We'll see if I'm ready to share my story. It's so fresh that most on here already know it. But here goes...
I have two daughters that are 4 days less than a year apart. Born in May 2005 and 2006. We were not sure on having more kids, but definitely not until 2009 at the earliest. We were using condoms as well as NFP to prevent. About 4 days before Fathers' Day this year I tested positive. I was stunned. And not happy, at all. I was very nervous about how John would react-his first thought is always to money. It was very important to me that I tell him about this baby in a way that would allow for no room for negativity. So I finally devised a way and was going to wait for Fathers' Day, but just couldn't. I told him that Friday and he just was all grins and so excited-just sure we'd have a boy this time.
I'm high risk due to a previous preterm labor and birth. So this pregnancy involved ultrasounds of my cervix every other week which meant traveling more than hour each way for those appointments, and struggling to schedule the appointments around my mom's schedule so I wouldn't have to take the girls. It was stressful, and while I was so relieved that John was happy, I still didn't feel excited. I have a number of contraction/cramping/bleeding scares early on, but then things seemed to level off as I approached 18 weeks, or so. We had found out at 15ish weeks that it was a girl, and so there was that quasi-dissapointment to deal with. I so very much had wanted a boy from the time I was pregnant with Keira on. But I was slowly becoming ok with having another baby, and another baby girl, at that.
At 22ish weeks I had some major huge gushes of bright red blood. I was hospitalized for 36 hours for monitoring, and then sent home. It's horrible, but with every new scare with this pregnancy this stupid little part of me reacted in a "what if I don't get checked out? It'd be ok if things didn't work-I didn't really want this baby anyhow" sort of way. It was just a tiny part of me. But a part that I feel so utterly guilty about now, and probably will for the rest of my life. I'll wonder "what if I'd really truly wanted her? Would that have changed things?" Irrational, I know. But it is what it is.
I had another couple bright red gushes as I was finishing my 22nd week, and again was hospitalized. My cervix was short, but not drastically. I was dilated to 1/1.5ish but the doctors argued about if I was truly dilating or if it was just me sitting more loose/open due to the two babies I'd had so recently. I had yet another Level II ultrasound on Monday, October 22. WAs sent home on modified bedrest with appointments set up 1x a week for the next 3 weeks, with the next being October 30.
At 3am Saturday October 27, 2007 my water broke. And I mean broke. No leakage-gush after gush after gush. I was so scared and just sat on the floor waiting for that first post-water-breaking contraction. The really painful one. It never came. I was 23w4d when this happened-too early for a baby to have much of a chance to make it. We got to L&D, knowing we'd be transferred up to the hospital my perinatologists work out of. But first they did an u/s and discovered absolutely no fluid around baby Taela. The nurses tried to reassure us by saying that it was common to be put on hospital bedrest and be able to keep baby in for at least a week-maybe buying all the time we needed. I rode in the ambulance up north and got all checked in. No contractions. Taela was head down, which the doctors and nurses were all happy with. It meant I was ready for delivery when the time came, and also the hope was that her head would help keep the cervix blocked off so infection couldn't set in as easy. 4 days later in another ultrasound it was discovered that she'd flipped breach and was sitting on top of my cervix. This became more of a concern-it caused the need for a c-section when the time came. I had reached 24 weeks which was the point which we had chosen for all possible medical interventions to be done to save our baby. The next day she eventually put her left foot all the way down through my cervix and into my vagina. I was taken for an immediate emergency section and put under general anesthesia.
Taela was born November 1, 2007 weighing 1lb 4oz and was 12.25 inches long. And she did wonderful. She didn't need ANY help breathing for 7 days. She did it all on her own. She was hooked up to all kinds of monitors, iv's, tubes, etc. But breathing is the largest hurdle at that age and she did great. Then on day 8 she needed some oxygen blown through for her to keep her blood levels up. But it was still a great day in the life of a 24weeker. And then Day 9 went downhill hard and fast. I got the call at 3:30am that she'd had a bad night and they were going to intubate, just so she could rest her little muscles and not have to do the breathing on her own. It was to be expected for her to be intubated, so while I was so upset, I wasn't too worried. I mean, the first 4 days or so are the ones where you wait for baby to crash. She was over a week old, and had been amazing. I was finally able to think about the next 4ish months in there, and how I'd handle my girls at home and my girl in the NICU. I was ready to be in this for the long haul. And then at 8am I talked to the doctor and she said Taelas was having a real hard day. We talked about a few things, but nothing really sticking out as bad. She did want to make sure we were coming up, at least later in the afternoon. I couldn't tell if it was for her knowledge or her gentle way of saying "you NEED to come up here." And then 3.5 hours later I got a call from a nurse telling us if we could get up there, we needed to get there ASAP. My grandpa came to watch the girls and my parents headed up to meet us at the hospital. That was a horrible drive. Not know what was going on, if she'd still be alive when we got there.
We got there and found that immediately after that phone call she'd coded and they'd had to do CPR and push an epi to get her heart going again. She had been on 100% oxygen at 8am but by the time we were there she was down to 80, and then 1/2 later only needed less than 50. Her breathing had stabilized. But an echo of her heart was disturbing. Her cardiologist was amazed it was the same heart he'd seen 3 days earlier. It was so tiny and deteriorated. Her blood had become very acidic and was literally eating away at her heart. Eventually it was found that all of her major organs were shutting down. The levels of enzymes in her blood for her liver and kidneys were #'s that would be concerning/critical in an ADULT's body. There was no real choice for us, other than WHEN to let her go. The medicine they were giving her would keep her heart going, but they had to re-administer every 20 minutes or so. And IF she pulled through, it was basically guaranteed that she'd be on life support her entire life and literally have no awareness about her.
At about 1pm I held my baby for the very first and last time ever. She passed at about 1:30pm-nearly exactly 9 days after she was born.
It has been 5 days since she passed and each day has only gotten harder. I don't know when they'll start to look up, but I have been told they will. We had her funeral and interment yesterday and that was so difficult for me. I did not think I'd make it through it-I avoid funerals when at all possible. Some ladies from APA sent flowers, and Jenn (DIVADLX) and her little family came down from Seattle for the services. I am so thankful for the support that I know I have here on this site-even if it takes me a little while to be able to actively tap back into it.