatable to all of us mothers out there, particularly those of children who have had serious health obstacles or serious injuries (as is the case with my own son).

I want to thank you for your courage in sharing not just this experience but your fears and concerns as well – I know I would have found these words helpful after my own son’s accident. You do a great job of describing the fear, isolation and alienation we feel when our children are threatened in a serious way.

I hope you and your family continue to be blessed on the road to Elliotte’s recovery.

Lisa on

I am truly amazed with your honesty and courage. I wish you and your family the best. Keeping you in my prayers.

Kate on

I was very excited when I saw Marla was writing a blog for People.com. I remember the days of watching her on Full House. From the smoking in the bathroom, to the party she threw when her mom was at work.

I find your blog very refeshing, Marla. Many people think celebrities are not normal parents but there is such a open, warm, inviting human element that is found in every entry. Your daughter is so beautiful. I am so glad that Elliotte–and your entire family–have made it through this obstacle and with flying colors!

I don’t think anyone can blame you for holding back with this issue. You are a mother first and no one can blame you for putting your mama instincts ahead of informing the public. I applaud you for being open about such a private thing. It takes a lot of courage and strength to open up about such a scary thing that no one could have even blamed you for keeping to yourself. I have no doubt that your entry has brought a lot of peace to parents out there going through the same thing.

I wish you and your little family all the best!

Nikki (Mommatink) on

I am so glad that your beautiful little girl is okay!! I know how you feel…my son Charlie was born completely blind due to a birth defect that happens during development much like Elliotte’s condition. We found out there was something wrong at his two week check up when his pediatrician could not see the “red eye” bounce back from his eyes. We were sent to a specialist and then to the best retinal surgeon in the west coast.

I will always remember seeing my little six week old angel being wheeled off to surgery. The surgeon was not able to restore any vision but Charlie recovered from the surgery amazingly. I definately agree that it is much harder on the parents. I never dreamed I had so much strength inside me to get through not only the surgery but every challenge the day brings. I am blessed to be Charlie’s Momma he is two now and is more and more amazing every day.

Welcome to the strong momma club!!!

Kjme on

My baby was born 9 weeks early and spent 14 weeks in the NICU with various complicatons. She had to have surgery as well. I can still see her little legs kicking as they rolled her away to the operating room. Its been about 12 months since that day and shes doing really well now.

I wanted to share because I’ve learned that its important to give yourself time to recover mentally. Please be gentle with yourself as you move forward with your new family!

michpal123 on

Just started following your blog today. So glad that your precious baby is doing well. God bless you and your family!

Linda on

Reading your story brought back many memories of ER visits and hospital waiting rooms. My daughter was born with an undiagnosed neurological condition. When she started puberty, her brain sent out stray electrical signals with terrifying results. She was hospitalized 37 times over the next few years – some of which lasted months while doctor’s tried everything to stabilize her. Thank God for the specialists the National Institutes of Health referred us to. They saved her life. She turned 26 last week and is looking forward to getting married soon. There were many times I thought she would not survive yet another crisis but she did. I can’t wait to see her walk down the isle. Prayer and faith can work miracles.

Cynthia on

Thank you for sharing this. I respect and understand why you would want to hold back sharing your family’s story. Thank you for your refreshing honesty. Pregnancy, birth and the first year of your childs life are a wonderous, scary , exciting time of discovery. I wish you only the best happy moments going forward as mother and daughter.

Kami on

I am very happy to hear your little darling is doing well ! We spent 3 weeks in the hospital last month ( June 2012 ) with our oldest child : ( He’s only 7 years old. It was extremely difficult for my husband and I and our families. Our oldest has a very rare Kidney Disease and was originally in the hospital because of surgery ( he had to be permanently catheterized in order to save his Kidneys ) and he was in the hospital for a week.

Then we were home for a few days when he started vomiting uncontrollably. Very scary. We took him back to the hospital. He was so bad that the Nurses kept having to shake him to make him breathe. He was in so much pain he actually stopped breathing. So scary. We learned that he had a serious bowel obstruction and Kidney infection. We were in the hospital for 2 weeks after that. It was awful. But thankfully we are home and recovering just in time for him to start 2nd grade.

Moral of my story is that I relate to being in the hospital for a long time while you watch your precious child cope with serious and painful surgery and recovery. Sadly, for us, our son’s disease is permanent and will never go away. But thank heavens for modern medicine : ) Hugs to you and your family !

Brooke on

I hope your daughter has a long and healthy life!

Shirlene on

I am so glad that your baby girl is okay. I read your blog every time you have a new one. I grew up watching you on Full House.

As I don’t know exactly what you are going through, I’ve been on the friend side of it. My best friend’s little girl had to undergo open heart surgery when she was 2 years old.

She had a hole in her heart that caused the oxygenated blood to go back through to be re-oxygenated. The doctors didn’t even notice she had a problem until her 1 year well check. The doctor heard a murmur through her temple. They were going to wait until she was 3 to do the surgery, but her heart doctor thought otherwise. By Christmas her hole was getting bigger, her heart was enlarging & she was having problems breathing. Needless to say, after an almost 6 hour surgery, they repaired her heart.

It was AMAZING to see how a little 2 year old could bounce back so quickly. Yeah she tired easily, but she was ready to go. Three days after surgery, she insisted on being wheeled around the hospital in a wagon. Of course she fell asleep as soon as she made her rounds of saying HI to everyone. She is now 4 years old & you could never tell she had an operation, let alone open heart surgery. Her last ultrasound showed the heart had repaired itself. She has doubled in size in the last 2 years. Where before her surgery, she was tiny.

I know your little girl will thrive like my best friends daughter did. I am glad that you felt comfortable enough with us to share. Thank you!

K on

I literally cried reading this. My little guy is a month younger than your daughter. He was born via an emergency c-section and spent some time in the NICU – completely unplanned and terrifying. So happy that your little girl is doing well! I love reading your blog.

JEN on

Marla, as parents we are forever worrying about our children. I have two, a boy who is 15 and my daughter who is 10. My daughter when she was first born she was born upside down and with a blue color to her skin. She was born with asthma which in turn brought her to the hospital every weekend. There was a time where her pulomonolgist thought she had cystic fibrosis because of all the symptoms she had.

Thank goodness it wasnt but that time was the scariest 48 hrs of our lives.. Thank god every day that everything is great and only think positive.

Good luck to you and your family.

Amy Y. on

The tears are flowing as I read your post. I have two little ones and it tears at my heart if they have a runny nose. I can’t imagine the strength you and your husband have to see your precious one go through all of this. Please know that i’m wishing the best for you and your family..and from one mother to another my heart aches for you…but also, my heart bursts with happiness for you…for you know a love like no other. It’s such a precious gift these babies. All the best to your family.

Pearl Taylor on

Your blog just broke my heart and had such a wonderful ending…I am sorry for what you all went thru, but in the end you remain a stronger more loving family. My prayers and love are with you!

Denise on

Wow! I got chills. I cannot even imagine what you and your family went through. God Bless you all. I have an amazing 2 year old beautiful daughter and everyday we thank God for her.

Your daughter is beautiful and I am glad she is better. Prayers to you and all those other parents who have had to go though and are still going through such a horrible ordeal.

By the way, I have never read your blog before this…but I will from this point on.

Best wishes

Karen Weber on

I’m so sorry you’ve gone through this. My adoptive son went through brain surgery at 2 1/2 years old and heart surgery at 5. It’s the scariest thing in the world to let your baby go into the operating room and you can be there. My son is doing well now. Your little darling Elliotte will also be ok. All the best from a fellow mom who went through a similar experience.

Lana on

I wish you and your family nothing but the best in the future. You really went through a whole lot, and as a new mom myself to an 8 month old, I can only imagine your worry and anxiety! Keep praying, I will pray for your family as well, and I hope it’s only happy times from here on out!! Much love.

Mindy on

You are so lucky, cherish her and your family forever, I know you will.

Kate on

I am so glad things went well. I prayed that her recovery and yours go smoothly. It’s very hard to hear your perfect baby has anything wrong. At least thing was something fixable and she will be perfectly okay.

We were told at 4 months my daughter had a dent in her chest and would have to have surgery when she was a teenager and not to worry. Yeah, right!!! We did some research and contacted some doctor’s down at Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati. My daughter will have to have surgery to correct her sternum when she is a teenager and will have to be monitored twice a year until then. It’s scary, but part of parenting.

I applaud you for sharing your story and I am sure it was a very difficult thing to do, especially having to go through those feelings and emotions all over again. God bless you and your family.

Amy on

Marla,

My breath caught when I saw the title of this article. My oldest son, now a tall, healthy 13 year old, was also born with a CCAM. His had gone undetected and was only discovered when he had serious breathing problems at birth.

His was small (our doctor explained there were differing levels of severity) – about the size of the end of your finger (right lobe). We were blessed that the ped doctor on call had seen something similar in her residency, because she argued with the other doctors (who thought it was pneumonia) until they agreed to call a specialist to review the x-rays.

After a stay in the NICU, we were sent to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama. He was 7 days old on that first trip. They verified that it was a CCAM and surgery was set for the moment he hit 10 pounds. That came at age 5 weeks and I have the same memory of handing my baby over to a stranger — and me begging them to not lose his pacifier. He was so tiny in that nurse’s arms.

We stayed in the hospital for five days post surgery. He has a large, thin scar on his back from the surgery. Other than one scare with pneumonia when he was 8, we have had no health problems with him as a result of the CCAM.

Thank you for sharing your story. I’m sorry that your family had to experience this, but I know that you are all are stronger because of it. I hope your baby is doing well!

MamaA on

I have never commented on here, but I had to in this case.

Your story brought me to tears! My 3 year old daughter had heart surgery on July 3rd, and the emotions that you describe are exactly what I went through as well. Right down to being annoyed by the “babies are resilient” comments from other people.

Handing her over was by far the worst part, followed by the agonizing wait, and then seeing her for the first time in the ICU.

I think that it takes a lot longer for the parents to recover than it does for the kiddos :)

Good luck to you and your little beauty. Thank you for sharing your story :)

marinewife on

I have never commented on an article, ever. I’m so happy that your sweet girl is okay. We are expecting a little girl in a few weeks and she has a heart condition. Her left ventricle and aortic valve are small and working too hard. We have frequent echoes, but they just won’t know the extent until she’s born.

My own heart is broken. I completely understand your terror and your desire to keep things to yourself. We are just praying like crazy for a positive outcome. I have faith in my daughter’s strength, but not in my own. Some days it feels like too much.

Thank you for sharing your story. Many blessings to your beautiful family!

Universality on

Hello Marla: Thank you for sharing your story. I am so glad that Eliotte is doing well and I hope that the worst is behind you. You and Alec take care of yourselves and your precious angel. God bless the Puro family.

Hazel on

Babies are much stronger than we think. I’m so glad to her that she is doing better!

My baby was born at 24wks and spent 91 days in the NICU. Everyday was hard to go home without her. But her will to live was so powerful. Now she is a happy one year old. Every time I look at her I’m just amazed at her.

Stacey on

You seem like a lovely woman inside and out, unlike most of these other phony “celebrities. I wish you and you family the best!

Amanda K. on

I am glad to hear your daughter is doing well. I have triplet sons that were about 6 weeks early. Although medically they were doing prettty good, they had to gain weight etc and spent about three weeks in the hospital. The day I left the hospital without them was heartbreaking.

No one can understand it until you go through it and even then it is hard to talk about until you get to the other side. They are now three healthy almost three year olds that you would never know needed assistance at birth. Your little girl will be in my thoughts.

Lisa Weiser on

I’m so sorry you had to go through that. My son was born early after an extremely high risk pregnancy where I felt deceptively good. On his 1st day of life they told me he would need surgery–I distinctly remember the doctor looking at me quizzically when I cried and saying, “We do this every day.” I said, “But not to MY newborn!”

He was fortunately misdiagnosed but needed a different surgery when he was 5 months old. I remember handing my beautiful, smiling little boy to the surgeon who looked me straight in the eye and said, “I’ll treat him like he’s my own son.” I am forever grateful.

Children are resilient and mine is stronger for all he’s been through. I’m amazed by him every single day.

Rissa on

I am in awe of your strength in such a difficult situation. It’s completely understandable why you would want to stop writing the blog, but please know that what you have written thus far is incredibly inspiring. I will hold you and your family in my prayers.

Laura on

My son had the same condition (CCAM) and surgery at 5 months. Scariest experience of my life. Just reading this brought back so many memories of that difficult time. I am happy to report that my son is a happy and healthy 5-yr old who will be entering kindergarten in the fall. These doctors really do perform miracles! Thoughts and prayers with you and your family.

Heather on

My daughter is one month older than yours, and I can’t imagine going through what you went through with your baby. I’m so glad everything is okay. Giving my daughter an extra squeeze & sending prayers your way.

Stephanie on

so glad to hear that Elliotte is recovering quickly. I wish you and your family the best.

Nicole on

Hello Marla,

I have never commented previously but I just had to write to say how glad I am that your beautiful daughter is doing so well. I cried my way through your column and can only imagine how frightening that must have been for you and your husband.

I am a first time mom as well (to eight month old Grayson) and I wanted to thank you for sharing your story and for continuing with your blog – I completely relate to so many of your comments! Best wishes for a speedy recovery for Elliotte !

Lisa on

Thank You, for being so honest. I feel like most moms always try to put their best face forward when all we moms need is some understanding and humility to make it through life’s moments. I am so happy to hear everything has worked out for your little darling and I look forward to reading more about her journey.

Anna on

I was tearing up the whole time reading this. I could not imagine having to go through what you had to during your pregnancy and beyond. But I am glad everything has turned out OK. My husband and I are trying to conceive and the thought of all the things that can go wrong truly scare me. Thank you so much for sharing. You are a very strong woman!

Bella Blu on

Marla, I have NEVER commented on a blog or post or anything like this before. I enjoy reading the blogs here and I just had to take a moment and say that you are truly awesome!

I cannot imagine what you have gone and are still going through. It must’ve been so scary and although it doesn’t lighten your load, thank you so much for sharing.

I LOVE the honesty and humbleness you and some of the other bloggers have when writing your posts. It is so kind because, we need to have open dialogue of all that goes on in parenthood. We are so quick to judge others and that defeats us all. It’s especially lovely when someone like you reminds us all that at the end of the day, we are HUMAN and trying our best to care for the ones that we love.

I LOVED your post…and seriously appreciate your candor on such an amazing journey! I hope little Elliotte continues to have that wonderful resiliency.

Hope on

That is one beautiful mommy & baby girl. Such a strong family and hate that the little one had to go through that at such a young age. I’m sure it has made their family just that much stronger and has helped that little girl so much in her life to come. :)

Amanda on

Thank you for sharing this. I know there’s a lot that can happen with kids but there are no words of comfort anyone can say.

We’ve also had breathing issues with our son on top of food allergy issues. I will never forget the sheer fear and helplessness I felt one night as my son went stiff as a board in my arms at 3 months old as he was violently vomiting after eating rice cereal.

I can’t imagine what this trial must have felt like for y’all. I think your words are encouraging and will keep your family in our prayers.

Pamela on

I happened to catch your blog today and wanted to say that we are in the same position- my baby just had the same surgery on June 4th. I too, had a high risk pregnancy after finding a similar lung mass via ultrasound.

He had a thoracotomy on his right side and had his lower right lobe removed with the mass at 7months old. I have also read that these turn into lung cancer years later and feel so relieved and blessed that we found it so early. We have special little children who make us parents realize what blessings we have every day. We too, were amazed at how quickly he has healed.

Thanks for sharing- it’s good to know we’re not alone in this scary world. Blessings on your sweet family!

Myeleah on

I am not a mother but my heart broke as I read about the difficult journey you, your husband, & sweet baby have endured. It is difficult to understand some things in this life, a child’s suffering is high on that list!

I believe little Elliotte was placed in your family because of the great love & support she would receive having you as her mother. There is no doubt that you will savor every second with her like never before! Every smile will be sweeter, even the tears will take on new meaning. I am thrilled that this story has a happy ending.

Wishing all three of you the happiest & HEALTHIEST of lives together! I commend you on your bravery in sharing your most private, painful, personal story. I have no doubt you will help scores of families who have sick/ailing children.

onefauxmommy on

what a scary situation to be thrown into! so glad to hear miss elliotte came thru surgery and is doing so well! prayers for your family and little miss’s strength!

Jennifer on

You are all in my prayers. God Bless!

Adriane on

Wow, what a story that brought tears to my eyes. I’m so happy to hear all is well with your little girl. And I hope things continue to go well for her.

My second daughter was born with a rare congenital heart defect. We found out when I was 20 weeks pregnant so I completely understand your need for privacy and know exactly what you went through with the worry and tears. My daughter fought a hard fight and even got through one open heart surgery before she died. She was only 28 days old.

My husband and I felt stronger than ever so we decided to try again for another baby. We wanted our oldest daughter to not be our only “living” child too. I was so focused and anxious about my little guy’s heart that I was completely blindsided when I got a call that he tested positive for Cystic Fibrosis. There are no words to tell you how I felt that night and how I still feel.

In the midst of all the hospital visits, worrying, etc, my husband and I remind ourselves that we at least have this little baby to fight the fight with everyday. I still feel so much anger and sadness losing my little Olivia, but she inspired us to know how to fight Cystic Fibrosis for her little brother.

Our children are our greatest teachers. I never knew what that phrase meant until I had my own children. All the best in love and prayers to your family.

Thank you for sharing this intimate part of your heart and family. Moms like myself appreciate it!

Michele on

Dear Marla,

I completely understand where you are coming from, my son was diagnosed with cancer three years ago at the age of 10. The second they told me he had cancer they had in the operating room for a biopsy to see what kind and then another one to put in “port” so that he could receive treatment.

I am so glad to hear that your daughter is doing well. Taking a deep sigh of relief is being happy. So my thoughts are with you while you and your husband navigate “Medicine Madness”. It’s not a club that anyone wants to join but you will learn that there are families who have similar experiences who can offer great advice and ears to listen.

Michele Cassesse – West Springfield MA

ocdisme on

My little guy was born tongue tied. No one noticed and being a first time mom I had no idea that it was something to look for and no idea that it was that little piece of skin that was making breastfeeding so DIFFICULT! When it was caught at about 3 months he had to have surgery.

Even such a minor surgery killed me. I cannot imagine what you have went through these past few months and I know you are such a strong wife and mother for having gone through them. I look up to you and can see how much strength you have.

Thanks for your blog posts and for always being willing to show us the good and the bad. It helps to see that we are not alone in what all of us moms deal with.

All the best to your cute family and especially to little Elliotte! She is precious!

JMK on

My niece was diagnosed with CCAM during my sister-in-laws pregnancy and it was truly a scary experience. I felt especially bad because we were pregnant at the same time and I was carrying a very healthy little boy. My niece had surgery within the first six months as well and I can happily report that she is a healthy, active 4 year old with no signs of any issues.

God Bless you, your husband and your baby girl. PS…I absolutely love the name Elliotte for a little girl!

Cally on

I have never commented on an article on here but this one made me want to reach out to you. Seeing your child in the hospital is something I never wish on any parent. Our son was a NICU baby who, in his 2 week stay, had what seemed like one scary test after the next.

I am so glad your sweet daughter is healthy – she is so beautiful. Congratulations and I wish your whole family continued health.

AJ on

So glad that everything has worked out for your litle girl, and your family! Sending many blessings your way!

Michelle on

God Bless your gorgeous little girl! Wishing your beautiful family the best of luck in the future and a lifetime of happiness :)

Momof2in1year on

Glad everything went well with your daughter’s surgery!

My son was born with dual inguinal hernias (his testicles had descended, but then didn’t close). He had a high fever at 17 days old and was hospitalized for 72 hours for observation during which they ran prophylactic IV antibiotics and did a spinal tap and other tests. Then he had his hernia repair surgery at 6 months. It was hardly a blip on his radar, though I’ll admit to being somewhat traumatized by it– especially having to leave him and wait for what seemed like forever in a waiting room!

My son is a happy, healthy 5’11’, size 13 men’s shoe-wearing 13 year-old!

Amanda on

God Bless you and your family! My daughter was born with a congenital heart defct and had surgery at 8 weeks. I completely relate with your experience. Our children make us stronger, and these experiences bind us closer together as a family.

I am glad your sweet girl is ok now, and I wish you a lifetime of happiness with her!!!

Megan R. on

Oh, what a heart wrenching blog post! I don’t blame you at all for keeping it quiet. Pregnancy is a funny thing. When all is well, you want to share it with the world, but the second something is amiss, you want to keep it private, and close to the heart.

My son is 3, and I had a difficult pregnancy. It was filled with high level u/s, tests, monitoring and tons and tons of worry. I’ve been where you are, sobbing hysterically, feeling that little person move around inside you, yet not knowing if you’ll ever get to meet them.

We’ve also had several hospitalizations due to breathing issues, and again, it’s terrifying! I’m SO glad that Elliotte’s surgery was successful! Will there be any last side effects? I hope things are smooth from here on out!

cathy on

Marla, I am SUCH a big fan. I love your mommy heart! You are super pretty and a great actress, not to mention 1st time mom! God bless ya moving forward! XOXO

Cher630 on

Wow. You went through such a horrible thing and all three of you came back stronger. You can definitely weather any storm now. I’m so glad to hear your beautiful daughter is doing well.

God bless and I hope that this terrifying ordeal is the ONLY thing that ever plagues your family. I wish you all many years of happiness, health, and love :)

Marguerite on

Ok I was crying as I read this. Thank God your little girl is ok, as a mom of 2 little girls I cannot imagine not knowing if they were going to be alright and that they would have to go through such delicate surgery. God bless you and your family.

Cathy on

Hi Marla!

I am so sorry that you went through this with your daughter. It is so heartbreaking to see our children go through something so serious. I am a first time mom like you and gave birth to twins on January 16th. At birth he was diagnosed with Myotopic Craniosyntosis which basically means that the plates in his forehead were fusing. At 7weeks of age he had endoscopic surgery in order to release the sutcher in his forehead which will allow his forehead to form properly.

It was so scary to hand my son over to the surgeons and then we spent 3 days in the hospital together. Also heartbreaking to me was leaving my older twin at home in the care of loving grandparents. After giving birth, women experience so many emotions so needless to say I was very emotional!! Thank goodness I had the support of my husband and family.

I am happy that your daughter is doing well!! Keep positive and rely on the strength of your family to help you through this!

God Bless!
Cathy :-)

carmen on

Marla, God was definitely looking out for you and baby Elliotte. Prayers and love so glad she is doing good. God bless!!

Still Life in San Francisco on

I am so sorry that you had to go through that, Marla! Your story brought tears to my eyes. I hope that is the last health scare that your family has to experience.

You’re a beautiful writer and a great mom. Keep up the good work.

Serena on

Marla,

You are truly a gem. You are so strong, transparent, and hopeful. I really enjoy reading your blogs. I’m a mother of 2 (just had my 2nd baby 3 weeks ago) and I cannot imagine going through what you had to endure with sweet Elliotte.

You referred to your daughter as a trooper and so brave and I just want to tell that your daughter is a lot like you because I think are just as brave and a total trooper. You went through this whole experience with your daughter’s health scare with such grace and strength.

I admire you and just wanted to tell you that I think Elliotte is one blessed little cutie to have you for her mama. Keep up the great work!
:) Serena

Lee on

Oh my goodness! You are a remarkably strong Mommy! I would not have the grace and strength that you have showed during this time in yours and little Elliotte’s life! Thank you so much for sharing your story! You and your family are in my thoughts.

As a Mommy to two little boys (one of whom is 21 months old and has cast on his right arm from a fall :( ) I totally cried when I read your post. It is amazing once you have a little one EVERY little one you see somehow becomes your little one. Sending healing thoughts your way!

Tonya on

Im glad to hear she’s doing great!! My baby had the same surgery in March, when he was 6 months old. But his lobectomy was the lower left lobe. He also had an extra heart valve that supplied blood just to the CCAM that was also removed during surgery.

It’s funny how you commented about being annoyed by all the people telling you how resilient babies are :) although, amazingly they were right, it’s impossible to hear that when we are so concerned for our babies.

I also found out about the CCAM at 20 weeks and went through all the same high risk drama, nicu scares, ect. But he also was fine after birth. No nicu until he had pneumonia 3 weeks later, and has been healthy since. 4 days in the hospital after surgery and he was soo giggly and ready to be home w/ out meds. Other then mild asthma now he’s quite healthy at 11 months old.

I hope your girl will get through this episode and back to learning how to get into everything. ;)

Tonya
Scottsdale, Az

Molly on

Marla, your story makes my heart ache. There is nothing scarier than watching your child battle something that you are completely helpless over. Best wishes for your amazing family and precious little girl!

bellelessons on

Thank you for sharing this!

My little girl is 9 months old and I understand where you are coming from as a parent (though I haven’t been through what you guys went through).

I am so glad sweet Elliotte is doing much better and I will keep your family in my prayers.

As parents we want everything to be perfect with our little ones, and it wrenches our heart when things are wrong. I pray she continues to get better.

Beth on

God Bless you and your beautiful family. Your story is truly inspiring. You are obviously a great momma. Sending lots of love and prayers for continued health and happiness.

Sarah, too on

Being a mama is scary sometimes. That’s what I discovered when my baby was being tested for a variety of neuromuscular diseases, including a fatal kind. He is going to be alright but going through a scare like that really makes you so grateful for what you have… and so terribly sad for the other children/parents who don’t have a good outcome. It’s bittersweet. Glad to hear your baby is doing well.

Sus on

Marla, thank you for sharing your story. What a precious gift from GOD your daughter is.

Marie on

I am so glad that your baby is doing well.

We are pregnant with twins & have a possible problem with one & waiting to hear is very difficult.

Good luck to you all.

Renee on

CCAM is not heard of too often. I found out at 16 weeks pregnant that my son had CCAM. The doctors removed part of his left lung at two days old.. He is now 10 years old and very healthy. When he was born it was very hard to find anything on CCAM. He loves sports and playing outside. He is our miracle.

Molly on

Marla,

Your story made me tear up…I’m a mom, too. I’ve been spared the heartbreak of needing to hand over one of my babies at the OR door, but even just imagining what that might feel like brings so many things (and tears!) to the surface.

Thank you for sharing your experience in your own time: you are a fantastic writer! Endless virtual hugs from one mom to another & best wishes for you and precious Elliotte!

Andi S on

First of all your baby girl is absolutely beautiful and I’m so happy they were able to take great care of her. I understand that fear during pregnancy when everyone around you is telling you eeverything that can go wrong and going to every ultrasound wondering if they are going to break your heart.

I was told at the beginning of my pregnancy how we might not make it…I suffer from a disease that has paralyzed my stomach and intestines I was never suppose to be able to get pregnant because my body was so undernourished I was being fed through an iv when we found out. That meds given to me during a blood infection from my central line had made the impossible possible. I had to have surgery at 11 wks and they told me my miracle baby could die but it was the only way for us to get nutrition without risking a deadly blood infection that would kill us both.

I was placed on bedrest for the rest of my pregnancy and every week we would go and they would tell us the same things…he might not grow, he might have a heart defect, and the list went on…they prepped us on him needing NICU esp if I couldn’t. Keep him in long enough. At 38 wks my fears came true…we went in for our usual ultrasound and NST and the baby wouldn’t move…he scored a two meaning there was a heartbeat and nothing else. They rushed me to L & D for an emergency c section…I don’t think I could have been more terrified. It felt like forever before I heard that miraculous cry.

We both made it and he was perfect and two lbs bigger than they thought. I feel so blessed to have him and sometimes I think about those days when I was pregnant, everyone telling mg me to relax and babies are tough and I know they were trying to comfort me but they weren’t the ones up at night staring at their belly begging God to just spare the baby. I got lucky besides a few minor issues like four months of colic and watching the give my two month old an echo to discover a tiny hole in his heart that was common and required no treatment I’ve had a perfectly healthy baby.

I can’t imagine how it felt handing your beautiful baby girl to the OR nurse and that long wait in the waiting room, your family is so strong and I can understand why you waited to share. I know the fear you had to fac eweeks before you were even due to hold your baby and I’m sorry you had to feel it…its the most helpless I’ve ever felt in my life.

I will pray for your baby girl and your family.

lisa on

Marla,

I am so sorry you went through this. I am crying reading your blog. So happy to hear she and you are doing better.

All the best!!!!

k on

Marla – I feel for you and your family. We’ve had a lot of scares with our 4th baby. More in utero than out. He’ll be 2 in September and he’s a true miracle in every sense of the word. I appreciate all we have, all we’ve endured and him completely! Hang in there – no one ever said being a parent is easy!

Antonella on

Marla,

I am so happy that you’re daughter is doing well. Reading you’re story brought back memories for me. My first pregnancy is one I will always remember. I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes at 27 weeks and my son was born at 35 weeks weighing 10 pounds. It was quite an ordeal for me; After he was born, I didn’t get to hold him until he was 3 days old. He spent 10 days in ICU in a different hospital while I was recovering from a c-section. Thankfully, he is a healthy 8 year old boy.

You are absolutely right when you say that as parents, we never stop worrying. I wish you and your family happiness and health.

Michelle on

HUGS to you and your little family! So happy to hear y’all made it through and Elliotte is doing so well. =)

Thank you for being so real with all of us. Sometimes it makes things a bit easier to go through when we know of others who have been in that same boat!

erin0414 on

Love to you all. My daughter had major surgery at 8 months and your description of handing her over to the anesthesia nurse brought tears to my eyes remembering that same experience. Hang in there, mama!

Elizabeth on

On 2/14/12 I helped my sister hand over my 3 month old nephew to the surgeon that would be repairing his cleft lip and nose He screamed as the doctor took him away. He isn’t my child but he my sister’s first baby and my first nephew, as well as the first baby in our family. My heart broke and we sat on pins and needles for 4 hours during his surgery. I am only his Aunt and I felt like I couldn’t breath while he as in surgery. I can’t imagine how a parent would feel. Today my nephew is a happy and gorgeous baby boy. Email me and I will pass on pictures. I empathize with your situation and wish you the best. So glad your sweet little Elliote has had a fabulous recovery!

Angie on

Congratulations on a beautiful baby girl! And congratulations on being to the point where you feel comfortable sharing the difficulties surrounding her arrival. Thank you for sharing!

As a mom of a child with Cystic Fibrosis, I know that many of us feel alone at times and as if no one else really understands. The feelings you expressed echo all of the same ones that I have felt time and time again as we travel this bumpy road.

I hope your little girl continues to thrive and that this portion of her story will only be a little bump on her path. I also hope that it will be something that you can always look back on and be grateful for, as the growth and perspective a situation like this provides are some of the most valuable life lessons we have.

Sandra on

Your story was amazing and I am so glad she is doing well, so nice to see a famous person no harm meant by that to share their story and that they you are really a down to earth person,and that you shared all your experience,,

I remember when my daughter was 2 and had to have surgery done it was that was most awful and anxiety time for my husband and I and her was a minor one has everyone told me they do it everyday and but to me that did not matter and yes even by that evening she was already getting back to herself, but yes it took me longer I will never forget being in that or room and watching her being put to sleep I honestly don’t think I could ever do that again, I still remember that like it was yesterday and she is now 19yrs. old.

wishing you and your family all the best..

Mommy of 4 on

Marla, Out of every blog I have read on People, yours by far is my favorite. You are so well spoken and every word is well thought out. I am mesmerized through the entire entry.

Your precious, beautiful baby girl and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I too went through crises during my last two pregnancies. At the tail end of my 2nd trimester with my 3rd, they found that my thyroid wasn’t functioning well. I was tolerating it ok, but my precious boy wasn’t. So in my 3rd Trimester, I underwent a thyroidectomy. Was I scared. Not only was I going under, so was my unborn baby!

Thankfully,everything turned out ok, and he is a happy and healthy 10-year old. With my last pregnancy, they did weekly ultrasounds throughout to watch for a possible goiter development on my baby girl. Not only that, I developed gestational diabetes in my 2nd trimester. Again, thankfully everything turned out ok, and she is now a healthy and happy 6-year old.

I understand completely your need to keep this to yourselves. How can you process the information if you find yourself constantly having to explain it to others? Keep the faith, keep strong. I know that years down the road, we will be hearing from you that Elliotte is a happy and very healthy toddler, pre-schooler, etc.

God Bless!! LeighAnn

mallory on

i cried the whole time i think,. soo grateful for you and your daughter that everything went well!

when i had my first born, i was told i had a “textbook” pregnancy.. and then when i went into labor, soo many complications came up and my baby was taken away from me for a whole day, and they couldnt tell me anything! he’s is perfect today, but i do know a TINY piece of what you went through the first days,. its amazing how quick those maternal instincts kick in!

God bless <3

Amanda Kay on

This is the very first comment I’ve ever made, I usually don’t ever comment, but I always read. But I just wanted to say I have been a fan since your Full House days as Gia!

Your courage and your strength are such a blessing to see. As a fellow Mom who had (three) out of four children with medical issues, I thank you for sharing your story. (All my children are healthy, with minor medical problems now.) It is amazing to see a star who puts her family first, who doesn’t put fame first.

I look forward to reading all of your blogs and seeing pictures of Elliotte. I will also be praying for Miss Elliotte. By the way, love her name! And love the Elliotte necklace! :) She’s gorgeous, just like her Mommy!

happilyeverhome on

this is officially my first comment for any blog posting… I just couldn’t read your story, and feel like I’d been let into this total personal part of your life without letting you know how grateful I am that you shared your journey.

I was brought to tears by your posting, I too had a health scare with my little one (who just turned 5 months today) when she was just 6weeks old and the weeks in and out of medical facilities were some of the worst of my life. That being said, all is well now, baby girl is doing great and my heart really goes out to you and your family.

I’m so happy Elliotte is doing well and that your whole family is on the mend. Congratulations on a beautiful baby by the way, she is absolutely adorable! Sending peace and happy thoughts to you and yours :)

Mikesgirl on

I enjoy your blog also, you have a gift for conveying truth and real emotion. I hope you think about writing a book someday.

My daughter had kidney issues and spent a total of 2 months of her first year of life in the hospital. I absolutely agree with how you felt about your pregnancy. I am so grateful my beautiful son was born first because with everything we went through with my little girl it would have been so hard to try again. I admire my daughter, and I know that she’ll be a strong woman (she’s now 3 and very healthy). I love to tell the story that at 3 weeks old my tiny little daughter gave a nurse a welt.

I am so very glad that your little girl is doing well and I wish you so many wonderful years of motherhood. Your daughter is so lucky to have you – people tell me to remember these moments when your fighting with her as a teenager. :)

Take care!

Sarah on

I am so happy to hear you have this huge weight lifted. I have been reading your blog as a sort of pre-baby education, trying to prepare myself for the realities of being pregnant, and all that includes.

I lost my husband 7 years ago when I was 23, and have since struggled with fear and anxiety that the worst case scenario will somehow always happen. To me. And I can’t tell you how much your honesty about the trials of tests and waiting for news, etc. has helped me try to prepare myself mentally.

I have since remarried a man I don’t even know how I could ever deserve, he’s so incredible, and he wants a baby. The only thing that holds me back is fear. Pure and debilitating. But you sharing the full story of what you’ve all been through, and how you came out the other side stronger and happier helps me think,,about the other side. Reminds me how bad things can rebuild into incredible ones.

Thank you for the full story and a healthy dose of perspective, I truly admire your ability to keep calm and carry on. Maybe I can make it through this crazy trip, too.

CYBELE on

I CAN TOTALLY RELATE.. MY DAUGHTER HAD A STROKE AT BIRTH AND IT HAS BEEN SO HARD ON OUR FAMILY.. I AM SO HAPPY YOUR DAUGHTER IS DOING GREAT SHE IS SO BEAUTIFUL, GOD BLESS HER AND YOUR FAMILY..

Sara Schaefer on

Your daughter is gorgeous! What a trooper! Prayers for continued health go out to your little one.

I also had a high-risk pregnancy. I was blindsided one day around 28 weeks with a call from my OB. For the next twelve weeks, I cried, worried, and prayed that my baby would be okay. I had twice weekly doctor appointments, once weekly non-stress tests, and bi-weekly ultrasounds. At 39 weeks 3 days, we finally got to meet our beautiful (and 100% healthy) daughter Mackenzie Jane. I am proud to say that she will be 10 months old this week.

Being a mom is one of the most amazing feelings in the world, and worrying about your baby is just part of the game.

Alyson on

I am so happy for you, Marla, and your family that everything has turned out okay.

To the commentor that lost her baby last July, I am so sorry for your loss and pain. Though it must have been one of the most difficult decisions to stop putting your baby through so much pain, it was the right decision and you did well by your baby…putting their comfort and quality of life first. I am sure the pain is still strong and thoughts of your lost child still hurt. I know nothing I say can help you, just know my thoughts and admiration are with you. God Bless.

ninabarki on

Dear Marla,

I read your blog since your pregnancy because I was two months behind you… And then my baby (a boy – Alexander) decided to come earlier! So he is now 4 months. He had a NICU stay of eight days – enough to terrify my husband and I and mark it as the most horrible experience of our lives.

Thank you for being so honest and candid and for sharing almost everything. I completely understand you withholding that piece of information – I did the same when I opened a group for Alex on Facebook to keep people informed (but at a distance) about his condition.

I am so thrilled to say that he is a perfect 4 month old and am SO HAPPY to hear that your daughter got through surgery well. Congratulations on your perfect little miracle and keep writing! Lots of love

Jennelle on

I’m so happy to hear your precious little girl is doing great. My son had to have surgery at 9 months and it was the hardest thing I have ever had to do handing him over to a stranger. He has to have another surgery but he did so amazing after the first one, resilient is an understatement. He started crawling the day after surgery! I hope she thrives and is healthy all her precious years to come!

Viv on

Hello, I am glad to hear that she is doing better !! It can definitely be a very scary thing when your little one has to go in for surgery…

My son was born with a genetic disorder and had to have multiple surgeries and spent the first 2 1/2 months in the NICU and after they had sent him home he had to spend another month back at the hospital.

It was very hard to see my little one so sickly.

And that was 8 years ago and KNOCK ON WOOD he is doing wonderful.

I hope all stays well with your little one !!

Have a great evening ! Viv

Tonya on

You have a beautiful family. I was happy to read that everything worked out and that your daughter is doing well. You are right though, as a mother, you will never stop worrying about your children.

My children (7 year old twins) have life threatening food allergies, and every time they are away from me, I fear that I will receive a phone call telling me that one of them has had a reaction. All we can do is trust that GOD is watching over them as we can’t be with them every second ourselves.

I truly hope that you never have to experience anything else as difficult as what you have already been through. May God continue to bless you and your family.

Anonymous on

Reading this brought everything back. My son had his lower left lobe removed due to a CCAM at 9 months. And now at almost 3 years old, he’s healthy and brilliant! I joke that his front to back scar will be killer with the ladies some day. Thanks for writing this blog…

maria on

I am so glad to hear that everything went well, I can relate to that feeling of handing over your child and having no control.

Just recently my 5 year old daughter was suffering from really bad stomach pains, they went from pretty mild to so severe she could barely walk or sit or do anything really. We found out that her appendix had ruptured and had to be taken out as soon as possible, they also told us that if we had waited any more time she could have died from this. It was an eye opening experience that we will never forget.

Thank you for sharing your sharing your story with us and once again wish you and your family the best.

Lynn on

Hi Marla,

I don’t usually post on these blogs, but I felt like I needed to after reading this entry. I’m not a mom, but I have a 17 month old nephew who is my world. I adore that child as if he were my own and would be just as devastated as you were with your beautiful Elliotte.

I absolutely understand why you would keep that information to yourself, it’s a lot to digest!! But I am absolutely thrilled that you had a happy outcome and that your sweet little girl was such a trooper!

I’m also very happy that you decided to continue with your blog. It is my absolute favorite to read and I anxiously look forward to each new installment. You really do have a gift for writing and I appreciate that you “keep it real”.

I will continue to keep your family in my prayers and I look forward to your future blogs. Take care!

Lynn

onthebeans on

I think it’s really brave and wonderful that you’re sharing this story openly and honestly. Those of us with special needs kids need more visibility in the media from moms who can represent us! I have a similar experience–my son (9 now) was born with a severe complex congenital heart defect and has had three surgeries & other procedures with more surgeries to come.

The one that always got me was when people say they don’t care what sex the baby is “as long as the baby is healthy. They really can’t think that thought out to its conclusion. Because sometimes–more often than many people want to think–the babies are not healthy, and so many parents suffer this kind of trauma (real trauma, causing real PTSD in some parents) in private. It’s time to air it in the open so the parents can get help along with the babies.

Leah on

Your blog post was beautiful!

My little brother has been in and out of the hospital his whole life (hes now 13 and severely disabled)He gos to Johns Hopkins and he just spent 2 months in the hospital because of a nasty surgery he needed and it caused problems because he has severe lung desease and so he was in the PICU for awhile until his breathing was stabalised. Unfortantly one of the nights he was in the PICU his breathing crashed and they think he must have been with out propper oxygen to long and when that happens it can affect the organs and in his case it affected his stomach and he is now TPN (IV nutrition) dependent, which is bad for long term on the liver. But its terrifying every time they go into the hospital and everytime there sick or need a surgery, because you worry is this time gonna be it, because we have had many very close calls. This blog post was perfect because it was honest and real life stuff! I am so glad your beautiful baby is doing ok now and I will keep praying for you and your family!

Here is his caringbridge http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/jessegreen

Biera on

Your blog was truly touching. It is extremely difficult to deal with anything other than your child when they are going through something so serious.

My daughter is 18 mos. old now but when she was 3 mos. old, she developed a virus (never identified) which in turn, became pneumonia. We took her to the doctor who decided we needed to go to the hospital right that minute. The hospital then transferred us to another hospital with a better equipped pediatric unit. The pediatric unit at the second hospital didn’t have any free beds and so we were put in the pediatric ICU. My daughter seemed absolutely fine by that point and the hospital contemplated sending us home.

Shortly after that consultation, one of her lungs collapsed and she spiked a fever of 104. We were at the hospital when her left lung collapsed. The wonderful staff at the hospital took excellent care of her and quickly got her fever under control and re-inflated the lung. We spent 10 days at the PICU with our daughter on oxygen and with a feeding tube.

Freakiest, scariest thing to ever go through. I am not a religious person but things happen for a reason whether that is from someone looking over us or karma or whatever. Our daughter showed amazing resilience through everything and I believe helped me and my husband get through that time. She would smile at us and the nurses even with the oxygen and the feeding tube. She is absolutely perfect now.

I am so happy that everything went okay and your daughter has rebounded so well! I never respond to these but your story, again, truly touched a chord with me.

MH on

Rock on, Marla. You are fabulous — and tough and courageous. As is your wee one. (What a cutie pie.) Alec sounds like a honey as well. I wish the three of you nothing but smooth sailing from here and the continuing blessings of a healthy, whole, and cohesive family.

Fiona on

Best to you all.

Betsy on

Hi Marla,

I am so very happy to hear that your little girl had a happy ending!!!

I know how scary it is to have to watch your child be taken into an operating room. I had to do it five times by the time my son was 4 years old!! His most serious surgery was open heart surgery 3 weeks after turning 4 & exactly one week before Christmas!! I think as parents we never realize entirely how sacred our children’s lives are until we’ve seen them go through things that we as adults haven’t even gone through.

When my son was born I was unaware of his heart condition but luckily a stay in the NICU after birth led to the discovery of it. So, I always believe there is a reason as to why things happen the way in which they do!!! I strongly believe your bloodwork came back abnormal only to expose your little girl’s medical condition!! I am so happy you have shared your story & wish your little girl continued good health!!!

noly on

How gut-wrenching…there would never be enough words to adequately express the fear. To be honest, for every parent that fear is always there, constantly worrying about your child. But to go through such an ordeal and for many, many other parents dealing with serious illnesses, we share your pain and heartache.

Thank you for sharing your story and may your little girl be blessed with continuing heatlh!

Raquel on

I just wanted to comment that I’ve enjoyed all of your blogs so far! I laughed when you talked about changing a diaper @ lunch & understood the struggles of breast feeding that you also shared.

Your daughter is adorable & I’m glad she’s doing well (love the pic of you two by the pool).

I’m a 1st time mom & thought I was having a normal pregnancy until my water broke @ 30 weeks, my son was breech & then my umbilical cord fell out (prolapsed cord) & I was rushed into an emergency c-section. My son spent 3 1/2 weeks in the NICU but is now 15 months & doing well. So grateful!

Wishing you & your daughter the best. Thanks again for blogging. From all the comments your blogs definitely have an impact :)

Anonymous on

My nephew suffered from the same condition. My sister underwent fertility treatments to conceive, and the realization her baby had something “wrong” with him was very concerning. He endured surgery as well, and is now a normal 4 yr old. He is healthy, vibrant, and intelligent. I am so proud to love him. CCAM is incredibly scarey, but find out all the facts of any condition before you panic. God Bless!

Karen on

God Bless your little girl!!!!!!

Gail maxey on

God is good. I am so happy for your beautiful little girl, and you and your husband. May all of you continue to have healthy, beautiful days ahead.

Gail

NLZ on

Thank you for sharing your story, I am so happy you are on the recovery side of this nightmare.

People really take for granted having a healthy baby, it really is miraculous that more doesn’t go wrong in the 40 week journey of making a baby.

My son has a congenital heart defect and had to have 2 surgeries in the first four months of his life. I know exactly how you feel when you describe things as being bittersweet, and although now he is doing great, I still worry all the time, I don’t thing that ever goes away, but I also tell myself it could be much worse and some parents have to go through alot more than I have had to endure and my son.

Babies are so strong it really is amazing. I will never forget the sight of my precious little boy being hooked up to tubes and machines and not being able to hold him or do anything, it is truly a helpless feeling. That image has been burned into my memory.

I have always considered myself a compassionate person, but this journey has made me a big ball of mush and my heart goes out to you and all parents that have had to endure the pain of having a sick little one.

I am currently pregnant with my second child and I hardly sleep at night just praying and hoping that this baby is ok and that my son will continue to be ok.

I will now spend my sleepness nights praying for you and your family as well.

BEST WISHES!!

rebecaurora on

Glad everything is well…beautiful baby girl !!!

Donna on

13 1/2 yrs ago my husband and I dealt with exactly the same situation. When I read the headline, I wondered immediately if your daughter also had CCAM.

It was such a difficult time! I can very easily take myself right back to that year: finding out at our 5 mo ultrasound that something was terribly wrong. The anxiety of that weekend and “running away” to avoid all the typical questions from friends and family following an ultrasound. The devastation. The unknown. The fear. The feeling of, why us?

Noah had surgery on August 22nd to remove his lower left lobe. We took him home on my 27th birthday 5 days later. Most precious birthday gift ever. At 3 yrs old, he was given a clean bill of health.

Rachel on

I appreciate you sharing your family’s story with us. As a new mom, I can only imagine your heartache in this situation. It sounds so tough! It’s in these times that you are thankful for your partner and your support system.

Congrats on being so strong & being brave enough to ask for help when you need it. I’m so happy your baby girl is well. What a relief! Much love.

Lindsay on

Hi Marla!!!

You write so beautifully and thank you so much for sharing:))) I’m so happy to hear Elliotte is doing great, that’s such a blessing!! Keep praying and never forget how much God loves you and your family. He’s looking out for you every step of the way.

Much love and happiness!!!!

Ashley on

Hi Marla,

You are such a courageous mama! I have a son a little bit older than your daughter and I get upset because he’s in pain from teething and your little one had surgery!! I’m so happy she’s doing well. She has all those wonderful smiles because she has a wonderful mama and daddy!!

Lisa on

Hi Marla,

I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this blog. I am 34 weeks pregnant with my first child, and he also has a CCAM. It was also found at the 20 week ultrasound, when they noticed that his heart had been pushed to the right side of his body.

Dealing with this has been a roller coaster to say the least. Weekly ultrasounds, echocardiograms, etc, etc…. I know you went through all of this too.

When you said how sick you were of people telling you how resilient babies are, I totally related. If I hear one more person tell me “that it’s no big deal” I will scream! It is a big deal! I am so terrified everyday thinking how will the delivery go, will he need to be rushed for emergency surgery, there are so many unknowns.

To hear all of this from your perspective, after surgery has been completed, gives me a little more relief. I am thrilled that everything has turned out beautifully for your daughter!! I hope that you have been put at ease.

Anyways, thank you for this article. I’m going to try to figure out if you have a blog so I can follow your daughters progress.

Xoxo Lisa

Ps your dad did ankle surgery on my dad last summer. It’s a small world out there :)

melissa on

WOW. I can’t imagine that this experience, including all the emotions, could have been written or explained any better.

So glad to hear the outcome was a positive one!

Love, good health and peaceful thoughts to Mom, Dad and baby girl!

K from Canada on

Thank you so much for sharing such a personal story with us. My son was born in April & although completely healthy, I can not believe how much I worry, non stop about everything now. I can not begin to even imagine what you have gone through, I love that your willing to share your ups and downs and help others who may be going through the same hard moments!

Ps- your daughter is absolutely gorgeous!

Lori on

I, too, had to watch the doctors wheel my daughter away when she was 22 months old. They were removing a mass in her throat and possibly a vertebrae.

It was terrifying. I knew she was in good hands, but I still couldn’t breathe. She came through her surgery with flying colors. She will be 4 next month, and I marvel at her tenacity every day!

Many blessings to all of you and thank you for sharing your story. Your daughter is simply beautiful… just like her mom!

Heather on

Marla,

I went through a horrible experience with my baby boy 9 months ago. He was breathing really fast after birth and no one seemed to believe me that something was wrong. We were sent home a couple days later. Less than 24 hours later we were in the emergency room where my son stopped breathing. We were sent by ambulance to a children’s hospital where he stayed for the next five days. We saw countless doctors, millions of tests.

It was the most horrible experience of our lives. We were told he might need a lung transplant and he could die. I feel for you and your family. By the grace of God our son is fine. Everything turned out ok. They thought he might have had some complications with his breathing because he was breech and a c-section baby. We will never know for sure.

But, I want to let you know that I am still healing too. My son is a healthy, happy big baby now. But I still squeeze him a little tighter everyday and thank God for giving us a miracle.

One day at a time is all you can do when trying to heal from a difficult start with your baby. No one will ever know how it feels to have a sick baby unless they have been there. But I will keep you in my prayers that you will rest easily that your little one will live a long and healthy life.

Jonelle on

Its great to see that you shared your story.

My son had to have a surgery at only 6 weeks old (pyloric stenosis), and it feels like yesterday watching him be rolled away and being told about all of the risks of putting such a young baby under. But now i look at my hilarious 3 1/2 yro and am reminding that it takes a truly strong person to see their child through something like this.

Enjoy the new milestones as they come.

Elizabeth on

I’m so happy to hear that Elliotte is doing so well after her surgery. Thank you to Marla for being so kind to share this story with the world.

J on

I’m glad everything is going well! You have such a beautiful little girl. :D

Lana on

WOW! I am in tears…I follow your blog, as I am currently expecting my second child, who is due in about 7 weeks. I am so happy for you that your little angel face has recovered so beautifully and is thriving :)

I cannot imagine having to watch my child go through a major surgery, my heart aches and eyes fill up with tears at the very thought.

Of course, nobody should fault you for holding this story back until you were ready to share it, for obvious reasons…way too personal and emotional! But thank you for sharing this most personal experience with the world and for being so candid!

God Bless Baby Elliotte! All the best looking forward for you and your family!

Annette on

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I was nursing my 2.5 month old this morning and was just reading articles on the people app on my phone when I came across your blog. I said to myself when I read the headline “Could this really be?”.

I continued to read and could not believe that someone was going to through the same exact thing we are going through now. Like you, my daughter’s CCAM was discovered at our 20 week sono.

As soon as we found out, we switched care to Columbia-NY Presbyterian in Manhattan because they are more familiar with it. That was the scariest part. Not knowing what will happen. We thought we would lose our baby.

Like you, we had biweekly sonos to track the growth. Luckily it never grew, but it did occupy the entire lower left lobe. She also was born without any distress and was able to come home with us when we left the hospital.

We recently had her CT and learned that the mass is still there so we are meeting with her surgeon next week to schedule her surgery.

I was so happy to read your blog this morning and learn that everything worked out okay for you. As I’m sure you can relate, It makes me feel a little better to hear a story with a positive outcome, but we won’t feel confident until the surgery is over and we know our little girl will be okay. It’s such a scary thing to go through and because it is so rare, it’s hard to find other similar stories.

Thank you for sharing your story and we pray our daughter will recover just as well as yours did.

Courtney Given on

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I was stunned to realize you were dealing with a high risk pregnancy and further health scares once your baby was born based on the other posts you have written for PEOPLE. It must have taken so much strength and energy to get through writing those pieces. I am completely in awe of your courage.

I am a mom of two boys and our second spent one extra day in the NICU and I was a wreck.

I just wanted to write and say congratulations for getting through some really difficult times… and I wish you and your family continued GREAT health and happiness!

Holly on

It’s so nice to hear a happy ending for any child who has spent time in the hospital, especially at such a young age.

My son will be 3 months old on August 10 and was only released from hospital July 30 since his birth. Not too long into my second trimester we were told that his limbs weren’t growing as fast as they should be and the growth continued to drop off, so we were being prepared for our child to have Skeletal Dysplasia and whatever developmental problems associated with it along with having a club foot.

When I was at 31 weeks gestation I was admitted to the hospital for loss of amniotic fluid and my membranes had ruptured where I stayed for a week before a placental abruption had me undergoing my second emergency cesarean section (I had one on my daughter also) and our little guy was born 2 months premature on May 10 and it wasn’t until May 13 (Mother’s Day) that I was allowed to hold him for the first time.

But after being assessed by a specialist in Medical Genetics there are no signs of skeletal dysplasia and after almost 3 months for various other issues with him being premature we finally got to bring our little man home.

I can easily say that this has been the longest and scariest year of my life so far. I can fully understand and appreciate the anxiety and stress associated with the waiting game when it comes to your child being in the hospital, no matter how major or minor the issue is.

One good thing to know that there are many parents out there who have been through so many different health experiences with their child and with that I think comes a greater sense of compassion and understanding for others.

I can say that I am truly happy that your daughter is healthy and vibrant and that this scary experience has brought your family closer together. Wishing you and your beautiful family health and happiness.

Arien on

Reading your story brought tears to my eyes. Tears of happiness and of sadness.

On June 20th, I lost my 4 1/2 month old son to a rare genetic disorder that created problems with his immune system (Omenn’s Syndrome). With his treatment, he was given a 90% survival rate, but sadly fell into the other 10%.

We are still in disbelief that he is gone, as we were so confident in his treatment. The grief is suffocating, and I am praying that we are able to have another healthy baby in the next year.

As a pediatric nurse myself, I know how difficult times like these are for families. The stress and fear that the parents live in, with sick children, is palpable. Not only are you treating the patient, but you are also treating the parents at the bedside.

I lived in a hospital with my son for 3 months before he passed, and was suddenly the parent to the patient and not the caregiver. Roles reversed.

I am so happy to hear that the surgical results for your daughter went well and that her prognosis has improved immensely. What a blessing!

Enjoy every minute with that sweet baby girl, because as you know, you never know when it will be the last one. It is sad that some of life’s easiest lessons (ie. don’t take love ones for granted) have to be learned the hardest way.

After my own experience, my eyes are wide open and I am so appreciative of what I have (while mourning what I’ve lost).

I will be praying for continued health for your beautiful daughter. God bless!

http://cotaforhayesk.com/node/419

Bekahmomof2 on

Hi! I too known what it’s like to worry about your child. My son underwent 2 heart surgeries at age 2 and has a pacemaker. He is a healthy energetic boy now and doing great.

I am so happy for you daughter and I am so glad she will be fine!

Jess on

I have three kids and have had two scares in my life. When they induced me, I was 40 weeks and hardly dilated at all. When my water finally broke, I couldn’t pee. This was 2:30 in the morning, I didn’t go in for my c-section until 4:30 in the afternoon and when they took him out I couldn’t breathe because all the fluid backed into my lungs. Was in the hospital for a week.

A year and four months later my second one went fine. Fast forward three years and a bit to when my youngest was born, he ended up being jaundiced so he had to be put in an incubator that had lights and he ended up making it through but I never had been so scared in my life. Now my son might have another issue with his parts that is scaring me. So I know how you feel.

I have made a promise to myself not to have any more kids because I can’t go through it again. But I am glad your daughter made it through. Best of luck to you and your family. And best of luck to all the other mothers or moms-to-be who posted comments.

Mara on

Marla, I’m not a mother yet, but your story really touched me. I completely understand why you chose to hold this back until your daughter was better.

I’m so glad to hear she’s doing better. Sounds like she’s a fighter. If I’m ever lucky enough to call myself a Mom I hope I have the strength and love you do for your daughter.

Much love to you and your family.

Kristine on

I know how scary this must have been for you, we went through the same thing with our son Jack 6 years ago.

We found out about his ccam during our 20 week ultrasound and the remaining months of the pregnancy were filled with worry, sadness and many tears, not knowing if he would even survive. But he did.

He had his lower right lobe removed at 6 weeks old and handing him over to the surgical team was the hardest thing were had to do.

He is now a happy, healthy little 6 year old who is just a ball of energy! He swims, plays soccer and baseball and loves driving his older sisters crazy!

I’m so happy your story also had a happy ending. I wish you and your family a lifetime of love, happiness and good health.

Halley on

Oh honey, I just want to give you a hug! What an awful, scary thing to deal with.

My youngest son was diagnosed with premature atrial contraction when I was about 20 weeks pregnant. Like you, my normal pregnancy became high risk in (literally) a heart beat. I cried my eyes out so many times, worried that he was struggling in my womb and there was nothing I could do, no way to “fix” him. If I could have, I would taken it all on myself in a nanosecond.

We were very blessed and fortunate that the condition resolved itself shortly before his birth, but were were prepared shortly after his diagnosis that he may require heart surgery very shortly after birth.

I just cant imagine! Like I said, he ended up not needing it, but I can only imagine what it was like to hand your baby to the nurse for surgery.

I am so glad to hear that your gorgeous girl is doing better. It IS amazing how resiliant little ones are! God bless your whole family!

Gillian on

Reading your blog post brought back nearly identical memories for me 8 years ago. When I was 18 weeks pregnant with my first daughter Madeline, we learned from a routine ultrasound that our baby had a CCAM.

The way you described your feelings about your pregnancy after learning your news was exactly how I felt. The weekly ultrasounds to measure the growth of the CCAM, the anxiety, the fear of what would happen when she was born, etc.

However, like your daughter, ours had the affected lobe removed when she was a year old and the worst was behind us. It felt like the black cloud that was hovering over our little family unit finally cleared after many months of heartache.

Now our beautiful Madeline is a very energetic and athletic 8 year old. No one would ever think that the scar on her side meant that she had a lobe of her lung removed!

I wish you much joy and peace as you heal from this experience and enjoy being parents of your beautiful baby girl!

Jessica on

I was so sad to read about little Elliotte’s health scare. What a tough cookie she is, you go girl!

I have followed your blog as I was due around the same time. I ended up with a high risk pregnancy as well due to threatened pre term labour.

I can empathize with how hard it is to relax and enjoy your pregnancy when you are concerned for your baby’s health. I found the whole pregnancy experience bittersweet. I went from being the picture of health to being admitted to the hospital, shuffled on a tour of the NICU and 10 weeks of bedrest.

Luckily we had a happy ending – our son was born healthy as can be in Feb at just a hair after 37 weeks, which even surpassed our goal. I’m so glad your family had a happy ending too.

Tiffany on

Marla, so sorry that you and your fam had to experience this. When I had my first daughter, she was 3 months early and only 2 lbs. She was in the hospital for 2 months and 3 days and it was the hardest thing I had ever experienced so I can totally relate! I am so glad your daughter is doing well and send all my well wishes to you all! Best, Tiffany

Kim on

I am so happy to hear your little girl is doing well! I was in your shoes during my recent pregnancy, which resulted in a beautiful little girl being born in May with a rare genetic condition called Craniosynostosis. We were at Children’s Hospital of Phila with her at 9 weeks old and had to endure the long wait while surgeons opened up her skull to make room for her brain to grow.

We found out about this condition during my pregnancy, and I completely relate to the heartache I felt every time someone congratulated me. Our journey isn’t over yet and our baby will need several more surgeries, but I was so moved by your words and the fact that I could relate so much to your experience.

Leelee on

I generally don’t comment on stories/blogs but I felt I had to comment on your story to say a few things.

First, I am so happy that your beautiful no doubt amazing daughter is doing well after her surgery. I can’t image how terrified you and your husband were and of course I/we understand not wanting to blog about her health troubles while it was going on.

Second, while I have chosen sadly not to try to have children die to serious health concerns not just for me but the likelihood my child too would inherit my debilitating condition my brother and sister in law just had a baby 4 days ago, they were told about 7 years ago that she wouldn’t be able to get pregnant…surprise! Well since she didn’t think she could conceive they didn’t know she was pregnant until she was fairly far along.

They were worried because they had missed the window for the test for down syndrome. Not overly concerned but it was in the back of their heads. When she came out she looked healthy and no one said anything to the contrary so they were relieved.

Then a doctor different then the one they had chosen for her pediatric care came in to discharge them and said bluntly to my sister in law (my brother wasn’t in the room “I can’t discharge you I think this baby has down syndrome” then she started talking about her kids etc while Kim sat there crying, alone and the Dr gave no explanation as to why she felt that way except the baby Ella’s eyes were almond shape (so are my brothers and Ella was horribly swollen still from a rough delivery” she said “well she could have downs or she could look like her dad I don’t know” then she said she’d have to stay for another day and the Dr left.

I hope you all see something horribly wrong with this Drs conduct as well. So my brother went to the nurses and demanded Ella’s Dr come back to examine her and tell them what he thought. The Dr had left the hospital to go to his practice and said he would come after seeing his days patients at 6pm, it was 9am. So of course they worried all those hours although all the nurses said she looked healthy and not like a downs baby to them.

Sean said in 5 minutes he got over his initial fear and loved her to pieces either way. The Dr came and said he had no idea what she was talking about at all and explained why. Ella had none of the characteristics.

I guess the point of this long rambling story is when a baby is all of a sudden not as healthy as you first imagined fear comes quickly but the love gets you through.

PS I would sue that first Dr for her conduct but thats me! So glad you guys are ok!

Guest on

I’m so glad that your daughter is doing well now. Your words really touched my heart and gave me hope. My family is going through something now that we haven’t shared bc we are waiting on more tests and answers. Your daughter’s story and many of the readers comments helped to restore my hope. I haven’t stopped praying but I think I had lost hope.

Thank you for sharing your story once your daughter was better. I’m sure you have touched others lives like you have touched mine.

amy on

when my youngest was 9 months he had to have hernia surgery, and that had me in a tail spin. So i can only imagine what you were/are feeling ! So happy to see your family is healthy and doing well!

Sara on

I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through with your gorgeous girl. My son was born premature and spent 4 weeks in the NICU. After 10 days at home, we took him to the ER, where he was diagnosed with Group B Strep, sepsis and bacterial meningitis. We spent 2 weeks in the Pediatric ICU.

Today, my son is 4 and, by the grace of God, a healthy, active and happy little boy. But our experience when he was a baby has forever changed me as a parent. I, quite literally, am thankful for everyday we have together. I try to make the most of our life but I am also a terrible disciplinarian because of this (do I really put him in timeout for that? I’m just happy he’s alive!).

On a less positive note, it really rocked my sense of security. For so long, I just assumed if I was a good person and made good decisions, nothing horrible would happen to me. But illness defies all reason. People who deserve it the least sometimes suffer the most. This is true no matter who you are. Its taken a while to stabilize my anxiety – my sense of “what’s the worst that can happen?” has been forever altered.

I hope your girl makes a full recovery and you don’t experience any further complications. I think you will find motherhood only gets easier from here on out.

tina on

Dear Marla,

I rarely post comments, but your story touched me very deeply.

I am so sorry, that your little girl had to go through this! I can’t even begin to imagine your pain and worry…

It was truly a miracle, that her condition was discovered in the way it was- she really is blessed!!!

I am very happy, that she’s doing great now! With all my heart, I wish you and your family nothing but health and peace. God bless you.

Andrea on

I got pregnant at 17. Had my daughter Emily at 18. Being a 1st time mom and being a teen, I had no idea what to expect. Well Emily was 7lbs 9oz. She was ok the first few weeks after bringing her home, then she started spitting up here and there. Then it was ounces coming back up. I took her back and forth to the doctor and all they did was kept changing her formula. Well it got to the point we her puking looked like the exorcist and that coming out of a 5 week baby was very scary to witness.

Emily had such a hard time sleeping and was losing weight cuz she couldn’t keep anything down. And I still took her to the doctor and told them something was wrong, but they still said she was fine and switched her formula. Well one night it got so bad, i told my mom “Let’s take her to the hospital”. Well we did and the student doctor on call diagnosed her with pyloric stenosis. It was her stomach valve muscle wasn’t shutting all the way to keep her food down and that is why it kept coming back up. Emily had lost 2 lbs since the beginning when i noticed her problem.

Well they admitted her and performed surgery and it was extremely rough. My mom was by my side the whole time. Emily was 6 weeks old undergoing surgery. I was so scared. Well she came out the surgery fine and after she had no problem keeping her food down. That was 12 years ago, She is 12 years old, a 7th grader in school. She is a cheerleader, plays basketball, and softball. And weighs 120 lbs. And is 5 ft 8in. She is my big girl.

I wanted to also tell u that I had a son when I was 19 and he came out completely fine. Pyloric Stenosis is more common in boys then girls! And since Emily had it, Ethan was sure to have it, but he didn’t!! And that was rare!

Wanted to say I am happy to hear that your baby is fine! Bless you and your family!! Your baby is adorable!

LucyMarie on

My son is almost 18 and I still remember the round of surgeries and NICU we had in his first couple years of life. It will never go away, but I think it made me a better Mom. I was much more aware of the potential of bad things if that makes sense, but still have to let a kid be a kid!

Angela (two sons one who has autism)–I will pray for you. My son is also autistic. I want to tell you it does not always mean trips to the ER :) but be prepared for rough things in other ways. I do not want annoy you like people did to Ms Sokoloff (above), but BTDT.

Lola on

So happy for you & your beautiful family….this blog had me in tears just thinking about what could have been. You have a strong baby girl, keep writing!!

alymcdowell on

Marla,

I am so sorry that you had to go through this! I have a little boy (my first too!) about the same age as your Elliotte, and I know there are so many other things you have to do each day- let alone be worried about this! They told me my little boy had a rare disease ten days after he was born. Thank goodness he is just a carrier, but the first five weeks of his life was testing, doctors, etc.

It is sometimes hard to enjoy daily milestones when your mind is so full of worry- and I don’t know about you- but I felt like I had be “robbed” and had that precious time taken away since my mind was constantly focused on that.

I am glad your lil peanut is feeling better. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers! xo ;)

sally on

Thank you for sharing your story! It brought tears to my eyes as you explained with what you were going thru. I felt as if I was there right beside you…watching and waiting!

As a mother one experiences a life of ups and downs, you develop a new sense of compassion for others and there hurts! It truly broke my heart to hear what you went thru, but am soooooo happy that everything worked out for you!

Thank you for being real and sharing this difficult challenge! Blessings to you and your family!

Beth on

I understand how scary it must have been for you and your husband to have your baby girl undergo surgery! My first born daughter (now 25 years old) was in the hospital for a month when she was three months old. She had to have a spinal tap, which was an awful thing to witness! They had to rule out meningitis. She ended up with a very bad urinary tract infection, and needed IV antibiotics in the hospital. She was such a trooper! She learned to use her little feet to do the little things she used to use her arms for!

I am so glad that you and your family can relax a little bit now. However, as you said yourself, a mother can never truly relax when their children are involved!

Kandyce on

How strong you are! We loved reading about you through your pregnancy because you are “normal” (you know what I mean) – and through it all you were going through this anguish. As they say, I pray this is the worst that you all ever have to go through, and that it’s now behind you. May God bless all of you and protect your precious little Elliotte.

Catca on

I am so glad to hear your beautiful little girl is on the mend! She looks so much like you and the expression on her face in her hospital photo is just precious!

I went through a similar experience and felt the same way you did throughout. What helped me the most was having a sister who is a medical school professor. Her comments were on the clinical side, but somehow I found the detachedness reassuring. The good news is I’ve now reached a point where I no longer pack a suitcase when I bring my son to the doctor when he’s picked up a virus. His first two years of life resulted in a 100% ratio of hospital admissions for every virus he picked up, even the common cold, because of complications from another condition he has so I know that hospital cot well. He is actually looking like is growing out of it and will probably have no more issues by the time he’s five.

Mommytoane on

What a little trooper!! Elliotte is an absolute doll…and looks just like her momma. Lucky gal.

Erica on

Thank you for sharing this information and making others aware of this condition. We send our thoughts, prayers, and positive healing energy to you and your family. Your baby is so beautiful and we enjoy watching your movies.

I too have two children and one on the way I can only imagine what you have went through. I think you handle the entire process with strength and perserverance. You’re an amazing first time mom. May only wonderful everlasting memories and fun times for the future.

Susan Albert on

So glad to hear that your little girl is coming along. Your blog broough tears to my eyes. Thank G-D she is doing better.

danielle on

My heart aches for you- my son had a kidney defect (that they should have found in a prenatal ultrasound but didn’t) that we discovered at age 3 because of intense pain.

During his initial hospital stay, I actually climbed into the crib with him, and slept there. He had to endure painful tests, and I know the feeling of hopelessness and helplessness when someone takes your baby from your arms into the unknown. We had a 5 hour long surgery to wait for also. I didn’t know it was possible to cry for 5 hours straight and not run out of tears- it is.

God bless you and her, and I pray that she continues on the road to recovery!

Kat on

My daughter had surgery on her eyes and within a couple of hours of her operation, was running up and down the hospital ward (albeit a bit squinty and bruised) while older kids who had the same procedure were curled up in a ball in their hospital beds. It really is amazing how quickly babies recover from these sorts of things.

Hoping Elliotte is feeling well!

Christena on

Maria- Your blog brought back all the memories of my son’s surgery. My son was diagnosed at 7 months with congenital lobar emphysema, which is more common in boys. When they told me he needed surgery I was terrified. I contacted our minister and had him baptized prior to the surgery because I was so scared.

I sympathized with in you about turning over my infant to the surgeons and trusting in their expertise. I remember the hours of being in the waiting room and my fears that he would not make it out of the surgery and then recovery. He had the upper left lobe of his lung removed. The surgery was successful and the lung that remained grew and filled in the lung cavity. The doctors told us we were lucky that it was found in infancy.

He is now an energetic and very healthy 7 year old with full lung functioning. The only sign of his lung problem is the scar from the surgery. I thank god for his surgeons and the care that he received at Boston Children’s Hospital. They were an integral part of getting us through this experience. They even had a worker to explain to our 3 year old daughter what her brother was going through.

Thank you for sharing your story. Its helpful to know that we are not alone in our experiences. Best of luck to you and your family.

meme on

As i sit here with my 3 week old babe i can’t even imagine the agony your family has gone through. God bless you!!

shelby on

My heart goes out to you and your family, and you will be in our thoughts and prayers. Our son was diagnosed with a serious heart issue (coarctation of the aorta) shortly after his birth, and it was a terrifying experience; it reshuffled our priorities and made us stronger as a family, too.

Shelbie on

I’ve never posted on a board such as this but I just have to say that I’m so happy for you that your sweet Eliotte is doing well now!

As a parent of a special needs child and a sister of one who has dealt with congenital defects all her life, events like these truly are life changing. I truly hope all the best for you and your family!

SAB on

While my children never had to have any operations at a young age, I know where you are coming from. There is nothing scarier than knowing that you can’t do anything to help or protect your child.

My youngest son was about 3 weeks early and had numerous issues following his birth. I didn’t even get to see him until the next day in the NICU, and he had to stay there for 6 more days. I think I slept about 10 hours that week.

I am truly glad that your daughter is healthy and happy, and that your family overcame what could have been a very tragic incident.

BTW, I love reading your posts. Very real and down to earth. All the best to you and your family.

Kristine on

I’m so glad your baby girl is doing great!! Bless you and your family.

Your blog brought me to tears because I know exactly how you feel. My son Owen is 6 months old today and when he was 2 weeks old he had open heart surgery. Like you they found something wrong at my 20 week ultrasound. We didn’t know exactly what was wrong with his heart while I was pregnant…we just knew that it was going to be a waiting game until he was born.

I kept this from many people because it was very personal and I went my whole pregnancy scared that once he came into the world I was no longer protecting him inside me. Today he is a happy healthy little man.

Grace on

I’ll echo previous commenters saying that this blog entry brought tears to my eyes. Have loved your blog and am SOOOO happy things turned out well for beautiful baby Elliotte!!

barbara palmer on

marla
thank you for sharing your story.

mazel tov on eliotte’s outcome you have a wonderful life and family to look forward to in the years to come.

my eldest grandson ryan was born with severe factor 8 hemophilia not exactly a jewish genetic disease but he is about to start middle school and infuses himself 3-4x a week with his cltting factor. he might not do contact sports but he is gifted in other ways he plays piano base clarinet wonderful student etc his brother who will be 8 does not have the disease. so we must always count our blessings and be strong.

hugs from a BUBBE of 2

beedee on

wish nothing but the best for them!!!

Rachayla on

Marla,

Thank you for sharing this with moms everywhere. I respect your decision to wait to share this news and I am glad you shared it. Hopefully some mom that is reading your blog and is going through the same thing is being comforted by your words. Elliotte is a cutie pie and I’m glad she’s doing well.

rose white on

I’m glad everything turned out great for you guys. Continue to give God all the honor and praise. He will always bring you through the storms. Be Blessed!

Teri on

I can’t even imagine how difficult this must have been for you! Thank you for sharing your story.

jamelle on

Wow!!! You have spent almost one whole year with the fear that your child may be ripped out of your arms at any moment. How you ever managed to not go completely crazy is beyond me.

As for the comment that this has changed you it most definitely has. It has made you one very strong momma. As a celebrity you have so much attention from the media and all these people that want to know everything and to think that you spent all that time making everyone think every single thing was fine knowing what your family was going through makes you an amazing woman. YOU rock!!!!

nasknit on

I’m glad things worked out for all concerned. I’ve worked as a nurse, but really had a hard time working in the hospital with children- There are just so many “unpleasant things” that are done to them, for their own good.

Barbara on

I can relate to all your feelings so well. my son was initially diagnosed with CCAM at our 19 week ultrasound, but turned out he had a congenital diaphragmatic hernia. i went through all the same emotions and I am so grateful he is doing well now at 5. God bless your beautiful girl. this experience is surely a life changing one

Janna on

rose white: If got gets all the honor, he gets all the blame for her condition in the first place, doesn’t he?

Dace on

My daughter is 7 years old and next month she will have the same operation! I am surprised to read ur post and other mothers comments about thing like this because, as mentioned above, it is very rare someone speaks about it. Especially in my small European country i live in (Latvia).

Lets stay strong, all the mothers who needs to go through all this!

And we are happy for ur little wonder!

Mandy on

Marla your daughter is gorgeous, I am so glad Elliotte is okay, I know how hard it is to have a sick baby. I am so happy she is doing well along with you and your husband.

TBurchell on

I am wondering, you said they removed her upper left lobe, how will this affect her lung development long term? Will it hinder her ability to participate in athletics?

Cathy on

Thank You so much for sharing. I am a parent of teens now and the worry never goes away. The love that we have for our children pull us through all the worries and their smiles make everything o.k.

You are very brave for sharing your story. And your cute little one is even braver! Much happiness to you and your family.

B.J. (the girl) on

I was genuinely concerned while reading your update. Elliotte is an adorable little girl and I sincerely hope that her medical issues are a thing of the past. You’re a brave momma and Elliotte is lucky to have you.

PS love the movie Sugar & Spice!!

Xina on

Thank God,Praise him for blessing you with a strong baby, as scary as this is, all her major milestones will be much more meaningful once she reach them,Elliotte is truly a beautiful baby with a very strong and very alive soul, I cannot wait what this little girl will show the world,at her young age, she is already teaching her parents patience,resilience and strength.I will continue to pray for your family,and hopefully one day, this will be a memory,one you will tell her when she is old enough, as for now,relax,your baby is safe,happy and love :)

Shannon on

Marla,

What a very well written Blog! I felt like I was reading about the past 20 weeks of MY LIFE!! I am 39 weeks and 1 day pregnant. My son, Jack was diagnosed with a CCAM Lung at my 20 week, level 2 Ultra Sound, aka WORST DAY EVER! :( I have been seeking treatment at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia weekly, up until I reached 30 weeks pregnant. His cyst was a very dangerous size. It was in the higher then high risk of hydrops, cardiac arrest, and his heart was completely shifted to the right side of his chest. I was given shots of steriods and had to travel down to Philadelphia 2 times a week to check for hydrops.

Thankfully, his cyst began to shrink! It shrank SOOO much that I didn’t need any more monitoring after 30 weeks pregnant and I could go back to a “normal” pregnancy. Jack also will be getting surgery to remove his damaged lung (in his case, his left lower lobe). At the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia, they conduct this surgery when he is only 4-6 weeks old. Jack is due this coming Saturday, August 11th….and I am VERY nervous….then after only having him home with me for 4 weeks, I must take him down to Philadelphia and submit him for his 3 day stay in the hospital and surgery.

Every emotion you discussed in your blog matched mine. It has been a very emotional 5 months….and I am anxious to get through this and move on. I could write in this comment and tell you how I feel, but you described it all! I even read your blog to my mom and she said, “wow, sounds like exactly what you went though and exactly how you felt and coped.”

I hope that you are your husband are as proud of yourselves for keeping it together as best as possible as me and my boyfriend are. I still can’t believe that I didn’t fall more apart then I did….but, you know why we didn’t? Because we had to be strong for our little angels….I also kept faith in knowing that God gave me and my boyfriend a baby with this condition because he knew that we were strong and capable enough to handle it and get Jack the best care possible…..and that is what we did….as I am sure you did as well!

And even as I sit here, only days away from delivering….SCARED AS HELL….and when I walk into the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia with Jack in my arms to surrender him to the nurse taking him away…..I must keep faith in knowing that everything is going to be ok and that God doesn’t give us more then we can handle.

Your blog was wonderful for me to read….and your baby girl is gorgeous….I am glad you decided to write it. :) Thank You.

Anonymous on

So glad to hear all is well, my son now 5 had a ccam in his right lung which they found at 4 months of pregnancy. He was fine at birth and sent home and then at 5 months the scan showed that it had to be removed they took out the whole bottom section of his right lung, very scary. now at 5 the rest of his lung has moved into that space and he has no more problems breathing. However he does have to be watched for curving of the spine due to the muscles that were cut during the surgery, and his shoulder blade gets stuck sometimes.

I hope that all continues to go well for your little girl.

megjack1221 on

So glad to hear that your precious daughter is okay! Seriously tears to read your story…I know that feeling! My son too was diagnosed with some issues during an ultrasound and needed a few procedures in his first year of life. Thankfully it’s all a memory now, but certainly makes us stronger as families and as mamas!

Blessings to you and your little sweetie and thank you for being so open, no doubt it’s helping another couple find strength while facing a similar situation :)

bexers on

I am glad to hear that your little girl is doing well, I cannot even imagine having to give one of my daughters to a nurse for surgery.

You have no reason to apologize for keeping this from the public, this was a private matter for your family that fortunately has ended well. Never feel the need to justify keeping a situation like this private.

Mariah on

God Bless you and your Daughter and all that you have been thru, what a little Fighter you have on your hands. Thank you also for sharing this personal story when you didnt have to. I hope she will be ok and there will be know more Pain. Bless your sweet angel. Take care and I look forward to your next BLOG.

MSK …Las Vegas , NV

Sara on

I also have a daughter with CCAM. So happy for you that she is doing so well! I am dreading the day when we hand our little girl over to the nurse so she can have surgery.

If you are interested in joining some support groups for CCAM babies, there are two on Facebook. Mums of CCAM Babies, and, Parents of CCAM Babies.

Thanks for helping raise awareness about CCAM!

Nai on

I will be sending positive and healing thoughts your way. You are a special person and so is your daughter because these things don’t just happen to your average person.. as they wouldn’t be able to handle it.

My son was born with Neuroblastoma 4s .. and had surgeries and treatment the day after he was born. This is a rare type of cancer that develop when they are an embryo. I had no idea when I was pregnant, which was probably a good thing. For the first year and a half he had chemo.. what newborn you know has to get chemo.. being a first time mom this blew my mind and honestly I don’t know how we got through it but we did. He is a special child and so smart and funny and most of all strong! You can do it. We don’t know what the future holds for our 2 year old but right now he is a rockstar and we love every minute of it.

Thanks for sharing.

Kim on

Thank you for sharing your story and I don’t think anybody would blame you for keeping it private initially. I mean who needs people constantly badgering you asking you how she is or philosophising what could happen when all you need is to digest it yourself and deal with it. That would have been really scary, you don’t think that anything will ever go wrong, women have been having perfectly healthy babies for centuries who ever thinks that they’ll be one of the ‘unlucky’ ones to have a baby who has health issues and then you’re thrown into the world of unexpected hospital visits and ultrasounds to check baby out and all you worry about is what’s going on inside and is baby okay.

I had my son at 32 weeks after a relatively okay earlier pregnancy and he was in nicu for nearly 4 weeks after, its a different world having a sick baby you don’t know what will happen and how much you love that little munchkin and never Google anything only makes matters worse lol! Needless to say my second pregnancy was monitored closely, 2 weekly ultrasounds to check growth as my son was way underweight when born and she eventually pops out at 36 weeks perfectly healthy (perfect Apgars) even though I got PE she turned out beautifully, not to say you won’t be terrified second time round but it really sucks not to be able to just enjoy being pregnant without stressing over things that could happen.

It’s great Elliotte has recovered so well, babies are surprisingly resilient but I guess it goes to show that the mind has a big say in how you recover, babies don’t know anything about dying or any of that other awful stuff, they don’t just ‘give up’ because they dont know what that is, shes a beautiful bubba congrats for getting through the whole experience :)

Amanda on

Oh my goodness, reading this totally brought me back to when my husband and I had to hand over our precious 7 week old son to the nurses so he could have surgery to correct his Pyloric Stenosis. He will be 3 this October and that, still to this day, has been the hardest thing ever.

Knowing that he was going to be put under and they were going to cut him open, i felt so helpless and scared! Handing your baby over is so scary and so hard, i wanted nothing more then to just run out of there with him but i knew he needed it. its hard to put such faith in someone you’ve never met before and to trust them with your entire heart and reason for living!

I totally understand how you feel and im so glad she made it through and is now thriving even better then before! She’s gorgeous, btw!

Anonymous on

Marla,

As a parent who has had a child in the NICU for two weeks and in the hospital for a hernia operation, I can empathize with every feeling you so eloquently described in your blog. Handing your baby over for surgery -invasive or not- is one of the most gut-wrenching experiences in parenthood.

I applaud you for being so brave as to write this blog. I’m sure, in many ways, it’s therapeutic, but also frightening to let people in on this very private matter. Thank you for sharing. You’ve helped many people heal. Your family is in my thoughts.

Lucinda on

I never write on these things, but the exact same thing happened to me, so I feel compelled to comment.

My second daughter was born with a CCAM, which was discovered during my week 20 ultrasound. She had surgery to remove it when she was 7 months old. I completely relate with everything you wrote about, from being anxious during the pregnancy and counting down the weeks, worried about how baby would be after birth, and terrified at the thought of having your little girl go through surgery.

It’s been about 2 years since our little one had her surgery, and she is doing amazing! Looking at her, you’d never know she was ever born with any type of lung abnormality. I’m sure Elliotte will do just as well. God really carried us through the whole situation, and I’m glad that He has done the same for you.

Thanks for sharing!

AmandaA on

My parents know exactly what you are going through. I was born with a heart defect in September 1986. I had a Venticular Septal Defect. The wall the seperates the left and right ventricules of my heart didn’t close like it should have when my heart formed, which caused the blood fresh with 02 to mix with the blood with CO2 which sent too much blood through the veins to my lungs.

I had pulmonary hypertension, trouble catching my breath, I fed poorly, and was diagnosed “failure to thrive”. I underwent surgery to correct this surgery when I was 3 months old. Since I was born and underwent my surgery during the fall/winter, my parents also had to be concerned about catching a cold or any illness like that. My parents lived in a small town 30 minutes from the nearest hospital. So if something had gone wrong it was a long drive to the hospital. The hospital I had my surgery in was a hour long drive from home.

Today I am a healthy 25 year old. Happily married with a family of my own. My heart defect was a genetic condition. My mom was born with and had surgery for the same thing when she was an infant in the 1960s so I worry if my children will be born with the same heart defect. I’ve been blessed, none of my children have had what I’ve had.

Kristi on

Marla, Thank you for sharing your story. I’ve personally never experienced anything of the like with my son (13 months) and am truly thankful every day for his health.

I have had several family and friends that have had very difficult pregnancies and health concerns for their young babies. Every time I hear these stories, it makes me cry because a baby shouldn’t have to deal with hospitals and surgeries. But it is also inspiring at the same time.

Elliotte is a very lucky girl in that she seems to have a great set of parents that have already proven you will be there for her for anything and everything.

Thanks again for sharing,
Kristi

Shelby on

Marla, your little one is surely stronger than even she might know! I want you to know that I have watched you on Full House, Meteor, Friends, Sugar & Spice, 7th Heaven, and The Babysitters Club. You are a great actress, and I can’t wait to see you in future works. Sincerely, Shelby

Caroline on

SO happy your little one is safe and healthy. As another mom, my heart goes out to you. Now is your time to relax and enjoy every little moment without (too much) worry!

Becky on

Thank you for sharing your story and I’m glad your daughter is doing well. My son was born two months ago at 25 weeks gestation and is still in the NICU. He had to have surgery on his heart when he was three weeks old and it is terrifying to think of someone operating on your little one (for us a two pounder at the time). It is amazing what modern medicine can do and how great pediatric surgeons are these days.

Amanda on

Hi Marla,

Thank you for writing this. My daughter was born on 4/24/12 with a congenital heart defect called tetralogy of fallot and will be undergoing open heart surgery over the next few months. Everyone has been so supportive but no one can understand how you feel as a mother and father going through something like this.

I enjoyed reading your blog and I so empathize with you. Your blog has shed more courage my way and I appreciate that. I’m so happy your daughters surgery is over and all is well with your beautiful baby.

You are very true in saying this experience has changed you as a person, I was changed forever as a person when she was born then forever changed the following day when we received her diagnose from her heart murmur.

All the best-Amanda

Tawanna R. on

Wow this story really hits close to home and I’m glad you opened up about it. My daughter she’s 18mths now was diagnosed at 20wks gestation with bronchopulmonary sequestration. Doctors initially thought she had CCAM but it turned out she had a pulmonary sequestration which has some relation to CCAM.

When she was born we had a scare as I had to have an emergency c-section an hour after my induction due to her having a catergor III fetal heart tracing. She spent approximately 5 days in the NICU and appears to be stable now although she’s continued to have numerous follow-ups since her birth with the pediatric pulmonlogist and pediatric surgeon. Now that she is getting older there has been the discussion of surgery to remove the mass of extra lung tissue due to the fact that although it has continued to decrease in size it does pose the risk of cancer in the future.

While this has all been very scary I have to say my OB/GYN as well as the wonderful ultrasound techs made it very easy for me up until my delivery. In addition the wonderful NICU staff and L&D staff at Weiler Hospital in the Bronx, NY made this process and transition very easy with the support and wonderful bedside manner. My daughter also has great doctors whom she sees at CHAM.

Wishing you and your little one all the best during this time.

God Bless

Meredee on

A friend of mine was born with a rapid growth in his lung, which was a death sentence, they did expect him to live to see 1 month old. A courageous and ambitious surgeon at the local children’s hospital decided to try removing the affected lobe to try to save his life. It was totally experimental surgery, but a risk that the parents were willing to take on the life of their 3 day old infant.

Fast forward 34 years, Justin is 6’2″, healthy and athletic, and you’d never know he had less than two full lungs outside of the scar and an occasional weeze when he talks excitedly.

I’m so sorry that you had to go through that, but rest assured that Elliotte will grow to be a strong and healthy as the babies who were the first to receive such surgeries.

Birdie on

I am truly happy your daughter is doing fine again! Wish you and your family lots of strength and happiness.

Greetings from Germany

Xara on

WOW! Jesus really kept you all through this.

belleoftheballe on

Marla, I just want to say that I understand where you are coming from. I had a health scare with my daughter, she tested positive for Cystic Fibrosis in June in the newborn screen testing that they do. The two days between getting the call and the sweat test were the scariest and hardest of my life! I can’t imagine what you had to deal with for five months waiting for her surgery! Turns out my little one is fine, she doesn’t have CF, she is just a carrier.

I’m happy to hear that Elliotte is doing great, I love her name! All the best to you and your beautiful family.
PS I’ve always been a fan of your work!

Virginia on

I’m sorry you had to go through this, but glad everything is well now. It is so hard to find out there is something wrong with your child. During my second pregnancy there was concern of something wrong with my little girls heart at the 20 week ultrasond. We saw a specialist and they told us her heart looked fine. During my third trimester (at 35 weeks) my OB was concerned with the size of the baby, I was measuring a lot smaller than I should have been. We had another ultrasound that revieled that she had a hole in her heart and possibly down syndrome.

That was such a scary day to find out my baby wasn’t perfect and so close to delivering. We found out the hole was an AVSD heart defect which is a big hole in the center of her heart where all the chambers are open to the others. There were also other concerns and the doctors couldn’t really tell us what would happen when she was born. We had an amniocentesis done and found out that she did not have down syndrome. That was such a big relief to know.

When she was born at 39 weeks I had expected her to go to the NICU and have to possible stay there, But when she was born she was very healthy. They took her away to the NICU for observation but was soon released and got to stay with us in the hospital and then got to come home with us. Everything that could have gone well had. Alyssa will have to have surgery somwhere around six mon6ths old, but right now at 2 months old she is doing amazingly well. When it comes time for surgery I’m sure I will be a nervous wreck. But for now we are thankful that she is doing so great.

It has been hard to deal with but I know she will eventually be ok. You never think you will be the one to have a child with health issues. I’m sorry you had to deal with it, but it helps to know that celebrities have to deal with the same issues that everybody else does. Thanks for your blog and sharing your experiences with us.

darcie617 on

Marla:
I am so glad baby Elliotte is doing great! My granddaughter Lilyan Rose was born on July 18th with a Type III CCAM. They found it on the 20 week ultrasound. My daughter was devastated to say the least! We were sent immediately to a fetal therapist @ Jackson Memorial in Miami, Dr. Ruben Quintero. His team was awesome! But what go my daughter and I thru this very trying time was a support group on facebook; Mums of CCAM babies…without them I don’t know what we would have done; in fact that’s how I came across your blog; one of the Mums posted about it. I will pray for all of you and yes these babies are definatley fighters. Glad to know Elliotte is on the mend. God bless you all; Darcie Cordero

Christine on

Marla,

My husband and I don’t have kids, and I don’t comment on anything EVER, but I just had to tell you how much I admire your honesty and strength. I’m so glad that your doctors were able to find the problem in time and correct it while Elliotte is still so young. She’s such a beautiful little angel and, thankfully, she is now 100% healthy.

May God continue to bless you and your family!

Shirley Mcclamroch on

My Daughter went through the same thing, only she was pregnant with twins. Her daughter had IUGR and her son had the CCAM. The doctors did not expect either child to live. Her little boy was immediately put on the occisalator and a couple of weeks later he made it to the Ventilator. This heart was pushed behind the other lung and when they performed the surgery, the heart automatically moved back to normal and that lung inflated!! These are my grandchildren and we all were just beyond devastated! My granddaughter was in the NICU for Two months and came home and my grandson was in the NICU for a little over 3 months!! He was sent home with a monitor hooked to him and oxygen for several months!!! God is so good! They are now 14 months old and started to our churches mothers day out program today!!! Our lives have changed forever!! God still performs miracles every day!! I’m so happy your baby girl is doing great too!!!

Heather on

I am glad your daughters surgery went well. Prayers that she contiunues to be happy and healthy. Our daughter also was born with a CCAM. She had type 2 which is rare and can come with other anomalies. They actually thought she would not survive the pregnancy. We worried and watched the ultrasounds. Her CCAM did not continue to grow. I had some early labor with her and was put on brethene (sp?) from 26 weeks on.

She came early at 37 weeks and did not require any special care. She had nothing wrong with her, perfectly healthy other than the CCAM. Since she had no complications but she was small 5 lb 9 oz so we decided to let her grow and we would keep an eye on the CCAM.

When she was 3 1/2 we decided that was good time for her to have the surgery. Her surgery was at CHOP and her doctor Holly Hedrick was amazing…and I would recommend her to anyone! My daughter was in surgery for 7 hours. They took the upper and middle lobe on the right side. Initially we thought it would just be the middle lobe but she wasn’t comfortable with how the upper lobe tissue looks so she removed both.

My daughter did excellent with a five day hospital stay!! Kids are amazing when it comes to healing!!! . She did however devolop reactive airway disease that has actually been improving, she hasn’t used any inhalers in months. Her coughing episodes were very random. Her lung that was left on the bottom right side has regenerated and has almost filled the space.

Most people that have seen her chest xrays can’t even tell she had surgery if it wasnt for the internal clips. The only thing we need to watch is that she doesn’t develop scoliosis as she grows. She is a growing, happy, healthy 5 year old. We are blessed. <3

Kimberly on

Awww God bless your precious little baby, my prayers are with you!!!

Kimberly on

My prayers are with you and your family !! So happy she’s doing better ! My daughter was born at 25 weeks and spent 172 days in the NICU for 24 weeks I say by my daughters bedside waiting to hear the words she’s going home ! My daughter had 4 surgeries while in the NICU and had major bowel surery due to having NEC necrotizing entercolitis a bowel Infection that can be fatal ! And now at 2.5 years old she wears glasses and had 2 more surgeries but other then she’s as happy and healthy as can be !!

Rara on

As I read your blog, tears were streaming down my face. Just thinking that my 5 month old daughter would go through the same thing is heartbreaking within itself, let alone having experienced it. My prayers go out to your family and your beautiful daughter. You’re an amazing mom, stay strong.

Sunny on

Oh my, they have been through so much. Glad to hear all is going well for this family and for their darling girl. My oldest grandchild (who I was raising) had to go through surgery at about the same age and Marla is right, watching them carry away this tiny perfson to go for something so serious as surgery id beyond imagination. underyour care, you can do everything in the world to protect them, but then you have to give up your protection and hand over that little being to their control. hope they are good at what they do, and pray it is successful and there are no complications. You hold your breath for what seems like forever until they come back and tell you it is all over.

I am so pleased all went wll for Elliote and her parents. They have been through a lot but seem to be walking in the sunshine again. Congratulations as you now look forward to a brighter future in which you can stop worrying and start enjoying your little family again. Best wishes.

N on

You had every right to keep that to yourself. Congratulations on a happy ending to a horrifying experience.

Cecilia on

Hi! I’ve been following your blog whenever I can and I have to say I really admire you. I can’t believe you’ve had to deal with all of this and had to stay strong for your baby at the same time. I can imagine it’s really really hard. I’m 27 and I don’t have babies yet, but I will soon (hopefully), so it has been great to read you and know how a pregnancy goes. Congratulations for everything and I’m really glad Elliotte is doing ok after the surgery. Greetings from Uruguay!

Erika on

Your story reminded me so much of my “mourning” period after my son was given a clean bill of health. He was born with a congenital birth defect in his intestines and has had 3 surgeries, but all within the first 6 months of birth. He’s fine now thank God.

I call it a mourning period because like you, I was so consumed with the unknowns I couldn’t truly enjoy his birth through the first 6 months. In fact, he’ll only be 3 this fall and I can hardly remember him as a newborn :( unless it’s a memory filled with me medically taking care of him. The truth is though, it gets easier and you will dwell less on those hard times too.

Enjoy your daughter and know that great things await the children who have had to prove their strength so early in life…I really believe that! Good luck and God bless!

ebony s on

Praying for you and your littlle beauty. I cant imagine how hard this has been for you, especially writing a pregnancy blog. But i am sure anyone would have done the same in keeping it between you and your loved ones. You are an inspiration and an amazing mom.

M.C on

My sister went through the same thing with her son. Its so good for you to share your story for other parents like my sister who relate. It was such a scary time for our family, so reading your blog really hits home. But I’m proud to say our praying paid off as well, and the good Lord blessed him with a healthy full recovery. He is a healthy 1 1/2 year old boy that has the best smile you’ve ever seen! His surgery was a few days after he was born because he needed oxygen and it caused his lung to grown even more. The surgeon and staff were so wonderful! I thank God for them too!

Clarissa on

After my daughter’s birth she was diagnosed with pulmonary valve stenosis. What it means is that The right ventricle of the heart is obstructed and she had to have a heart cauterization done to balloon it open. It was the worst week of my life! You pray for a healthy baby and then all of a sudden thus happens. I prayed so hard to God for a safe procedure and a hopeful outcome. He answered my prayers and now she is a very active 2 year old. She still has to keep going to the cardiologist once every year. the dr assures me she is going to be just fine.

Prayers to you and your precious little one!

Melissa on

Hi Marla. I have been reading your blog from the beginning. I can completely understanding holding this back. I wouldn’t have felt right about sharing either. I am so sorry for you having to go through this, but your family will be able to get through anything now and you are such a strong family! I am so glad little Elliotte is okay and stay strong mama!

Renee on

Babies are gifts from God and with God all things are possible I will pray for you and your family’

SJB on

So sorry for all that you went through, but happy that your adorable baby came through safely. I almost lost my son to an accident at age 14, so I understand how life-changing it can be to wait for your child to come out of surgery to know if they will still be with you tomorrow. As you stated, it makes you closer and so much more appreciative of them every single day, but it is HARD to get through. As your baby did, my son recovered faster than I !!! As a matter of fact, 8 years later, I still feel like I am not fully recovered.

Your daughter is so beautiful and is obviously well cared for by her parents. Best wishes to you & your family and thank you for sharing such a personal story.

Shannon on

Not knowing the outcome and the waiting is for sure the hardest. I have 4 kids and babies #2 and #4 both had to spend time at a hospital, yet both were healthy when born.

Baby #2 was by far the scariest, she somehow got a bacterial infection and one hospital didn’t catch it and sent her home at 16 days old with full blown pneumonia. She was life flighted to our local Childrens Hospital, which thank God is one of the top rated ones in the world. She was on a heart and lung bypass (ECMO) for about 5 days. She is perfectly fine now but with only one carotid artery and jugular vein.

Baby #4 was just a lazy little boy that didn’t want to actually do much of his own breathing after the first day. He was just in for two weeks but as a mom and having to go home from the hospital anytime without your little one is tough. I cried all the time but I also had 3 other young ones (6,5 and 2) that needed me home at night, daddy stayed with the baby.

Like you said, you are never truly out of the woods, even when your daughter is 50, she will still be your baby and you will still be worried about her :) She is beautiful and you are a great mom!!!

Denise on

So glad to hear all is going fine with your lil girl. As a mom of 3 (much larger girls) I had my youngest hospitalized and still worry about her. I love the fact that you are honest about what life really is. Hope all stays well and that you enjoy you lil girl and I pray that the next one you get to experience stress free…

B on

Our daughters look like twins are just days apart! lol..
all the best to you, Marla!

Kathy on

This made me cry!! May God bless you and your family.

tiffany on

she is sooooooooooooooooooooooo cute

Susan Albert on

I am also glad to hear that things went well, and your little baby girl is fine. G-D bless

Anne on

What a beautiful girl! I can see why you’d be annoyed by the advice that “babies are resilient” when there are so many things that could go wrong. I will pray that Elliotte stays safe in the future.

guest on

God bless you. You sound like a very special woman and that beautiful baby of yours is so lucky to have you as her mommy!

Sarah on

My 4 month old daughter Alexis was also diagnosed with CCAM at my 20 week scan. Her cysts are large and is putting pressure on her heart causing it to shift.She is scheduled for surgery to have her upper left lobe removed on December 3, 2012. I am so scared and nervous! Nothing can prepare me for this day. I am so glad I came across your blog, it is so similar to what I am going through right now! I am so happy your daughter is doing so well now!

Brandy on

Our baby was diagnosed with ccam at 22 weeks! Very stressful rest of pregnancy. Ended up being induced a week early due to preeclampsia.

There is a wonderful group on Facebook called mums of ccam babies. That is pretty much what got me through our pregnancy, delivery and our upcoming meeting with the pediatric surgeon at the beginning of August! Glad to hear your lo’s surgery went well and she is a happy healthy baby!

Nikki on

Hi, my 4 week old was diagnosed prenatally with CDH. I had a elective c section and on her arrival she was whisked off to NICU on a ventilator and was covered in tubes and needles :-(
However, after more tests, she was taken off the ventilator and was brought to me on the ward at 4am only for me to be told that she has now been diagnosed as having a CCAM. They sent us home that day! An ECG 3 weeks later as an outpatient shows a large cystic growth on her left lung but I haven’t been told the next steps or anything. Reading this blog has had me in tears and I’m now freaking but over the last couple of weeks her breathing has got progressively faster and more laboured. She struggles to feed through trying to catch a breath and she gasps for air quite a lot. Do you think this is because it’s growing? Or is it normal before surgery for babies to have these symptoms?
Thanks in advance. Nikki.

P.S, so relieved Elliotte is on her road to recovery. What a bright little girl she is. Totally adorable :-) x

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