First, his initials are USA. Yes, that is intentional. Adam and Tiffany, proud parents and our dear friends (you may remember the wedding Brian and I were both in last summer in Southern California? Yup, same couple) and self-proclaimed right-wing political enthusiasts, feel very strongly about their patriotism. Their wedding was red, white and blue. Their bulldog, Teddy, is named after Theodore Roosevelt. When they found out they were having a boy, the obvious name choice was Ulysses, per Adam, despite Brian's repeated protests that he was going to call the baby Sam. And my favorite part? When I asked Tiffany if the nursery was going to be red, white and blue, she looked at me like I was crazy and said very seriously, "What? No way. It's light brown and blue."
Oh. My bad.
Aside from his very unique moniker, Baby Uly is unique in other ways: he came into this world with his liver outside his body. Adam and Tiffany underwent the ultrasound every pregnant couple fears - the quiet technician. They found out at 20 weeks that their little warrior drew the one in over 10,000 chance of having an omphalocele, a condition where one or many of the internal organs grow in a sac outside the body. The good news? The liver was safely contained in the omphalocele. The bad news? The condition is most often seen in conjunction with other abnormalities, almost all of which are fatal.
Now processing what I just wrote, it's essentially every new parent's nightmare. A genetic abnormality. More tests. More doctors. Lots of appointments, and lots and lots of test results to endure. I'm not sure how Adam and Tiffany managed to weather the storm of pregnancy, but they did, and with each test, they continued to get better news. There were no other genetic abnormalities noted. All chromosomal testing came back healthy. They met with a surgeon who did the exact same kind of surgery he would do on their baby on two other cases, and both children are healthy and functioning normally.
And armed with that information, Adam, Tiffany and Alex welcomed their little warrior last Saturday into the world with open arms. His condition was better than expected, and he was taken into surgery the same day he was born. With the liver tucked safely back into place, now it's just a waiting game. When I spoke with Tiffany last Saturday, she sounded tired but upbeat, and I find that remarkable. I feel as though Scotty's 4-day-3-night NICU stay is forever burned into my brain, and here is she is, coping, laughing, and finding the positive in the situation. Truly amazing, and downright inspirational.
The healing process is a long one, both for her and for Uly, but I couldn't help but note that this kid has an amazing set of parents. They are strong. They are opinionated (yes, their opinions tend to differ quite a bit from my own, but they are professional enough to never get personal.). They love their child and are willing to do anything to make his life better. And so while he drew an unlucky straw with the omphalocele, he's a lucky boy, indeed.
If you have a moment, take time to think about little Baby Uly and send him some good thoughts and prayers. Tiffany has joined the blogging world (yay!!) and you can read more about his story at http://teamabrahmsusa.blogspot.com.
Love you, Adam, Tiff, Alex, and Uly! The Bear can't wait to meet his new buddy one day, even if they are rooting for different football teams.