One year ago today, I was lying in a hospital bed, scared like I'd never experienced before. Unfortunately it was a feeling that would stick with me for a very very long time.
I remember waking up that Thursday like any other day. I went with my class of School to Community kids to see "How to Train a Dragon." On the way back around lunch time I wasn't feeling well at all. I felt very sick to my stomach and just off. I ended up leaving work early and headed straight to bed. I wasn't home long before I started throwing up....and throwing up...and throwing up. Morning sickness had nothing on this. I was extremely ill. I could not stop being sick.
I called my midwife to ask about anything I should be aware of with concerns to the baby and she told me I could take Gravol and drink some Gatorade but not to worry.
I called Rob and asked him to bring me home some. So did not help! Rob wasn't home long before he was to leave for a meeting of some sort. I think it was soccer registration or something. And Abby was going to stay at my mom's for the night.
He was just about to leave before I said we needed to go to the hospital. I had started to bleed.
We called Jane (my midwife) back and she was going to meet us at the hospital. I was trying my best not to throw up on the way and trying not to completely freak out.
They give you these handouts about when to page your midwife or to go to the emergency room but you don't ever actually think that will be you!
We arrived and I was whisked to a room and put on a gown and you know, the majority of it is a blur. I know they put the travel ultrasound thing if you will (sorry doctors and nurses for making you cringe for the lingo) and there was still a heartbeat. I remember it being very dark but I didn't know any better.
We waited some more. Another doctor came in and took a look again. Then he sat back, looked at us and said that there was no fluid around my baby. My membranes had ruptured and it was what they referred to as pProm. Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes. I never had the big gush of my water breaking. It had been a slow leak. I was 21 weeks and a few days into my pregnancy. Still half of my pregnancy to go through. This could not be happening! We were told that more than likely I would deliver within a few days, perhaps a week which is when most pProm mom's deliver. If that were the case there was nothing they could do. If we got to 24 weeks, the baby would be considered "viable" and they could intervene if it were to be born. I could also receive steroid shots to help develop the lungs. (Around the 24th week is when babies are developing their lungs and if they are born and the lungs weren't ready yet they could come out, go to take a breath, and then not be able to because they had nothing to breathe with.) So that was the magic week to pray for. To please get to at least the 24th week so I could get the steroid shots.
They started me on antibiotics right away because the risk of infection is very high. If I developed an infection, the baby would have to be delivered.
I remember them giving us all of the statistics: chances of making it to 24 weeks of viability, risks if the baby did survive and the long term complications...cerebral palsy, developmental delays, lung issues, ROP, blindness, deafness...the list goes on and on. Not to mention too that once the baby was born they would take into consideration the quality of life and make medical decisions based on that.
We were told we could terminate the pregnancy and that would be totally understandable and acceptable.
Obviously for us that wasn't an option. The thing that bugged us is that they kept bringing it up. I felt like, okay, we get it...we understand....let's move on. We made our decision, please don't bring it up again.
On a side note, taken from the internet: Preterm PROM before 24 weeks has the worst odds for a good outcome. The odds of survival for the baby are much lower...When doctors can delay the birth until at least 23 or 24 weeks, the baby can survive in some cases but with high odds of long-term developmental problems due to the premature birth.
...Thank you to so many people that prayed for our family and for those of you that don't pray, thank you for your positive thoughts and well wishes. I am so eternally grateful to you. I believe in the power of positive thoughts and prayers so much. We are witnesses to a miracle.
I remember logging on to facebook and asking for prayers and the many people that responded is overwhelming. So amazing! It's a very personal thing to put out there, but I'm glad I did. I needed all the support I could get.
Thank you to Inverary Church for the prayer quilt and to Amy's mom's church too for a prayer quilt. I put them over my belly the entire time I was in the hospital and at night too when I was sent home. Thank you to Auntie Janet (Godmother) for the St. Gerard necklace and the oil. I wore that necklace long after Lochlan was born. And the oil was used twice a day too.
Thank you to my parents and Rob's parents for all their love and support and helping out with Abby.
Thank you sisters (mine and Rob's) and best friend!!! Don't know how I could have managed without you.
I could go through a very very very very long list of thank yous. But I know I would still feel like I didn't thank everyone. But I do need to thank one more person before moving on with this memory.
Thank you to Rob, my incredible husband. You were so strong throughout this process and even though you had so much going on at school and in the community, you managed to keep it altogether. I love you.
Okay...back to it...
I met Dr. Smith the day after this crazy journey began. What a wonderful doctor. He was amazing and so caring ...and I can't say enough good things about the man. I know he was trying to remain positive for me but I think he was surprised by how much I wasn't ready to give up hope.
I know his intern or resident or whatever the doctor was that was working with him perhaps learned something from our case. She was the one that Danielle (my best friend) overheard saying "oh I'm so sorry for her loss" in the hallway. Never say never and never give up hope!
Anyway, this is very long. But it's more for me to relive and remember how far I've come personally and how so very far Lochlan has come. So bear with me.
After I was sent home, I was considered an outpatient. I had to go to the hospital about 3 times a week to get monitored and get blood taken. I wasn't able to go back to work and it was very sad for me. I was really enjoying my job. I was working with the School to Community kids at Bayridge Secondary School. Those kids are amazing. I really really loved my job. I was very disappointed that I couldn't even say goodbye to them.
While at home, I found a group on facebook for pProm mom's and found great support. When you google pProm, you wish you hadn't. It was nice to have a group of ladies that understood. I was very fortunate to strike up a friendship with one mom in particular, Wendy and have been able to follow along on her journey. Our sons were born only a few weeks apart - different gestational weeks but very similar experiences. Amazing woman she is and an amazing lil miracle she has with Timmy. It was then that I decided to start this blog, a way to get out my thoughts and a place friends and family could come to find out how I and the baby were doing.
Dr. Smith told me I didn't have to stay on bed rest. That there was no proof that staying in bed would help or hinder things and to carry on as normally as possible. Well, that's difficult to do when I did feel pretty normal but then I'd just get this gush of fluid and be reminded over and over again on a daily basis that everything wasn't normal. Needless to say, I tried to sit down or lay down as much as possible. Very hard when I was chasing after a not quite 2 year old. I couldn't even pick her up and that was extremely hard both for her and for me.
Okay, well...I will save the rest of the story/memories for when Lochlan's actual birthday comes. At least we all know the outcome is positive!
Thank you if you did read to the end. I know it's pretty long winded. But as I mentioned earlier it's mainly for me and Lochlan.
Lochlan, if you are reading this years down the road, I never gave up hope. I always knew in my heart that everything would be okay. Was I completely and utterly scared? Absolutely! Did I believe? You bet!
Thank you for fighting this fight. You are an inspiration. You are a true warrior.
I love you.