Written By: Brandi, Guest Blogger
In November 2010, we found out we were pregnant after trying for one month. I had the fairy tale pregnancy… no morning sickness, very little swelling, never miserable, etc. We found out in February that we were having a little boy, whom we named Noah.
I had an appointment on July 15th, 2011 (his due date) and was finally scheduled to be induced the following Friday (July 22nd). But on the morning of Wednesday, July 20th I started having some terrible back pain. I thought I was starting labor with the amount of pain I was in. I wasn’t really having any steady or timeable contractions but I was definitely having a few. Around 9am, I decided to leave work. I called my husband but he was in the middle of something at work and it wasn’t an emergency yet. So then I called my mom to come get me. I wasn’t even going to attempt to drive at this point. So I went to my mom’s house around 10am and the pain just kept getting worse. I knew that day was going to be it! I was excited yet very scared as it was my first pregnancy. So I called into the doctor’s office to tell them what was going on. They told me to walk around for 30 minutes and call back if the contractions didn’t go away.
Well, like I said, I wasn’t having very many contractions and they weren’t time-able but I was in tears with pain from my lower back. Then my water broke so I called them back again and told them. (By this time, my husband was able to meet me at my mom’s). So we headed to the doctor’s office… I was 4cm dilated… definitely in labor at that point. So by about 11:30am I was in labor and delivery. They started hooking me up to monitor the baby and get me ready for a C-section. Then the worst words that will ring forever in my mind were spoken by the doctor…
“There’s no heartbeat.”
I started crying. About 5 minutes later I was being put under due to all the stress in my body. The doctor knew my life was in jeopardy as well.
Noah Christopher was born sleeping at 1:45pm on Wednesday, July 20, 2011 weighing 7lbs 3oz and was 20.5 inches long. From there I don’t remember much about the next couple days of being in ICU. I do remember that when I finally came around, my first words to my husband were…
“He didn’t make it did he?”
He just shook his head. I also remember being weighed and weighing 50 lbs MORE than my original weight… I only gained 23 lbs while I was pregnant! I also remember that about 2am they came and asked me if I wanted to hold Noah. I did but don’t remember a whole lot of it. We also had him baptized on Thursday, July 21st.
I suffered a lot during the 8 days in the hospital. I was given 9 bags of blood and just as many platelets. My body did not handle the loss well at all. They were very close to flying me out to a hospital that could save my life. Thankfully, that wasn’t needed and I could be in the hospital with my son.
Then on Wednesday, July 28th we were scheduled to have our “special” dinner and then I was finally leaving the hospital. About 2 hours before I was to leave, my C-section incision reopened due to a blood clot (blood clots were part of the reason for the loss of Noah). So I ended up having to get that taken care of before dinner and then was rescheduled to leave the hospital the next morning.
On Thursday morning we headed to the Wound Center to try this new vacuum that was supposed to close my incision really quickly. It was such a pain to get put on but it was so much less painful and easier on me.
On Saturday, July 30th we had Noah’s funeral… the hardest day of my life by far.
Never in my life did I think the first thing I would do as a parent was bury my child.
August 2011 – I spent a couple weeks staying with my mom because I was unable to move or do anything for myself… and when I say anything, I mean EVERYTHING! Like showering or going to the bathroom or just simply sitting on a chair. I couldn’t do anything without help. I also got my wound vac off and my incision was healed in about 5 weeks! The old way of closing an incision usually took 3-4 months! We were amazed and I was finally getting to where I could do things for myself again.
September 2011 – On September 15th I finally went back to work after 7 weeks off. It was such a hard thing to do but I was more than ready. I was tired of being home by myself all day. I had a few appointments with the doctor that delivered Noah. She told me more details about my delivery day. It’s so scary to think that something like that could happen in such a happy and exciting situation. She said that it took them hours (which is NOT normal) to get me to come to after surgery. I just wouldn’t wake back up. Then while she was stitching me back up, she said that all my “numbers” dropped so she had to quickly get me closed up the best she could or I wasn’t going to make it. I was losing major blood quickly. Very scary to think about!
October 2011 – We went to Hershey Medical Center to see a specialist. We wanted to get a second opinion on everything that happened. It was the BEST thing we’ve ever done! The doctor that delivered Noah told me that I had HELLPS (hemolytic anemia, elevated liver enzymes and low platelet count) basically is a very serious and undetected form of pre-eclampsia. Come to find out from my sister-in-law that it’s about a 0.2%-0.6% chance of this happening! Well, after learning more about it since I thought that’s what I had for the last 3 months, there’s a 25% chance of this happening in all other pregnancies I would have. VERY scary! They would also be taking all other babies at about 36 weeks to try to avoid this.
After seeing the specialist, we were relieved to find out that it was a placenta abruption due to a common infection in most pregnant women plus a blood clot that pushed the placenta away from Noah. He said that a lot of pregnant women get an infection due to being “open” (dilated) for so long. It is very common and typically is not harmful and goes away after the baby is born. He came to that conclusion based on a few things. First off, there are 2 symptoms of HELLPS – High blood pressure and protein in urine – I had neither of these at all. Plus, the signs for pre-eclampsia which I didn’t have either. He also said that Noah was a good size baby especially for someone my size (I am 4’8). He said typically the baby won’t grow normally the last month or 2 of the pregnancy. So the odds of what happened was 1% chance…still a VERY slim chance. He said that it’s very unlikely that it will happen again because my chances of this happening do NOT go up and the next pregnancy would be a fresh start. VERY reassuring to us!
We got the okay to start trying again in December 2011 if we felt we were ready. In May 2013, (yes, a year and a half later!) we still hadn’t become pregnant again. We decided to see someone at this point (remember, last time i got pregnant in 1 month!). We were beyond ready and felt this was our missing piece to the puzzle of completing our family. So in June we decided to try fertility medications. I was on those for 4 months with no results. In October, they wanted to start talking about the next step. We decided to quit all medications and interventions, get through the holidays and revisit this in the new year. I wasn’t convinced that I wanted to move onto the next step. If God wanted us to have another child, we would without the help of medications (just my feelings).
Then on November 8, 2013 we found out we were pregnant (later named Carson). To add a little history to our boys’ due dates; I found out on November 7, 2010 that I was pregnant with Noah. I found out on November 8, 2013 that I was pregnant with Carson. Noah’s due date was July 15 and Carson’s was July 16. God certainly has a funny sense of timing!
This was the scariest and the most emotional pregnancy one could ever endure. It was very hard to get excited and enjoy my pregnancy since we would never get past the point of our first loss with the 2nd one. The guilt, the emotions, the nerves, everything was so different the 2nd time around. Also throw in the fact that my due dates were one day apart. The only positive thing I felt was going right is that we knew they would take Carson early so there was no chance of them sharing a birthday.
On July 9, 2014 we gave birth to our Rainbow, Carson Reid. He was a scheduled C-section one week early due to my history with Noah. Eleven days later, we took Carson to visit his older brother for the first time. On July 20, we celebrated Noah’s 3rd birthday with our little rainbow.
Brandi is 32 years old, married to Craig since June 2007. They had their first son, Noah Christopher on July 20, 2011, he was born sleeping. On July 9, 2014 they were blessed with their Rainbow, Carson Reid.
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