Mom to Paxton Lucas
June 3, 2011
Commerce City, CO
My husband and I had been trying to conceive for a few months and I had been having some cycle abnormalities and had a HSG scheduled for early October 2010 as well as a prescription for clomid to take in October. Well to our surprise we got a BFP on September 27th 2010. It was a very faint positive but a positive none the less and we were ecstatic. I had always wanted 2 children close in age and we would be getting our wish, 2 kids 22 months apart, everything was going to be perfect.
We had our first OB appointment on October 21st when I was about 6 ½ weeks and we saw our little baby with a little fluttering heartbeat. It was determined that our baby was due June 11th 2011 (which we already knew since I had been charting my cycle by taking my temperature) and everything looked perfect. Well I started spotting a little bit shortly after this first appointment and was back in the OB 5 days later to check on our little baby. To our relief the baby had a great fluttering heartbeat and was now measuring 3 days ahead of the due date.
The spotting stopped and the pregnancy progressed as expected. I had morning sickness (it was pretty hard taking care of a 1 year old while throwing up all day) but I was happy because I knew that the morning sickness was a good sign. Everything was going so great. I even started feeling my baby move at 11 weeks (I would start feeling him daily at 17 weeks, his daddy felt him at 20 weeks and he was THE MOST active baby ever).
On November 30th 2010 we had our nuchal translucency scan which showed a perfect little baby who now was measuring 6 days ahead of our dates. It looked like we were expecting another big baby (my 1 year old was born at 35 weeks and was 7 pounds 3 ounces which is huge for 5 weeks early).
We decided to wait to announce our pregnancy until after the nuchal translucency scan results came back, so in early December 2010 we sent out Christmas cards with a letter with a picture of our son in a “Big Brother” T-Shirt to announce to the world we were expecting.
January 18th 2011 the day finally came when we were scheduled to have our anatomy scan. I was secretly hoping for a little girl but all I wanted was a healthy baby, well it turned out we were having a healthy baby BOY. After we discovered that our baby was healthy and getting big fast the fact that he was a boy didn’t matter anymore. I was thrilled my 1 year old boy was going to have a little brother that would only be 22 months younger. My 2 boys would be so close in age and could grow up to be best friends (and I am sure worst enemies at times too). Life was PERFECT.
At 25 weeks on March 1st 2011 we had our 3D/4D ultrasound. I couldn’t wait to see my little man in 3D and see how big he was. Would he look like me or would he look like my husband (my 1 year old looks like his daddy). That was the best 3D ultrasound ever! Our baby cooperated so well , we saw him so clearly and we got so many great pictures of his little face and were able to count all his fingers and toes right there on the ultrasound screen.
At 31 weeks (April 12th 2011) we had a growth ultrasound because I have a history of big babies and we wanted to keep track of how big our guy was getting. That ultrasound went great, he was estimated to be over 4 pounds and was in the 90th percentile (except his legs, his femurs were measuring small only the 25th percentile). I was not concerned with this because my 1 year old also has shortish legs they run in my family.
Well everything was going smoothly until 32 weeks, when I started having some contractions. I went to the OB office and they said my BP was slightly elevated so she did some bloodwork. This was not my OB that I saw, my OB’s practice has 5 OB’s and when you are pregnant they like you to see each one of them to get acquainted because there is no telling who will be the one to deliver you (in fact the last time I saw my actual OB was April 12th until the night of delivery, I can’t help but think had I just seen my OB maybe things would have turned out differently). Anyway, this OB gave me orders to take it easy and gave me a prescription for contractions and told me to come back in a few days. So for the next few weeks I was at the OB office 2 times a week for non stress tests and to keep an eye on my contractions.
When I was 34 weeks I went in again for my regular check up and saw yet another OB in the practice, by this time I was having trouble with carpal tunnel in both hands and was having a hard time functioning so he suggested I stop taking the medication for contractions as it could also cause inflammation which could make the carpal tunnel worse, so I did that. Also he suggested that I go to the geneticist to get a level 2 ultrasound because he was concerned that perhaps my son had dwarfism because of his femurs only being in the 25th percentile.
So the next day I went in for my level 2 ultrasound. It was May 4th 2011 and I was 34 weeks 4 days. The level 2 ultrasound showed that our baby did not have dwarfism, he was 100% healthy and he was HUGE! He was going to be a big boy with short legs just like his big brother. We laughed because at 34 weeks 4 days his head was already measuring 40 weeks and was estimated to be 7 pounds already, but this did not surprise us at all. He was in the 98th percentile and looking great, they even checked the blood flow from his placenta to his cord and all 3 vessels in his cord. They also checked his fluid levels, he had 19 cm of fluid which is normal but on the high side, they had told us that high fluid levels starts at 22 cm. Everything looked great!!!
We had been expecting our new little boy to arrive at anytime because I gave birth to my 1 year old at 35 weeks and with this 2nd boy I had been contracting since 32 weeks (even with the medication). So we were just hanging out trying to enjoy our son while he was still an only child. Well after about 36 weeks I started getting really uncomfortable, I was having non-stop contractions which caused me to not be able to sleep or get comfortable. It was terrible. It didn’t feel normal to me and I had a horrible feeling something was terribly wrong and something terrible would happen to my precious little boy. Of course everyone said I was just paranoid and that everything was fine. My husband even told me that after our 1 year old was born 5 weeks early he was really looking forward to a full term baby. From 36 weeks on forward I was on a campaign to get myself to go into labor, I tried labor cookies, bouncing on a ball, lifting my 35 pound 1 year old, walking, whatever I could do to try and get labor going. I was a desperate woman on a mission I just felt that my boy NEEDED TO COME OUT NOW!!! I could not explain it it was just a gut instinct my baby was in trouble.
On Mother’s Day May 9th (I was 35 weeks), I had not slept well at all. I was up all night with contractions and I also had a migraine headache. I was so tired and in a bad mood, no one even gave me a Mother’s Day card. So I sat on the couch all day and tried to enjoy the day regardless of how crappy I felt. Well this day our baby boy was so incredibly active he was moving all over the place. His daddy felt him and saw my belly dancing around. It really turned a bad Mother’s Day into a GREAT Mother’s Day! I will always remember sitting on the couch as a family with my husband and my 1 year old son enjoying watching my belly bounce. That was the best day.
At my 36 week OB appointment I saw the OB who was on call when I delivered my son (I really do not like this OB) and she informed me that I should have a c-section for our son (which I already knew I would have one since I had a terrible birth experience with our 1 year old). So I had to schedule my c-section before I left. I scheduled my c-section for June 6th 2011 at 8:30am. Unfortunately it was with this same OB that I absolutely despise but my OB was unavailable when I needed to be there. Well as it turned out I would be stuck seeing this terrible OB for both my 37 week appt and my 38 week (pre-op) appt).
My 37 week appt came and went and as usual I complained about how I was contracting and I was worried about the baby and his lack of movement. The OB just said “well this is normal at the end of your pregnancy”. Then we listened to his heartbeat and it was 145, so I left since the OB obviously didn’t care that I was scared to death something was wrong.
The day I turned 38 weeks was May 28th. It was Memorial Day weekend so we decided to take our 1 year old to the zoo one last time before the baby came. I thought it would be fun for everyone and maybe it would jump start labor from all the walking. Well that afternoon I got a terrible headache and started seeing spots and after 5 hours of trying to get my headache to go away I called the on-call OB (who happened to be the same old OB that I had seen the last few visits that I really did not like). She told me to head over to labor and delivery to rule out preeclampsia and at the very least give me something for pain. So I get to the hospital, they hook me up to the monitor and get an IV started and draw blood. My BP came back elevated (it started out 150/something but went down to 130/something while I was there) there was no protein in my urine, and my bloodwork came back normal so they said I did not have preeclampsia.
While at the hospital waiting to be treated for my headache I was hooked up to the fetal monitor and our baby boy was going strong. His heartbeat was steady at 150, with great accelerations up to 170. I was really enjoying this evening even though I was in so much pain I couldn’t see straight because my son was moving non-stop this was special because he had not really moved much lately at all. In fact he was moving so much they took me off the monitor entirely. This was one of the last times I felt him move and I will always have such fond memories of this day. At 12:30am Sunday May 29th I was discharged and sent home.
The next Wednesday June 1st I had my pre-op/ 38 week appt. The OB comes in and checks my little boys heart beat, we find it right away but it was 130, usually it was 140-150. I had been complaining of contractions and that my baby had not moved much at my last few appts and every time I see this particular OB she just writes me off and says “yes this is normal” so she didn’t even bother doing a non stress test, she just checked my cervix (which was still closed and thick). I left this appointment with a feeling of dread. I just remember telling myself only 5 more days and I can meet my son, like I was trying to convince myself everything was okay. I kept telling myself over and over “what could happen in the next 5 days, PLEASE DON’T LET ANYTHING HAPPEN IN THE NEXT 5 DAYS!!”
Well the next day Thursday June 2nd. I went shopping with my son and my mom (she was visiting from California. We went shopping for birthday decorations for my 1 year olds 2nd birthday party, which isn’t until August 3rd but I like to be prepared. I remember thinking I hadn’t felt our little guy move much that day so after shopping we went to lunch and he began wiggling around a bit. He was pretty quiet for the rest of the day but I do remember feeling him a couple more times after lunch that day.
That night I had terrible cramps and lower back pain. It did not go away no matter what I did and needless to say I did not get much sleep that night.
Friday June 3rd I had my cramps and back pain all day long and it got nothing but worse and started shooting pains down my legs. I had to take my son to the doctor for a check-up at 11am. While I was there I felt a HUGE kick (it was so strong I had to grab my belly and it totally caught me off guard) and then nothing. So we went to lunch after the doctor and I put my son down for his nap. While my son was sleeping at about 2:30pm I called my OB’s office and left a message for the on-call OB (which happened to me MY OB HOORAY!) about all my cramps and back pain and I mentioned that I had not felt my little guy much at all and not at all since 11am. She finally called me back about 5pm and told me to head on into labor and delivery. I say OKAY I am waiting for our pizza to arrive we will go after dinner. She agreed and told me to drink a coke to see if the baby would move. After dinner my husband and I bathed our 1 year old and said good night and left for the hospital.
When we arrived at about 7:30pm we were greeted by about 3 nurses and quickly shuttled into a room. They immediately pulled out the heartbeat monitor and began looking for our sons heartbeat…..absolute silence. At this time I KNEW he was gone as soon as they couldn’t find the heartbeat. So they had me lay back and got the ultrasound machine and paged some random doctor to do the ultrasound. By this time there was about 5-6 nurses and the doctor huddled around my bed. This was the LONGEST most agonizing 20 minutes of my life. All I remember was seeing my sons lifeless body on the screen and then looking at my husband who at the time still looked hopeful, he was refusing to believe & accept that our son was gone. I also remember a nurse grabbing my hand and holding it tight. I was not even looking at the screen anymore I couldn’t bear to see my lifeless baby on the screen anymore. At this point I called my husband over and held on tight and screamed “I KNOW HE IS GONE STOP LOOKING ALREADY” and then I screamed “ I KNEW THERE WAS SOMETHING WRONG, I KNEW MY BABY WAS GOING TO DIE”!! Then I ripped the pulse/ox finger thing off my finger and just clenched my husband’s pants and buried my face on him. Then after what felt like an eternity the Dr says “I’m so sorry” and leaves the room.
My husband collapses and we hold each other crying. We still had not 100% decided on a name so we decided to name him Paxton Lucas. Since I had known people who had suffered losses after 20 weeks before I knew we would need to actually have to decide on where to bury our baby, then I told my husband because he was a full term stillborn we would need to decide what if any services we would want for him. We decided that we did not want to have a funeral because we live 1000 miles from the closest family members, so we opted to do a cremation and bring him home. Then we discussed holding our son and taking as many pictures of him as possible which was never a question in my mind. After that we started calling our parents to tell them about what had happened. Finally my OB arrived (she lives 20 miles or so from the hospital) and she gives me a BIG HUG and cried with us (I LOVE my OB I am so happy she was the one there that night, and not one of her partners, I would not have wanted anyone else to deliver my sweet boy Paxton). So a little while later they come in and hook up an IV and take what seemed like ½ my blood volume and then told us we were waiting for 2 c-sections then it was our turn.
Finally it was our turn and we make our way to the OR, all I remember is being sad and scared out of my mind. My heart rate was up to 170 so they gave me some sedative and I do not really remember anything after that until I woke up in my room after everything was over. I woke up and asked about my baby boy. He was there in the room with us. After I woke up they bathed our son in front of us, and took his foot prints, and dressed him and handed him to me. He was so perfect. He looked just like me but also looked like his brother. He had my nose and my mouth. He had his daddy’s hair color, he was a dark blonde. He was just perfect and so beautiful. I looked at his hands and kissed his fingers and his face. I was just amazed how perfect and beautiful he was (his brother was a little early and got beaten up from a traumatic delivery so I had never seen such a perfect newborn).
I found out that Paxton Lucas was born on June 3rd at 11:57pm, 20 ½ inches and 8 pounds 1 ounce. I was like WHAT 8 pounds!! I realize ultrasounds can be off but really Paxton should have at least been 9 pounds but we were expecting closer to 10 pounds!! His growth was off the charts at every single ultrasound and you are telling me that he was only 8 pounds! I also found out that he had no amniotic fluid left and only meconium . Another WHAT!! He had 19cm of fluid 4 weeks ago!!! I was not leaking fluid and he had only died HOURS before I got to the hospital. He should have had fluid left! My OB agreed with us that something was not quite right but warned us we might never know what had happened.
Also in the hospital that night and the next day my BP was really high and was not coming down, plus my liver enzymes were also elevated so they think I had developed mild preeclampsia sometime in the last week of my pregnancy.
Well we spent all day Saturday June 4th spending time and making memories with our son, we took over 300 pictures of him. My mom and 1 year old came to visit and got to meet their grandson/brother. We even got a few family portraits. It was the most bittersweet moment in my life.
I was discharged Sunday June 5th after only being at the hospital less than 48 hours because I was determined to recover and go home as fast as I could after my c-section. I wanted to go home and spend time with our 1 year old.
So it has been 3 weeks 4 days since we lost our precious baby and we do not have many answers. His preliminary autopsy showed signs of distress (I was sad to know my baby suffered), but nothing else, and his placenta and cord had some clotting and it looks like a clot in his cord could have caused his death (there were no clots and no signs of clots just 4 weeks earlier) so they results from the cord/placenta are calling it a “cord accident” but that does not account for his lack of growth or the lack of fluid. We are still waiting for the in depth autopsy results and the chromosomal testing results. We should have these in a few weeks. But I am prepared to never have a clear cut answer. This is the worst pain we have ever felt, but this tragedy is making us a stronger family. Our son will and future child will always know that they have a baby brother who didn’t quite make it into the world named Paxton Lucas.
We will be trying again as soon as we can and I will be seeing a different OB practice (my OB has left the practice she was at when this occurred and will be at a new one very soon so I will be following her to her new practice) and also seeing a perinatologist (MFM) and I will also be delivering my next baby at 36 weeks if it is safe to wait until then (I will be monitored very closely especially towards the end). I just feel so bad for my husband who was really looking forward to having his full term son, I feel so bad he will never know that full term son and never will know what a full term baby is like since we will only go to 36 weeks at the longest next time. All I want is a healthy happy rainbow baby. Paxton will never be replaced or forgotten, he will always live on in our hearts.
You can contact Alyssa at firstname.lastname@example.org