I am honestly scared and intimidated to get down to the nitty gritty of our very personal trauma. But I want to help others facing similar circumstances.
So here it is. Laying it all out there with the hope that you see how Good and merciful God is. I hope you know how real He is. Only He could have brought us through.
So on February 2, 2017, at 9:36 am our baby girl was born! Everything was normal. She was a big girl weighing in at 8 pounds 2 ounces. After an hour of skin to skin, I thought she had fallen asleep and we were just resting. The nurse happened to come back in and check on us. Something that she wouldn’t do at this stage. But she did. She came straight over to me and snatched my baby off me and ran her over to the baby table for examination. After quickly looking at her she scooped her back up and ran out of the room saying she’s not breathing. I can’t tell you how badly that hurt. The shock, being too tired from giving birth to really comprehend everything going on
around me. I just remember pleading with God for my child’s life. I told God , I already suffered a miscarriage, don’t make me lose this baby too. But if it’s your will then it’s ok because it’s what’s best. I don’t understand how I could think that. But it lasted a very short time before the panic and searing pain of not knowing whether I had lost my child started to kick in. John of course, was there and my mom was there for the birth and was quickly at my side after having stepped out to make the phone call that baby had arrived. We quickly made calls to the rest of the family and told them to get there as quick as possible (to meet her in case the worst happened.) I sent John to be with our little girl because I couldn’t get out of my bed at that point. I needed to know whether she was alive. He watched her crash to
30 % oxygen and doctors bagging her for over 1 1/2 hours to save her. I was finally able to go see her and talk to her as they thought that might help her fight: to have her mommy talk to her. And of course because I wanted to be with her. She was the only baby in the baby nursery which they had turned into a makeshift operating room. (They don’t have a pediatric intensive care unit). Curtains were quickly closed on all sides of the room to make sure no other new moms and dads could see what was happening. I hate that memory. At that point I was terrified. I began realizing how bad this was. That any minute could be my last with her. I got to hold her hand for a couple minutes before they told me to step back. (They had to get tubes in her throat.)
I looked like crap. And everyone was watching me and I could see the concern and sadness on all the nurses and my families faces. It’s not what you want to experience at all on the first of your daughter’s birthdays. I was taken back to my recovery room where I needed to start my recovery process. Family and friends started pouring in and waiting with us. By this time our pastor was already there. All of us waited and talked and made calls to extended family. No one knew the outcome. So I was then told that I needed to prepare for when the ambulance would arrive and get my daughter. (Because there was no PICU, she needed transfered about 45-50 minutes away to a larger hospital.) I was told I would have a few minutes with her before they needed to take her away. But that she would be on a stretcher in a incubator box. They worked on her for an hour or so with the team who was brought in the ambulance from the big hospital. The doctor, and 2 nurses I believe, and they finally wheeled her into my room. I’ll never forget that scene. The two ambulance drivers were staring at me then staring at the ground. You could see the worry in their eyes. I’m confined to my bed and am able to look over to my sweet little baby all wrapped up in tubing and wires inside this clear box. Doctors and nurses and medical emotional support staff and family filled the small recovery room. And they started briefing me on what they did to get her going again and what would need to continue happening to keep her stable in transferring her to the bigger hospital. Then they left.
Minutes turned into hours. I was told by my doctor and a nurse that there was a chance that I could be released that night to go see baby if I got recovered in time and if it wasn’t dangerous to my health. I got a fire inside that started a drive that I was going to do everything it took to make that happen. I had to first eat my first meal and some other stuff. I told them I’d do anything whatever it took. So I chose meat loaf as my meal. (What the heck was I thinking.) It was gross. But I proved them all that I was going to go that night to see her ASAP. And 8 hours after giving birth I was free to go!
John had already gone to the hospital to be with her. I told him he had to be with her; she needed to hear one of our voices to keep on fighting. He was able to inform me that they had safely gotten her there but that she had crashed again upon arriving. They were able to stabilize her once more and that had she made it. So my parents got me loaded into the car and off we drove to be with my baby.
On the way, John texted me saying that they had run her brain scan to see how much damage if there had been any from being without oxygen. (At this point we had no clue how long she had been without oxygen, I hadn’t even been thinking of organ damage so it freaked me out. I was also overjoyed because the text message said THERE WAS NO DAMAGE!) I began to worry about other organs but at least for now her brain was unaffected by whatever happened that morning!
So began our long 1st week.
Now for the really hard stuff. Some details that we did not mention to social media due to not being able to process the downright scary situations.
She developed a rash looking thing very quickly. Looked like tiny purple pin pricks all over her body. (We found out the details at the end of the first week when they reviewed her medical papers to us.) That “rash” was all of her blood vessels exploding to push all her blood back to her heart to save her life. Basically her body was shutting down and she was dying. And we could see the physical effects from it for most of the week. The doctor said she only had a minute or 2 left to live. It was a miracle they got her in time.
That has haunted me and will continue to do so the rest of my life. I pray it didnt physically pain her.
Secondly, we were warned there was most likely “Extensive” damage to her organs especially her kidneys (from all the tubing procedure and no oxygen).
When they ran the ultrasounds and scans NO DAMAGE WAS FOUND ANYWHERE! How is this possible? People who have gone without oxygen for less time than she did, -they have extensive brain injury and organ damage. Only God could have saved her from this experience! Only God. Finally after a couple of days the doctors were comfortable telling us there was a good chance we would be taking our daughter home with us when this ordeal was finally over.
They do not know what caused her to stop breathing. We will most likely never know. And that’s hard to deal with. I often wonder about future children. Could it happen again to either her or our other babies as well?
Then trouble began to hit again.
Towards the end of the week she had high blood pressure and we needed to see some doctors very soon after coming home.
We returned home and the pediatrician told us to get the first appointment we could get with a pediatric cardiologist 45 min away. He was very concerned. So I get a call and they wanted to see her that morning ASAP. So I rush -get her ready -we are going! (We knew it was serious but didn’t realize how bad the cardiologist thought she was).
When my dad and I (John had to be at work) got baby to her appointment. The cardiologist says, “ is she that baby from —————? How did you get here so fast? I need to see her! I don’t know how she’s still alive!” He said her numbers from the hospital were higher than an adults high blood pressure.
At this point I’m freaking out. I thought my baby was for the most part going to be ok and mostly over her issues and now your telling me my baby’s life is in danger?
They check her out do ultrasounds and scans. Ultimately, the reason behind the high blood pressure was due to her being so fiesty mad, bull-headed and resistant to having her blood pressure taken. (SERIOUSLY, all that crap for this: she doesn’t like her blood pressure being taken! ) I’m absolutely serious that was the reason. I’m as confused as you probably are at this point!
One of my daughters strong personality traits is her strong will. And this was one of the moments where we look back and realize God gave her a such a strong will to get her through her really bad 1st day ordeal. We have chosen to embrace this exceptional personality trait and look at it as a gift. Because it helped in saving her life. Anyway.. They found a hole in her heart during the ultrasound. But now, we are coming up on a very important day. This August is finally the month where it has been projected and hinted at and hopefully will be confirmed that the hole is most likely closed up on its own. ( a murmur can no longer be heard, so we are hoping and praying).
We know She won’t need surgery. She won’t be having the life threatening strokes as a young adult. She will be just fine! It’s a really big deal at least for me as her mom. To watch her fight and now to have nothing stand in her way of having a successful healthy life. And that’s why I’m so thankful this August.
And that leads into a short version of the second half of my story. As you can see that’s a lot of crazy to deal with and it quickly spiraled me into Post Partum Depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
I would have extreme panic attacks, trembling, bursting into tears. Flashbacks. I had to delete stories and turn off the news everytime a baby or a child was hurt, or had died or had gone through anything terrifying. I became paranoid and I’m just now starting to get out more. I had a really hard time coping with being a first time mom with so much baggage. And one week it was especially bad and I told my husband, “ I need help right now or I’m not going to make it.” We immediately sought out help through our family, discipleship program at church, medically, and through a local pregnancy/health center. You could say we were armored up for the battle. And it felt like a minute by minute battle. I felt like a Jeckle and Hyde situation. I was so tormented but at the same time so happy to be a mom. So happy to have a beautiful daughter.
It’s been a couple months since going off medication, I’m still meeting with my guidance people. I still struggle. But nothing severe like it used to be. So please pray for me, for John, and for our toddler daughter.
And please talk about your struggles, what you’ve been through. There’s someone out there that needs to hear your story. I sure did. I heard several and those people got me through and got me the help I desperately needed.
I’ve learned a lot since having gone through this whole ordeal.
• God is always there with me.
• I can’t run my life the way I want it, I have to let God, as my loving Father, guide me through the storms of life. Trusting that He will get me through safely to the other side.
• I’ve learned how to process fear
• and not let it consume me.
• God is merciful and a good good Father, even when I want to blame Him and say why did you do this to me.
I know not everyone believes in God, but I know that I couldn’t have made it through without Him! Nor could my daughter have. Thank you Lord for your protection and plan, even when I don’t know the reason behind it.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.