Mom to Ben Harrington Butler: November 6, 2007
Brady Winston Butler: November 6, 2007–March 29, 2008
I was told from the time I was a teenager with irregular periods that I may need some help getting pregnant in the future. I got married when I was 25 and from the first day of our marriage we never did anything to prevent pregnancy as I knew it might take a while. After a couple of years and several unsuccessful rounds of Clomid, I was sent to a fertility doctor to take more drastic steps. I was diagnosed with PCOS and needed fertility meds to help me ovulate. The first fertility doctor I went to told me that I needed to do invitro fertilization. We did and I did not get pregnant and ended up in the hospital for hyperstimulation. It was a horrible experience and the doctor was just awful to me. I finally went to another fertility doctor when I was 28 and he told me that he thought IUI and fertility injections would work just fine for me. So we tried IUI with the lowest dose of the meds available and I got pregnant on the first try. However, once I finally got pregnant —-I got really pregnant! My first ultrasound revealed that I was pregnant with triplets. We were so happy, excited, and scared all at the same time. I was sent to a high risk pregnancy doctor and our journey began.
My pregnancy progressed and each week the ultrasounds revealed three healthy growing babies. Finally we learned that we were expecting all boys. I couldn’t believe how smoothly everything was going and how great I felt. That soon changed when I reached 26 weeks.
I woke up and got dressed for work and went downstairs to eat breakfast. Suddenly I felt something wet run down my leg. I called my doctor and asked to be seen immediately. They did not do an ultrasound when I arrived but instead took a swab to test to see if it was amniotic fluid that I was leaking. They said that the test revealed that it was just urine and that I probably was losing control of my bladder because of the pressure of my growing uterus pressing down on it. I thought that sounded a bit odd but I accepted what they told me and went home. For the next several days I just kept feeling really uncomfortable but was not really in pain. Then on that Friday night I was at home and my husband was working (he is a police officer and was working evenings at the time). My mom was at my house and we were working on the putting things away in the babies’ room. I started really feeling uncomfortable and mentioned it to my mom. We called the doctor and were told that someone would call me back and advise me what to do. They never did. My husband came home and finally we decided to just go to the hospital. I was shocked when I got to the hospital and they told me I was in labor.
All of the details of this story could drag out for a while but basically for the next two days they attempted to stop my labor but still did not do an ultrasound. Finally on that Monday after my begging and pleading they did an ultrasound and found that Baby A (Ben) had passed away. They did not know what had happed to him and would not know until he was delivered. The other two babies appeared to be just fine. They wanted me to try and make it to 28 weeks for the sake of the other two babies but my body simply would not stop laboring. Finally the next morning they told me that I had already dilated to 5 cm and would have to have an emergency c-section.
Our precious Ben was born still. His cord had thinned out as he grew and eventually cut off his nutrients which had caused his death. Baby B (Braxton) was born weighing 1 pound 13 ounces and Baby C (Brady) was born weighing 1 pound 12 ounces. Braxton and Brady were sent straight to the NICU but appeared to be doing well for such tiny babies. They were on room air and their lungs appeared to be strong thanks to the round of steroid shots they had given me when I was admitted to the hospital.
Braxton continued to do well and grew stronger each day. After two months in the NICU we got to bring him home. He is now a happy and healthy four year old boy and our saving grace. I wish I could say that Brady’s story had the same ending.
Brady did well for about two weeks and then developed intestinal problems. He was transferred to another hospital where he underwent several surgeries. He never could seem to heal from his surgeries and would develop a lot of complications. Finally they discovered that he was not healing properly because he had a fatal congenital heart defect known as pulmonary vein stenosis. Brady lived for almost five months fighting for his life in the hospital. He died in my arms on the night of March 29, 2008. We never got to bring him home from the hospital. We buried him next to his brother Ben.
I feel like I have experienced almost every aspect of infertility, premature birth, and infant loss. I have had a multiple pregnancy, a premature delivery, a still born baby, an infant death, and a NICU success story. I am so very thankful for the survival of my son Braxton. He is my true miracle baby. However my heart hurts for his brothers every day. I miss my babies so very much and I know that I will never be the same again. However, I would not take back one day of my pregnancy. It may not have ended the way I wanted but the miracle of those three little lives inside of me for six months was one of the most precious times of my life.
I am so very sorry for the losses of everyone on this site. It is a club that nobody wishes to be a part of. It has been over three years since I buried two of my three babies. You never get over the loss of your child…you just learn to live with the pain the best you can.
Kayce blogs in memory of Brady and Ben at http://rememberingbradyandben.blogspot.com.
Her pregnancy blog can be found at http://butlertriplets.wordpress.com.
You can contact Kayce at firstname.lastname@example.org.