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It feels like just yesterday, the test confirmed that we were pregnant for the 6th time and due on October 9, 2014. With an ectopic pregnancy, a healthy boy, and three repetitive miscarriages behind us, we just hoped that everything would go smoothly this time. We patiently waited for each milestone...8 weeks, 12 weeks, and 18 weeks.
For this pregnancy, our real journey began at our 18 week/5 day ultrasound. We arrived at our appointment that day hoping to confirm a healthy baby and excited to finally find out if the next Salkeld would be a boy or girl. When the room fell silent, we immediately knew something was wrong. The doctor confirmed a devastating prognosis for our unborn son and informed us that he had a condition called a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH).
CDH occurs when a hole in the diaphragm fails to close and allows the contents from the abdomen (stomach, intestines, and/or liver) to migrate into the chest. When the abdominal organs are in the chest, there is limited room for the lungs to grow. This prevents the lungs from developing normally, resulting in pulmonary hypoplasia (or underdeveloped lungs). About 1,600 babies are born with CDH every year in the U.S., or 1 in every 2,500 live births.
In the weeks following the prognosis, we visited the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the Johns Hopkins Hospital and learned that our son had a very severe left sided CDH and he had a 50/70 percent chance of survival after birth. Although they have given us a prognosis on the severity of the CDH, his lung's function will only be determined after he is born. All we can do is hope that our baby boy is strong enough to overcome the obstacles he will endure during the first few days, weeks, months, and years of his life.
We created this website and blog to keep family and friends updated throughout the pregnancy and birth of our baby boy, Caleb. We wanted a place to share our story with family, friends, other CDH families, and to help raise awareness and hope for babies born with CDH.