Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mom to Mason Landon
Born too early on November 10th, 2007
Derby, KS

My name is Stephanie and my story begins in 2002. My husband and I had been married for a year, but together for five years. We were doing foster care for a wonderful sweet baby boy and decided it was time to try for one of our own. Fast forward a year and still no luck. We tried clomid (fertility pills) and had absolutely no luck. In 2004 we moved back to Wichita and gave it a break for awhile. In the meantime we adopted 3 year old twins from the foster care system and our family was taking shape. I got a great job at a local aircraft company and decided in 2007 it was time to try more aggressive fertility treatment. We opted for a treatment in which injections are given to mature the woman's eggs and then an injection is given to release them once they are mature. After a month of painful, expensive injections, sonongrams, and blood work, we were pregnant! I cried when I found out and I thought my husband would explode from excitement.

The pregnancy seemed to be going great. Very little morning sickness, every sonogram showed a healthy growing baby boy, we got to 20 weeks and we thought we had it made. Then I started having some very thick, mucus discharge. After a few days of this I called my OB's nurse. She said that an increase in discarge is normal. For the next week it got heavier and heavier and still I was told it was normal. Finally, I made an appointment and lied about why I needed to be seen in order to get in. My gut was telling me that it was not normal, but there was no blood, so I let myself be eased by the nurse.

I left work that day just generally feeling blah. I kept feeling like the baby was kicking me way low, but this being my first pregnancy, I didn't know to worry. When I got to the doctor, I was 21 weeks exactly. After chit chat in which the doctor told me he was sure I was fine he began his exam. He inserted the speculum about halfway and then just froze. I immediately began to get uneasy. He took it out and began looking over my file. He asked if my last sonogram showed anything unusual, I said no beginning to panic. He than told me the my membranes were bulging and did I have a ride to the hospital? I had no idea what that meant, but I told him I didn't. I really began to panic when he asked the nurse to call an ambulance even though the hospital was only a few blocks away. The ambulance was going to take awhile so I said I would take myself. He said not to stop for anything.

I get to the emergency room just weeping. I don't know what is happening or if my baby is going to be safe. They put me in a wheelchair and rush me to labor and delivery. The nurse tries to comfort me and says something about just needing bedrest and I begin to calm down. I have visitors while I am waiting for a perinatologist and I am feeling like everything might be ok. They start talking about a cerclage. I don't know what this is. They explain that I am dilated to 4 centimeters, and with a 21 week old baby, that is dilated enough for the baby to literally just fall out. What!? How can I be dilated without any contractions? They explain that I have a cervix that can't stand up to the weight of the baby and just gives out and dilates. They said that a cerclage is a purse string stitch through the cervix that closes it and holds the baby in, but only a preinatologist can do this surgery.

The perinatologist Dr. O'Hara shows up a few hours later. She is very friendly and reassuring. She says that a cerclage may be possible and would save my baby. She has to make sure I am a good candidate. She does an exam and then looks at me with tears in her eyes. She says that she is sorry, but I am now dialted to 6 centimeters and fully effaced. She said it would be like trying to stitch wet tissue paper and that she can't do it, she needs to preserve future fertility. I cry and tell her I don't care about future fertility, this is my son, I want him safe and sound. She holds my hand and cries, but says I am too far gone.

I ask what will happen to the baby and she tells me he will be born in less than 24 hours, that he is too young to survive and so he will be placed in my arms and he will pass away. How can this be happening?! How could we have waited six years to be pregnant and then just hold our baby in our arms until he dies? Who could ask this of me? I am strong enough for this. My mind says this is my fault, that I am letting my son and my husband down. After several hours of weeping, I just stop. No, this will not happen, I will not let it. I will do whatever it takes.

I am placed on Morphine for the night because they are sure labor will begin. The next morning....nothing. 24 hours later...nothing. The nurses are amazed. It is suggested that I let them induce me. No! I will not remove any chance this baby has. You must be kidding me, you want me to just give up and let you take my son? I tell them no and begin to get hysterical again.

They say that if I can make it 2 more weeks to 23 weeks, there is a chance my son could survive, that is the earliest that NICU's will try to save them. I make up my mind to do this. They tell me I have to be on total bedrest, with my head lower than my legs to try to keep him in. I cannot sit up, I must use bed pans, my feet cannot touch the floor. Anything, I tell them, I will do anything. The days tick by. 1, 2, 3...people from church come to pray. I have faith, I know my God can do this, my God can do anything. I pray, I beg, I weep...I start a new day. This goes on for another week, and then at 22 weeks exactly things begin to go bad.

I had back pain all night long and then that morning my placenta tore away and I begin hemorrhaging. I am losing blood so fast, every contraction causes more bleeding, and they are coming seconds apart. Jake begins to get scared for me and the baby. I have never felt pain like that in my life. They tell me I have to go to the delivery room. I have to deliver this baby and there is no time for an epidural. I get hysterical, I can't have him, it's too soon. The NICU won't take him for another week, I have to make it another week. They say I can't, he is coming. I am weeping, begging God to save him. I don't understand why this is happening, why God is not stepping in to save the day. I have faith in Him, I know he can do this, please God, please.

My OB cannot be reached. Another from his practice steps in. She says my son is breech and they are going to give me morphine for the pain. She says I have to push. I tell her no, I am not condemming him to die, I will not help this. More time goes by, the pain is so bad, she say I have to push now. She says he is coming whether I push or not. If I push I may have more time with him alive and if I don't he may be stillborn.

I push. Once, twice and then he is here. They clean him up and hand him to me. I am so drowsy from blood loss and morphine, but I fight to stay awake. Once he is in my arms, I stop weeping. I need to be strong for my baby.

He is beautiful. Perfect. His eyes have not opened yet and he looks like he is sleeping. There is no movement, but his heart is beating. Family and friends see him and I drift in and out. Finally, one hour and 45 minutes later a nurse checks his heartbeat and says he is gone. They call time of death 2:48 p.m. November 19, 2007. He is still in my arms. They say they need to take him, I let my son go and then all is dark as the morphine makes me sleep.

The day after Thanksgiving, the funeral for Mason Landon Shaw is held. It was so surreal. Our pastor did a great job and was very comforting. Still, two weeks ago I was picking out cribs and two days ago I had to pick out a casket. I am so numb, how can this be happening. It has to be an awful dream.

Mason was 10 inches long and weighed 15 ozs. It was later discovered that I have a clotting disorder that cause a placental abruption. I am told I will need a cerclage for any future pregnancies, but I can't think about that at the time. Jake and I go on and try to heal. At first I try to fight God's healing presence, but then I am broken and allow Him to comfort me. Somehow I become closer to my God than ever.

5 months later we find out we are pregnant with twins. Story is continued, and Mason's story is told with more detail. Blog address below.

Stephanie blogs at
You can contact her at


Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails