Meeting our Trisomy 18 Baby: Part 1
We have been overwhelmed by the love and support, the care, the cards and gifts, and the thoughts and prayers that have been said on our behalf. Your kindness has forever changed us and it's not something we will ever forget.
Last week was an off week.
I couldn't stayed focused at work.
In fact, I was coming in from work for 2-3 hours at a time and hiding in my bed.
Lee and I both had a breakdown in our bed earlier in the week. We just held each other and cried. We were so scared of the unknown. I was celebrating another week of pregnancy, yet I felt so robbed.
We wondered if Samuel would know our love if we never got to meet him. But we were determine to carry and meet this sweet boy.
I had posted an update for everyone on facebook early in the week, and I planned on stopping until we got some significant news.
I didn't realize my next post would be so soon.
But God knew.
Thursday, September 5th was another full day of doctor appointments.
We were due for an ultrasound to check on baby's umbilical cord. And then we were to meet with the NICU team to see what they could do for our Samuel.
I actually felt good and calm going in.
At this point, we felt like we had heard it all.
We were actually discussing where to go buy our daughter Packer's attire for their opening game that night!
The wait was longer that day. Appointments were running behind. But it was finally our time.
It was just another quiet ultrasound. I couldn't tell what they were looking at, but I could see our baby wasn't moving. He just lay there. But I saw his heart going strong.
The tech got a few "wiggles" out of him before going and getting the doctor.
I sat up, with a lump in my throat, I said to Lee, "I think he's going to tell us to make a choice today."
He came in, and asked to view a few things again in the room.
There he told us the umbilical cord was now going backwards, and the placenta was rejecting. This being the reason he wasn't growing. He asked if I felt baby move much, but the reality is, I never really felt him much. So my answer was still no.
We were led to the conference room, where good news was never to follow.
Our doctor confirmed what we already "knew".
He said our baby maybe had a week.Maybe two weeks.
He didn't have a crystal ball that could say for sure.
Samuel was going to die inside of me.
He was not going to be able to handle the stress of induction and delivery.
The doctor,from a medical standpoint, strongly advised against a C-Section.
There were risks to me, and still no guarantee we would meet Samuel alive.
With no discussion, I looked at Lee, and looked back at our doctor, and choked out my words,
"If a C-section meant a better chance of meeting him alive, that is what I want"
Our doctor had hesitation, yet sincerity in his voice.
He said if that is what we wanted, we should go to Labor and Delivery immediately to prepare for the operation.
We asked for time. We had no bag packed. And we wanted to see Porter.
He agreed we could come back in a couple of hours.
Before going up to meet with the NICU team, we were left in the room.
Instant fear had hit.
What did we just sign up for?
We were supposed to have maternity photos taken the next day. I had an appointment the next day to have his heart beat recorded and put into a bear to keep forever.
Maybe we should wait until the next night, so we can have those memories.
Should we deliver here?
What interventions are we doing?
We weren't promised another day, hour or minute. So I got scared, and knew waiting another day wasn't an option.
As far as interventions, we were meeting with the Neonatologist to discuss our options.
There was no hiding the fear and grief at this point.
It was a long walk to the birth center/NICU.
We were sat in another room, and waited for the doctor.
She was very nice. Very soft spoken. We had questions, she had answers.
The harsh reality was, Samuel was going to need surgery within a week of being born. But his size wasn't going to allow surgery for at least another month.
He wouldn't make it.
He wouldn't make it no matter how many tubes he was connected to.
He wouldn't make it no matter how much love we gave him.
He wouldn't make it.
We wanted him to be comfortable. And we also wanted him to be in our arms while he was alive.
We agreed on nothing that would mean him being away from us.
That's where we started.
We went home from there.
We spent most the drive calling family and making arrangements for our daughter and dogs.
We got home and Lee picked our daughter up from daycare. I just needed the biggest hug from her.
Soon my grandparents were pulling in and so was my mom. Allowing us to finish packing.
In one bag went a few things for me and Lee, and another we packed his bag. We packed two premature outfits, a few hats knitted by my Great Grandma, and a blanket we had just bought him last week. There was no saying how much time we would have with him, but I packed for him like I would for any baby.
I struggled to comprehend the reality of what was about to happen.
After everyone left our house, Lee took one last "Bump" photo of me. 30 weeks. Heading to the hospital to give birth to our baby boy.
We were greeted at the birthing center by a Pastor my grandpa had called. We were shown our room, and he followed. He said a prayer for us. And I knew I needed God more in those moments than I have ever felt before.
We checked in about 4pm. My OB nurse walked us through the process and what to expect. She hooked us up to the monitors. Then our high risk doctor came in. He pointed out I was contracting, and the charts confirmed what he had thought. Samuel's heartbeat was dropping with each contraction. He was right, he wouldn't have survived induction.
Then the OB/surgeon of the night came in and said we were shooting for 5:30 go-time.
I had an all natural delivery with Porter. And I've never had a surgery in my life. I was terrified.
I got gowned up, Lee got dressed. And we waited. I tried to keep myself together. But I was getting antsy, and uncomfortable. My mom was also there. She always brings a sense of calmness to me, even if she was freaking out herself. I was definitely trying to be stronger than I felt. I don't think I could tell anyone how weak I felt in those moments.
The time came.
They opened the doors wide.
Lee leaned over and kissed me, and told me he'd see me in the room.
My mom hugged and kissed me.
And there I went.
I was wheeled into a bright, cold room.
Surrounded by doctors and nurses . I think I counted 8.
But I felt so alone.
I wanted my husband.
I wanted my mom to tell me it was okay.
Instead I got a nurse holding me, and a needle in my back.
Everything after happened so fast.
to be continued.
Click here: Part two
Click here: Part two