Posted On Tuesday, August 02, 2011 by Elizabeth
I remember how excited we were when we first found out I was pregnant. It was November 8, 2010. I had taken a pregnancy test by myself because I wanted to surprise my husband with the news. After taking the test I was ecstatic and went to the store where I found a bib that said â€œDaddyâ€™s hugs are the best.â€ My husband gives the best hugs so I thought this was perfect. I wrapped the bib and went home. My husband was already home and I could hardly contain myself so I immediately said I had a surprise for him. He unwrapped the gift and looked at the bib with a bit of a confused look. It took a little time to register and I shouted out that I was pregnant and he is going to be a dad. Tears of joy just started flowing and we immediately thanked God for the blessing. In that beautiful moment we had no idea what lay ahead of us.
We wanted to announce the pregnancy to our family and decided Thanksgiving would be the perfect time. The family gathered at our place and we could hardly hold our secret in. My husband poured champagne for everyone (and sparkling water for me) as he gave a toast of thanksgiving and announced the news of our growing family, due in July. The family shouted and jumped up and down with excitement. We had so much to be thankful for.
We made our first doctor's appointment and started figuring out what we needed to do to get ready for our sweet babyâ€™s arrival in July. I began to feel all of the normal pregnancy symptoms: If I ate too much, I was nauseous, if I didnâ€™t eat enough I was nauseous. I was nauseous in the morning and at night so I kept saltines by my bed. Now I really felt like a pregnant woman, as I munched on saltines in bed. My husband said it was okay as long as I didnâ€™t bring a chicken leg to bed. I felt fatigued constantly and resolved to taking daily naps after work. As we made it through the first trimester, I started to feel better and we began letting more and more people know I was pregnant.
My husband and I decided Â not to find out the gender of our baby because we wanted that big surprise on delivery day. It was fun listening to people guess what they thought we were going to have based on the ring test, how I was carrying, the heart rate, and all the other fun wives tales.
We studied up on our respective mommy and daddy books and enjoyed sharing what we learned. We could talk for hours about glass baby bottles vs plastic baby bottles, cloth vs disposable, and jogger vs pram. We bought a family car, finished up projects around the house and cleared out the office that was now going to be the nursery. We were constantly thinking about what our baby was going to look like, sound like and discussing our hopes and dreams for our family.
After the nausea and fatigue of the first trimester, the pregnancy was going well. I was slowly starting to show but was looking forward to an obvious baby bump coming. My mom and sister joined us for our ultrasound at 17 weeks on February 2, 2011. Our little baby was doing somersaults in there and I was thinking about how I would soon be feeling all those kicks. Our baby looked absolutely perfect. It was so fun to see the babyâ€™s little hands and feet. We loved being able to see a glimpse of our baby. The doctor asked us to come back in three weeks for another ultrasound to get some better measurements.
One day, my mom, sister, and grandma were in town to do some baby shopping. We bought the crib, dresser, mattress, high chair and fabric for my sister to make the bedding. It was an absolute perfect day.
Whenever I look back, wishing I could turn back time, this is the day I go back to.
The next day we went in for our ultrasound and our world was turned upside down. My husband was in his busy season at work so I told him he didnâ€™t need to come to our appointment. We had just had an ultrasound and everything was fine. His brother and wife came with me to the appointment to see their little niece or nephew. I remember being happy to see my baby but started questioning when I noticed the estimated due date was coming up as July 21. My due date was July 10, nearly 2 weeks off, so I thought that was odd. We would shortly find out that at 20 weeks, a mass had developed on the placenta and the baby hadnâ€™t grown since the last ultrasound. I was devastated and in tears from the news that something was wrong with our baby. The doctor couldnâ€™t tell me much and wanted me to go to a high risk pregnancy group for another ultrasound.
The next few days were miserable. I was very worried and didnâ€™t know what was going to happen. We were praying that our baby would make a turn and start growing and get healthy. It was in those few days that I first felt and knew it was our baby kicking me. It was as if the baby was saying, â€œMommy, I am still here and doing well.â€ I was resolved to be positive and hope for the best. Finally, the day came for our next ultrasound at 21 weeks. The doctor at the high risk pregnancy group told us the mass was probably just a blood clot but we wouldnâ€™t know for sure until I delivered and the placenta was sent to the lab. A wave of relief went over us. Everything checked out great and we were on our way to a healthy baby, with a slightly different due â€“ July 14, 2011, just a few days later than originally estimated.
Despite our clear bill of health, there were doctors calling daily with tests they wanted me to have done. I had more blood work taken, went to the dermatologist to have moles removed to see if the mass was melanoma and was advised to get a second opinion. All the tests kept coming back negative and we grew tired of all the doctors looking for more problems. We were resolved that our baby was healthy.
A few days later I noticed my feet and ankles were starting to swell. I didnâ€™t think much of it because I assumed it was a common symptom of pregnancy. By the end of the week, my feet, ankles and calves were HUGE! My OBGyn had called with more test results and I told her I was experiencing a lot of swelling. She asked me a few questions about if there was any pain or redness and both answers were no. My OBGyn didnâ€™t seem worried so that put my mind at ease. I had had a busy week and thought I was just overly tired and needed to rest more. By the end of the weekend I woke up and my face was so swollen I was barely recognizable. I also had abnormally high blood pressure. I was alarmed but decided to wait until the next day, as I had an appointment scheduled. I was sure to drink lots of water and take it easy.
The next day, March 14, 2011, we went in for another ultrasound at 23 weeks. The doctor reiterated that everything was looking good but wanted to keep a close eye on the mass and would continue to monitor me through my pregnancy. We had a clean bill of health and were ready to leave. At the end of the appointment I mentioned I had been experiencing some swelling, my blood pressure was high and I wasnâ€™t feeling well. The doctor pressed on my swollen legs, which indented like memory foam, and we stared intently at her puzzled look as she diagnosed my condition. She immediately became concerned and had the nurses take my blood pressure. It was up to 159/111 and my kidneys were leaking protein in my urine. The baby was not healthy, and in fact, my health had rapidly deteriorated.
The doctor sat my husband and me down and that is when everything became a blur. It all happened so fast. I know she was addressing me, and I occasionally acknowledged her, however I was not all there. I was diagnosed with severe pre-eclampsia and had to be admitted in the hospital immediately. I would be on bed rest in the hospital for the rest of my pregnancy. I had no idea how serious pre-eclampsia was or how close to death I had become. The doctor said I could have a stroke, seizure, and could possibly die. My health had rapidly declined in a matter of a week.
She had called my OBGyn and received all of my untrasounds and pieced together where the baby was on the growth curve. She determined that the baby was about 1 month behind and had not shown signs of growth in weeks. The mass on the placenta was taking nutrients away from our baby, restricting itâ€™s growth, thereby triggering my pre-eclampsia. The only cure was delivery.
My husband and I went straight to the hospital and called our family on the way. At the hospital I was immediately hooked up to an IV of magnesium to lower my blood pressure, which had shot up to 170/110. While my husband was filling out paperwork, one of the NICCU doctors unfolded a piece of paper showing the odds of my babyâ€™s survival â€“barely big enough to register. As if that news wasnâ€™t painful enough, she went on to address the baby as a boy: â€œSee look â€“ he has an 11% chance of surviving. Boys have lower rates of survival than girls.â€ The moment we had waited to share as our baby was born was rudely taken from us. Fortunately, that doctor didnâ€™t visit our room again.
On the morning of March 15, 2011, we chose to induce labor; knowing Cooper most likely would not survive the delivery. It was the hardest decision we have ever had to make. As I gave birth to my Cooper, all I could think about was the painful silence: my baby did not cry out to me. This is not how it's supposed to be.
Cooper Landon was born at midnight on March 16, 2011 and he didnâ€™t survive. The nurse immediately handed Cooper to me to hold. Cooper was a beautiful baby boy. He was so precious and little, 11 oz. and 11 inches long. We held Cooper close for a long time and told him we loved him. Our family was able to meet and hold Cooper as well. My grandma gave Cooper a green and white blanket she knitted. The hospital also wrapped him in a yellow blanket with a blue trim and beanie. They made a memory box for us with pictures of Cooper, his handprints and footprints. Sadly, we left the hospital the next day without our baby boy and just a memory box.
It took some time for me to heal physically and for my blood pressure to stabilize. We planted a tree in the garden where we were married in honor of Cooper. There we spread his ashes. We also have participated in the Field of Cradles exhibit.
Today, we are still grieving the loss of Cooper. Cooper has changed our lives forever and he will never be forgotten. He will always be our first born and live in our hearts.
I feel your pain
Posted On Tuesday, August 09, 2011 by Keona
Reading your story reminds me so much of my own experience. I too went through the exact same thing and lost my baby boy in January 2011Â at 28 weeks. I just wanted to reach out and let you know that I'm so sorry that you and your family went through this horrible ordeal. Nothing but time and God can help to heal the pain, and I hope and pray that you continue to heal and get better with each and every day.
Posted On Wednesday, September 21, 2011 by kaye
i want to know if whats the best lunch for a preeclampsia mom... i need to present a food but i dont know what to prepare too... can u tell me? thanks