Sunday, January 29, 2012

What I would give.

To my Davis Emmett, 

Though you have been apart of my world for a brief time, I want to take a moment to let you know everything you are to me. To try and let you know just how much I wanted you, love you, and would do for you. For now and always, but also for the entire time you were developing inside me. Because I never want to forget. And I never want to take for granted so many times during your pregnancy, we could have lost you. Someday when you think you know everything, you think I am unfair, or you just wish I would leave you alone, I will look to this letter and this exact moment when you are as big as my palm and reliant on me for everything; And I will know that you are my fighter. You have been stronger than me from the very get go. And I would do it all again just to have you. Even when I am "totally uncool" or "embarrassing."  

It's not uncommon or unusual for a women to sacrifice so much emotionally and physically for even the slightest opportunity to be a mother. Over the past few years, it has been a pleasure to me to welcome many amazing women into my life through the death of your big sister. Many of these women lost children in many different ways than I, but in the end we all share the same common ground.  And they have been by my side as we welcomed you. I would never compare to my pregnancies to the uphill battles some of these women faced. 

Except with you little boy. And this is our journey. Just so you know, and I never forget.

May 23rd, 2011 we found out we were expecting you. Our hearts were filled with so much delight, excitement and worry. Almost before we blinked, two weeks later mommy started bleeding. We thought we were going to be saying goodbye to everything we had already dreamed for you. Daddy took me to the emergency room where we discovered another medical diagnosis we never would have known existed otherwise. There was a subchorionic hemorrhage between the uterine wall and the placenta, and the chance of miscarrying you went up greatly. Mommy was devastated and tried her hardest to remain optimistic. I scheduled a doctors appointment right afterwards, and found out my doctor was leaving her practice of thirty years. She recommended the hospitals maternity center for my obstetric care, for the amount of high risk prenatal care available to me there. 

I began having weekly ultrasounds to check your heart beat, growth and size of the hemorrhage. Also at every ultrasound appointment, I had my blood drawn to check my hormone levels. Each week they were going up exactly as they were supposed to. I was on moderate bed rest, and Dr. Perry told me every week that until I was thirteen weeks along, you were not out of the woods yet... No matter how good everything looked. I laid on the couch everyday overcome with worry that your heart would no longer be beating, a strong 170 beats per minute, at my next appointment. I was so afraid I was becoming too attatched to you and you were going to leave us before you ever really "were."

The doctor made plans for us to see the perinatologist from UC Davis Medical Center. She laid out our prenatal plans for everyone else to follow. Due to the blood clot I endured with Michael's pregnancy, she ordered a blood thinner injection.  

Subcutaneous Lovenox Injections 40mg-1xdaily

At 16weeks pregnant, I was to begin progesterone shots in concern for my history of 36week  deliveries, early dilation, and preterm contractions. I began contracting during your pregnancy at 14 weeks. And so as ordered, at 16weeks I began getting weekly injections of progesterone, hoping you would stay put.

Things continued fairly smoothly after we reached the 13week mark, and the hemorrhage absorbed back into my body. Dr. Boe the perinatologist put in an order for a level II ultrasound to be performed also at UC Davis when I was 18 weeks pregnant. My worry and anxiousness finally lifted from the subchorionic hemorrhage to the thought that you could have some kind of congenital abnormality. 

September 6th, 2011 daddy and I drove to Sacramento to see who you were. To see if you were okay. We honestly thought we would driving home, knowing the little girl inside me. Much to our surprise, you were definitely not a little girl. You were a the most perfectly formed little boy, with very healthy organs. A handsome little profile. And ten fingers and ten toes. I longed for a little girl. A little girl to fill the void of the little girl who left so soon. 

Davis you are so much more than a little girl could have ever lived up to. Savannah had your fighting spirit. I see it everyday that I look into your eyes. That same determination for life. Savannah fought for her life on the outside. You fought for yours on the inside. A strength obviously only a boy could obtain.

November 8th, 2011, 27weeks 2days pregnant, after our weekly routine doctors appointment, we were admitted to Mercy Medical Center. Premature rupture of membranes. A nitrazine strip had tested positive, as well as a microscope slide showing ferning for amniotic fluid. I was put on permanent hospital bed rest, meaning no privledges in getting out of bed what so ever. We were given two stereiod shots each given 24hours apart to speed up lung development. We met with one of the NICU nurses in preparation for life with a 27week preemie. But they were taking every measure into their hands to make sure that did not happen. For the next 72hours I was given intravenous fluids and magnesium sulfate. 

Fluids and Magnesium Sulfate

It was and is not any ones idea of a fun medicine to be put on. I slurred when I talked, had lack of control of my eye muscles, felt like my body was burning, and found myself quite flushed and sweaty.

72hours of Magnesium Sulfate.

Grandma took care of your big brothers and sister while we stayed in the hospital. Daddy had to go back to work, since they were doing everything they could to make sure you were not coming. I no longer experienced any leaking, and they could not prove again that my water had broken. It was you and I alone in our little hospital room. In the silence of being alone after everyone would leave, and everything I knew was at stake I'd find myself desperate to be home. To walk away from the medically sustained infant idea, that was all to real and raw. I remembered vividly, the feeling of wanting to open my eyes to only what you hope for as a bad dream. 

After the first 72hours, and for the next week, the nurses brought me 20mg of Nifedipine. (Also commonly referred to as Procardia.) It is more used for cardiac patients as it works to relax all blood vessels so the heart does not have to pump as hard. People with high blood pressure, or chest pains for example. It was not ideal considering mommy struggled more during the pregnancy with low blood pressure. So I was given many side effects to watch for, and during our hospital stayed they monitored my blood pressure regularly. 

We were also given three ultrasounds to check the amount of fluids surrounding you. The first time, the doctors were concerned that the amount of amniotic fluid surrounding you was too high. They began running more tests. They told me that high amounts of fluids can sometimes signify congenital defects. In a instant every fear I had during the pregnancy was a possible reality. I didn't understand how a congenital defect was even remotely possible since we had a level II ultrasound. They also began blood work testing for the human Parvo virus. The test came back negative, and the following two ultrasounds showed normal fluid results. As did all possible congenital abnormalities that they double checked. You were still perfect in every possible aspect.

We finally were sent home, and the premature rupture of membranes were diagnosed as sealed over. Light activity and pelvic rest were ordered until "full term" was reached. Mommy was so happy to walk away from the hospital with her tiny 27week baby still growing and thriving inside. I was happy at the thought of getting to hold you in your first few moments of birth. Getting to take you home, all together. To not see you hooked up to monitors and wires. To not be a "visitor" of the neonatal intensive care unit. To spend Thanksgiving, and Christmas at home with all four of my babies. 

250mg Hydroxyprogesterone Injection 1weekly
10mg Nifedipine, every 4hours

I was discharged with a prescription of the Nifedipine, and was instructed I could take them as needed for any contractions every four hours. One pill consisted of 10mg. If the contractions weren't to be stopped with one pill, I could take up to two. And in the beginning I only occasionally needed the pills. I carried them with me at all times. It was almost like a drug addiction. They stayed in my purse if I left the house. They came to Christmas parties, and always sat perched next to the bed while I slept. I knew that if I needed them, they needed to be right there. Right then. I was determined to keep you inside as long as you needed to be there. And they worked. Every single time. Calming my stomach muscles. Washing away all trace of contractions.

Being released from the hospital also meant I was required biweekly Non Stress Tests. Where I had to go into the hospital and we monitored your heart rate, movement, and contractions. Since we lived an hour away from my doctor, I was able to transfer doctors and go into the local hospital for the monitoring. Each test you passed with flying colors. The nurses became accustomed to the mild regular contractions as a "normal" aspect of our weekly visits. 

Things continued smoothly until 34weeks. The contractions were much stronger and a very regular. The nifedipine was not working this time. They gave me a shot of terbutaline to stop the contractions. And they did, for about 45 minutes before they were back the same as when they left. They gave me another shot. Same thing, only this time it lasted 30minutes. Though the doctor really didn't want to, a magnesium sulfate drip was ordered. This time, they brought in a fan and pointed it directly on me taking away the burning feeling, and keeping me quite comfortable. But the magnesium sulfate was working in the opposite as it was supposed to. The contractions were worsening and beginning to feel like true labor. They stopped the IV drip, and gave me another shot of terbutaline. I had dilated 2cm since I was first admitted that morning. And because the hospital I was in did not have a NICU, I was required to have an ambulance transport back to Redding. Every 30 minutes from then, until the ambulance arrived, and we made the hour trip south, the nurse gave me another injection of terbutaline. 

Once we had arrived the staff informed us that their NICU was closed, so they really didn't want to deliver because then you would have to be transferred elsewhere. I was angry, and couldn't believe they hadn't told us before we had be transported and admitted. They gave me more Nifedipine, which still wasn't stopping the contractions, just slowing them slightly. The pain was overwhelming, and it was becoming overwhelming being I had contracted all day long, and I knew it was to have no prevail. They gave me Nubain, and I warned them of my high intolerance to IV pain medications. As she began administering the drug the room instantly began spinning. She assured me "I was supposed to feel like that." And I spent the rest of the evening throwing up. But the pain medication did manage to stop contractions at a dead halt. 

New years eve, we were discharged only with instructions to take two Nifedipine every four hours. No longer "as needed." I was told that at 36 weeks I could finally stop taking them all together. And so I did. And so you became. 36weeks and 3days. And it was over. The twice a week non stress tests. The every four hour pill taking. The many many injection sites. We had made it through all odds against us...

I tell you this Davis, more for my sake. So I will remember every detail of how far my love for you began. So I will never forget that before I ever saw you, I would have sacrificed everything for you. One day you will probably drive me crazy. One day you will probably color on my walls, stomp on my flowers, come home late, or selectivly listen to my motherly advice. But I write this so you know, that even when you make mistakes, even when you really don't "like me," I would do it all over again. I would endure the heartache, the emotional stress, and the physical pains just to have you in my life. Through the good times and the bad, I love you. It's a love that you will never fully understand. I would give you my life. And I promise to give you all of my heart. Thank you for showing me strength. A strength I lacked during your pregnancy at times. You will always be my fighter, and I know because of that you are going to do very big things. I will support you, encourage you, and guide you. You have already made me so proud. Your pregnancy was only the beginning. The beginning of what I would give for you. I love you little one... With every beat of my broken heart.



Melissa said...

SUCH a beautiful, beautiful post. As a woman who is currently going through a high risk pregnancy I can relate to so much of it, and what you say is true...I would sacrifice everything for the opportunity to spend life parenting him! I had to laugh when you wrote about one day he will drive you crazy, and it is so true, yet important to document just how very important these little people are.

Megan said...

Beautiful & deep love for your sweet babe, such gratitude for pregnancy & being his momma, thanks for sharing! Your Davis is adorable!

John and Allie Fields said...

I love that you recorded every bit of his womb life up until his entrance into the world. I can't help but cry with joy over this miracle. Davis is the most beautiful rainbow I have ever seen.

The Anglin Family said...

Oh, this brings me such joy to see such a littole miracle. Beauty from ashes.
You never expect to have problems after you lose a child, at least I didn't and I know that there is a reason...I know sweet Davis is here for a reason and purpose just like my sweet Sawyer is still hanging on in there for her mama. I would go through it over and over again for the end result. Hes perfect!! Thanks for sharing;) Even though I am now crying! And, when hes 3, and hes driving you nuts, itll be worth it all:)

LauraJane said...

This is such a beautiful post. Congratulations on your beautiful boy. :(

LauraJane said...

That was supposed to be a smiley face... :)

Holly said...

loved this and I could feel how much love are in the words

Ana Pascual said...

Exceptionally beautiful :-)