Saturday, August 7, 2010

Mom to Trenton James
Born on January 5, 2010, died 22 minutes later

I have been married to the man of my dreams since December 10, 2005.  We met on a blind date and had a whirl wind romance.  We married six months after that fist date.  I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 18.  I told Ken before we got married that we may never have kids of our own.  But, we started trying to conceive right away.  After four years of fertility meds and nothing we opted for adoption.  We were working our way through all the courses and paperwork when in September of 2009 I took a pregnancy test that would forever change our lives.  I was so excited to be pregnant.  I never thought I would ever carry my own. Ken was overjoyed.  We called all our family right away.  I had an early ultrasound done because I could not remember when my last period was.  I was 7 weeks and 5 days pregnant.  And, the journey began.

The pregnancy was good, healthy, uneventful.  All of my tests and blood work had come back normal the entire time.  The ultrasounds had all looked perfect.  We found out on December 21st we were having a little boy.  We would name him, Trenton James.  He would be our everything.

In December 2009 Ken and I flew to Florida to visit my family for Christmas. I was so excited for them to see my pregnant belly and see my sister, Cassie, all big and pregnant. We were pregnant together. She was a few months ahead of me. We would talk almost daily about pregnancy tired we were, how smells made us sick, how to cope with morning sickness, and more than anything how amazing it would be to watch our kids grow up together in this world.

On our flight to Orlando the seat belt would not fit around my pregnant belly. I had to ask for an extender...which is embarrassing but, really I was proud of that pregnant belly. I was proud that I was growing our future. I was so excited that my belly would continue to grow. I was excited our miracle was just under my skin.

When we arrived in Orlando my sisters and Mom all greeted us.

We celebrated Christmas.

My mom drove us back to the airport on December 29th. I had booked the room for us (Ken ALWAYS makes our travel arrangements) When we got to the front desk to check in the guy looked at me like I was crazy. Our reservations were for the next night. I was a little confused and we got to the airport a day early. So, we just stayed at the hotel for two nights...enjoying the peace and quiet...

On the morning of the 30th we got up and had breakfast. I was feeling awful that day. I just thought it was normal pregnancy stuff. I was 21 weeks and 2 days pregnant. All throughout the day I was having heavy discharge. I thought it was normal. I would soon find out it was my cervix dialating. The morning of our flight we were up at 3:45 to catch our early flight. I could barely walk I was so dizzy. I lost my mucus plug in the room (although I had NO idea that was what it was...but, boy was it nasty) We checked out of the hotel and headed to the gate to check our bags. I couldn't even see straight I was feeling so bad. I thought maybe I just needed to eat. I had a banana left from the day before and ate that while I sat on the floor in line for our bags to get checked in. As we headed to the security line I felt like the airport was 110 degrees. I was sweating and swaying. The line was so very long. I thought I was going to collapase at any minute. Once we finally made it through security Ken could see that i was looking worse and worse. He left me on a bench to get me a drink and bagel. I ate it and felt just as bad. We were sitting at the gate. The called for boarding...I of course ran to the bathroom (hello, I was pregnant) As I pulled down my pants that early New Year's Eve whole life changed...

I couldn't even go...I pulled my pants up and ran out to Ken. I was crying. I knew something had to be very wrong. I was covered in blood. I called my mom. It was 4:45 am at this point. She said call my OB. I did. He told me to get to the ER and not get on the plane. I really didn't want to do that. I debated with myself for a few minutes. Because we had gotten to the airport two days early we had upgraded to first class. My husband adores flying in first class. I didn't want to disappoint him. But, I knew, for Trent, I had to go to the hospital. The gate agent called 911...the ambulance came for me on the tarmac...they strapped me to the bed and whisked me to a private elevator and back onto the tarmac. Ken was right beside me. I was so scared. I had no idea what was going on. Our bags flew back to Dallas without us. Our first class seats sat empty. Our lives were falling apart. I told Ken to call our parents. He did. We arrived at Winnie Palmer Hospital in Orlando. We were placed in the triage room.

I was first examined by a nurse. As she my checked me...she stopped before she even really started. She said, "Umh, I have to get a doctor in here." Oh my heart was beating so fast, tears had not stopped flowing. I couldn't even imagine what was coming next. The doctor came in shortly after and checked me. She said I had bulging membranes. I had no idea what that was (although I would soon be an expert in a matter of days). The whole time I kept saying "I can't lose him, I can't lose him, I can't lose him." And her answer was, "well, sometimes it happens this way." WHAT WAY??? WHAT DID SHE MEAN?? WAS HE NOT COMING HOME? WAS HE NOT GOING TO MAKE IT? She didn't tell me anything about it just said they had to get me to the perinatoligist right away. They placed my IV, undressed me the rest of the way, and started wheeling me down the hall. Ken called our parents back and let them know it was not looking good. My parents started the two hour ride over to the hospital and Ken's parents booked tickets from Missouri to Orlando.

We were both so scared. The nurses rolled us into an ultrasound room. The perinatologist came in to do our ultrasound. Trent was perfect. He was swimming around, having the time of his life. He was just as happy as could be, I could feel him kicking me. (In the months after we lost him Ken has told me the hardest part for him was this last ultrasound. There was our son on the screen...perfect, happy, safe. He didn't know what was coming. He didn't know it was all going to be over so fast.) His heart rate was good. He was fine...but, my body was not. The doctor pulled the wand away from my belly and did one more internal exam. They would not let me sit up or stand up. She told us my prognsis. She said I was dilated to a 6, which for a baby the size of Trent, was fully dilated. She said my cervix had fallen apart. She called it an incompetent cervix (a term I had never heard). She told me we didn't have much time or many options. She said that had I gotten here sooner they could have placed an emergant cerclage that could have held him in. Because my cervix was so far gone there was no hope. She said my only option is to do an amnioscentisis and drain all fluid from around him. She said this may retract my bag enough to place a cerclage. She told me that on the ultrasound she could see his little foot in the birth canal. She said she had never seen a woman with membranes hanging this far out and still be pregnant 24 hours later. I was sobbing, I was in shock, I could not believe this was happening to me. I asked what next? Ken was holding my hand through the whole thing. She told me I was going to be admitted to the hospital. She told me I was going to be on the highrisk floor. She told me I would deliver this baby in the next 24 hours. I just could not believe it. The staff rolled me into the elevator and took me to my room. The IV was hooked up to a pump for pain meds. The nurses were taking all my stats. They called my OB to get my medical records. Our families were in route. When my parents arrived one of the "head" doctors came to see us. He explained my diagnosis. He told us why my membranes were bulging. He told us that I would have my son within 24 hours and his chance of survival at this stage were zero. I was 21weeks and 3 days. I cried and cried. I was shaking. I couldn't even understand the words he had just told me. My parents were already in the room with us. My mom was sobbing so very hard. Our lives were never going to be the same. My dad asked what the likely hood would be that I would not deliver, the doctor told us 1%. I was devastated. Ken called everyone we knew and my mom called every one else. We were added to hundreds of people's prayer lists. I was so scared.

24 hours later I was still there, still pregnant, and starting to be filled with hope. I was placed on retraction medications, something to keep labor at bay, and told I could not get out of my bed. My in-laws had arrived. My parents were still there...but, we had made it bast the 24 hour mark. As the days continued I prayed that God would let me take this baby boy home. I prayed that I would lay in this hospital bed for weeks and weeks. I prayed for any sign of hope. The doctors checked on me daily. After I passed the 72 hour mark they started to treat Trent like a patient too. They told me I had to make it to 24 weeks to be viable. My biggest risk at this point was infection. Because my bag was hanging so very low in my birth canal it was being exposed to all kinds of things.

As the days past my family visited, Ken's mom didn't leave my side, and hundreds of emails and messages on Facebook were rolling in. People all over the place were praying for my little family. People were hoping for the same miracle I was hoping for. I felt like the world was on my side. But, in the very back of my mind I knew I would let them all down. I knew I was not bringing him home. I tried to stay positive. I tried to smile. But, I was so scared. My IV kept falling out or leaking so they kept replacing it. They had to bring in an ultrasound machine to find my veins. Each person that came in my room would cry with me, or pray with me, or just sit and listen. The staff was amazing.

After a few days of being in ICU the nurses told me the doctors were moving me to the 5th floor. The 5th floor were for women on bedrest. It was for women who were waiting out the weeks. It was for women like me...who had beat the odds. With this news it was decided Ken would fly home and go back to work. He would fly in every weekend to see me. His mom stayed with me. My sisters kept visiting. My mom would come and cry with me. Ken flew out early the morning they were moving me to the 5th floor. Little did I know I was already having contractions when he left. I thought it was Trent kicking. Around noon that day I had a pretty big contraction. Ken's mom wrote down the time. The nurses added some new meds to my IV. The contractions continued throughout the afternoon. I was on the 5th floor...a floor with hope. They continued the meds all afternoon. My mom and youngest sister came to join me for dinner. I could not sit up for anything, not even to eat. As we ate dinner my contractions grew stronger and stronger and closer and closer. I didn't want to tell anyone. I didn't want to believe it was true. But, finally they were so bad I was yelling in pain. My mom called a nurse in. She checked me and I was immediately moved to L&D. I was screaming all down the hall, "No, not yet! He isn't supposed to come yet!" I was 22 weeks and 1 day pregnant. Ken's mom came back, Ken booked a flight back to Florida. I was in full, active labor. They moved me to L&D at 6pm. My contractions continued for hours without any help from the doctors. Because I was so early in the pregnancy they would give me no drugs to help with pain. As the night progressed the room was more and more filled with an awful odor. I was so embarrassed. I had been in the hospital for 5 or 6 days with no bath. When a doctor came in to check me around 2am he moved the sheet back and kind of just stopped. He ordered blood taken. He gave me an internal. The blood work came back an hour later. He was back in my room. The contractions had not stopped but he finally gave me some morphine (which made me throw up). He told me to get my husband on the phone. Ken's mom dialed him so he could hear what the doctor was saying. The doctor explained that I was very sick. I had contracted an infection in my uterus. This is what brought on labor. He told us that Trent would have 0% chance of survival because of the infection. He would be too sick to make it. He told me that if I didn't let them assist with my labor I would be septic within 6 hours and there would be nothing they could do for me either. He basically was telling us that we had to pick me, Trent, or both of us to die. He told me because I was so early I would have to sign paper work that I was aborting my child. I refused. I would not let them help me if I had to sign those papers. The doctor left the room...the moms were crying, Ken's mom was trying to explain it to him. I was crying and still in labor although the morphine had slowed down the contractions. Ken said not to sign it. I said no. But, both of my moms were telling me I had to. The nurses explained that I would die too if I didn't sign the paper. I said I didn't care. I didn't want to live without him. I was not going to sign anything that said I was aborting him. The infection was growing worse and worse. My temperature was rising. The smell was almost unbearable. My mom kept trying to convince me it was the only way. Ken's mom was on the phone with him trying to make him understand he was going to lose us both, and soon, if I didn't sign. My mom finally said to me, "Honey, you can have another baby, but, we can never have another you." I cried and cried. I WANTED THIS BABY. I was so sick, I was in so much pain. I finally let them assist me in my labor. As soon as I said yes the room was alive with activity. I told them that the only way I would let them do this was if the NICU staff was there to try. I knew there was not much hope. But, I was fighting for his life up until the second it was gone. I would not let them do this if they didn't even try to save him. I would live my whole life in regret if I didn't make them come in. They agreed. My epidural was put in, drugs were hung to speed up contractions, and the end was coming. I asked if I could hear his heartbeat one more time. I asked if they would please hook me up to the monitors. His heartbeat was fast and strong. He was still perfect. He was still fighting. But, mommy had given up. I had surrendered to this awful infection.

As Ken boarded a plane in Texas to come back to Florida I tried to get a little sleep. I couldn't feel anything anymore...anywhere. I knew it was over. They had told me the NICU would try to save him. But, most likely the tubes would not even fit in him. They told me that once they knew that they could not save him they would hand him back to me...I would hold him until he died.

My heart was broken, it was all a nightmare. We waited. My mom's both slept. My little sister slept. I had ask her to take pictures in case Ken didn't make it back in time. She took over 200 and they are one of the best gifts she could ever give us.

At seven in the morning there was a shift change. The nurses came in to tell me about the new staff. They told me that they would take care of us. They assured me the NICU would come after he was born. At around 8: I felt like I needed to push. I knew something was happening. I called the nurse and asked for the doctor. At 8:09 we all heard a pop and my water broke. At 8:10 Trenton James slid into this world with no doctors and no nurses there to catch him. My mom was at the end of the table, I asked, "Is he alive??" She said, "He is moving honey." The NICU nurse was in just seconds later. They picked up my beautiful son and moved him to the crib. They tried but nothing fit. I was yelling at them to try harder. I was crying so hard. The doctors were helping me deliever the placenta. When I saw the head nurse shaking her head I knew it was going to be over so soon. I screamed for them to hand him back to me. I wanted to touch him alive. My mom placed him in my arms. I cried and cried. He held my finger. He opened and closed his mouth. I ripped off my hospital gown so I could feel his skin against mine. Bridget kept snapping pictures, Ken was still in an airplane, and the nurse kept taking his heart beat...both his grandmas held him, Bridget held him, and as they placed him back into my arms the nurse took his heartbeat one last time and told me he had gone home. It was 8:32 am. I told him he didn't have to stay for me. I told him he could go onto heaven. I told him I would be okay. I told him how much daddy loved him. I told him how sorry I was my body had failed him. I kissed him. I loved him. I was broken. Ken arrived shortly after Trent passed. He held his dead son. He cried harder than I have ever seen him cry. They brought me all kinds of papers. I had to sign for an autopsy, for pictures to be taken, for 100 other things I can't remember. They drew more blood. I was very very sick at this point. They hung some powerful antibiotics and said I would be moved back to the ICU for 48 hours to monitor the infection.

They wheeled us all back upstairs. We kept Trent's little body with us all day. I couldn't say goodbye yet. I couldn't let it be over. I took pictures of his daddy holding him. All his aunts and uncles came over from Daytona. My dad and mom were there. Ken's mom had been there the whole night and his dad had booked a flight back in. The entire family was there to meet their nephew, grandson, child...and he was already gone.

The days following were filled with blood tests to see if I was getting better, making funeral arrangements for our son, deciding to bury him or cremate him, picking out his urn, signing for his birth certificate first, and then his death certificate. It was awful. It was something no one should ever live through.

We had his memorial service at the hospital in the chapel. It was beautiful. It was perfect. I had no clothes (as our luggage had flown home without us) I wore PJ's to my son's memorial service. I had no shoes...I wore hospital issued socks to his memorial service. Ken held me and he and I sobbed and sobbed as the scriptures were read, the songs were song, and people hugged us and grieved with us.

It couldn't be true, it couldn't be over. I was discharged after a few more days in ICU. I went home with a memory box full of his clothes and hospital armbands...but, not with him. We stayed at my sisters house for a few days. I didn't know what to do. Finally Ken's mom booked us tickets home.

And, back to the airport we went with...
an empty womb,
empty arms,
and an empty heart.


Jo said...

Trisha, thank you for sharing your story. You write beautifully.

I am heartbroken for your loss.


Glo said...

((hugs)) I am sorry for the loss of your precioua son.

I lost my son Gavin January 9, 2010 after silently dilating and contracting a chorioamnionitis infection.

Mercy said...

What powerful writing. Your loss saddens me.

Sherri said...

your story is so similar to mine, we lost our little girl at 22weeks, she was fine, I couldn't hold on to her. I was in the hospital overnight before I actually delivered, and my husband was offshore, he never got to meet our daughter. I'm so so sorry that you lost Trenton. My heart goes out to you and your family.

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