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Hope for HIE

Have you heard about HIE (Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy)? If so, do you know a lot about it? I know I didn't know virtually anything about HIE and after more research, I found out that some of the potential issues I was being monitored heavily for were indicators that my baby had HIE. The acronym constantly used for me was IUGR (Interuterine Growth Restriction). After having my son, I was relieved that nothing was wrong and still knew very little about HIE. It wasn't until dear clients of mine started posting about HIE Awareness that I began to look into more deeply. I am by no means an expert and I still know very little in the grand scheme of things, but Awareness is the first step. So, if you haven't heard about HIE, this blog post will offer you a basic foundation to which you can research more.

Signs and Symptoms while Pregnant:

  • Uterine rupture

  • Placental abruption

  • Placental insufficiency - I was being monitored for this through weekly ultrasounds and twice weekly NSTs because Maxwell was measuring between 5-7%

  • Maternal bleeds

  • Cord issues compression

  • Near SIDS events

  • Cardiac arrest

  • Blood pressure issues - My blood pressure increased pretty rapidly the last month, but normalized immediately after giving birth.

  • Toxemia

  • Prolonged and mismanaged delivery

Signs and Symptoms After Birth:

  • Resuscitation of the infant at birth

  • Seizures within the first 24 – 48 hours of delivery

  • Low APGAR Scores for longer than 5 minutes

  • Difficulty feeding, including inability to latch, suck or swallow.

  • Profound metabolic or mixed acidemia in an umbilical artery blood sample (the baby’s blood is acidic/has a low ph.)

  • Coma

  • No brain stem reflexes (e.g., breathing problems and an abnormal response to light, and only blood pressure and heart function reflexes are functioning)

  • Hypotonia (low muscle tone)

  • Abnormal limpness

  • Multiple organ problems (e.g., involvement of the lungs, liver, heart, intestines)

  • Motor skills problems

  • Speech delays and difficulties

But, these aren't the only signs. If you think your baby is sleeping to much or have a gut instinct that something isn't right, ask questions, make sure you approve of the answers, demand tests be done. Be your child's advocate. Don't worry about being a "crazy" new mom or what anyone else thinks. This is your baby and you know best! HIE occurs in 2-3 per 1,000 live births. HIE is also one of the leading causes of cerebral palsy.

This post is for Jonah, a perfect baby boy, whose time was so very short on this earth, but looks over his parents from above. May more mothers and fathers know the signs and be advocates for their precious babies through Jonah's story. On April 20th, I will be lighting a candle for all those affected by HIE and to bring awareness to it. Please join me!

A Prayer for all the Little Children that I love and say over my son daily.

Bless This Little Child, Lord

Lord, look down from heaven above

And touch this special child with love.

Protect and guide this little one

'Till each and every day is done.

Remind us often that it's true:

This little life is a gift from you.

A miracle You've sent our way!

Lord, bless this little child today.