Defining Events – Part 2
…..Here is the rest of the story. Or well I will back track a bit. As many of you know, any number of things can happen with the birth of a preemie. They can be born with brain bleeds, etc. C was born, infection free, and with no bleeds. All of his blood and skin samples came back ok and his ultrasound, that was completed within hours of his birth, was clear…
The day we found out he was sick….
I had gone into the NICU with milk at 5 am. I went to sit and visit with him for a while. Preemies very commonly have apnea. In less than 2 minutes he had apnea 5 times. I asked what was going on. They said they were talking about intubation him but were waiting on some tests. I said absolutely not. I want it done now. He was too tired to wait one minute longer.
My husband and I went back to my hospital room and waited, as the Doctor asked, while they intubated him and ran more tests. At 9:15 am, the Doctor finally came to speak to us. She said that it could be Ecoli or Staph. It was very normal to pickup either of these during labour and birth. The following day we found out he had a heart murmur, which is very normal in preemies. More x-ray were ordered and another ultrasound……several hours later the original cultures came back and we found out he has Serratia. To be honest the best thing at that point was the ignorance factor as A) we had never even heard of it and B) had no idea, whatsoever, what this could possibly do. The answer to this question is far worse than anyone can imagine.
Warning… Things get MUCH worse from here. I will just briefly share what happened. The details are far to many. Truthfully, having lived them they are much more than I would wish to burden someone with.
The following day as I was sitting at his bedside. The nurses dry-tapped him and 20 minutes later we noticed blood in his intubation tube. They put the peap up and were able to stop the bleeding. He largely had a good and quiet morning.. Later that afternoon. He had a GM seizure. He was extremely agitated. They gave him a shot of medication hoping it would calm him down. It had the reverse effect. No chest movement so they had to break peap and bag him. They tried a second med a short time later. They had to break suction which caused the pulmonary bleed to start again and they had to bag him a second time. The Doctor sat at his bedside for 36 hours. She is a wonderful woman.
The following day another Doctor called us in, to speak with us. They ordered a lumbar puncture and another ultrasound. Both came back positive. The Serratia had eaten his platelet count down so low that he could not fight off Meningitis which caused the GM seizure and a grade 2 brain bleed. At this point we were told we were facing developmental problems. We informed her that we are a family and he is our son. Regardless.
Over the course of the next 9 days our son fought for his life. Bags and bags of plasma and platelets were given, meds upon meds. He would get a transfusion and his platelets would go up to 18 and then 3-4 hours later they would be back to 2 and 6 and 8. Blood work every 4 hours, 3 IV pumps, 6 lines T into 2 shunts. At points the shunts were in his right arm, leg, left arm, head. He fought. He is my son and he fought to live. Femeral stabs to check liver function, Kidneys shutting down. He gained over 2 lbs of fluid during this time as it went into the third space and the meds would not work to reverse.
Nine days later, as I rocked him, and he and his father held hands, he took his last breath. Our son was gone.
2 hours later we drove home, alone. Never in my life did I dream that I would give birth to my most precious gift and not be the one driving him home. Never, did I think that 3 weeks after he was born would I be standing at his grave listening to my husband read him his last bedtime story. Never did I think that I would be waiting for his headstone to be placed at his grave before the day he was due.
I am most thankful for each and every minute of the 19 days of my son’s life and the 28 weeks that I carried him. He is the best parts of my husband and I and was born out of love. He was most wanted. He is the single greatest gift we will ever know. We are the blessed ones, as we are his Mommy and Daddy.
This is how I became a mother with empty arms.