Saturday, April 2, 2011

Almost Time!

In just 4 days, I will have my baby girls in my arms, Lord willing.  They're measuring over 6lbs each by ultrasound, and I've been showing signs of labor, so the doctor went ahead and scheduled me in for Wednesday, April 6th for my repeat c-section.  I'm excited. I'm scared.  I'm ready.  I'm not ready.  Oh, the thoughts whirling around in my head!!

I can't share my excitement about my upcoming birth, without telling the agony and sadness of my last birth. 

My pregnancy with Landon was almost as textbook perfect as it was with Aidan.  Almost.  I had some bleeding between 9-10 weeks, that showed up as being a bleed behind the placenta on ultrasound. I was scared out of my mind.  I was told it would either resolve itself or I'd miscarry.  There was a perfect little heartbeat.  He already LOOKED like a baby on that screen.  I surely didn't want to miscarry.  I prayed day and night to continue the pregnancy.  I WANTED this baby.  Yes, my first baby was still awfully young, but I was so excited to have them so close in age.  I had a follow-up ultrasound at around 15 weeks, and everything looked perfect, and I was having another little boy!!!  Nothing could have knocked the smile off of my face as I left the office that day.  Just like with Aidan, we had him named before we even got home.  Landon James Fletcher.  My little Landon.  What would he look like? Would he be as sweet as his brother?  Would he be as attatched to Mommy as Aidan was (and still is)?  Would he look like Larry and Aidan, or was I going to have a baby that looked like me?  We threw ourselves into getting ready to be parents to two little boys.  I was due July 1.  By the end of February, we were ready to have a baby.  The second nursery was complete, all the way from brand new furniture to millions of clothes, washed, folded, hung up and put away. We stocked up on pampers swaddlers.  Cases and cases of tiny diapers.  All I had left to do was wait.

At my 20 week anatomy scan, Landon was still very much a boy, and it was discovered that I had an extremely low-lying placenta.  It was within a millimeter of being diagnosed as previa.  I was scheduled for one final scan at 34 weeks, to determine if it had moved up, or if I'd need a c-section.  At that scan, everything was absolutely perfect.  Placental placement was beautiful, baby measured over 5lbs, blood flow in and out of baby was spot-on.  Cant' ask for anything more!!!

I was, by this time, in the window of weekly ob visits.  Every week, everything was right on track.  I wasn't gaining any weight, but I have a lot of extra anyway.  My belly and uterus were growing right on target.  At my 38 week appointment, on a Wednesday in June, we scheduled an induction for the next Friday, as I'd be 39 weeks exactly.  Saturday, June 20th, I cooked supper for my brother and sil, they both have June birthdays.  We had tacos and home made salsa.  I didn't feel Landon moving, but I had been very busy all day, cleaning and cooking.  My mom gave Aidan a bath for me that night, and when I sat in  my recliner, I felt him give a big kick. 

To the best of my memory, that was the last time I ever felt him.  Sunday, the 21, my brother's actual birthday,  I was worried, but remembered the previous day, and how at night I finally felt him.  So, I put it off.  Monday morning I was FREAKED.  Everyone was telling me,"Babies slow way down right before they're born".   I finally called the doctor and was sent straight to Labor and Delivery.  Landon had a heartbeat, but it was half what it should have been. 

I was rushed into emergency surgery. I woke up screaming and begging for my baby, and no one would tell me anything.  Nothing at all. 

Finally some neonatologist came and told me my baby was brain dead.  There was really nothing that could be done, but there was one new treatment that had been shown to help.  He'd still be severely retarded.  He recommended I let him die naturally.  Heck no.  I wanted to give my littlest son every chance. 

He only weighed 6lbs, should have been over 8 judging by that last ultrasound.  Something bad had gone wrong at the end of my pregnancy, something invisible, that we didnt' detect. 

Landon lived on life support for 14 days.  The doctors and nurses finally convinced me that he was going to die anyway, and I was only prolonging his suffering by keeping him on the machines.  He was so pretty, he looked so perfect.  I finally gave my consent to let him go to Jesus. 

My baby was born at 1:53 p.m. on June 22.  He went to heaven at11:52 on July 6th.  I had him for 14 days and ten hours.   I held him a lot of that time.  I was holding him when he grew wings.  He still lives in my heart.

We buried him on top of my beloved grandfather. 

There were a ton of people at the funeral.  Everyone came to show us love and support. 

The day after he died, I had to go to my OB office to pick up some medicine samples.  My doctor was there.  I hadn't seen him at all since everything happened,  he wasn't on call when Landon was born.  He sat me down, told me how sorry he was, he had been over and over my chart, and there were no warning signs.  I knew that.  I have never blamed him. 

He said that pathology on my placenta showed a lot of dead tissue (infarctions) that led to decreased blood flow to the baby.  He wasn't getting enough oxygen to keep his organs healthy, wasn't getting enough nutrients to grow.  Doc said that by comparing his birth weight to the estimated weight from that last ultrasound, things had been going bad for about 2 weeks.

They didn't expect for that to be an issue in any future pregnancies, but I needed to wait 6 months to try again, because of the c-section. 

I miss my littlest son.  I can't tell you how perfectly beautiful he was.  He did look like me.  He opened his eyes.  He moved his arms and legs.  But, none of it was voluntary or controlled.  Just spasms. 

I wish that no one ever had to know how it feels to watch their child die.   There's nothing worse in all the world. 

So, as I sit here with 4 days left in my last pregnancy ever, my mind keeps going back to that time.  I just pray for a happier outcome.

I have to say, though. I'm feeling some guilt towards Landon.  My body has managed to get TWO babies to over 6 lbs in 36 weeks... and he had almost 3 weeks longer and only got to 6 on his own.  I love him so much, and always will,  and I'm having a hard time accepting how much I love these little girls.  It just seems unfair to him.  But, I know he's up there, looking down on us, and cheering me on, wanting me to give these girls enough love for him too.

And on one last note, it hasn't escaped my attention that if he had lived, in four days I would be the mommy to four kids under 3 years old.