Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mom to Nicholas John
September 28, 2009 to October 3, 2009
Oakhurst, California

My husband and I found out we were expecting our fourth child in February of 2010. I was very scared about having another child as my hands were pretty full with our other children. Bradley was 7, Emily was 5 & Wesley was 2. I was excited to be giving my other children a new sibling and I was even more excited that my oldest two would know a little more about what was happening to my body.I knew they would be super excited to welcome a new baby to our home! I couldn't wait and told everyone I knew as soon as I took the test!

My pregnancy was a terrible experience. I was sick my whole pregnancy and my body constantly ached. A lot more pain and discomfort than I'd experienced with my previous pregnancies. I couldn't wait to have this baby and have my normal body (without the discomfort) back. Early in pregnancy I was told that the baby was small according to my dates and my doctor wanted to run some tests to make sure everything was okay. Everything checked out fine. My due date was October 28th, 2010 and it couldn't come fast enough!

I found out in June of 2010 that we were expecting our third boy! We decided to name him Nicholas John. John was my father's name and he passed away July 21st, 2009 to heart failure. I was really excited that we were going to have the chance to name my son after my father!
In August of 2010, things in my pregnancy started to get a little more difficult. At my appointment they measure Nicholas to be too big according to my dates. They scheduled me for an ultrasound. According to the ultrasound I was carrying double the amount of amniotic fluid than I was suppose to have. They weren't sure why Nicholas wasn't swallowing the fluid correctly and it concerned them. They scheduled me for more ultrasounds. They checked all of his organs and everything seemed to be functioning correctly which put me at ease. I was transfered to a high risk doctor who would be able to watch my pregnancy closer.

In late August I was hospitalized because I was having contractions and they needed to stop labor. As much as they tried to stop my contractions they kept coming. I was dialated to 2 cm when they finally got the contractions to subside. I was still having contractions but I was having less than 4 an hour. They doctor told me I could go home on Sept 4th (I was VERY excited to be going home because it was my birthday!!). I was on strict bed rest. I was also scheduled to go to the hospital two times a week to have Nicholas' heart rate checked (as it was never regular) in the NST (Non-Stress Test) department.

On September 28th, 2010 I went in for an NST check-up and because I had been going and they were having a difficult time getting results that they liked they sent me straight upstairs for a bio-profile ultrasound. This particular ultrasound is used by checking movements of the baby and checking how much amniotic fluid I had, etc. My normal score for this was about an 8, which is the best you can get. I was barely getting an 8. On this particular date I went in and my bio-profile was scoring a 4. Which means Nicholas wasn't making enough movements. I went back down to NST with the results and they called my doctor. The doctor thought the ultrasound tech. did the testing wrong and asked to have it re-done by the supervisor. This time when they did the bio-profile the results was a 1. Nobody would tell me what was going on but they sent me straight to labor & delivery. I knew something was wrong but I wasn't sure what and how bad. I was terrified. My mother-in-law had taken me to the hospital and we had my younger son with us. I was told that they would probably send me in for a C-section. I asked my mother-in-law to go pick my husband up from work and drop my son off with a friend. I left my car at my husband's work but forgot to leave the keys so he had no way to get to me quickly. He worked about a half-hour from the hospital. My mother-in-law left and I was on the phone with my husband telling him what was going on when 3 nurses and a doctor rushed in. One nurse was giving me an IV and the doctor asked me "Have you ever had a C-section before?"

I was shocked to say the least. I asked if they could wait for my husband who was on his way and they said no. I was hysterical and I felt very sick. I was rushed into the Operating Room. My baby had been born but I didn't know it, and I didn't hear him cry. I was getting very worried! I was set on getting my tubes tied when Nicholas was born but when my doctor faxed the papers over I had signed my birthdate instead of the actual date of when I signed the papers so I was unable to get my tubes tied. (Everything happens for a reason right?)

I was in the recovery room when my husband got to the hospital. My mom, My Aunt & My Mother-in-law were also there. The nurse asked me husband if he'd like to see Nicholas. I still hadn't even seen him. My husband left the room to see Nicholas and came back with tears in his eyes. I knew something was terribly wrong! My husband told me that he was beautiful but that he wasn't breathing on his own and they didn't expect him to make it. My heart was shattered into a million peices. They finally brought Nicholas in for me to see. I got to hold him for a short while. I had never seen a baby with so many cords & wires!

My husband and I were asked if we wanted to send him to UC San Fransisco. The doctors didn't believe there was anything anyone could do for Nicholas but they thought they may be able to do some testing to find out why this happened and what caused it. We decided to send him and he was air-lifted to San Fransisco that night.

On September 30th I was released from the hospital and we drove straight to San Fransisco. When we got to the hospital Nicholas was still hooked up to all the machines and we got the same news from the doctors there. They didn't expect him to live. They belive that Nicholas had two stokes; one in August when the amniotic fluid started to increase and again the day that I delivered. They aren't sure what caused the strokes but at that time his brain stopped growing and his organs suffered due to a decrease in blood flow during the strokes.

My husband and I invited family and close friends to the hospital to see him, if they wanted.
On October 1st we decided we were going to have to take Nicholas off life support but decided to let people come see him. We waited a few days because we wanted a chance to have our kids come meet their brother (if they wanted to) and October 2nd is my husband's birthday. We, obviously, didn't want to take him off life support on my husband's birthday. My friend brought our children to the hospital on October 2nd. I scheduled to have a photography company called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep come out and take family pictures. This company does free pictures for families that are losing infants. Now we have great pictures to remember Nicholas!
On October 3rd, my husband and I decided we needed to take Nicholas off of life support. I was holding my son when he passed away but I asked whoever wanted to be in the room with me to please stay. I thought it would be better if I had some support. My husband wasn't able to stay, he couldn't handle it. In the room with me I had my mother, my mother-in-law, two sisters and my Aunt. I'm very thankful I had the support of them. Nicholas passed away at 2:08pm on October 3rd, 2010 at 5 days old.

Now I know that my dad & my father-in-law are in Heaven taking care of Nicholas. I can't wait until the day I get to see them all and hold Nicholas in my arms! I never got to see him open his eyes, I never got to hear him cry and I never got to see him move. One sweet day, I will see those beautiful eyes glowing and feel his sweet hug!!
Tara can be contacted at:


Sara Thomas said...

I knew the whole story already but it felt like the first time I heard any of it. I cried as I was reading it. Reading this took me back to when I first got the phone call that you were having an emergency c-section.. and then again to when I talked to you after the c-section.. and then finally to when I went to the hospital and held Nicholas. You are the strongest person I have ever met and I am so lucky to have you in my life. Anybody who knows you, especially your children, are so blessed. Nicholas is blessed to have a mother like you, too, even if he couldn't be in your arms for long. He will be in all of our hearts and one day, in our arms again.

Lori Mitchell said...

I only knew bits and pieces of your story until now. You were in prayers then and continue to be now. You are such an amazing young woman and Nicholas is very lucky that you were chosen to be his Mommy.

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