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Post On Thursday, November 17, 2016 By Jennifer
In November 2015 I found out that I was pregnant for the first time in my life (at the age of 43) almost immediately. I am an RN in the emergency department...one night while at work I took a pregnancy test, not expecting it to be positive since I was only a day late. To my surprise it was positive...I actually thought that I was seeing things. I was working the night shift at the time, so when I came home in the morning and told my husband he was shocked as well, happy but shocked. We tried to not get too excited about it because we thought that my at my age I would miscarry, but as the days went by and our chances of miscarriage decreased we couldn't help ourselves from getting excited. I had my first OB visit right after Christmas; I was overwhelmed, amazed, excited, scared and elated, I really felt like this baby was a miracle. At 10 weeks I had bloodwork done and we found out that we were having a boy, all the bloodwork was normal and felt-again-that this baby was our little miracle. We waited until the end of January to tell people, and by February most people knew-everyone was really excited for us. I continued working and life went on as normal...I kept my appointments with my OB doctor and things were progressing along. At one of my ultrasound appointments, the doctor was concerned that the baby was measuring "too small"...but since I am not even 5 feet we didn't think much about it. My next ultrasound I was told the same thing, I had to speak with a genetics counselor and eventually had to have an amniocentisis. Thankfully the results of the amniocentisis did not show any signs of genetic abnormalities, but the doctors were still concerned about the baby's slow development. It was suggested that I go for a fetal echo, which appeared to show signs of an irregular pattern of bloodflow from the umbilical cord to the baby; the cardiologist told me that if the baby did not receive enough bloodflow and nutrients his growth could be delayed (Intrauterine Growth Resctriction). My husband and I decided that we were going to continue with the pregnancy no matter what. I was given steroids (to help with the baby's lung development) and told to return the following day for another steroid. On April 17th I was 24 weeks to the day-it was the day after the second steroid shot...I went to lunch with a friend...I felt so full after I ate, out of breath after walking a short distance and felt like I had a little indigestion. Later that night I called the OB at the hospital and explained my situation, he said that it was best that I go in for evaluation. On the 20 minute ride to the hospital the indigestion feeling turned to pain, when I literally ran to the L&D unit I threw up from the pain. My blood pressure was 196/115 and the pain was the worst I've ever experienced. I was hooked up to the fetal monitor, the baby's heartbeat was perfect. After receiving morphine for the pain I was taken for an ultrasound (the doctors were thinking maybe I had gallstones). When the resident working with the dr came to get me from the ultrsound I knew there was a problem. I was told that I was going to meet the doctor (and my husband) in L&D. The doctor explained to my husband and me that they were "very concerned" about my health and that I had HELLP syndrome. I am an emergency nurse, so I knew very little about preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome. I was told that I was going to have to deliver, a neonatologist came to speak with us about the baby's prognosis. We were told that boys have a smaller survival rate because they are not as strong as girls, and our son was already on the small side. Our son's survival rate was less than 1%, and if he did survive he would most likely have severe handicaps. People think that we had a choice, that the baby died, that I suffered a miscarriage-but none of that is true. I had NO choice but to deliver, the choice we were given was "do you want us to resuscitate him if he's not breathing?"...deciding that that decision was unfair to our son was the hardest decision we ever made. To hear a perfect heartbeat on the monitor was pretty much torture for us. I was induced early Monday morning, placed on a magnesium drip to prevent seizures (my liver enzymes were in the 1,000s, platelets under 50, and SBP consistenly in the 190's) and IV antibiotics because I was septic. As a nurse, when I heard and understood the medical jargon and it was about ME, it was really very scary-ignorance is bliss sometimes. Fortunately or unfortunately the magnesium had me pretty much out of it for most of Monday night and Tuesday. Despite all the praying and hoping for some kind of miracle I delivered our son, Shayne Granath Dumaresq, on April 19th 2016 at 11:19 pm. He weighed just 1 pound, he did not survive childbirth.
To say that we are devastated is an understatement. Every day is difficult, and maybe moreso for me because I work at the hospital where I gave birth-each day when I leave work I remember that feeling when we left without our son. When I see other couples bringing their babies home it's like a punch in the gut. I can't look at the pictures of my coworker's sons who were born just weeks within my own. I had horrible anxiety immediately after, as my due date approached. Each time I saw a pregnant girl I would wonder if she was having a boy, if she was due when I was, if I would have looked like she did. Now with the holidays approaching it's also difficult to see the babies holiday outfits, ornaments and toys. We were given gifts by so many people, we can't even touch them-we literally threw a blanket over them and they are in a pile in our basement. I can't look at them, but I also can't give them away. Every day is a struggle for us, but crawling up in a hole is not an option. We both have to muddle on, put on a happy face and move forward-but that becomes draining, too. I told my friends that I feel like I am two different people...one of me has the happy face, goes to work, and tries to find peace...but the real me is so sad and tortured on the inside. Every second of every day it is on my mind; it's truly a pain that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.
I often look at the pictures that we have of Shayne; sometimes it brings me comfort, sometimes anger, sometimes despair.
I decided to run a 1/2 in April of 2017 and raise money for preeclampsia in memory of Shayne. I don't want anyone else to suffer or feel the heartache that my husband and I do; we hope that raising money in memory of our son can make that a reality.
My husband hope and pray every day that we are blessed with another miracle who can inspire and bless us the way Shayne did.
I am writing this one week + one day after the birth of my son Hudson Henry. I had shown no signs... Read Moreowen