Mom to Naomi Hope Marish
April 27th, 2009 - June 1st, 2009
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
I had always loved children, have the biggest love for them ever since the age of 12. I babysat families babies ages infant to 9 years old. Worked in a daycare & was a nanny for a 3 month old baby boy & soon a few months later his baby sister. I dreamed about the day I would be able to have my own someday! I just had that natural love care for children.
I had finally gotten the courage,left a physical & emotional marriage back in October of 2008 of only a 1 year and a half. I moved back in with my parents &siblings. Several times while being married, I had taken pregnancy tests, all coming out negative which then was probably a good thing, knowing the course of our marriage. Two weeks later, I decided to take a pregnancy test, I had felt like my period was on its way but I just thought okay I wanted to take one. I remember doing the test, put it on the side of my hips in my pants, (dont ask me why, I really dont remember the reasoning). I waited. And waited. Then as I took out the test, I just was ready to ready another "not pregnant.".
This time I read something different. Just one word. Pregnant. I was shocked. In disbelief. I cried. I was shaking. Full of emotions. Normally one should be overjoyed. I wasn't. I had just left my abusive marriage and now I was pregnant. What was a 21 year old girl going to do all alone. I called up a friend that I had spoken to alot during the time and told her. I walked around my block THREE times on the phone with her, just was in total shock. I did not know what I was going to do. What was I going to say to my mom? I had went to get my blood drawn, my sister and her boyfriend at the time took me and it was positive. I remember the lady saying to me "oh you knew you were pregnant didn't you?" I said ' well sort of, I guess.
I remember being just sad & not myself around the house. Yet I also did a lot of crying before because I was just so upset & hurt over my loss of the marriage, when I had tried to hard thinking he and his behavior would change. My mom took one look at me one day & said whats wrong? I just looked at her with tears in my eyes and she could tell something was bothering me. We sat on the swing out on the porch and I kept repeating over and over again "my stomach, my stomach." She didn't quite understand at first. I couldn't bring myself to say the words. She finally goes, "are you pregnant?" I just nodded my head & started to cry.
I do NOT agree with abortion at all but I thought maybe she would want me to go that way because who the father was. But my mom is catholic, brought me up that way and said we will figure this all out. She told me she was there for me and we would get this. My mom got right on the ball and helped me sign up for pregnancy medicaid. I remember meeting at the local Starbucks with my mom and the lady.My mom was just amazing .
Fast forward to a couple months into my pregnancy. I was working as a nanny, full time, Monday thru Friday, with a 1 year old and soon to be baby sister on the way for him. I thought, I don't want to lose my job, I was afraid to tell them but they were like family. So I did, we had spoke about everything and it was up to me but I was going to go back to work after having the baby and work with 3 under the age of 2.They even planned out my maternity leave around July. I was just so excited. Counting down the weeks. I thought, how perfect. I will be with my baby be able to watch him or her grow up with them my second family.
For awhile in my pregnancy, I just had a feeling something wasn't right. I had major back pain, and was always little for my weeks.I would always tell my doctor that I was swelling at the ankles & my hands and she had said it was all normal. She also NEVER measured me. And as I read in the pregnancy books, the doctor should measure you to get size of baby. Well mine never did. She said "I have nothing to measure." Hmm, wonder why.
I was too anxious to wait til 20 weeks to find out what I was having, so I found this lady and office and made an appointment to go to a 3d ultrasound to try and find out the sex of the baby. I was about 16/17 weeks. I had also another one done at 19 weeks and that was my last 3d peek of my baby. I told my boss that I had some appointment and wanted to leave a little early and they let me do so. I SPED to the appointment, because I was just too darn excited. I was going 90 mph on the freeway. Probably not a smart idea but I was just ecstatic. I got there filled out some papers & at first she thought it was a boy but that was the umbilical cord. Sure enough, she was like "wait. I see it. Three little lines". She explained to me what that meant. I cried I was super super happy.
So I drive on my way home, I called my sister told her to meet me at Publix. We meet up outside of the front. I didn't tell her why. I was acting all goofy and silly and just doing a lot of laughing. She was looking at me strangely and asked "are you on drugs?" I told her she should know me well enough to know I do not and would not do drugs. I said come on and I ran into the store, ran down to the balloon isle and searched for the balloon. Its a GIRL balloon. I held it up to my sister and started jumping up and down and we hugged. I told her my idea I was going to get it blown up and bring it home to my mom. So I came in and walked into my mothers room with the balloon in hand. I said ITS A GIRL! I started jumping up and down and spinning in circles! I was just beyond happy.
So from that point on I went shopping for little girl things, bought lots of clothes and one blue and pink stuffed doggy that I was hesistant about but went back and bought it all because I looked at it saying she will grow to like this dog I just know it. I even saved the receipt for the first outfit I bought for her. About mid Feb/early March, I decided on the name for my little girl. Naomi Hope I had wrote in my pregnancy journal as her name. I remember babysitting once years ago for a 2 year old girl named Sasha and her baby sister who was known as "Mimi". I remembered later that because the 2 year old couldn't pronounce her real name just yet of Naomi. I loved unique names. Also because I found out I was pregnant around the holidays, HOPE was out alot and I saw it everywhere. I told myself if I was going to have a girl I wanted Hope somewhere in her name.
One day while walking in the mall, I had been feeling crampy and alot of pain on the one side in my stomach. I thought maybe I over did it and would take the bus on home but I just didn't like the way I was feeling with that pain. As I got out to the bus area, I saw a police car sitting there. I decide to get his attention and ask him to get an ambulance, explained I was pregnant, (I didnt look very pregnant at all) and the pain I was having. So the ambulance came took me to the hospital, and all they did was give me a huge thing of water and tell me I was dehydrated. Never once took my urine.
So my 28 week appointment was on its way, I was so excited because I knew after that I would then be going ever two weeks to the doctors then one week as it got closer to the end. The night before, I attended my brothers baseball game with my mom & dad. I knew that night I was not feeling well at all. My mom had told me later after everything that she thought to herself that I was finally gaining weight. She noticed it in my face though, didn't mention it to me. I decided to go on home shortly after the game and I figured I just needed sleep and or I would let my doctor know in the morning.
I had arranged so my now best friend can come to the appointment with me because my boss was not able to get off that day and it should have been a quick appointment with ultrasound. So my friend had agreed to come and meet up with me since I had two little ones and she would be able to watch them in the waiting room while I got my ultrasound. I had gotten reconnected with her through myspace after a good 4-5 years of not talking, we were in a class in 8th grade together! So while I was getting things done & looked at, my OB goes "2+ whats this?" And I had no idea what she was talking about of course. Things started to get a bit hectic and they sent me out in the waiting room. They also determined my cervix was a bit short and were going to get me a cerclage.
The nurse came back out and told me that I couldn't due to how far I was in my pregnancy. Then she came out with a paper with a scheduled 2:30 appointment later that day with a high risk doctor. So by the look of things, things were just not going well and the babies were getting cranky so I decided to call my boss and see if they can come get the kids. They arrived shortly after and I gave the mom (my boss) a hug with tears in my eyes. Little did I now what really lay ahead for me.
My friend suggested while we had time to spare before my appointment we go to IHOP to catch a bite to eat. So we did. And I remember walking in there and the waitress before sitting us asked "how far along are you?" I got excited & happy because finally I was starting to have the "pregnant" look at 28 weeks. She was the first person to ever ask me. We went on to the appointment and he threw out these terms I had really no idea what he was talking about but he told me he was admitting me into the hospital that day & to go and grab whatever I needed and to head there.
I really wasn't sure what was going on but I figure oh I may be a night or two and be able to go on home. My friend took me back to my apartment where I was staying and I grabbed clothing & she even took me to walgreens to buy some candies & magazines for me. What a sweet friend I have. We arrived into the Emergency Room with the direct admit papers & I was then brought up into a room later where my mom and sister came to visit.
By the way things were going and the way they were talking, they were going to try and keep me pregnant as long as they can but that I was going to be having my little girl soon. Little did I know how soon. I was admitted Friday, April 24, 2009 and over the weekend on Sunday they did a 24 hr urine collection. Their thought and words were I had preeclampsia. My husband at the time stayed with me over night that night and was going to go home and get ready for work and I would call him with the news about my 24 hr. Not even 5 minutes after he leaves, the doctor came in (not my ob but another ob in the practice, thank God, she happened to be on vacation) and he said I have severe preeclampsia. My 24 hr urine went from 2+ on Friday to 6+ that Monday morning.
He explained to me that I was going to be having the baby that morning. It all happened so fast. Nurses came in and began prepping me for an emergency c section. I asked if I had time to call my mom and my husband at the time back. I remember calling my house phone and my brother answering. I remember asking for my mom and told her I was going to have the baby.
So here I am wheeled into the OR and they do their things and getting me ready and all then I am laid on this table like thing. I was thinking to myself, IS THIS WHERE I AM GOING TO HAVE HER? I was so confused and so out of it, probably due to the mag. Well the doctor started away and on the radio "Home" by Chris Daughtry is playing. The doctor is talking to me making sure I was okay and was still with them. And sure enough, out comes my baby girl. I hear a cats meow type of cry. Two tears rolled down my cheek. I did not get to see her. They had to whisk her right away because she was so tiny.
Naomi Hope was born 1 lb 12 oz (790 grams) at 9:16 in the morning. I was a mommy. I remember seeing her for the first time. I was wheeled in there and she was in her own room type and she had her "shades" on and was under the "light". She was so tiny, but so incredibly PERFECT. She had all 10 fingers & 10 toes, both hands and feet, perfect little nose and mouth & two eyes, two ears. Just perfect. I was in shock seeing her though with all of those wires on her.
Well I had been recovering for 7 days in the hospital, I had gained 40 lbs of fluid from the preeclampsia, and I was in the ICU for a few days. I had no idea how sick I was, my mom stayed with me alot of the days, she was scared too, later I found out. All I worried though about was my little girl. After being better & able to be released, I remember crying going home with no baby in my arms from the hospital. And gosh, little did I know about what tears were.
I went back the same day to go see Naomi in the hospital and from that day on I was there 10-12 hours a day. Nurses told me I was catching their schedule. I would ride in the morning with my neighbor who also worked at the hospital and then catch a ride back by a friend or my parents. I just liked being close to Naomi and being able to get updates on her.
I remember one day in particular I got 2 missed calls from Plantation Hospital. My heart sank. I saw there was a voicemail but I didn't listen to it I just immediately called the hospital. My eyes filled up with tears, my heart pounding thinking I was going to get a horrible news of information. It just turned out then that I needed to bring in more milk for her. Whew. I thought.
Well being in the NICU as any NICU parent would know, it is a ROLLERCOASTER. Probably could find another word to describe it though.Naomi was doing quite well for the NICU stay. Everyone at the hospital would always ask me how she is and ask for updates on her. I walked around the hospital like such a proud mama.
One day she developed something on her arm. I remember seeing it swollen and all red. They were doing testing on it and had developed into staph auresis infection. I remember having to wait for some change of things but I couldn’t find out until the change of staff happened. My stomach was in knots the whole time. I remember going up there and noticing something different. A different machine was next to her and hooked up to her as well. They told me that she was put on a jet ventilator because the infection was taking over her body and so basically this machine was breathing for her at a much faster speed and more breaths.
I always stayed 10 – 12 hours a day with her and would go home and come back the next morning. Well the night of May 31st I decided to stay, knowing she was very sick, yet was sick these last few days. I went up around 1am and rang the door bell to say goodnight to her. For some reason it took them awhile to answer the door so I decided oh I will just see her in the morning. I went up to the 3rd floor (NICU on 2nd) and made my way up to the chapel where there is a family room as well . I thought I can lay down and sleep a bit here.
I woke up to a phone call at 3:46 am. I will never forget the time. I looked on my phone and it read “Plantation General” which was the hospital. They asked me where I was and had said they thought they saw me at the door. I said, I am here in the hospital. I don’t remember exactly what more was said but I knew. That’s when I grabbed my purse & RAN to the elevator and was pacing back and forth saying please please don’t be it. Please let her be okay.
I started banging on the NICU door for them to let me in. I was lead into the NICU to where she was. A scene from a horror movie. There was 5 nurses around her, a respiratory therapist and the nicu doctor. They basically told me that she wasn’t going to make it. They said the infection spread everywhere and the doctor was on the phone with the National Poison Control and to see what could be done to give to her because the previous antibiotics were just not working on her. They told me to call someone to be with me at that moment. So I called my mom at 4 in the morning telling her Naomi was not going to make it.
My mom must have made it there in 10 minutes. She said she sped over there. So I got a glimpse of her and she was just very swollen did not look like my Naomi that I grew to know and love with all my heart. She was a very very sick little girl. They let me touch her. I thought how come I am not washing my hands before I touch her? Like I always used to do? They then had my mom and I sit back a bit on this chair while they brought in xray techs to keep looking at her lungs. They did an emergency surgery right than and there. Things were so chaotic. I just was in disbelief this was all happening around me. That was then what seemed like forever one of the nurses came over to bring my mom and I over to her incubator. I stood there watching, as the respiratory therapist was bagging her. With the blue thing, just squeezing it, giving my sweet baby girl breaths. Her face was just somber. I remember this chinese man with her too and helping. I remember watching the monitor with the numbers dwingling down. Then they started counting time. 5:17, another minute. 5:18. Another minute. I said to my mom why are they counting? 5:19.another minute. 5:20am. 5:20 am. That was then I saw the question mark on the screen. They all looked at each other and the doctor started walking over towards me.
She told me “I am so sorry Jill.” She told me she had never worked on a baby for so long. She had hopes. That was when I collapsed into my mothers arms. I just started screaming & crying. I don’t remember too much after that. I remember them taking the stuff out of her and getting her cleaned up. Asked if I wanted to hold her. I said I did not want to. But I am thankful that one of the nurses spoke to me and told me otherwise that I need to. They made it a private area and I held her, and my mom did. Then we went “the” room and that was then where I held her & my ex had. I couldn’t hold her for too long but I wish I did. I didn’t want to say goodbye. She was then taken away. My baby. My beautiful Naomi Hope, that made me a mother, such a proud mother was gone.
They gave me one of those “boxes” with memorial stuff in there, signed things from the nurses & doctor, pieces of her hair that she just started growing on her adorable fuzzball head. Gave me her little yellow hat that she always wore and that I had loved. And a few other things. I was left to take home with me. I remember calling my family and my best friend & neighbor who I always rode to work with to see Naomi. My family all came & gathered in the café while things were being done & then it was time to go. I remember it raining that day. Waiting outside with my best friend and another wonderful guy I had met there that helped me through a lot. I started to run out in the rain towards the street and just dropped to the ground crying.
I lost my sweet Naomi Hope, 35 days of life, after being born 12 weeks early to severe preeclampsia. Not a day that goes by that I do not think about you or miss you. You are close to my heart every day and I still cannot believe you are gone after 18 months. I love you Naomi Hope, always & forever. I am your proud mommy.
Jill blogs at http://areasontolivenaomihope.
You can contact her at Shorty13ynature@aol.com