Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mom to Logan Timothy
May 16th, 2010 
5:27 p.m. - 6:40 p.m.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

My husband, Tim, and I were married in May of 2005.  Around our 4 year anniversary, we decided we were ready to start our family and assumed it would happen quickly – everyone on either side of our families seems very fertile.  Well, 9 very long months later, we FINALLY conceived our first child.  We were cautious, but SO excited.  I had horrible morning sickness practically all day every day from weeks 6 to 18, but was thrilled – everyone kept assuring us this meant a healthy baby.  At our 20-week ultrasound, we found out we were having a boy.  I have had a name picked out for a boy for a very long time and my husband was neutral on it, but immediately after the tech said “it’s a boy!,” I burst into tears and begged that we name him Logan.  How could my husband say no to his crying pregnant wife?!?!  We also found out that he appeared to be perfectly healthy.  We were thrilled and went off to Baby’s R Us that day to buy him his first outfit and a few books.  We also started our registry.  We finally felt “safe” and that we’d be bringing home our little boy at the beginning of September.
On the morning of May 11, I was 22 weeks/2 days and I woke up feeling weird.  I thought I was having contractions (but that couldn’t be right, I was only 22 weeks!!).  I drank some water and lay back down and they kept coming.  I asked Tim for his phone so I could time the “contractions.”  They were coming every 4-5 minutes.  I called my OB and left a message with a nurse and she said they’d call me back.  While waiting for the call, I went to the bathroom and there was a lot of blood.  I screamed and started panicking “I’m losing him!  Oh my God!”  Tim and I both threw on clothes and ran to the car and off to the hospital we went.  I was so confused – everything was going great, what the heck could be causing this??  When we got to the ER, the nurse quickly found his heartbeat (a relief) and the bleeding seemed to have stopped. 
Finally, a doctor came in to check my cervix.  It hurt so much more than it should have and I was biting my lip to not scream out in pain.  When the doctor looked at me after her exam, I knew something was terribly wrong.  She said “You are 4 cm dilated.”  I am not sure if my husband knew the implications of that statement, but I screamed, “NO!  He is too little!!!”  She said “Yes, he is too little, but we can try to keep him inside for as long as possible.”  She explained that they would have to do an amnio to test for infections, and if those turned out to be negative, then they would give me medicines and do everything possible to stop the labor.  All of the amnio tests did come back negative, so they gave me drugs and they immediately worked.  Tim stayed the night with me in the hospital.  The next few days were uneventful and the contractions were totally stopped.  We were just praying to make it enough days to get to 24 weeks – viability.   
Unfortunately, on May 15, the contractions started again.  They tried increasing my medication, but it didn’t work.  They kept telling me to let them know when I felt like I had to push.  I was terrified and clenched my legs shut with every contraction b/c I knew that pushing meant death for my precious son and I did not want to deliver him if at all possible.  On May 16 (now 23 weeks, exactly), there was no denying what I was feeling.  The contractions were very strong and close together.  They gave me morphine and it didn’t touch the pain.  I didn’t care – I wanted to keep him inside of me for at least another week!!  Finally the nurses said I had to go to L&D, so they wheeled me down the hall.  They gave me an epidural and after being there for only a little bit, my water broke and I knew it was game over.  I got a couple of hours of sleep then.  My poor husband had only left my side one time for a couple of hours in 6 days.  He held my hand now and just watched in agony as our nightmare continued to unfold.  Our little boy was born alive that evening.  He came out in one push and I cried because he had to be so little to come out in one push.   
The NICU team evaluated him and within a minute they determined that his trachea was not large enough to attempt intubation, so they wrapped him up and gave him to us.  He was beautiful.  He opened his mouth a couple of times and he moved his tiny little arm.  He weighed 1 pound, 2 ounces and was 12 inches long.  He had some dark hair and looked like my husband, but he had my nose.  My husband was utterly amazing.  He acted like this was a “normal” birth.  He talked to his son in such a happy tone.  He told him about our life and our family.  He used his name over and over and kept telling him we loved him.  When I held him, I told him how perfect and cute he was.  I cried and told him how sorry I was and that we loved him so much.  I quoted the book that I had picked out for him, “I’ll love you forever; I’ll like you for always.  As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.”  He lived for a little over an hour.  My dad, aunt, and best friend had come to the hospital, so they got to hold him both before and after he passed away.  I kept apologizing to everyone.  I felt so guilty that I had let everyone down and delivered this perfect little boy too early. 
I stayed in the hospital for an additional 2 days.  When my placenta was delivered, the OB discovered that it smelled foul and most likely indicated infection, so they treated me with antibiotics.  Pathology reports later confirmed this. 
The day after Logan was born, my mom called me from another hospital down the street (which is why she didn’t get to meet Logan when he was born).  She had just been told that she had less than 6 months to live – her cancer was back with a vengeance. 
We buried our son the following week – my mom was by my side.  I stayed by my mom’s side for most of the next 5 months.  On October 18, she lost her battle with cancer and passed away. 
2010 was supposed to be the best year of my life and it turned out to be the absolute worst.
You can contact Jessica at


Katie said...

Wow Jessica, Your story brought tears to my eyes. You are an amazingly strong woman. I'm sorry you lost your boy and mother, and so close together. I'm sure they're enjoying heaven together.
Hang in there.

celeste said...

Jessica, I am so astounded to hear about the losses you have had to bear in just these few short months. I am so sorry to hear about your son and your mother. Your heartbreaking story is so beautifully written.

My son Christopher Robin was stillborn at 22 weeks exactly, at 1 lb 4 ounces and 12.5 inches and as you were describing holding your small bundle, I felt so connected to your story. What a blessing your little Logan was, and what a tragedy that he was taken away from his family. I hope that you continue to find the support and caring from your husband and family to help you through this difficult time.

Take care. You, you husband and your precious son will be in my thoughts.

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