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I wasn’t sure where else to write my story. But I just wanted to tell it. I was so excited getting pregnant for the first time. My husband and I were so excited about becoming parents and welcoming our first child into the world. Everything was going great until July 20th 2022. On July 20th I was only 25 weeks and 3 days pregnant.
The afternoon of July 20th I had what I thought were just Braxton hicks contractions and I had 4 of them within an hour. They then went away and I felt fine. I went to dinner with my mom, grandma, and my step mom and step sister in law to talk about the baby shower and get everything figured out. Later that night my contractions had returned but they weren’t painful. They were irregular. In the middle of the night I woke up to extremely painful contractions that brought tears to my eyes and made me gasp for air. They seemed to be getting more painful by the hour. It didn’t click in my mind that I could be in labor. By 6am on July 21st I was really hurting and I felt really weird. I also felt like my baby boy was kicking my cervix. I called my hospital and they asked me to come in so I called my husband to take me in to get checked out.
We got to the hospital they took me to the exam room and they hooked me up to the monitors to keep track of my contractions. Immediately within minutes of lying down I had 4 contractions just like that not even 3 minutes apart. My nurse called my doctor to come check for dilation. My doctor came in quickly and examined me and said I was a good 5cm dilated. She also said my water was bulging out of my cervix. It did not break it was just bulging out. She wanted to transfer me to a different hospital since they can’t take care of preemies under 34 weeks however they were afraid transferring me by ambulance would cause my water to break. She checked the position my son was in and my baby boy was breech and his foot was in my cervix. This meant I needed an emergency c section asap. My baby was coming and there was no stopping it.
They then gave me magnesium to stop my contractions and called Blank Children’s Hospital to get their team over to our hospital in time for the birth and to care for him after he’s born and get him transferred to Blank a children’s. In the meantime I was being poked with needles right and left. Everyone who came into the room was doing an amazing job at keeping me calm and explaining what they were doing. They were also having to work very quickly I had about 10 nurses in the room all at once doing different things.
As soon as blank arrived they took me to the delivery room. They had to keep me on my side since they didn’t want me sitting up and risking my water breaking.
Finally it was time to deliver. All I could remember is my husband watching them cut me open and he was explaining to me what they were doing. And then he said “he’s out!” He then went out with the doctors to see our baby boy. Came back in and showed me some pictures as I wasn’t able to see him at all or hold him. The doctors came back in and told me he was doing really well. He cried a little and he peed and he was breathing on his own but still needed a little help so they put a tube in to help him breathe.
They then closed me up and took me up to my room. Not too long later they brought my little boy into my room before they took him to Blank Children’s Hospital. I could reach my hand in and touch his blanket but I couldn’t see him. I wasn’t able to see his face or touch his skin. They had to keep him covered to keep it dark to represent the womb to make him think he’s still in the womb. Then they took him to the hospital. My husband waited for my family to arrive to my hospital before he left to go be with Hudson (our son).
Everything was going perfect. I was healing and learning how to pump to produce what my son needed. It’s like my body knew what my son was needing. My first time ever pumping I got 25ml of colostrum. The nurses were so impressed they’d never seen anyone pump that much before. I was so happy I could provide for my little boy.
My husband said everything was going really well and Hudson was doing great. He’d often send me pictures and videos of our boy. He was moving his arms and legs around. Id get phone calls from the doctor taking care of him and have them explain to me what they’re doing and how he’s doing.
Then came Friday July 22nd. The morning started out great. Then came nighttime. Everyone had left so I was alone at the hospital. I received a phone call from my husband telling me the doctor wanted to speak with me. Then it happened. My worst fears came true. Everything took a turn for the worst. My baby boy was not doing good. All of his stats went insanely crazy. His blood sugar levels were in the 700’s which are unreadable. The doctors said they believe his stats went crazy due to a brain bleed.
The doctor said they try to wait the first 3 days before scanning their heads to check for bleeds but they needed to in order to see what was going on. In the mean time they were working hard to get me released from the hospital and get me over to blank to see my son. I was released and I had my mom pick me up and take me to my son and my husband.
I got to the hospital and got to see my son for the first time. I was able to touch him. I put my finger in his hand and he curled his fingers around my finger. My heart was so full. Not too long after the doctor came in and told us Hudson had grade 4 brain bleeds in each ventricle. They call this Intraventricular Hemorrhage. There was nowhere for the blood to go because of a blockage that blocked the flow of cerebrospinal fluid. This caused increased fluid in his brain.
The way the doctors described his condition it was not looking good. We had them explain it to us 4 times. We then decided we needed to sleep and clear our minds a bit. We stayed at the Ronald McDonald House in Des Moines, IA. It’s a place where families stay for free if they have a baby in the NICU.
The next morning July 23rd we made our way back to the hospital. We waited a few hours with our son waiting for the nurses to do their rounds so they could come and give us some more information. Our doctor pulled us and explained thoroughly what was wrong with Hudson. Explained in a way we could understand.
He said we could transfer him to Iowa City and have a procedure done to clear the fluid from his brain. However he didn’t think Hudson would make the transfer over. Even if he did make it to Iowa City he wouldn’t of survived the procedure. If we transferred him and he survived and somehow survived the procedure his life still would’ve been always being in the hospital. He wouldn’t be able to walk, talk, or even knowing what’s going on around him due to his condition. They told us we could keep him on the tube that’s breathing for him and continue to do what they’re doing or we could take him off and he will pass moments later. They did not push us to make a decision. They said we could take as much time as we needed.
My husband and I walked away to think. Our hearts were breaking because we knew the decision we needed to make. Not just for us but for him. We didn’t want him to be in pain. We didn’t want to put him through all of this with no hope of surviving.
We made our decision not too long after and let the nurses and the doctor know. They then made it very clear that we were making the right decision. We then had to make phone calls to our family to let them know that our little boy won’t ever be coming home. That we needed them to come to the hospital and say their goodbyes.
Our family showed up and all took turns coming in to see him. They got to touch his little hands and feet. I took this moment to capture pictures of my family being with him and loving him. I wanted to have these memories. I wanted to be able to look back at these pictures and remember everything.
During this time when family was around we noticed that our son was no longer moving around. He wouldn’t move his arms or legs. He wasn’t able to breathe on his own anymore. We could also see the swelling in his head. We could see what the doctors were talking about. Our boy was already gone. The machine was just keeping him alive.
It was then time for us to hold him skin to skin contact. It was the best thing ever. My favorite memory with my little boy. During this time I played him a song I had always played for him in the womb. Boy by Lee Brice. It was such a precious special moment I will never forget. My husband got to hold him after me and he played him the song Nothing Else Matters by Metallica. My husband is a huge Metallica fan and wanted Hudson to know Metallica too. We sat there holding him for a while playing these songs until we decided it was time to say goodbye.
We went and told the nurses it was time. I wanted to let my husband hold Hudson as he passed since I’d spent so much time with him when he was in the womb. He didn’t get as much time with his daddy. I wanted them to share this moment together since they didn’t have many. The nurses came in and took him off the ventilator. He passed quickly and peacefully. Our hearts were and still are broken.
I miss my son so so much. It hurts. There is an emptiness in my heart. I will never stop loving Hudson. I will never forget Him. I will always always talk about him. I want his memory to live on. He was only here for a short amount of time but he left the biggest footprints. He is so loved.
Thank you for taking time out of your day to read our story. I could’ve gone into more detail but this post is already super long. I just wanted our story to be known.
March of Dimes fights for the health of all moms and babies. We're advocating for policies to protect them. We're working to radically improve the health care they receive. We're pioneering research to find solutions. We're empowering families with the knowledge and tools to have healthier pregnancies. By uniting communities, we're building a brighter future for us all.
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