About Me Series: Pregnancy complications

Every time I get a positive on a pregnancy test it is one of the happiest moments of my life!  I can’t contain my excitement every time I see that little “plus” sign!!!  I am literally busting at the seams with joy.  I understand everyone has different feelings when they find out they are pregnant, but for me, it is a very happy thing.

Edited to add: This post goes over what happened during my pregnancy, I will write in another post about my feelings.

I became pregnant with my first child a few weeks shy of my 21st birthday.  When I took the test it was such a surreal feeling because I had never been pregnant before.  I was so excited for this new journey for us! I’m sure some can relate to this, but it still wasn’t “real” until I had my first sonogram and saw the little “gummy bear” on the screen.  I can’t say it enough how excited we were to be pregnant, I think it is such a wonderful thing, such a blessing!!

When I was about 16 weeks along in my pregnancy something happened.  I remember it so clearly.  It was a Sunday night at church and I felt, what I can only explain as, a leak.  I knew I wasn’t urinating on myself, but I still wasn’t sure what was going on.  It wasn’t a lot at a time, but enough to make my underwear wet.  I went home that night in hopes that it would stop.  I even went to work the next morning (I was a waitress at the time), just waiting to see what was going to happen.  The leakage continued so I decided to go to the hospital.  My husband was not able to go with me, and he was worried the whole time, poor thing.  The hospital confirmed that I was leaking amniotic fluid.  Or as everyone says, “my water broke”.  They set me up an appointment for the next day to see my OB/GYN to get a sonogram. 

The sonogram confirmed that I was low on fluid.  My heart sank.  My first pregnancy, and I could lose my baby.  No mother ever wants to hear this.  The doctor suggested that we have an abortion, but we declined.  I didn’t want to purposefully get rid of my baby if there was a chance that he would survive.  We left the situation in the hands of Jesus.  The fluid around the baby protects the baby physically and from infections, helps the baby move around and gain strength, it also helps with lung development.  Without this fluid my baby was squished, and his lungs probably wouldn’t develop correctly.

I was put on bed rest indefinitely and had doctor visits once a week.  The time came for the morphology ultrasound, (the one where they check all the body parts and you find out the sex).  From what they could see (lack of fluid makes it hard to see), everything looked well, but we could not see the sex of our little baby.  Even though we couldn’t name our baby yet, we still loved our baby so much.  I could feel him move a little in my cramped womb.

I had Braxton Hick’s contractions from time to time.  They were VERY uncomfortable and hurt a little. A few days before I turned 24 weeks gestation, I was admitted into the hospital so we could be monitored more closely.  In the case of early delivery 24 weeks (for most places) is when a baby is developed enough to live with support.  I was admitted on a Wednesday afternoon. That Friday at 12am I started having contractions.  (Being a first time mom I didn’t know that’s what they were, I just knew I was in pain).  Labor is PAINFUL!

The most comfortable place I could find was sitting on the toilet and rocking side to side.  We figured out I was in labor when I felt some pressure down below, the baby’s head was almost out!  My nurse helped me onto my bed and a doctor and a team of nurses rushed into my room, I’ve never seen something happen so fast!  When my baby was born I think he literally slid out because he was so small.  Only weighing 1 pound 3oz, my little baby boy was born at 5:17am!  Oh the joy I felt because I could now see him!

I wasn’t able to see him for long because they had to warm him up, check him over and take him to the NICU.  Once I was cleaned up and my husband had arrived at the hospital we went to see our precious baby.  He was so small, skin still transparent.  His palm was the size of my finger print.  I’ve never seen anything so fragile before.  We named our baby boy Nathan Christopher.  We picked the name Nathan, but Christopher came from the little boy that my mother-in-law had miscarried before she had my husband. 

My husband holding Nathan after he had passed.

After we visited for awhile we went back to my room so I could get some rest.  Later that afternoon we got a call to my room that things weren’t going so well with Nathan and that we should come see him.  His breathing was starting to become labored, and toxins were building up in his blood.  Life was too much for our little prince.  My husband and I got to hold him while he took his final breaths at 3:17pm, he lived 10 hours exactly.  We had already told the world about the birth of our baby, now we had to tell of his death too.

We had family on their way to come visit our new son, but instead their visit turned into us mourning his death.  This is not something that anyone should have to go through.  After we said our goodbyes to Nathan and our family, my husband and I went back to my room to wait until morning to be discharged.  When we left the hospital I felt so empty.  I came into the hospital with a full womb, but left with empty arms and a hole in my heart.

Both of us holding Nathan before he passed.

 

My husband and I were distraught. We knew there was a possibility of our son not living so we were slightly prepared, but nothing really prepares you for the emptiness you now feel inside you.  The thoughts I had were “now what?” I was pregnant one day, with a little tiny human growing inside of me, and the next I was leaving the hospital empty without my child that I loved.  Yes, we questioned God, Why did this happen? But we never questioned WHO He is. We knew He had a plan for what was to come. And we knew only He could heal the brokenness we now felt. 

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