"Some people only dream of angels; we held one in our arms."

Below you will find Austin's story in multiple parts in order to tell the full story of my pregnancy, his birth, funeral and the months following.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Austin's Story: The Beginning

I found out I was pregnant around 5 weeks. It was a complete surprise. I remember coming home one day from work just not feeling right. I kept telling myself I needed to keep track of my cycle; however, I never seemed to remember the exact day. Needless to say, I remember being in the basement and the girls were playing with their toys. I announced to my husband that I thought he should get a test… his shocked expression said it all. He complied and twenty minutes later was back with a First Response test. Nervously, I peed on the stick, and within what felt like seconds, two pink lines appeared. I couldn’t believe it…. We weren’t planning on having another one this soon. I immediately started crying; how could this happen?? (Well, I know how it happened, but I just didn’t think it was possible.) I had to get out of the basement and away from everyone… I took the keys and went out for a drive. I remember getting gas and just thinking about how our life was going to change again. Selfishly, I thought about how back in shape I was, and how I had finally been satisfied with the way I looked, and I was in such a good workout routine. Silly, I know, but when you work out every day, you know how hard it is to maintain. I made a vow that I would continue to workout, and that this would be my healthiest pregnancy yet. I could continue to lift weights and use the elliptical, after all most pregnant women are able to continue working out.

Once the initial shock wore off, as with the girls, I was extremely excited… we would have a full car now. Aaron even measured the Honda to make sure three car seats would fit across the back seat. (Figures that is the first thing he thought of!) I remember thinking that I was going to keep it a secret for awhile… I have always tried to wait until the 12 week mark (the supposed “safe” mark.) I failed the next day, as I sat in my classroom crying to Sean. I continued to run for the next two weeks, but every time I ran, it just didn’t feel right. I always had a bad pain in my stomach; I just wrote it off that I had a bad stomach normally, and that it was nothing. I continued to lift weights, but stopped doing any stomach exercises. The cramping feeling got really bad one day, and I had to go in for a six week ultra sound because of it. Everything checked out okay, I just was really tired (more so than the previous pregnancies). I remember going upstairs as soon as Aaron got home from work to rest before dinner. Sometimes I would end up staying there the entire night. I just didn’t feel right, but I still didn’t want people to know. It was hard to keep it a secret; especially at work, when I needed to get sick or just felt tired. I finally spilled the news to my mom and sister while sitting at Starbucks one Saturday morning. They were really surprised, but happy for me. I told my dad later in the garage and he thought I was kidding (Pretty typical response… I think he thought that for the other two as well.) I guess it was a good thing I told them because I was 10 weeks, and the next day (Sunday night) I started gushing blood, and went to the ER with Aaron and my mom. I thought I was miscarrying, even though I had never had that experience before. I never even spotted with my previous pregnancies. I was so scared, but remained calm… after all, there was no use to get too upset. I remember getting to the hospital to get a very non-reactive response… they simply asked how many pads I had bled through (little did I know how often I would be asked this question in the coming months). I was shocked by how blasé they were about it; of course I didn’t have a pad on, I don’t even wear pads, so I didn’t have any of that in the house. Of course, I had to wait forever, as they took me back to triage to go over my symptoms and continued to ask how long I had been bleeding, which was maybe an hour. After endless waiting, they finally hooked me up to the sonogram, where they found the baby’s heartbeat, which immediately put me at ease. Everything seemed fine, and they treated me for a threatened miscarriage. I was scared, but reassured that diagnosis was “normal.” I remember feeling exhausted as I left, but relieved to be going home with our little one inside of me. I took the next two days off of work, in which I had to tell my bosses what was going on. I still wanted to keep it fairly quiet, as I knew I was not “out of the woods”. I went home, took it easy and just hoped I wouldn’t continue to bleed. I was not put on bedrest, but was told not to exercise or lift anything heavy.

The bleeding continued from 10-14 weeks; some days heavier than others. I went in for several ultrasounds; all were checking out okay. I was getting so sick of calling the doctor and going in to be checked. I always felt like an inconvenience, even if they didn’t mean to make it feel that way. They just made it seem like it was “normal” and that there was nothing could do. There truly was nothing they could do, but I guess I just wished they would talk about it more and treat me as more of a high-risk patient. I still felt like I was being treated as if everything was regular and normal. Clearly, it wasn’t. I am a usually very laid-back person, and am very passive when it comes to dealing with doctors. I know they are busy individuals, and I always felt like it was better to just listen to them and let them offer advice/opinions, and not really ask questions. I always seemed to forget the questions until after the appointment, and I am not very good at calling the office to have them answered.

By week 16 (the dates blur together), I finally went to the perintologist. My bleed was very big, about 9 cm, but again, I was told there was nothing that they can do. The baby looked healthy and was totally fine. He did notice two cysts on the baby’s brain, but then he said that it could just be that it was early in the pregnancy, and that the brain just needed more time to develop. Of course, he asked if I wanted an aminio and if I had the testing done for Down’s. Immediately, I worried that something might be wrong, but I had declined the testing like I did with the other two babies… I figured I would keep the baby regardless, so what good would the testing do. I remember leaving the doctor that day feeling worried… worried that the bleed wasn’t going to go away, worried that my baby might have “problems,” worried that this was going to be a long six months.

I continued to bleed for the next several weeks. I would call when I thought it was a lot, but by that point, I didn’t know what was a lot. I was soaking through pads, but again, they kept saying there wasn’t much they could do until I reached 24 weeks.

At week 18, I had another “bad” bleed; I am not sure what always prompted me to call. This was a Friday night; my bad days always seemed to happen on the weekends. At this point, I still had to go to the Emergency room, as I was before twenty weeks. I went to the ER, in which they did the tests that they always did. I remember going into the cold, dark room, where the radiologist spent a good half hour taking pictures and trying to find measurements of the bleed. I remember her saying that she was having a hard time with it. Finally, when the doctor saw us, he gave us the same grim news… there was nothing that could be done. The baby looked fine, and they would continue to monitor the situation, just take it easy. I was put on bed rest for the week, as the doctor wanted me to really get some rest that week.

When I was on bed rest that week, I just watched television and read. I still got up and down to do things, and walked around a little bit. I usually would come downstairs and at least stay on the main level for the day, so I wasn’t always in my room. They had told me that stairs wasn’t an issue, and that I was okay to move around the house. I continued to bleed, and it didn’t seem to be making a difference, but I complied. I felt okay, and wasn’t overly tired… I never was able to take naps during the day. I became pretty sick of tv in a couple of days.

The next week, I was cleared to go back to work. It was a really light week at work, so I wasn’t going to have to do much. I was able to go in late and leave early on most days. At this point, I was supposed to begin another graduate level class; I thought I would be fine. That day on 5/22, Aaron and I’s five year anniversary, I went home early to rest and was going to go to my class at 4:30. It was a very hot day, and stupidly I wore jeans. I remember getting to the building, and felt a little light headed, but I assumed it was the heat. At one point, I became really dizzy and I knew that I started to bleed again. I rushed to the bathroom, where one of my colleagues helped me up. I remember thinking, this is it, this is really bad. I finally left the bathroom, and thought I would be able to wait it out until Aaron could come get me, but it got too bad. I was in so much pain and I was so hot and light headed. I finally went out to my car, where my colleague called 911. I remember thinking that this couldn’t be happening; we had plans for dinner, and we were actually going to go out, in spite of everything going on.

No comments:

Post a Comment