It all began on the morning of Saturday May 8th, 2010. I had been having continuous leaking of my amniotic fluid since that previous Monday and upon doing morning checks of the babies heartbeat, the doctors were growing more concerned. Throughout the day there were several monitorings done of the babies heart rhythm, where they looked at the little tick mark paper to see its fluctuations. After spending that afternoon chatting and relaxing with my mother in law, the nurses came in to tell me they were transferring me to labor and delivery. The doctors wanted to monitor me more closely there.
So we went to our new room and waited while the on call baby doctors came in the check the babies heartbeat. They explained that they believed I was having contractions, (which I was experiencing pain and pressure) and that everytime I did, the babies heartbeat dropped dangerously. They were also concerned that I had an infection in my uterus and that if they did an ultrasound on the baby and he did not do a “breathing” movement, they were going to have to do a c-section to retrieve him. We agreed to this approach because we wanted to do all we could to give Jack the best chance possible, no matter what it did to my body.
After the doctor spent a half and hour watching the ultrasound screen to see if they baby moved, the baby did not. And so I was prepped for surgery. Dustin got to wear the gown and coveralls, (he looked really dashing), and I got to experience a catheter and intense fear over the operation. I knew though that once it was over I would have the baby and it would be worth whatever the cost.
The surgery began at 7:00pm and Dustin was right there with me the entire time. I had a spinal block so I couldn’t feel anything but I was awake. And when they took Jack out, Dustin got to go watch them clean him up and get him breathing. They placed him into an incubator and rushed him to the NICU. A nurse on call knew how much I wanted to see the baby and she took photos of him for me and brought them to my head so I could see him. It was the most joyful moment of my life. He had my nose! And he was so sweet and little. I called him my little raisin baby because he was so red and the doctors laughed at me.
After the surgery was over and I was in recovery, this time is mostly a blur in my mind. All I remember is feeling intensely relieved that he was out of me and in the hands of people that could help him, when my body no longer could.
I was taken to my room that night and Dustin slept there all night with me. The next day was mother’s day and it would be the best day of my life.
When we woke up the first thing I did was go and see the baby. He was so cute. His little arms were moving and he was tugging at his little wires, all the nurses said he was so feisty. Dustin went back throughout the day to take various family members to see him and he actually got to see his eyes open. When I saw him he had little goggles on because he was on a light mat to treat him for jaundice.
Later that night, when I was alone, I decided to go see him to say good night. I stood at his incubator for a long time and I sang to him. He heard me and it soothed his little cries. I didn’t want to leave but I knew the other babies needed sleep and so did mine. So I went back to my room to go to bed. I sat and thought about how wonderful it was to be a mom and how much I wanted to take my baby boy home. I knew it would be a long road in the NICU but I didn’t mind. I was ready. And I knew Dustin was too.
At 4:30am that night, I got a knock of my door. A doctor came in and said he had bad news for me. He said that during the night, Jack had been having trouble releasing gas from him body and they were trying to help him. In the process his heart stopped and they could not get it going again. His little body just couldn’t handle it. He said my baby died.
I went to him then, after calling Dustin with the hardest phone call of my life, and held my baby for the first and one of the last times. He was beautiful then and I will always remember the weight of him in my arms. He looked so much like me that it hurt my heart and even now when I look at myself I see him in my mind.
Needless to say, throughout the course of the day, Monday the 10th, we dealt with many things. We held a small service in my hospital room for Jack, which was attended by close family and friends. And we sent Jack to be cremated. The worst moment of my life.
I have to say that through this we have decided to make sure that people know our baby Jack. That we do our best to spread his message that we need to help premature babies because there are an awful lot of them. And we want to help other parents who have lost their babies so they know that they are not alone. Jack taught both of us what it means to love completely and totally, which we never had before. Through him we were reborn, and in time, we will go on but we will carry him with us in our hearts. And later, when we do have children, they will know that they have a big brother named Jack Everett.