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Hello my name is Francine Mares. I am a mother of two beautiful girls ages 6 yrs old and 11 months old. My youngest daughter Hailey was born at 37 weeks via csection with a birth defect of the abdominal wall called Omphalocele . Omphalocele is where the infant’s intestines, liver, or other organs stick outside of the belly through the belly button. The organs are covered in a thin, nearly transparent sac that hardly ever is open or broken. She had closure surgery at 1 week old and spent 3 months in the NICU due to complications and recovery. It was a very scary nerve wrecking roller coaster ride. I didnt get to hold my daughter til she was atleast a month old. She got blood transfusions and a bunch of medications to help her. It was a long journey but we got through it. Even though she scared me by almost not making it she fought hard and now is about to celebrate her very first birthday and im blessed to have her in my life. She does have health issues and probably will for the rest of her life . She wont be able to do certain things and is delayed but that is okay. As her mother she has taught me things i didnt think id ever know. She has made me stronger as her mommy and a woman. I love her dearly and not a day goes by that ill ever regret being her mother.Although there are days i feel emotional like i am failing but i know i am not. It is very traumatizing to see your precious baby struggle and fight for their lives. No one ever said it would be easy but no one ever said to give up either. There were times when i walked into her NICU room and she wasnt having a great day and it broke me . All i could do was cry and hope for the best. She will need a second surgery in a couple of years and i know it wont be easy but all i can do is pray and keep my faith and know she will be alright. She is a strong child and i thank god for her every single day. I just want to let other parents know you are not alone and although this can be tough you have support from all over the world. If it was not for my support group on facebook called Mothers Of Omphalocele i dont know how i would get through this. They have been so helpful in all of this and i will always keep them in my heart. Thank you Haileys Mom




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