After a year of marriage, Braydon and I decided to start trying to have a baby. It didn't take long for us to find out that we were expecting. Three months into our pregnancy, my doctor performed an ultrasound where we learned that our baby had a "cyst" under his neck. My doctor wanted to be cautious and told me that she was going to have me be seen by her and a high-risk doctor. In the beginning my doctor wasn't sure if it was something that would grow or if it would go away on it's own. Every month I would be seen by my high-risk doctor and get an ultrasound of my wonderful little baby. I wasn't nervous when they told me that the cyst was growing, I just knew everything would be okay in the end.
In my seventh month of pregnancy, the "cyst" stopped growing and stayed that way until Landon was born. My doctor informed me that because of the anatomy under Landon's chin, I would not be able to have a normal delivery. He would not be able to pass through the birth canal, so I would have to have a scheduled c-section at 37 weeks.
We started that day off with an amniocentesis to make sure Landon's lungs were developed. After that, we headed to the hospital where at 1:32pm, my little man was born. As expected, Landon had a hard time breathing because of the mass under his neck. There were tons of doctors and nurses in the delivery room that catered to him. He was intubated at birth and was taken to the NICU. The doctors planned to remove the mass under his neck when Landon was one week old. My husband and I didn't get to hold our sweet little boy, but read books to him and held his hand and did anything we could do to make our presence known to him. At one week old, before his surgery, I finally got to hold my little man. It was the best thing I had ever done. After what seemed like forever, I got to see my new little boy without his "fat man chin" (what we liked to call it). He looked like a whole new baby!! The doctors concluded that what Landon's "cysts" were was a condition called lymphangioma. It was a deformity in the forming of the lymphatic system causing lymphatic fluid to get trapped and cause his chin to expand. We also learned that Landon has hemangiomas on his lip, all along his chin and in his mouth. Ultimately, this is what made it impossible to extubate Landon and take him home.
Landon had to stay in the NICU after his surgery for 3 more weeks. The doctors thought it would be smart to do a tracheotomy on Landon and at the same time provide him with a G-button. They weren't sure how long Landon would have both of them, but wanted to give him the opportunity to grow at home instead of staying in a hospital. So, on August 17, 2007 we took our little man home and enjoyed having him in our home. He flourished and grew in our little home.
Landon's doctor's appointments were crazy! He was seen by so many different doctors. One of them was our ear, nose, and throat doctor who referred us to go see a doctor in Denver, Colorado that dealt with Landon's type of diagnosis. We were so excited to get to go see someone that would be able to help us make our little man's life easier. We started going to see this doctor in August of 2008 when Landon was a little over a year old. The procedure he performed on Landon was injecting alcohol into the veins that supplied the hemangiomas and would then reduce the redness and reduce the size of Landon's lip, tongue and areas in his throat. The first three injections went great and we were seeing results in the way Landon was eating and drinking. His ENT doctor even noticed a difference in his airway which made us very excited.
However, on the fourth injection we went to in Denver, Landon ended up having complications from the procedure. He ended up with two collapsed lungs and his heart rate and blood pressure dropped very low. He ended up having an anoxic brain injury which affected the grey matter in his brain. When he came out of it, he was a baby again. He cried and just laid around. We ended up going to physical, occupational, and speech therapy to get him back to where he is today. Someone that didn't know him wouldn't know all the things he's been through. He has a few ticks that he didn't have before, but for the most part is a normal child. We are so thankful for Landon and the blessing he has been for our family. We couldn't imagine life without him. He is definitely my hero.