They Said It Couldn't Happen

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My husband and I wanted to have another baby. We have 2 older boys (ages 12 and 9) and we wanted to give them both a little brother or sister.  The hold up was we had a miscarriage due to my health, I have a lot of abdominal damage that now is covered in scar tissue, a J-tube for enternal feeding directly to my intestines 24/7 never unhooked, I also have a gastric pacemaker (pacemaker placed in abdomen to shock the nerve in the stomach to make my stomach contract). After our miscarriage we were told that physically we couldn't get pregnant successfully without fertility help. So, naturally my husband and I looked into what all that would mean including evaluating the risks of me carrying a baby (previous pregnancy was prior to the abdominal damage so this pregnancy would be completely different due to my health now being 100% different than during previous pregnancy where I was healthy). As we were warned and pretty much expected, we were told that if we were to get pregnant with 1 baby the risks was 60% chance that the baby or myself would not survive if not both of us wouldn't survive. These odds would definitely increase with multiples which is common when fertility help is involved. My husband and I decided that it was way too risky to do anything so we proceeded to just grieve the miscarriage and work on the grieving process with now being told we would never be able to successfully carry a child unless receiving fertility help due to my health, which obviously we decided against. That next summer I had to have another abdominal surgery which once again increased my scar tissue and that also put me back into a wheelchair due to my heart and nerve damage and so now we are looking at me being permanently in a wheelchair. At this point mentally and emotionally I am just a mess. Not able to have another baby which I really was wanting, now another abdominal surgery which makes my percentages of carrying worse because it's adding a layer of scar tissue, but also now I'm permanently in a wheelchair (I was in one before and it was temporary but this is different). After this surgery I got released from the hospital and went home to finish my recovery. The beginning of August 2016 We found out we were pregnant, which we did not get excited because we were told I would In fact miscarry and we would be grieving again. We went to the high risk maternal fetal specialist and high risk OBGYN appointments, we got ultrasounds and heard the heart beat and we melted. They continued to do weekly ultrasounds and testing to monitor me and the baby despite that they still felt we would miscarry or get to a point where we are further along and it ended up being fetal  demise. We were worried and concerned, only told our parents for moral support.  Every week we went to those appointments just waiting for them to give us bad news and it was always good news. The further along we got the more we were watched like a hawk and finally when I started feeling the baby move and we found out the gender, we finally allowed ourselves to get excited and we finally felt "wow we are really going to have another baby".  The doctors always prepared us that things could eventually go south at any point and we were told to be happy because it's "no maybe baby; it's a baby" and we were trying to stay cautiously optimistic but it was hard when I felt this little miracle (yes miracle ! The Drs even called him a miracle and defying medical logic) oh and yes a BOY! The amazing team of specialist we had were watching us like hawks and making sure we both have the best outcome as possible. The further along we got the more things got difficult and  the more concerned the Drs became.

We were told they might have to take him and getting passed 27 weeks would not be possible. Well little did they know despite the difficulty we got passed 27 weeks and we made it to 32 weeks. However we were hospitalized from 28 weeks until delivery (which was 32 weeks for us) but they weren't going to let us get passed 34 weeks due to my body was breaking down. As I hit 30 weeks for lack of a stronger way to explain I was in miserable hell due to my body was breaking, mentally and emotionally I was breaking due to the extreme excruciating pain I was in and by this point my uterus and Owen (our baby boys name) was sitting on my Vena Cava (called inferior vena cava syndrome) and making me pass out. My abdomen was so stretched between him, my uterus, my jtube, and my gastric pacemaker it was very very difficult. I kept telling them when they asked how badly I felt and I felt like I was dying. On the morning of February 6th 2017 around 3:30 am I began feeling drastically worse, by the time it got to 6:30 I called my husband and told him as soon as he dropped the older boys at school to come to the hospital and call in to work I told him; I'm either in labor or something is wrong. The week before (31 weeks) Owen decided to flip and he was breach and still hadn't flipped yet now at 32 weeks (February 6th). Things that morning got extremely worse pain wise and how badly I was feeling, the doctor called it and they started prepping for emergency c-section (I was having contractions that whole week prior but they would stop but these were not stopping even though the monitor picked up a few ever so often they stayed due to my scar tissue it wouldn't be easy to get the monitor to pick them up consistently. So they had to be really careful to make sure they didn't wait too long since my health meant the contractions were not easy to pick up and so the feeling of them were different than my previous pregnancy) so I called my husband back at 7:45 am and told him that he needed to hurry because we were having a baby and they were prepping me for the c-section.

They started doing the prep for the c-section and my husband made it there in time and they took me back started trying to get the epidural (which was difficult placement) and then everything else took place and our little baby boy was born at 32 weeks. He was 4lbs and 7oz and 17 inches long (they said it was a great weight for his weeks and that it will help his survival and they stated he would have been between 9-10 pounds if he had made it to full term). My fight got harder after he was born- blood transfusions, spinal fluid leak accompanied by spinal headache, postpartum preeclampsia, pleural effusion and all landed me in ICU and unable to hold my baby for 7 days and I couldn't do his kanagaroo care. My husband was amazing and he did his kangaroo care while I couldn't. I only got to kiss him and hold him 1 time before all this escalated to where I was then in ICU fighting to survive for him, my husband and our other 2 boys.  Due to my health prior to pregnancy I was already on pain medication through a very prominent pain clinic whom helps people with chronic painful health handle it with pain management, also my PTSD medication was also a medicine we couldn't take me off of during pregnancy so Owen had a chance to have withdrawals. They kept reassuring me while in the ICU that he was doing good and that our bond wouldn't be messed up and he would know me and bond with me. My husband would take pictures and show me them and tell me how he was, he would call the NICU when I was in the ICU and let her tell me how Owen was doing. For him to be 32 weeks and the amazing weight he was he was a fighter. He was our miracle and it was a miracle he didn't have more going on with him. He did not have withdrawals, he was off oxygen and breathing assist in 1 week, and he was doing great with his ng tube and started taking bottle (since I couldn't breast feed due to my meds and wanting it not to interfere with his progress, they allowed him to get my colostrum and that is it) he was doing amazing. His bilirubin went down without the bili lamp. I was finally released to go home 2 and a half weeks after I delivered which was amazing that ICU and step down I was able tackle those but the part I wasn't happy about was I was being released and discharged to go home without my baby boy. I was afraid that now I'm going home and required to have home health and recover and what if it affects our bond. I was so afraid something would happen and I wouldn't be there for him since I couldn't be while I was still in the hospital. It was helpless feeling. Over 45 days in the hospital and then I had to go home and still leave my baby in the NICU. I only held him 4 times from before ICU and after ICU combined. I only got to do kangaroo care 2 times before discharged to go home without him.

I had gotten use to fighting for my life since my health issues initially started but to fight for my life because there is a little baby in my womb and then fight for my life because there is a little baby in the NICU fighting for his too and making sure I can be there for him. I was extremely worried I wouldn't have a bond with this little miracle that needed me the most at that time. Needless to say he did amazing in the NICU with only 3 set backs but none that were huge. The amazing point to this is that not only did I beat the odds and succeeded in something they never thought could or would happen without help and extremely bad outcomes but our little baby boy beat those odds himself!!  Fast forward to today (3-15-17) and he is a little over a month old and home with me doing amazing for what everyone expected him and I to do. I fall deeper every health dive I take and the tougher it is to heal and recover but my little miracle, my older 2 boys and my husband give me the reason to fight so hard. This little miracle Owen is what makes our family and hearts complete. Now he is taking 2 and a half ounces every 3 hours and still small (little over 5lbs at a little over a month old) but he is doing better with suck, swallow and breathe even though still positional when eating but the amazing NICU nurses and neonatologist showed us how to feed him the special way so he can thrive with the bottle. I am amazed at his strength and his fight in him. We are thankful for everything going the way it did. We know it could have been a lot worse for us both. We truly believe not only did God have other plans when they told us we couldn't have anymore kids but we also felt like he had a guardian angel to help the outcome. The Drs still tell us him and I both defied medical logic and it truly was a miracle. (Now during the c-section they did tie my tubes, because we cannot risk having another baby because I might not make it next time but we are thankful and feel we are complete with our little miracle Owen).

Thank you for reading our story. I shortened it (if you can believe that) for the sake of the length it would have been but the point is everything happens for a reason and we feel Owen is meant for great things.


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