Monday, February 18th, 2013 – 29 weeks and 3 days
Patrick and I went to our regular OB appointment after work at 6:45 p.m. Dr. D was not happy with my blood pressure and said that there was protein in my urine so she sent us straight over to the hospital. Patrick and I headed over to the Hospital where I was hooked up to monitors to check on Josh’s heart beat (which was steady and strong), watch for contractions (which I was having none), and monitor my blood pressure (which was fairly steady, but not good). After an hour or so they gave me a shot of some blood pressure medicine Hydralazine. After about 5 minutes Dr. C ordered the nurse to give me a second shot of the same medication which then bottomed out my blood pressure and made me so dizzy that I was unable to stand or see anything straight. Sometime during all of this they gave a shot of steroids to help give Josh’s lungs a boost. All of the nurses and doctor’s kept telling us that since we weren’t 30 weeks along yet that if for some reason we would have to deliver this week that we would first have to be transferred to the hospital on Plaza as they kept telling us that this hospital was just not fully equipped to handle a baby born before 30 weeks. They decided that since my blood pressure was clearly not stable, that they were going to admit me and that I would be on bed rest for a while. They decided to run a 24 hour urine protein test around 9 that evening. I didn’t really drink much water during that evening or even the next day as that night I was so scared and shaky that I just forgot and the next day I was so nervous with everyone coming in and out that it was around 3:30 p.m. before I realized that I wasn’t even drinking water. The nurse told me that this was going to make my labs look higher and to really try to push the water.
Tuesday, February 19th, 2013 – 29 weeks and 4 days
At this point my blood pressure was still not where they where wanting it to be, but it wasn’t spiking either. It was staying in the 150s over 80s for the most part. Again the doctor’s came in and were reassuring us that while I would be on bed rest most likely until delivery, that it would not be this week. They really kept insisting on how important it was that we make it to at least 30 weeks. They had a nurse practitioner from the NICU come in and talk to us about what would happen if we were to deliver at 30 weeks. They explained the possibility of hemorrhage in the brain, that his lungs might require him to, intubated, etc. We once again asked about the fact that all the doctors said that we would need to be delivered at the Plaza if indeed it were to happen this week. They once again said that this would most likely be the case as they are just not as equipped to handle the really small babies. I also received my second steroid shot on Tuesday. All of the doctors said that since my blood pressure was not sky high and that the baby wasn’t showing any signs of trouble since he was still kicking like crazy and had a strong and steady heart rate that we weren’t even going to worry about delivery unless something major changed.
Wednesday, February 20th, 2013 – 29 weeks and 5 days
On Wednesday I finally got to meet the high-risk OB, Dr. W. She said that while there was protein in my urine it was at about 2350 and that they don’t even start to really worry about it until it hits 5000 so that it wasn’t a big issue. She said that all of my other lab work was coming back fine and that I didn’t have preeclampsia, but that I would probably develop it, but that we weren’t there yet. She changed my blood pressure medicine from the methyldopa to something that she said would work much better. She ordered another 24 hour urine test to see if my levels were going up. She said if they stayed the same or went down that I would be able to go home on bed rest since everything else was looking good. Later that afternoon they sent me down for an ultrasound to measure little Josh and make sure everything was still looking good. By 6:00 p.m. Dr. J was coming in and telling me that we were going to be delivering tonight. I was alone and incredibly scared. I was trying to call Patrick, my mom, my sister, Patrick’s mom, everyone, anyone, and just let them know to get there quickly and to pray, because I didn’t know what was happening. They said that his amniotic fluid was on the low side and that because of that they were going to deliver. I didn’t and still don’t understand, because they were basing their numbers on a single ultrasound. Josh was still moving and kicking a lot and his heart rate on the monitor was staying steady and strong. I just kept telling everyone that I wasn’t ready for this and that he was too little and that I didn’t want them to do it. I kept asking about why they weren’t transferring us since once again the only thing we had heard since we arrived on Monday was that they could not deliver a baby before 30 weeks. That they just weren’t as equipped to handle it. They basically told me I had no choice and that to make sure that my husband was on his way because I had 30 minutes. From the very beginning I felt I had no control and no say over my own care and that of my child. I didn’t want a c-section and they gave me no choice. I didn’t want to be put all the way under and I was. I didn’t want them to do anything that would prevent me from having a normal vaginal birth later on and they gave me a t-cut incision that means that I will only ever be able to have a child by c-section. I told them that I insisted that I get to see him after birth and that I didn’t want to wait until the next day to get to see him and they didn’t let me even see a photo of him until hours after he was born. I felt violated and abused. My only solace was knowing that Patrick was able to stay with him for a while right after birth and that we were told that his APGAR score was 8/9 and that he was breathing well with only the need for a cpap machine, but that he was doing better than they could have expected. During the c-section they placed me on a magnesium drip to help with my blood pressure. What they didn’t mention was that it would make me so sick that I wouldn’t be able to even move for more than 24 hours.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
The lactation consultant came in to help us learn to pump so that we would be able to stock pile some milk for Josh when he was ready to eat. She showed Patrick how to put all of the parts together and how to help me maneuver as I was still on magnesium and unable to move much at all. Later that afternoon they let me get in a wheel chair and they wheeled us down so that I could finally meet our son. My first glimpse of him made me fall so deeply in love with him. He was so small. 15 inches, 2 pounds, 11 ounces, but he was beyond perfect. He had a full head of dark brown curly hair and the sweetest little face. I know everyone says it about their own child, but he honestly was the most beautiful baby I have ever seen. All of the doctors and nurses kept telling us how strong he seemed and how gorgeous he was. When we got in the room and were able to talk to him and touch him, the nurses were watching his monitors and said that his stats all kept going up. When he heard our voices they had to actually turn his oxygen levels down because he was breathing easier. When I spoke to him he opened his eyes and looked right at me. He knew I was his mama. When Patrick placed his hand on him his little fingers reached up and grasped his daddy’s finger. He knew us. We were his parents and we were already so in love with him. After awhile they said that they need to close up his incubator because they didn’t want him to get too cold, so we left and went back to our room.
Friday, February 22, 2013
Friday night was a rough night for me. I was in a lot of pain and had to have Patrick get up and help me several times as every movement was sore and we were doing our best to wake up to our alarms and pump on schedule to keep up. It was around 7:30 am when we were done with pumping and buzzed the nurse to ask her to come help and to ask if it was time for more pain meds. The nurse came in and asked how Josh was doing. We both said he was doing great. No one had told us anything different. It was shortly after that that one of the nurses from the NICU who was in the room when we said he was doing good, came back in to tell us that Josh was having a rough morning. We expected that. We were told he would have good days and bad days and that generally they were nothing to worry about. I got up and into a wheel chair and we headed down to the NICU to see him around 8 am. As soon as they wheeled me in they told me that they had been doing CPR for 30 minutes and needed permission to stop. They hadn’t even let Patrick get in the room yet. I told them no, not to stop, but they stopped anyway. They let us hold our sweet little boy and all I could do was cry and tell him how much I loved him and how I was just so so so sorry that we weren’t enough. I prayed to God to take it back. To perform a miracle to do something, to make it not true.
We later found out that Josh started having trouble at 5 am that morning. 3 whole hours before they even let us know that something was wrong. I can’t help but question whether we could have helped save him if we were there. If his stats went up when were in there the day before, why didn’t they come and get at least one of us when he was struggling that morning. I feel like the nurses failed him and us. He should have been transferred to the Plaza the day before. We should have immediately been notified the moment something went wrong. The doctors and nurses did not do what they were supposed to do. It might not have made a difference, but the very fact that they told us that they would be better equipped down on the Plaza makes me believe that they would have been able to give him a better shot. Instead, Patrick and I are sitting here so completely broken that all we can do is wonder what if. There was not a baby in the world that was wanted than our sweet Josh. There was not a baby in the world that was more loved. We feel so cheated. We spent so much time looking forward to him. We had so many dreams and hopes for his life and the fact that we only got to have him for a day and half is just so unbelievable wrong. It’s not fair. I feel empty, abandoned. I feel like God has completely screwed us over in the worst possible way. I am always the first one to tell you that I believe that everything happens for a reason. That I believe that God has a plan and that everything works out for those who love Him. Right now, I’m just so angry with God, with myself, with the doctors, with everyone that I just don’t know how we are supposed to move on. They keep telling us that we will have the chance to have our family one day. That we will have the opportunity to have more children and that time will help heal this wound, but the truth is that even if we were to go on and have 10 children it would never erase the pain and the emptiness of not getting the chance to be Josh’s mom and dad.