Hi Everyone, Thank you so much for the support and love the past few weeks. I wrote this story a few days after Cade's birth and finally feel it is ready to post. I plan to do this story as part 1 and a part 2 as his death story. I miss him so much and don't want to leave out too many of the details of his story. Hopefully it isn't too gross or scary. xoxo, Emily
My water broke as I was laying in bed on March 6th,
2014 at about 10pm.I was 30 weeks, 2
days pregnant. I quickly jumped up, started screaming for Adam.We literally jumped in the car and started
driving to the hospital.I had no
hospital bag packed- we didn’t even know exactly where to go once we got to the
hospital as we hadn’t taken our birth class or done the hospital tour yet.I kept thinking “it’s too early… it’s too
early…” but I also knew that we were well passed the viability week (24 weeks)
and medicine is amazing so I also was excited to potentially meet our little
guy which I have been SO ready to do for a long time.
When we got the hospital, the doctors came in and educated
us.Just because my water broke doesn’t
mean that I am actually having the baby. There are some things they can do to
slow down/stop my labor… and the goal is to keep baby boy in me as long as I
can hold off (ultimate goal was 34 weeks).My contractions that night never got very strong – although they were
2-3 mins apart- and by mid-morning on the 7th I was actually feeling
pretty good overall.
That day, we met with a high-risk pregnancy doctor at the
hospital that did an ultrasound and tested my amniotic fluid for
infection.The doctor was amazing, but
definitely had some concerns with the ultrasound.Our sweet baby wasn’t moving near as much as
past ultrasounds and his mouth was open in the womb, which is rare, although
not unheard of. He thought his jaw
looked a bit recessed and pointed out that the arms and legs were about a 1-2
weeks behind in growth(when they had
been tracking correctly before in the past ultrasounds).Mostly, he was concerned with the amount of
fluid I had.I had more fluid left than
most pregnant women have during pregnancy AFTER my water broke.This was concerning for several reasons
(mainly because this could mean some sort of defect- most likely the baby wasn’t
swallowing). As parents, we were
concerned but you quickly brush stuff off and make excuses for things.“Well, the baby was sleeping, of course he wasn’t
moving a ton”, “All of our past ultrasounds have been fine- so he is fine” “if
something major was wrong we would have already seen it”, etc., etc., etc.I really have had a great pregnancy- I assumed
it was MY body producing too much fluid. There is no way it was because our
baby wasn’t healthy. God wouldn’t let
that happen to me after all we had been through to get pregnant.
March 8th came and went with no baby drama.The 9th was great until that night
when my contractions came back.Again, I
was put on close watch and the doctors tried to put off labor but also prepared
the NICU just in case baby was on the way.Somehow I made it through the night without giving birth.It was a close call that made for a miserable
night.Lets just say I HATE catheters
without pain meds.
Then the 10th & 11th came.We had another close call the night of the 11th
(not has bad as the 9th) but when they checked my cervix I still
wasn’t dilated so it wasn’t super concerning.On Wednesday the 12th, the contractions returned and I could
tell these were the strongest I had had so far.They weren’t super close together, but really intense when they did
happen.A doctor came in to see if I was
dilated and whoa – I was dilated to a “generous 4”.This was happening.By the time I got wheeled back to labor &
delivery I was dilated to a 5.They started
me on a magnesium drip.I had been on
this the Sunday night before, but basically they use it for preemie births to
help protect their brain from a brain bleed during birth (in my case).The side effect is that it can slow down
labor quite a bit.The nurse literally
forced me into getting an epidural.I
was really hesitant because I knew I was having a tiny baby and the
contractions were really intense, but tolerable.I am no wimp and thought surely I could do it
without “help”.With encouragement from
my mom and Adam I FINALLY agreed to the epidural. This was a super smart
decision because the magnesium definitely slowed down my contractions…. So much
so that by 8am the nurses weren’t so sure I was having a baby anymore.The doctor came in to check me and basically
told me that if I was still dilated to a 5, they were going to take me off of
everything and try to hold off labor AGAIN.Well…. I was dilated to an 8 so we were back into baby mode, except my
contractions were still not close together. So we waited and waited and labored
and waited (meanwhile I had not eaten since about 3pm the day before and they
wouldn’t let me eat or drink anything while on the mag and epidural).Thank goodness for popsicles!
Ready to get this show on the road
The other issue we haven’t discussed is every time they
checked me I had so much fluid that there was a large sack of fluid sitting
between the baby’s head and my cervix. This wasn’t allowing the baby’s head to
drop. Which is why we kept waiting and waiting to see if my contractions would
help push the head down, except I still wasn’t having many contractions for
being dilated to an 8, then 10.So then
I was put on Pitocin to see if that would help drop the head by speeding up my
contractions.No luck.At this point it was like 5pm, I had been in
labor for about 24 hours, dilated to a 10 for several hours and was just
hanging out.It was time for plan B.
Plan B was really scary.My doctor was going to try to pop the sack of fluid stuck between the
baby’s head and my cervix.The goal was
to make a small hole that would allow the fluid to drain slowly BUT there was a
chance that the fluid would come rushing out and pull the umbilical cord with
it, smashing it under the head and cutting off the supply to the baby, which
would mean emergency C-section.I got
asked so many times while pregnant if I was afraid of anything and my response
was always “if I have to get a C-section”. They gross me out.So at this point I was freaking out.They decided to pop the sack of fluid in
the O.R. and prep me for a C-section, just in case.We were wheeled into the O.R….. I was
praying SO hard at this point, literally shaking from nerves. So many unknowns.
Here goes nothing the doctor said. 3-2-1.
Prepped for the O.R.
Well, I guess you could say the “popping” went well.Instead of the gush everyone prepped for, it
came out nice and slow.It came and came
and came. The most any of the Docs or nurses had seen EVER. Then it was time to push.This was one of the most amazing, magical
experiences of my life.I delivered
right there in the O.R. with the most amazing team of doctors and nurses around
me and Adam holding me the whole time.I would literally give birth 1 time a week if I could.I cannot put it into words but I definitely
will never forget the way I felt, the lights, the team around me for as long as
James Griffin was born into this world at 6:04pm on March 13th,
2014.3 pounds, 1 oz and 18 ½ inches
long. His sweet little whimpers and the
way he looked at me is still something I can remember so clearly.He was perfect…. to me.
I am still pregnant as of this morning. Every day is a different adventure - I happen to have a uterus that loves to have contractions pretty much all day. Luckily they don't seem to be changing my cervix so I am not in "real labor".
All in all, bed rest hasn't been too terrible. Between all the text, emails, calls and visitors I really can pass the day fairly quick. And lets be honest, I can sleep at anytime of the day (any where and pretty much under any circumstance).
We should get part 1 of some test results today- so fingers crossed they look OK!
Today there isn't a lot of news to share. I made it through another day and I am officially 31 weeks pregnant! I am still getting contractions that are fairly painful, but they aren't super close together at this time.
This is my 5th day post water breaking which is a feat in itself. This baby really wants to come out and I feel like it is pure will power (and some clinching?) that is making him stay in for now. I will know soon enough what real labor feels like but I do think I have been in mild labor for like 5 straight days.
I am talking with HR today on my options for leave from work. I work for a great company but just hope that we can work something out as I don't want to spend my entire maternity leave at the hospital or in the NICU. Need to save some of it for when he comes home. I just keep reminding myself that there is a prize at the end of this tunnel. And I keep making my mom promise it is worth it. :) ha.
Hey Everyone. Yesterday I woke up feeling pretty good, all things considered. We had a few visitors, I went on a wheel chair ride outside (my new version of fun) and took a tour of the NICU.
It really put it into prospective when I saw the NICU- it did not help me feel better but just a lot sadder. Realizing that this baby is going to be whisked away at delivery without getting to hold him is going to be rough. At his age we also just aren't sure what to expect. It sounds like babies born at 30/31 weeks are on the bubble for lung development. Some come out crying and some will need help ASAP.
At around 4pm yesterday I noticed some contractions coming on. My mom was getting into town around 6 and between 5 and the time she arrived my contractions were getting much more strong. Back went the IV and they put me on Magnesium (which is used in case this was real labor and the baby is coming- to protect brain bleeds in preemies). The doses are so high that they won't let you get out of bed the entire time you are on Magnesium because it makes you feel like cronk. Since I couldn't get up, they put a catheter in. So between having labor contractions, a catheter and magnesium it made for a very long hard night. Everyone thought the baby was coming (including my self and the docs). At some point in the middle of the night, I started to feel slightly better. All of the sudden my body was able to relax and I just knew that I wasn't going to give birth. So here I am, recovering from the hellish night I had- thankful I still have an inside baby (rather than an outside baby). I don't know if I can have another night like last again and make it. I wanted to die.
At this point my doctors say that I will probably give birth sooner than later since my body seems to be "trying". Tomorrow I turn 31 weeks. My goal is not even to make it to 32 + anymore but just 1 more day.
Yesterday was pretty uneventful which is a great thing. Physically I felt much better (not like I was going into labor) and your prayers are working as both Adam and I were in much better spots mentally. Do you know the hospital I am staying at delivers between 300-320 babies PER MONTH???? How crazy is that? And I guess March is a really busy month for them for some reason- everyone has too much fun in June, I suppose.... swimsuits and short shorts.
The only thing on the docket today is a tour of the NICU this afternoon. Just to 1) mentally prepare our self for how small this baby will be. At the ultrasound 2 days ago the weight estimate was 3lb 4oz. If I can keep him in the oven, he could make it to over 4 lbs in the next few weeks potentially. 2) Our birthing class/hospital tour was scheduled for the beginning of April.... so we haven't even seen this place before. I am going to try to cancel and get our money back. Adam was joking we should still show up to the class WITH our newborn.
Today we are thankful that Baby G is still safe and sound inside of me, we are at a great hospital (the best in Denver for having a baby), Janon Otto is on her way out today- woohoo for moms!, and I personally am very grateful that Adam works from home. Which means he gets to hang with me pretty much this whole time at the hospital.
Prayer request are similar to yesterday:
1) Healthy Baby
2) A baby that would like to stay in there for a few more weeks
3) God to continue to calm our anxiety
*** The goal is 34 weeks, which if I make it is April 1. Of course I would have a April fool's baby :) 23 days to go!
I decided to start blogging the updates because between friends and family it is really hard to keep up with everyone! I so appreciate the texts/emails, etc. keep them coming :) This past Thursday (30 weeks, 2 days pregnant) I was laying in bed and my water broke. Not a trickle, like a literal scene out of a movie type of gush. Strangest/scariest thing when you are only 30 weeks pregnant. We jumped in the car to head to the hospital, assuming I was going to be having a baby that night. Once we met with the doctors we learned that this can actually happen in rare cases and they will try to keep the baby in you for as long as possible by slowing down your contractions with medication (the medication works about 80% of the time). "Best case" is they can take me all the way to 34 weeks pregnant, assuming my labor stops. About 50% of the people that this happens to can make it a few extra weeks if baby lets them. I got a steroid shot to help with the baby's lung development, a quick ultrasound, IV, and hooked up to different monitors (one for baby's heart and one for my contractions) and then the waiting game started. All night/the next morning my contractions were 2-4 mins apart and some of them were beginning to get painful. But once they started to get painful, they actually slowed down and then slowly started tapering off- thank the Lord! I was told I was going to meet with a high risk doctor that day. Once your water breaks there is no barrier between your baby and outside bacteria (since your amniotic sack protects the baby) so they needed to test me for infections. Basically if I had any infection they needed to induce me immediately. This test was going to be through amniocentesis. If you have not been pregnant before, this is a genetic test that is optional preformed earlier in your second trimester where they actually pull amniotic fluid out of your uterus using a needle. It ended up being as sucky as you would imagine. When we finally met with the high risk doctor they did a few ultrasounds and found some things that were slightly alarming. First, my water had already broken but I still have more than the average amount of fluid left in me (no wonder it won't stop coming out!!!). This is a bad thing. There are several reasons someone may have too much fluid:
A birth defect that affects the baby's gastrointestinal tract or central nervous system
Twin-twin transfusion — a possible complication of identical-twin pregnancies in which one twin receives too much blood and the other too little
A lack of red blood cells in the baby (fetal anemia)
Blood incompatibilities between mother and baby
Often, however, the cause of polyhydramnios (technical term for "too much fluid") isn't clear.
Scary list, but obviously some of these have already been ruled out. The bolded are the options that are still pending for me and Baby G- notably, the birth defect option. Long story short, Adam and I are pretty terrified. We are going to have a preemie, but then to have the uncertainty of a potential birth defect or chromosome issue adds a whole different layer of stress. My doc went back through all of my ultrasounds and everything has tested and looked great up until this point (including the 12 week NT scan we did!) so I am just hoping and praying that I am one of the "unknown causes". We won't know the answers until he gets here or if the amniocentesis results come back before he is here ( takes about 2 weeks). On the bright side, they have been monitoring baby's heart since I have been here and through all of the contractions, my stress, etc. he seems to be unfazed. As I am typing this it is 6 am on the 8th of March and I am still pregnant- so that is awesome and all of my tests for infection came back clear so no need to get induced (at least today!).
I am going to be in the hospital until he comes. So potentially a month to get me to 34 weeks- I am just starting the morning of day 2 and feel like it has already been a month. Please please please keep us in your prayers. We are trying to stay positive but it feels like something in the universe just doesn't want us to have kids (easily). Not sure what we are supposed to be learning from this just yet.
I'll update this as I know more.
Main prayer requests:
1) a healthy baby
2) to have Baby G continue to hang out for as long as possible safe in my uterus (they said each day he stays in is equal to about 3 days he won't need to be in the NICU)