My precious boy Tyler Nicholas was born on Mon 11/09/09. My labor was 26.5 hours long but when he decided he wanted to come, he made a grand entrance. After resisting getting an epidural, I finally decided I couldn't take the pain from the contractions anymore (the pitocin was kicking my but and I was only 7cm dilated after over 25 hours of labor and being 4cm dilated at the beginning). They kicked my DH out of the room when I got the epidural. Getting it in wasn't too bad but as soon as it was in I felt the most intense pressure I've ever felt in my life. I couldn't possibly stop pushing if I wanted to at that point and Tyler came flying out very soon afterwards as I was giving the nurse DH's cell phone # - poor DH missed Tyler's grand entrance and heard Tyler crying when he got the phone call. He did get to cut the cord though.
He was 6 weeks early so the NICU staff looked at him right away. I got to hold him briefly before they took him to the NICU. All things considered he did fairly well in the NICU for being 6 weeks early. He was born on a Mon afternoon and I was discharged from the hospital on Wed afternoon. It was hard to go home without him of course. I was very worried about making breastfeeding work especially with him in the NICU. But he was my little booby man and latched very well and the NICU nurses and doctors were very supportive of me breastfeeding. Within a couple days I was able to pump enough milk so he was getting all breastmilk. I didn't live close to the hospital but would go everyday and stay there for at least 2 feedings often 3 a day. I'd get to hold him while I breastfed and then bundle him back in and let him sleep b/c that's what he needed so he could gain weight and keep his temperature up so he could come home - I thought I'd have plenty of time to hold him when he was at home.
On Mon 11/16/09, I was pleasantly surprised that his NICU doctor was ready to discharge him - she just wanted to switch him from a 3 hour feeding schedule to an ad lib one. So the plan was to discharge him on Tue 11/17/09. My Mom and I went to the mall that Mon afternoon to get some personalized ornaments and take care of a few things for his homecoming. I was so happy on Tue 11/17 b/c my boy was going to be coming home and big sister Abbie was finally going to get to meet him - she wasn't allowed to visit in the NICU. I was at the hospital that morning for 2 feedings and then went to work that afternoon to take care of something I needed to at the credit union and talk to some co-workers. I was so happy when talking to those co-workers.
I picked Abbie up from daycare on my way back to the hospital the afternoon of Tue 11/17 and met DH and my parents at the hospital. My parents stayed with Abbie while DH and I took care of the discharge paperwork. The nurse needed to escort us to the car and I asked if we could have some time first to introduce Tyler to Abbie and she was nice enough to wait with us in the waiting area outside the NICU while we did this. Abbie was so happy to meet Tyler and we got a nice video and some great pics. (We had to carry him out of the NICU in his carseat so security didn't think we were stealing him and in retrospect I really wish we could have carried him out b/c then maybe I would have had Abbie hold him - that's something I really wanted to have happen and get a picture of and it never happened). Tyler was hungry on the way home from the hospital and Abbie kept asking why he was crying. I breastfed him as soon as we got home and then he was happy .
We had a couple non-eventful days at home with him - I was happy to have him at home and had no idea how short that time was going to be. All seemed fine when he came home until overnight late Th 11/19 and early Fri 11/20.
Fri 11/20 we had to take him to Children's Hospital ER b/c he was refusing to eat, his breathing was shallow and he looked yellow. At the ER, we found out his temperature was extremely low which we were told is often indicative of an infection and babies can't develop fevers so their temperature goes lower instead. He had to get a spinal tap and they were going to grow cultures to see what kind of infection they might have. They started antibiotics right away also and did a swab or H1N1. The spinal tap did indicate some type of infection unfortunately. He was also having a number of apnea episodes while in the ER so they had to put a breathing tube in. We had gotten to the ER around 7:45A and in the early afternoon they took him up to the PICU. For awhile we had to wear masks and were stuck in his room b/c they had tested for H1N1. They let us leave the room once they officially ruled it was meningitis and not H1N1.
They did a CT scan and put in a PIC line on him a little while after he'd gotten to the PICU. The CT scan showed he had quite a bit of brain damage. By late afternoon, we figured out that he might not make it through all of this. We had the chaplain contacted and had him baptised early that evening. By the time the nurses changed shifts at 7P, it was pretty clear he wasn't going to make it. The staff was kind to us and bent the visiting rules for us so we could get BIL to the hospital (he hadn't met Tyler yet b/c he couldn't visit in the NICU). And they let us bring Abbie in to visit too (H1N1 rules said no one under 18 could visit). MIL, FIL and BIL visited from about 9p-1a. My best friend from college who is also Abbie's godmother came along with my parents and Abbie around 10p - my friend stayed until 4:30A. We tried to see if we could do organ donation but the only organs that could be donated required him to be declared brain dead and have exams 24 hours apart also. Sometime overnight it was determined he wouldn't make it long enough for that to be able to occur. But the organ donation coordinator was very nice to us and told us they considered an offer to donate the same as actually donating.
Some staff at the hospital helped us create some momentos overnight. We had some plaster moulds made - one of my hand and Tyler's, one of Dh's hand and Tyler's, one of Abbie's hand and Tyler's and one of Tyler's foot. They also put his hand prints on some paper with a poem on it and put his hand prints and one foot print on the cover of some blank books. I had my Mom bring my camera down and we took a lot of pics in the hospital. Sadly the only picture I got of DH, myself, Abbie and Tyler was in the hosptial was he was dying . But I was glad to be able to get the pics we did.
Around 3:30A, the nurses and respiratory therapist moved Tyler out of his hospital bed so I could hold him. It ended up being quite scary though as his breathing tube shifted while they moved him and there were about 3-4 people working on him as I was holding him - I was scared he was going to go right then and there. They got everything squared away and I held him for about an hour until they needed to x-ray him b/c of the breathing tube shifting. It was hard holding him then though b/c he was unresponsive by now but I was appreciative of the efforts the staff made so I could hold him.
Things were quickly deteriorating for him and a little after 5A the doctor talked to us about whether we wanted to discontinue some of the iv's and whether we wanted to remove the breathing tube. At first DH didn't want to remove the breathing tube but then decided it was for the best. At 5:30A they disconnected everything, gave him some morphine and removed the breathing tube. They wrapped him in a blanket for us and handed him to us - I held the top part of him and DH held onto his feet as he passed away peacefully - it happened quickly as he just wasn't able to breathe on his own anymore. We held him for a few minutes and then I got the doctor to come in so she could pronounce him.
Abbie was sleeping in the room when Tyler passed away and my parents were in the room with us when he passed. My parents said their goodbyes and we woke up Abbie and had her say her goodbyes (although she didn't really understand what was going on). My parents then took Abbie home for us and gave us some time alone with Tyler. We held him for awhile and then the nurse asked if I wanted to give him a bath and I said yes especially b/c I never got the chance to give him a bath when he was alive . I gave him the bath and we spent a little more time with him and headed out of the hospital about an hour and a half after he had passed away.
It will be 2 weeks tomorrow since he passed away and I'm still quite numb and feel so empty. We miss him so much and are trying to figure out how we'll get through our grief. It's kind of surreal for me also as I'm still 2 weeks from my due date of Dec 18th - wasn't expecting to have had him by now much less had him and had to bury him .
Here are some pics I have on photobucket:
First time I held him:
In the NICU:
The very proud big sister just after she got to meet Tyler for the first time - video follows:
His hospital pic (ended up being one of my favorite pics of him):