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Monday, March 24, 2014

Cade's Birth

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 I live.     Cade 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.



6 comments:

  1. Wow, Emily, what a great writer you are! Other folks may need your thoughts and words of wisdom, somehow somewhere. It's a rare and tragic experience..can barely imagine the depth. Good comes in diguise. Don't mean to sound like ms know it all. So glad you're still writing! xox Beth

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  2. What a wonderful mother you are! Praying for you and your family constantly.

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  3. I love the way you describe giving birth. It IS the most incredible thing. Cade's story is so important. Thank you for sharing it with all of us.

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  4. What a great writer you are! I feel the pain and sorrow, the joy and happiness! We think of you often and pray continuously for you and your family.

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  5. You are amazing, strong and beautiful. We are thinking of you and your family.

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  6. What a wonderful birth story although I am so SO sorry it has such a tragic ending for your darling Cade. I recently lost my baby girl at 26 weeks and while each loss is different, the heartache is just so overwhelming. I wish you all the best with your healing process.

    For what it is worth, I read that you are in Denver. After I lost L, I started seeing an amazing therapist at Luna Counseling who I would highly recommend. They also run support groups. I was really skeptical about going to one, but it was so helpful to meet other mom's who had lost their babies.

    My heart goes out to you and your husband.

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