I can tell you that I still remember it all like it was just yesterday. Eight years ago today, in March of 2009, it was a Monday. My husband's school had early release and after work, he went and got a haircut. When he came home, I was emptying the dish washer. That weekend, I had been feeling really tired and super swollen and was heading into my 30th week of pregnancy with our third baby boy. I was a high school teacher put on bed rest at 21 weeks. We had just received a delivery for a second full-sized bed, so that we'd be ready to move our other boys into a room together. That Saturday, I scheduled a regular blood donation for my husband for a day mid-month. Who knew I'd be the one receiving numerous blood donations later on that week? That next Tuesday was busy. I was cleaning up the house and getting things ready for a visit with my parents. There were some tax things that still needed to be looked at and I was doing a lot getting everything looking decent.
The plan was for my father to look over the taxes while my mom mentioned taking one or both kids to the neighborhood park. Well, that didn't happen. We ended up playing 20 questions and I showed her the new bed we added to the front room. We started talking about this and that and I learned that they were headed out-of-town that coming weekend for some doctor's appointments for my grandmother. I was surprised and a bit worried as I had delivered early twice before. I needed them to be available to us in the event things got crazy (like they had twice before). They knew that and we had discussed it. I was upset. I wasn't feeling good, but I looked nice and fresh because I had taken a shower. I was due in early May, but I knew that I wouldn't be going full-term. My other cuties were born at 32 and 34 weeks. With my history and how I'd been feeling, I knew that I probably wouldn't reach week 37 as was the hope of my newly assigned-to OB. She had just turned 40 herself. I didn't know that she was part-time until afterwards and had little experience with high-risk patients. Thanks to the f****d economy, I was forced to switch from someone who knew ME and my prenatal history to someone totally unprepared to handle my symptoms. My awesome male OB was like a God in my eyes. So grateful to him and the reason I have any living children at all. I had a completely unwanted involuntary transfer of care to a female OB, who didn't listen, who didn't check, who didn't take the time to perform standard forms of care especially with a high-risk patient. I had two appointments with her, at 26 and at 28 weeks swollen with concerns, before Death came to visit.
The taxes got checked, we got take out, and they left. It was on the tip of my tongue, the idea of going to the hospital to get checked out. I didn't say anything. I didn't go. My husband came home from work. We had talked, played with the kids, had dinner, and went to bed. That night, I felt the biggest kick from our little guy. I felt him do a somersault in my tummy. I couldn't have known it at the time, but that was likely his final moment. It would take another almost 48 hours to put it together - I was in labor. Having had two previous C-sections, I discounted my back pain as just that. I was still picking up my 18 month old and thought I was aching due to doing too much. I put my hair up in a pony tail, put on my coat, klssed my husband, and told him that I'd be home later or they'd be keeping me for observation. I drove myself to the hospital late that night. My water started to break on the freeway! I made it to the hospital and called to tell him I made it there safely. When I got into that intake room, there was a red mess and minutes later, no heartbeat. Our beautiful son, Naethyn, was born sleeping on March 6th weighing 3 lbs 6 oz. He was bigger at birth than his oldest brother. At my request, I have a couple of pictures of him. They are absolute treasures and when I see them, I am reminded that this was all real, he was here, and he is still a part of our family.
Numb, shocked, angry. I wish I could say that I still didn't feel this way, but I do. I'm still a bit numb, shocked that this happened at all, and yeah, I'm still angry. It's been eight years. My kids who were then 3 and 18 months old are now 11 and 9. How did that happen so fast? By habit, I still initially think in 3's. As we approach his angelversary, we'll do something together as a family. We'll have cake or cupcakes or both. Like everyday since his passing, I'll get up and face whatever gets thrown my way. I have two not so little anymore boys who depend on me, who make me laugh, and from whom I am learning so much. Just as I promised myself eight years ago, I will continue to be the best mom to them that I can be. I honor all of my preemie boys by fundraising and participating in March for Babies. I'm walking so that no family has to experience this loss and pain. I hope that one day, all babies will be born healthy. Please consider walking and supporting the March of Dimes Chapter in your area and come walk with us!
hugs to you. I will be thinking about you this week has you approach his angelversary. Ncki
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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