Monday, August 2, 2010

Mom to Matthew
August 6th, 2007-October 15th, 2007
Sweetpea (miscarried at 8weeks, 2 days)
Peanut (miscarried at 10 weeks, 4 days)
Chemical pregnancy, December 18th, 2009
Rio Linda, CA

I was 22 when my high school sweetheart and I had our first baby. She was a little girl born after an easy, uneventful pregnancy and she came on her own 3 days after her due date on November 17, 2004.

When our little girl was a little over 2, in January of 2007, we found out that we were expecting again and so excited! The pregnancy was easy, no morning sickness, tons of energy and at 12 weeks we found out we were having a little boy. We were so proud and overjoyed to be welcoming a little boy into the world. After an easy, breezy pregnancy I had no reason to think this would be any different. I felt I was made to be pregnant.

I was 23 weeks and 5 days pregnant on June 3 when I woke up shortly after midnight in a puddle of water. Confusion entered my mind. My husband was still up watching TV, our daughter was in bed with me and all I could think was one of us just wet the bed. I went into the bathroom and realized that with every step and every moment fluid was pouring down my leg. Terrified, I called the doctor who told me to get to Labor and Delivery immediately to rule out anything serious.

We dropped our daughter off with grandparents and headed to the hospital. There was no way I could understand the seriousness of what was taking place. In my mind, my bladder was just leaking. We were set up in a room, laughing, joking and passing the time. By 3:30 AM my room filled with nurses and doctors. I had no idea what was going on, they were inserting IV's, wheeling in medication and shouting at each other across the room. Finally, my nurse explained that the second ferning test had revealed that my water had broke and the monitor was picking up contractions every 3 minutes. They were going to try and stop them so we could decide what to do.

At 7:00 AM the perinatologist and neonatologist entered our room to discuss our options. Our son had not reached viability yet, there would not be much to do to save him and his life could be filled with pain, tubes, severe brain damage and a lot of unknowns. The perinatologist didn't believe we could go more than a couple of days without chorioamniocentesis setting in and putting both of our lives at risk. Then we were asked the question we were not expecting, do we want heroic measures taken to save our son's life. Our answer was yes. Absolutely yes.

I was put on magnesium sulfate and put on strict hospital bed rest. Which meant I was forced away from our little girl who I had only recently allowed to have sleepovers with family. I was told that I would most likely deliver within a week, but every day helped. Our first goal of 24 weeks and viability came and passed. Our second goal of 26 weeks came and went. Before we knew it, I hit 33 weeks pregnant and labor started.

I was able to stay on hospital bed rest for an impressive 10 weeks. I spent my 25th birthday, Fourth of July and nearly the entire summer in the hospital. We were told regularly that because our son, Matthew, was without fluid that his lung development would be very poor and there was the possibility that he would not make it. Matthew was breech when my amniotic sac ruptured. He was bottom first and without any fluid he could not turn himself. 7 weeks before his due date, August 6, 2007, Matthew was born via cesarean section weighing in at a big 4 lbs 14 ounces. He cried at birth and made every single second of those 10 weeks worth it. I got a quick glance before he was whisked away to the NICU. Daddy followed him and watched after him.

Matthew spent 26 days in the NICU being weaned from the vent to CPAP to room air. He learned to breathe on his own, to suck and swallow and then he was ready to come home. It was the most surreal feeling. Here we were able to take this miracle home.

Matthew was 10 weeks old when I woke up on October 15 at 2:30 in the morning ready to feed him. Something was wrong. He wasn't breathing. My husband called 911 and performed CPR, moments later an ambulance was there. At 3:30 that morning, the Emergency Room nurses told us there was nothing more they could do, we had lost him. We were given time to hold him and be with him before the coroner arrived to take him. It felt like a whirlwind, one moment we were enjoying life with our miracle baby and his big sister and the next we were planning his funeral services and picking out a casket for our tiny little boy.

Matthew's cause of death was ruled as SIDS. He is missed so much. I like to think that the sacrifice we made in those 10 weeks gave us the reward of 10 weeks to know him, love him and kiss him.

A year after his passing we had discussed the possibility of adding to our family, but we weren't ready. Our risks of rupturing again were so high and I could not handle another loss. In January of 2009 we found out we were unexpectedly pregnant again. When I first saw that second line, I was absolutely terrified. By 7 weeks, I had seen the fluttering heart on ultrasound and beginning to feel such an incredible amount of love for this little one. I felt ready. We were ready. We told our little girl that mommy had to be careful because of the baby growing in her tummy. At 8 weeks and 2 days I miscarried at home. We never found a cause, a reason for our little one's heart to stop beating.

We made the decision then to try for another baby. Our family was ready and we needed to add a new life to our home. In May of 2009 we were pregnant again. I had never been so sick in my life, the morning sickness lasted all day every day, and no matter how miserable I was, I was grateful to feel pregnant. I had an ultrasound at 6 weeks and no heartbeat could be found. My uterus is severely tipped, so we assumed this was the cause of not seeing the baby clearly. At 9 weeks there still wasn't any development and a flattened gestational sac. At 10 weeks we opted for the D&C after medication to pass the empty sac did not work. The d&c was done 2 days before what would have been our son's 2nd birthday. A week later, I had a massive hemorrhage. I went to the emergency room for the excessive bleeding. I was admitted to the same room we had said good-bye to our son before.

In December of that same year, I was pregnant again! We believed this was our Christmas miracle. 6 days after the first positive test, and a week before Christmas, I experienced a chemical pregnancy.

By this point we had given up.

February of 2010, we were pregnant with our 6th pregnancy. It was such an emotional time. It is so hard to get attached to something you do not believe will last and even harder not to get attached to something you already love so much and is growing inside of you. At 16 weeks, we found out we were having a little girl. I sit here now, with bi-weekly perinatologist appointments, weekly p-17 injections and OB appointments, at 24 weeks and 5 days with my amniotic sac fully intact. We are going to bring baby Samantha home.

While absolutely nothing can bring back our son or the babies we never met, we do look forward to a baby crying, late night feeding and endless diaper changing. Regardless of whether he is here on Earth, Matthew is forever our son and forever in our hearts.


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