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Dawn Torrence Williamson
12-08-2008, 12:03 PM
[left:9ecc4fa6c9]http://www.cdhsupport.org/graphics/Vosse-DakotaMae.jpg[/left:9ecc4fa6c9]On October 14, 2005 is when our lives changed forever when I had found out that I was pregnant, I was so excited to finally start our own family. We had lost our first baby in 1998. It took us 8 years to get pregnant again. I told my husband after dinner one night that we where expecting and he just had this big smile on his face. He didn't know what to say. My first doctorís visit was on November 1, 2005. Dr. T my OB-GYN checked me out and everything was fine. He told me that my due date would be June 24, 2006. I was so happy because June is my Mothers birth month. December 2, 2005 was my next appointment and He couldn't hear the baby's heart beat so he looked at the baby with an ultrasound machine and the baby was OK. At this time I was 10 weeks. I could see Dakota Mae's arms & legs moving all around. I started to cry cause it was so amazing to see this baby after loosing our first child. January 11, 2006 I went to Dr. T and he checked me out and said everything was still OK. February 6, 2006 was the day I found out there was something wrong with Dakota Mae. The nurse doing my ultrasound seen that her left kidney was bigger then the right side. The nurse had taken a lot of pictures to show the doctor. My next visit was February 10, 2006. Dr. T explained to me that this could be very serious or it might not be anything. He wanted to send me to St. Mary's Hospital to have a level 2 ultrasound done, just to make sure every thing was OK.

February 27, 2006 a Dr. the Maternal-Fetal specialist at St. Mary's Hospital looked for over a half hour at my ultrasound findings. He determined that the baby had CDH aka Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. What is this? It is when the diaphragm does not completely close, a hole in the diaphragm where the stomach and the intestines are push up in to the chest cavity. Pushing the heart over to the right and putting pressure on the developing lungs not letting them grow. The Dr. told us that Dakota Mae would have to have surgery after she was born and even with having the surgery it didn't guarantee that she would make it. My Heart just dropped after being told all of that. He recommended that I have an amniocentesis done, to check and see if she had any other chromosome abnormalities, which could result in more defects. I could have the procedure done that same day. I was so upset I didn't know what to do. I called my husband "Thomas" and he said if it was in the best interest of the baby then to go ahead and do it. I plan to have it done anyway. I talked to a Genetic Counselor that same day. She asked me questions about our family having any birth defects, which could help them determine other problems. She also explained what CDH was so I could understand it a lot better.

February 28, 2006 was the first time I felt Dakota Mae move. She kicked me and I had Tom put his hand on my stomach and she just gave him the biggest kick. He couldn't believe it he was so excited. I am 23weeks now. March 8, 2006 was my next appointment with Dr. T. He checked me out and every thing was still OK. March 31, 2006 was my next ultrasound appointment at St. Mary's Hospital. The nurse checked Dakota Mae and said that she was about 2 lbs 5 oz now and that I'm 27 weeks 6 days. She took some pictures of Dakota Mae and give them to me and I showed everyone I was so happy but so scared at the same time. April 3, 2006 was my appointment at Cardinal Glennon for a fetal echocardiogram, that is an ultrasound of the Baby's heart. The nurse there checked Dakota's heart for about a half hour. The Dr. explained that Dakota's heart was pushed over to the right and turned a little, but she said that all four chambers were working properly. That was finally some good news for the most part. All this bad news has taken a toll on me.

April 5, 2006 I went back to see Dr. T and he checked me out, He said that everything was the same and that she was still doing ok. On April 8, 2006 was Dakota Mae's baby shower for my side of the family and I had so much fun seeing all my family and friends. But I didn't know if it was right to have the shower with Dakota's condition. We received a lot of gifts for Dakota Mae, but My favorite gift was a pink blanket that my cousin Rhodie made for her.

April 11, 2006 I had to go and do my glucose test witch I didn't pass. April 19, 2006 I was back in to see Dr. T and he said I had failed both of my tests. Then he tells me that my belly measured at 36cm when it should only be at 30cm at this time. Dr. T told me that was a sign of me having gestational diabetes, So he asked me from now on to start going to the OB-GYN clinic at St. Mary's Hospital because they could help me allot more. He thought I would be better off because I was already going there for all my ultrasounds and other tests. April 21, 2006 I was back at St. Mary's for my 3rd ultrasound and the nurse said Dakota was about 3 lbs 8 oz now. I was at 30 weeks 6 days. She gave me some more pictures of Dakotasís feet, butt, and a side view of her face. I was just so happy to see her I started to cry. The nurse that was doing the ultrasound noticed that I had a lot of extra fluid around Dakota she asked me to see the Dietitian. I was then diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes. April 27, 2006 I was put on a diet and I had to watch what I ate.

On May 4, 2006 was the start of everything going wrong. My husbandís grandfather passed away and that Sunday May 7th was his wake. I was feeling OK at that time but I was tired. May 8, 2006 was the morning of the funeral and my 4th level 2 ultrasound appointment. As we got done at the church my husband and I noticed that our window was broken on the passenger side door of our truck. There where some people cutting grass next to the truck, a rock must have gone through and broke it. So here I am needing to get to the cemetery and we had to wait for the police to get there. It was not long before the police showed up and we then rode to the cemetery with his family and left the truck at the church with a broken window. My parents had picked me up at the cemetery to take me to my appointment since Tom had to get the window fixed. I had to wait at least an hour before the Doctor could see me because there where a lot of people in the waiting room. I first had to see the dietitian and show her my dairy of what I had been eating. When I went in the see the Doctor she was checking me out looking for Dakota's heartbeat. She couldn't find it. She then brought in an ultrasound machine to look at Dakota better. There still was no heartbeat. The doctor looked at me and said she thinks Dakota had passed away. I couldn't believe what she was saying. I Lost It! I look at my Mom and Dad and they didn't know what to think. She went to get 2 more doctors to confirm what she had seen and the head doctor did confirm May 8, 2006 that Dakota had passed away within 24 hours. I was 33 2/7 week. I was in shock. I called my husband and told him that Dakota had passed away and he was in disbelief. When I talked to the doctor I decided to be induced. I told Tom to get to the hospital ASAP. I was taken to my room and that night it had all sunk in. My little girl was gone. I cried all night long with my husband at my side. May 9, 2006 my water broke at 7:30A.M. and I had Dakota Mae at 11:39A.M.. She was 3 lbs 13 oz ,18" inches long, with blond hair and blue eyes. Dakota had came out breech. I had no problems delivering her. The doctors were so gentle and so caring. I held her for the longest time and I didn't want to let her go. My husband, mother, father, and sister where there to support me in this difficult time. My pastor and the chaplain from the hospital gave Dakota Mae a blessing. We all took turns holding her and telling her how much we Love her and how much will miss her. Dakota Mae was so beautiful she looked just like her Daddy, tall with long arms & legs. She had long fingers and big feet too. I was then taken to my new room. My family stayed with me a while and then left so I could spend a little alone time with Dakota Mae. I told her how much she meant to me and how much I Loved her till about 5:30A.M that next morning. I then had to say my good byes. I didn't want her to go, but I gave her a big kiss. I told her that I loved her, and that God would take good care of her and that one day we would be together. I had gone home that day and my family was there to comfort and support me when I needed it the most. May 13, 2006 was Dakota Mae's funeral. All of our family and friends where there to support us. It was hard to say good-bye to my beautiful baby girl but I managed to do it. The service was a beautiful service with such beautiful flowers from all her family and friends. I go out to the cemetery every chance I get to talk to Dakota and tell her how much we Love her and Miss her.

I Love You With All My Heart DAKOTA MAE!! I'll Miss you more then you'll ever know. You will live in our Hearts Forever!! Mommy's Little "Tomboy Princess"

We where blessed to find out on May 9th 2007 on what would have been Dakota Mae's 1st Birthday that I would be expecting again. Dakota Mae now has a baby sister named Amanda Mae.

Written by Dakota Maeís parents, Tom and Diane Vosse (IL, USA)