Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mommy to Blayze Gabriel
January 23rd, 2010-January 25th, 2010
Mt. Auburn, IL

In mid-June, Wyatt, my husband, decided he wanted to quit smoking. Well, Iwasn't going to keep smoking cigarettes around him so I quit too. About five weeks later, I was four weeks pregnant. I had been told by a previous OB/GYN that I would probably have to have intervention to conceive. Miraculously, I got a Big Fat Positive, or BFP, in July 2009. Talk about a surprise. I took two more pregnancy tests just to be sure. I had horrid morning sickness up until I was a little over 21 weeks. Otherwise, things were fairly normal. I had had slight spotting at 6.5 weeks but I'd been pulled in for an ultrasound (u/s), and it was determined that nothing was wrong except for a cyst on my ovary.

So my due date was set at March 28, 2010. Everything seemed to be going well, strong heartbeat, Blayze was active on the u/s. At the anatomical u/s, I found out I was having a boy. Wonderful! My little man! My OB was concerned about a two-vessel cord, or 2VC and they were having problems seeing his stomach. Also, there was concern that his heart may only have three chambers. I was upset but I figured either 1) there's a mistake or 2) with the advances of medical technology, this can be dealt with. I was referred for a more in-depth u/s which I went to and they said they saw the 4th chamber of his heart but it was very small - and I had been on the u/s exam table for 2 hours because Blayze was so active that he kept flipping away from them and crossing his arms in front of his chest.

I was then referred to a fetal echocardiologist whose techs had the same problem with my active little man. After two techs and the echocardiologist tried to maneuver to get the pictures they wanted, it was decided that the great vessels of the heart may be transposed. I was to go back in 4 weeks because then Blayze would be bigger, and so would his heart. At the second appt, Blayze was still as active as ever but Dr. Nicholas, the echo cardiologist, said that his heart appeared fine. I found out at my next appointment with my OB that there still appeared to be some kind of ballooning (aneurysm) on one side of the heart and he wanted me to get a second opinion from a doctor at St. Louis Children’s
I had my appointment with a fetal echocardiologist in St. Louis at the children's hospital down there on January 19th. The fetal echocardiologist declared that I should deliver in St. Louis rather than in Springfield, IL which is closer to where I live/work. That wouldn't be a problem. It was decided that they would induce me a week or so early in St. Louis.

On Thursday, the 21st of January, I went to work, had a normal day. I carpool with my mom and I had driven that day. I dropped my mom off at home but told her I couldn't come in to visit because my back was hurting. I went on home, had dinner with my husband and watched TV for a little while. I had been feeling Blayze kick all night and was singing to him and rubbing my belly. My back was still bothering me so I lay down at a little before 9 pm. I woke up at 10:10 to a rush of fluid. I thought I'd peed myself until it just wouldn't stop. I called to DH and woke him up. My water broke. (Amazing fact: My water broke while I was asleep and at 7 months pregnant, I still managed to jump off my bed and get to the bathroom without getting my mattress, sheets, or comforter wet/gross).
Wyatt took me to the hospital in Springfield so they could transport me to St. Louis. I got to Springfield by 11 pm and left there by ambulance at 2 am. Got to STL at approx. 3:30. I had not dilated at all, so it was decided that I would be monitored and placed on bed rest for 3 weeks. I was only 30 weeks and 3 days along in my pregnancy. I met with many different specialists that discussed everything from delivery to the different surgeries Blayze would need - and all of this was based only on his heart problem because that was all that we knew of.

Unfortunately, we didn't make it three weeks. I got moved out of Labor and Delivery and on down to Antepartum on the 22nd but got taken back on the 23rd. Blayze’s heart rate had multiple "decels". My husband, Wyatt, came to visit me but left to go back home again. Finally, the doctors decided that Blayze needed to be delivered by emergency c-section because one of the drops in heart rate may not be able to be brought back up. I was so nervous and scared because I was alone. My parents and my husband were all about an hour and a half away! I called my parents and my husband and told them what was happening. I cracked jokes with the nurse and anesthesiologist the whole time to keep myself from screaming.

I had the epidural while still in Labor and Delivery. While in the operating room, it was determined that it wasn’t working properly so I then had a spinal anesthetic as well. I remember that the medication had me shaking so bad that I was worried it would affect the surgeons’ work. I had them strap my arms down and told the anesthesiologist not to tell me what was happening. “Just tell me how it’s going,” I told him, “because if you tell me they’ve made an incision, I’ll think I feel it.”
Blayze was delivered at 8:16 pm on January 23, 2010. He weighed 3 lb. 5.6 oz. He cried when he was born. I could hear him. He was amazing too. My family got there shortly after I was taken back to L&D. Wyatt and his mom went to see Blayze first. My parents waited until they were leaving to stop in and see him. (I was at Barnes Hospital and Blayze had been whisked away to St. Louis Children's Hospital and the NICU.) Since my husband had come down with his mom, he left that night with her. He promised to return the next day with our car. My nurse had taken pictures of Blayze for me as soon as he was born since Wyatt and my parents weren't there yet. 

I got to see him the next day. He was 3 lb 5.6 oz when he was born but he was gorgeous. He looked like me but with Wyatt’s nose. I held him and just felt so lucky. I really thought that despite the problems that we'd learned of, he would fight through and make it. I had to return to my room because I was still on an IV lock for pitocin and occasional fluids. A neonatologist asked to speak to us, so Wyatt and I went in and were talked through each of the problems encountered. Surgery was scheduled for early the next morning to sever a connection between his esophagus and his trachea which caused his belly to fill with air and his lungs to collect fluid. A gastric tube would also have to be inserted to get the air out of his belly. Wyatt and I went ahead and went back to my room to get a little bit of rest. 

We were called right back because Blayze was being taken into surgery at 11. They couldn‘t wait until morning. I got to hold him shortly before he went in. The prognosis was grim. I couldn’t sleep in the little side room they had given us. So after 45 minutes that it took to get out of the bed since I’d just had major surgery myself, I went to the waiting room to anxiously await any news about the surgery.

The nurse on duty in Antepartum at Barnes brought some pain medication down to me so I wouldn’t have to go all the way back. About an hour and a half later, one of Blayze’s surgeons came out to see me. He’d made it out of surgery but was very sick. We still went in to be with our son and I loved on him as much as I could with all the tubes and wires. I wanted him to rest and still had not gotten any myself. We got back to my room and were called directly back to the NICU because Blayze had crashed and they were doing chest compressions. They stabilized him while I sat outside the secluded room he had been put in. I just sat there in my wheelchair and cried. After loving on him for a while and talking to him, telling him to keep fighting, Wyatt and I decided to go once again so that Blayze could rest without more harassment. His little body had been through so much.

My husband wasn't feeling well and I sent him home to get some restful sleep. I didn't want him around all those babies if he was getting sick. The doctors called Wyatt on his cell phone and told him to come back because Blayze had taken a turn for the worst. They had to do chest compressions again. Wyatt got back and took me directly to the NICU. We were told that it had gotten to the point that they were doing more TO him than FOR him. The doctors had given him 8 vials of blood and Blayze’s body was not maintaining blood pressure levels or levels of Vitamin K that he needed. After discussion, Wyatt and I decided to take him off life support. I had a great friend there with me. He and his wife had come to keep me company on bedrest. Everything had happened so fast that I didn’t get a chance to tell anybody what had occurred. My friend is also a pastor and was amazing support for our time of need. I’d called my parents and they showed up and were in the waiting room. I went out and told them what was going on. I asked them if they wanted to see him one last time and they opted not to. My mom first wanted me to get a second opinion. I told her we’d made our decision and a second opinion on Blayze heart problem wouldn’t change the overall situation. My dad just jumped up and held me so tight. 

I then went back in to be with my son. I sat and sang to my little guy. We prayed with our friend and he dedicated Blayze to God. Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep took photos of Blayze for us. Then after a period of time, Blayze was taken off of each machine except for the painkillers. I didn't want him to hurt. I held him as he slipped away from me. I sang “The Dance” by Garth Brooks. I’d never have missed that ‘dance’. 

And that is the day my soul was ripped out through my belly button. My gorgeous sweet boy was gone and I only had him for 47 hours and 37 minutes. He was pronounced at 7:53 p.m. on January 25th, 2010. My friends left, and Wyatt and I went back to my hospital room. My parents were waiting there. I collected everyone’s NICU identification stickers and put them in my bag. I begged the hospital to let me leave. They did. I had to promise I’d get my prescriptions filled the next day and make an appointment to have my staples removed with my OB.

He was cremated 2/8/10. My heart hurt. All of the pieces of it.

On May 7, 2010, I had a meeting with Blayze’s doctors. Wyatt didn’t go. He didn’t want to view his son as a list of problems. He wanted to remember Blayze as the beautiful child he was. I had to know every single thing about my baby boy. This is when I received the results of his autopsy. This is also when I learned about the VACTERL Association. Blayze had a double outlet right ventricle heart. Essentially, both of his main blood vessels originated from the same chamber of his heart. His liver was large and it had lacerated during surgery. He was born with an imperforate anus. His trachea and esophagus were attached but his esophagus was incomplete. The surgery done was to fix his esophagus and cut the connection between the esophagus and the trachea (Tracheoesophageal fistula). Blayze also had a condition called hypodiasis, which is a problem where the urethra does not extend to the tip of the penis. Another of his conditions is known as Duodenal Atresia. This defect has to do with his
small bowel being closed. It does not allow passage of stomach contents to the intestines.

Many of the defects that Blayze was faced with are normally attributed to chromosomal disorders. Blayze Gabriel Finn, however, was a karyotypically perfect male. The best his doctors can see is that something went wrong in the initial division of cells and it became a chain reaction. For all that to have happened, even if nothing was wrong, he was still such a beautiful child!

How could so much go so wrong? How could so much be wrong with a little boy that looked to be the epitome of perfection? He is perfect now. In Heaven with our Lord and Savior. Insides as beautiful as his out.

You can contact Katie at


Leslie said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I had something similar...with my water breaking early. (I also managed to make it to the bathroom without getting everything wet.. though after I realized what it was ..I didn't care.) I know he was a beautiful & loved baby boy.. & I know he is watching over you.

Katie, Blayze's Mama said...

I must apologize. One of the conditions that Blayze had, I mistyped it. It is Hypospadias.

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails