Liam

My son, Liam was born December 20th, 2011. I had a very healthy pregnancy, I exercised, ate right, I didn’t even drink caffeine. We found out that there was a vanishing twin around week 7 and then found that he had club feet around week 20. Club feet doesn’t run in either of our families so we weren’t quite sure why he would have it. But, we did a little research and felt comfortable with how easy it was to fix it. I continued to have a very healthy and easy pregnancy and went in to the Mayo hospital in MN on my due date. Liam was born the next day via c-section. There were complications from the very beginning, Liam was not breathing well and needed oxygen three times he also spent the night in the nursery for observation. The following morning the Drs told me that he would be transferred to the NICU for further observation. We went to the NICU to finally spend some time with Liam and everything seemed fine, except that we were having a hard time getting him to latch on to breast feed, but that can be normal. Liam soon needed a feeding tube in his nose to make sure that he was hydrated and getting sufficient nutrition. 


Days passed and nobody could seem to figure out why he wasn’t eating. So we started working on using a haberman nipple (which is commonly used with children with a cleft lip). This was a whole new challenge. We had to reteach Liam how to eat. Instinctively babies suck, swallow, breathe but Liam had to learn to skip the sucking and trust us to give him the appropriate flow of milk. Liam would not eat for the nurses (and not even all that well for me) but he ate consistently for his father. As days passed, the doctors gave Liam an abundance of tests: MRI, swallow test, nose and throat scan, EMG, chromosome test, and every specialist imaginable came to see Liam. It became incredibly overwhelming, but every test came back “normal.”  Finally after ten days in the NICU the Dr told us Liam had Moebius Syndrome and that he knew very little about it, basically we would be teaching him (and the rest of Mayo) about the syndrome. We didn’t get to go home until January 6th (which is my birthday, best present ever!) and we were so happy to take our little man home. Liam lost a lot of weight and was in the 7th % at his 3 month check up, but our pediatrition was AMAZING!  As soon as Liam figured out how to eat more confidently, and more efficiently he put on weight immediately. Liam had multiple appointments weekly and, as always, he pleasantly surprised doctors on how well he was doing. We are still working on physical therapy (as he has very low muscle tone) but he is excelling far more than what doctors had anticipated. Liam had his 9 month check up and is in the 87th % for weight and 70th % for length, BIG BOY!

Liam is loved beyond words by our family and friends. Although it has been a challenge at times, that boy has inspired me on so many levels. He has endured more than most people do in a lifetime and he does it with a smile in his heart. He is so laid back and his belly laugh melts my heart! I LOVE that I get to watch him grow and learn and turn into an amazing person. I love you, Liam! 

Tim Smith
Author: Tim Smith

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