Sunday, January 24, 2010

That's Life

Here lately I have been reflecting alot over our journey and where we are now. I'm going to share my thoughts. I don't hold back. I will say exactly what I am feeling and believe me, my emotions are raw. I don't care. This is like therapy for me and I'm anxious to get going. Let me start from the beginning...

Tony and I married June 5, 2004 after dating for 9 months. We were friends first so it wasn't like a whirlwind romance or anything like that. I actually "chased" him for a while before he actually agreed to go out with me. Needless to say, I was one cool chick because he fell in love with me.

We decided to try to start a family after our first year of marriage. Well, we actually didn't wait until exactly a year but more like 10 months. We just couldn't wait! What a journey this decision would turn out to be. I'm so envious of people who can just decide to get pregnant and then the very next month have a bun in the oven. However, I think what we went through makes us a little more appreciative of what we have.

After years of trying different fertility treatments, we ended up having to do in-vitro fertilization (IVF). It was tough. It was expensive. It was painful. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Two weeks later I had my blood test. I was pregnant. With very high HCG levels. Possibly more than one baby. Dear Lord, please let me have twins. I think this is every infertile's prayer.

Two weeks later was the ultrasound. Triplets. Holy cow.

My pregnancy went great. I felt wonderful. I was getting big. I was so happy. At 22 weeks we had our "big" ultrasound. This is the ultrasound we were most looking forward to. We would find out the sexes of our babies. This is the ultrasound that changed our lives.

Baby A was low. Very low. It's a girl. Baby B was stretched out along my right side. Feet pushing ribs. It's a girl. Baby C was balled up on my left side and very high, spinning and wiggling all the time. It's a girl. But wait..something is wrong. The ultrasound technician left the room for a while. Tony and I were on cloud nine. "I'm sorry you aren't getting a boy", I joked. We thought that was pretty funny. The technician instructed me to go see one of the nurses. My doctor was in a delivery. "Do you know what is going on?" asked the nurse. "Okay, we think you have a cord prolapse. We aren't for sure but if so this is very dangerous. We need to admit you to labor and delivery right away". I guess I was still so oblivious to anything. I wasn't worried. I don't know why.

I went to labor and delivery. I was put in a bed with my feet in the air. So uncomfortable. My doctor came over. This was the worst news ever. Baby A had a cord prolapse. A baby cannot, I repeat, cannot be born vaginally with a prolapse. The cord comes out before the baby and cuts off all oxygen. A prolapsed baby has to be delivered by Caesarean section. Not an option for me since I am only 22 weeks pregnant and obviously carrying more than one baby. I won't go into every tiny detail here but the next day we attempted a cerclage to stitch my cervix closed so the babies would not be born. However, the cord would not go back in and a cerclage was out of the question. I would be in the hospital until the babies were born and we were hoping this would be at least 8 weeks. Baby A was now called Grace. She was hanging in there by the grace of God. And I was on complete hospital bedrest. That means bed baths and catheters. Oh joy.

Two weeks later, I went into labor. I knew this was not good. I was only 24 weeks and one day pregnant. August 27, 2008. I didn't see Grace when she was born. She was handed over to the awaiting NICU team. My doctor got between me and them and was comforting me. Tony was on my right side. I just stared at Tony. I was trying to see if my baby was alive. Tony shook his head. Nope. Nope. Nope. I remember hearing him say that. Nope. I was handed my baby. Oh my goodness. She was so cute. She was so tiny. I can't believe that I am holding my baby in my arms and she is not alive. She doesn't even know her mommy is here. She doesn't even know. I can't believe this. We just heard her heartbeat minutes before her birth. This is too surreal. I have a stillborn.

The next day I slept alot. Alot. I remember my hospital room looked different to me. Even though it was the same room. Weird. It was like everything was different. That afternoon my water broke. The babies were coming. It's too soon. I'm going to have three dead babies. I can't handle this.

August 28, 2008. That evening baby B was born. Betsy. I didn't see her get handed to the NICU team. She was on my left side. So was the nurse and she was blocking my view. I watched Tony again. Please, I thought, please tell me she is okay. Tony nodded his head. Yes. Seven minutes later Olivia came. I saw her. They took her to my right. I could see past Tony. I could see them working on her. Everything was happening so fast. By the time I looked back to my left, they were whisking Betsy out of the room. Olivia was soon to follow. They stopped and let me see her briefly. Her eyes were open. They were the brighest blue I have ever seen. She was looking right at me.

Betsy weighed 1 lb 9 oz and was 12 inches long.

Olivia was 1 lb 14 oz and 14-1/2 inches long.

I am going to seriously fast forward here...
Olivia was sick from day one. She had a perforated bowel. She had NEC. She had infections. Her lungs were in bad shape and she was on the oscillator which made her very edematous. Plus she quit using the bathroom which made her even more edematous. Looking back on things now, I know this poor baby never stood a chance. She was so sick but she was so strong. She never gave up. She was going to be so stubborn I just knew it. Our turning point came when Olivia got an infection in her arm that was so bad it nearly killed her. Either she isn't going to survive or she has to lose the arm. Okay. Surgery for Olivia. Very dangerous. She isn't stable at all and if she makes it through surgery and through her amputation, it isn't going to guarantee her survival. What a trooper. She made it through surgery and I remember thinking she was the cutest thing I have every seen with only one tiny arm.

After 37 days of life, Olivia was not getting better. Things were looking very grim for her. Tony and I prayed for her and just wanted her to be at peace. On October 4, 2008, we took Olivia off all support and held her privately until she passed into the arms of Jesus.

I know this is long and I know I may have skipped a lot or left things out. The truth is, this was such a journey and such a hard experience. There was so much going on all at once that it was amazing Tony and I held it together like we did. I just want everyone to know my background and exactly what happened to our little family. We had so many friends, family and even total strangers praying for us at all times and so this is something to keep people "in the know". To let people know what is going on in our little lives as we try to pick up the pieces and move on without two of our daughters. My next blog will be all about Betsy and her NICU journey. I will catch everyone up with what we are doing now and how little Miss Betsy is growing. God Bless you all and thanks for taking the time to read about our story.


Ashley and Jason Faucett said...

I knew your story to a point; but a lot of it I didn't, reading this made me realize what you really went through! I have even more respect! You are so strong, those of us who do bam get pregnant and come home with a healthy baby really do not realize how lucky we are and frankly I hate it! I am greatful for friends like you to show me; I hate what you had to go through but I am glad that you are willing to share! I love you guys and keep praying that all of you stay strong and healthy!!