In the year 2018, Eliza Jamkochian Bahneman 36, and her husband Erik, 41 were overwhelmed with happiness when they got the news that they were going to become parents.
“‘We’re pregnant!’ These are the words everyone likes to hear when planning for a family. It took my husband and me about nine months to get pregnant. I was starting to feel anxious and nervous. It’s crazy how many emotions one can feel when planning to have children.” Said Eliza.
According to the reports of Love What Matters, Eliza spent the beautiful days of her pregnancy with a few friends and her sister-in-law. At that time they all were expecting babies one after another so they enjoyed this precious journey together.
“It was amazing to have someone you can share your pregnancy pros and cons with.”
While Eliza was happily enjoying the days, things took a turn when her baby girl Isabella opened her eyes in the world a month earlier than anticipated.
“After 12 hours of labor, Bella entered our world. She arrived sunny side up, weighing five and a half pounds. Upon her arrival, I noticed a tiny folded ear. I was told babies look weird as soon as they come out, so I didn’t think anything of it.”
While sharing her motherhood experience Eliza told that she was very excited to see her daughter. She also said that when she saw Bella for the first time she was looking so tiny and delicate but when she took Bella in her arms she felt something was wrong with the baby girl.
“’Why isn’t anyone congratulating me? Why is my husband so confused and scared? Why can’t my mom look at me? Why did my doctor step out? Why are all these other through hospitalinto my room?’ My room was silent. No one said a word. The silence tore me apart; it broke me, shattered my heart.”
“I broke down, shaking, scared, confused, and lost. Writing this moment breaks me. With a heavy heart, I revisit these memories and remember my daughter’s arrival was not celebrated.” She told LWM.
Bella was taken to the NICU, and after examining her properly doctor took multiple tests. And after so many evaluations doctor concluded that Bella had a rare genetic disorder called Treacher Collins.
“‘Honey, I think I diagnosed our daughter,’ my husband said, ‘Well, there are two syndromes. However, one is worse than the other. Let’s hope it’s Treacher Collins.’ We read the article together, looked at pictures, researched, and cried.” Said Bahneman.
“It was a condition in which her facial bones wouldn’t develop properly, like normal people. Our daughter was born with many issues, such as loss of hearing and a small airway.”
“So began the chapter of our lives that involved several surgeries and rushing tothroughospital due to emergencies.”
“We had a special protocol to follow each time going in and out of the NICU. Several specialists and neonatologists greeted us.”
“Bella had to be assessed further with x-rays, exams, and evaluations. We had to leave Bella in the evenings at the hospital. It was hard to manage motherhood, a new baby, a rare syndrome, pumping, and the daily information provided.”
Eliza told that she had to wake up in the middle of the night to check Bella and her condition through the NICU cameras.
“I connected with my daughter through media. That was my normal.”
“On December 8, 2018, after we were medically and properly trained to care for Bella, we were discharged to go home. My husband and I were not only her parents but also her nurse.”
“We have had many whirlwinds, including several emergency visits to the ER and choking situations while at home.”
Eliza also shared with the outlet that the parents had come a long way together. Eliza and Erik both were grateful for the training for taking care of their daughter they obtained in the NICU.
Bella is an incredible kid because she is just two and a half years old and already has gone through three major inpatient surgeries and one outpatient surgery. And the little girl is still growing like a real warrior.
“Most TCS babies have an average of 20 to 60 surgeries, if not more. Some have trachs to help them breathe, but almost all of them have some sort of hearing loss. Bella goes to occupational therapy, speech therapy, and a music class for children with hearing loss, and early start with the school district.”
“Our journey is different, our normal is different, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. This entire experience has taught me so much as a mother, sister, wife, friend, and acquaintance.” Said Eliza.
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