Mom to Tristan Shai Mitchell
July 7, 2011 – July 12, 2011
Canal Fulton, OH
I was asked to be at the hospital at 8 a.m. on the morning of July 6, 2011, to be induced. I was only 4 days overdue according to my OB. I had always said I never wanted induction, but as a doctor, I assumed he knew what was best. They started me on Pitocin as soon as I arrived. I was 1 cm dilated, 70% effaced, and the baby was still at -3 position. They inserted a folly catheter to irritate my cervix to try and help me dilate. At 2 p.m., I got up to walk to the bathroom and a rush of water came down my leg. The nurse on duty said it “smelled like amniotic fluid”, and called the Dr. to order my epidural. She also said that thanks to the cath, I was now 3 cm dilated.At 7 p.m. that evening, my doctor came in to check on me. He ended up breaking my water for me because it was still intact. The water I felt, was most likely the saline solution from the folly cath. I was also only 2 cm dilated, not 3. I had already been on my epidural (which I did not order) since 2 p.m. and the baby was still at -3 and I was only 80% effaced. At 12:30 a.m., Tristan’s heart rate went off the monitor. Nurses rushed in within 2 minutes, and fiddled around with it for a couple minutes, they then put me on oxygen and told me my contractions were to strong, and that is why the baby’s heart rate dropped. They left and a couple minutes later, his heart rate went missing again. This time, it took the nurses about 4 minutes before they came in, She then proceeded to fiddle around with the belt some more, called in a couple of nurses, and finally called in the doctor. When he arrived, I heard her say “I’m picking up 90′s and 70′s,” which scared me enough. My Dr. then inserted a scalp heart rate monitor, and rushed me out of the room for an emergency C-section.
It was not until 2 weeks later that I was told Tristan did not have a heartbeat in my room. When he inserted that monitor into my dear son’s scalp, he did not pick up anything. I woke up in a fog at 2:30 a.m. and was told my baby was born at 1 a.m. and was in the NICU due to an aggressive placental abruption that cut off his oxygen. He had to be resuscitated at birth because his heart had stopped beating. After 2 hours of recovery, another doctor came in and told me my son had to be life flighted to the children’s hospital because they had a treatment there to prevent swelling of the brain that this hospital did not.
At 5 a.m. they brought my son in in an incubator, where I was barely able to see him for 2 minutes before he was wheeled away. I was stuck at another hospital, 24 miles away from my son, from Thursday until Saturday morning. We received a phone call that he was not doing well, and I should try to get up there as soon as possible. I called in a nurse, who called my OB, who helped me rush my discharge. An hour and a half after we received the call we were able to leave the hospital, and head up to the children’s hospital. When I got there, I was crowed by a rush of family and friends who had al got a similar phone call from my mom and my boyfriend. They took me back to the NICU where I met my son who was attached to more bells and whistles and computer monitors then I had ever seen. He was such a strong little boy. Every morning during rounds the doctor told us he did not think that he would make it through the the day. He was in multi-system organ failure. His kidneys had failed, and he was retaining all the fluid they were pumping into through his PICC line. He was 8 lbs at birth, and 10 lbs. when he passed. His liver had failed and he had no clotting factors in his blood. He was hemorrhaging out of his lungs and it required them to constantly suction it out. He was on 3 medicines to keep his heart beating and his blood pressure up. He was on a ventilator which he originally was breathing above, and at the end of his life, he required it to do all his breathing.
I had to slowly watch my baby get worse and worse every day. On Monday, 7-11-11, the doctor came in and basically gave us an ultimatum. His kidneys were not making urine, so he was just getting puffier and puffier which put increasing pressure on his lungs and heart. He was beginning to suffer. It was at that point he told us that they had done all they could do, and that it was our choice. Either take our son off life support so we would get our first chance to hold him, or have him die with all the tubes connected to him.
My boyfriend and I asked if they would expect him to make it until the next day, so we could have our family and friends be there. The doctor said there was no guarantee he would make it for another 30 minutes, let alone another day. He had us sign a DNR paper that basically said, if his heart was to stop beating, we would not attempt chest compressions because that would hurt him. We would not ask them to use the defibrillator because he was retaining so much fluid it would burn him. If his lung collapsed, we would not insert a chest tube because he would just continue to bleed into his lung. Our little fighter hung on for us. At 12:00 p.m. on 7-12-11, they brought him to us in a small family area, where 20 people who all loved him surrounded us. They handed him to me and I’ll never forget the first feeling of getting to hold him in my arms.
Everyone in the room then got a chance to hold him. The doctor returned at 12:30 p.m. and tried to find a heartbeat.There was none, he had passed.. Everyone started walking out. I sat in that room and held my lifeless son for what seemed like seconds, but was actually almost an hour. He was still warm and he was so beautiful. The doctors came in and told me to take all the time I needed but I knew that I would never have been ready to give my baby boy back to them so I asked them to let me have one last kiss and I would leave. The days rushed past. I don’t remember any of them. His funeral was the following Monday.
It had been nearly a week since I had seen my baby. When I got to see him, he was laying there, cold. He was just as beautiful as I remembered. I wanted to just pick him up and hold him again. Like he was just taking a small nap, and that none of this was real. But reality has just started to sink in. I lost my son, and I will never get a chance to hold him or kiss him again. I never even got a chance to hear him make a sound, never got to see his eyes. My baby boy, gone to soon.
You can contact Danielle at email@example.com