On May 13th, I went in for a growth scan. Basically, the sono tech measures pockets of amniotic fluid and takes measurements on the femur, stomach and head to assess how well the baby is growing. After the tech took the baby's stats, she determined that we was a little on the small side, weighting in around 2 pounds 14 ounces. This sent me on a trip down to the perinatologist for a doppler scan. The doppler scan measures the blood flow through the baby's organs, the placenta and the umbilical cord. Although the tech there measured him around 3 pounds, he was still small. He should have been measuring closer to 3 1/2 pounds. The reason for his growth restriction was that he wasn't receiving the nutrients he needed through the cord because it was restricted. The exact same problem I had with my first pregnancy. My OB and perinatologist decided I would have a scan to check the fluid and a Non-Stress Test every 3-4 days to monitor the baby's health. The test itself was stressful because I knew what they were looking for, I had been down this road before, almost exactly 5 years ago. They wanted to see if his heart rate went up or down during movement. Up is good, down is bad. I knew what a lowered heart rate meant and during each NST, I prayed I never heard a dip. Any day could be the day and it scared the shit out of me. I was only 31 weeks when they started to monitor me, I delivered my first son at 33 weeks and 1 day gestation. I was quickly approaching that mark.
I Lost My Dad
On May 16, 2014, I got a call from my mom just after I dropped my son off at school. Dad wasn't breathing and they were taking him to the hospital. She was watching my nephews and was waiting for my brother or sister-in-law to get there. I told her I would head over to the hospital and call her when I knew anything. My cousin had spent the night at my parents house the night before. He heard my father fall and when the dog started howling, he rushed up from downstairs and called 911. I gave the hospital as much information I could while I waited for someone to tell me what was going on. A nurse came out to talk to me and my cousin. I knew it wasn't good that she walked out with a wheelchair for me. She brought us into another room where she explained that they were still working on him and she prepared me for what I was going to see. I tried to stay calm, after all, I was 32 weeks pregnant and put on the "premature birth watch list". She wheeled me into the room where the doctors were trying all they could to bring my dad back. I held his hand and asked him not to leave us, I told him that we needed him. I told him I still needed my daddy. I asked him, I begged him to come back to us. He was our rock and we still needed him. But nothing I said worked. After 29 minutes, the doctor informed me that they did all they could do, but he had been deprived of oxygen too long. They had to stop. I wanted to be one of those people that throw themselves on the table and screamed, to shake sense into the nurses and doctors to keep going, to start CPR myself. But I knew I couldn't. I knew he would never want to live that way. I knew what he could be like if he had been brought back. I couldn't argue. I remember hearing the doctor officially call it. 9:29am on May 16, 2014, my dad died. My life would change, my heart broke. The days that followed were a complete blur. They were filled with arrangements, gathering photos, making videos, ultrasounds and NST. Praying that any pregnancy problems would hold themselves off until at least after Dad's funeral. The NST the morning of the wake was particularly, um, stressful. And of course doing my best to stay calm and rest according to doctor's orders.
I was going through the motions, but just couldn't believe it was happening. Did I really just lose my dad? My dad died. Words I thought wouldn't have to leave my lips for 20 or more years. He still had so much more to do, another grandchild to see, the rest of his life to spend with his wife, kids and their families. It wasn't supposed to be like this. I never truly considered life without him, I just assumed he would always be there. I still wait for him to call and ask for a hair cut. The pain of losing a parent, is pain I have never felt before. It felt like someone put and oozy to my chest and pulled the trigger. There was a hole. A big huge hole. Little things make me cry; a song on the radio, seeing his truck in the driveway, his funeral card hanging on my dresser mirror. He was an amazing man and we are all going to miss him immensely. But he will remain in my heart forever.
We Had a Baby!
On May 27, 2014, I went in for my ultrasound and NST. I should have known something was wrong, but I suppose I could have been in denial. The sono tech measured my fluid less that half of what it was a week prior. Not good news. The doctor said to repeat the ultrasound after my NST is complete. So, my mother-in-law and I headed down to the hospital. They hooked me up to the monitors like every other time. I still believed that everything was fine. Then I heard it. The heart rate dropped. In the blink of an eye, there were 3 nurses in my room. Now I started getting nervous. They hooked me up to IV fluids "just in case". My MIL called my husband and he was on his way. I laid there hoping this wasn't happening that day. It was Tuesday and Saturday was my son's big Star Wars 5th birthday party. After my OB called the perinatologist, they decided it was best that my OB delivered. It was happening, I was having a baby, 33 weeks and 3 days. Here we go again. I was nervous, I was scared. I was in shock.
My husband made it just in time. Thank goodness. I got prepped and wheeled into the OR as he was getting in his scrubs. Ugh, the epidural. I was much more calm going into this one. I guess cause I knew what to expect. I laid down in the table and watched the door waiting for my husband to walk through. I breathed a deep sigh of relief when I saw him. Although I could only see his eyes, I knew everything was going to be okay. He sat by my side and we talked. We talked normally like we were sitting having a cup; of coffee. Before I knew it, I heard my baby cry. And boy did he cry. It was the most amazing sound. They took him over to get vitals and clean him up. And still he cried. Then I saw him. That little itty bitty face sticking out from all the blankets he was swaddled in. I never thought I could love another baby as much as I love my first, but in that instant, my heart was bursting with love for both of my boys. My heart was full. My beautiful baby was here at just 3 pounds 5.9 ounces and 16 inches long.
May 27, 2014
My husband followed the baby while the doctors finished up and then I was wheeled to recovery. I laid there watching the clock. 1 hour in recovery and they would wheel me down to see my boy. They rolled me down in the bed to the Special Care Nursery. He was so tiny. So very tiny. My first was smaller by 2 ounces. But time will skew your memory. I got to hold him. He was so small, so fragile. I couldn't believe this was happening again. But, as with my first, he was healthy.
The last 9 days have been roller coaster. A busy roller coaster. Managing 2 kids in 2 different places, giving both attention, but knowing that Ryan needs his rest. I'd be there all day every day if I could. He needs to grow. He is doing well. As of last night he weighed in at 3 pounds 9.5 ounces. He is maintaining his temperature in the isolette and eating well. He's up to 32ml every 3 hours, which is just over an ounce. At 4 pounds they will transfer him to an open crib and see if he maintains his temperature for at least 48 hours. If he does, he will be on his way home!
June 5, 2014