Mom to Caleb Rex

February 19, 2013

Cartersville, Virginia

It was October when I took a pregnancy test. I remember taking it at work. It was positive and I was like, that’s not possible. My husband and I had just starting trying in September. Being so shocked, I decided to take another one; it too was positive. I couldn’t contain my excitement and just had to tell my husband. I called him at work and he was ecstatic, as I knew he would be. We never imagined getting pregnant so quickly and we also never imagined losing Caleb so quickly. It is still so unreal. This week will be 8 weeks and it feels like yesterday that I was pregnant [at time of writing]. It all seems like a terrible dream.

My pregnancy was picture perfect for the most part. I remember going to the doctor towards the end of October for my first appointment (7 weeks). We got our due date, June 22nd, and we were thrilled. It was really happening and we couldn’t have been any happier. I remember thinking what a perfect time to be pregnant because it’s not too hot, which is always a good thing for a pregnant women. Shortly after, the dreaded nausea started and lasted until about 13 weeks. It always hit me at night. During the day I felt fine for the most part, other than some smells. We went for our 12-week appointment and everything was great. What a relief, [I thought], we had made it to the “safe” zone. I could finally relax and enjoy my pregnancy. I was at work the next week when I started having some bleeding. Pure panic set it. I didn’t know what to think. I was so scared. I called my doctor and went in right away. He did a vaginal ultrasound and everything looked fine. My placenta looked perfect and he said some women see spotting in their pregnancies; it was just because everything was stretching and growing. After leaving the doctor, I went home and spotted for the rest of the day but never saw anymore blood after that. All of this happened around Christmas. What an exciting time for all of our family to find out we were expecting. We wanted to wait until we were 12 or more weeks to let everyone know. Of course immediate family knew (my dad, sister, grandma and my in-laws).

I started feeling Caleb move around 15 weeks; it made everything feel very real. I loved feeling him move. He was a very busy baby, especially when mommy was trying to sleep, but I loved every minute of it. Time was flying by and it was time for our 16-week check up; everything looked great. After my little scare at 13 weeks, I was relieved and feeling great. There was no more nausea, I had gotten my energy back and was really enjoying this pregnancy thing. It wasn’t so bad after all. Other than the nausea, I had it pretty easy. I was doing great with my weight gain and feeling accomplished. We were getting so excited for our 20-week appointment. I said from the get-go that it was a boy and my husband was determined it was a little girl. We were about to find out! I remember being in the ultrasound and the technician was trying to get the baby to move. She asked if we knew what it was and I knew right away. I looked over at my husband who looked confused. I don’t think he could really figure out what he was looking at. I said, “Chris it’s a boy!” and he laughed, happy as can be. We were both so thrilled to be having a baby, a healthy baby boy!! We left the doctor and went straight to Babies ‘R’ Us just to look around and get ideas of things that we wanted.

It was Sunday, February 17th and I was 22 weeks and 1 day. That afternoon, I started getting a sensation down there and I felt like I was peeing on myself. It was nothing major, just a little tinkle every now and then. That Monday, I let my doctor know what was going on and was given a prescription for a UTI, which I guess is common in pregnancy. I got home that night and drank lots of water and cranberry juice; I was determined to get that infection out of my system. I guess it was around 10:00 p.m. or so and I started getting some cramping in my lower back. I called my doctor and he said it was normal to experience that when you have a UTI. If I spiked a fever, he wanted me to come to the emergency room. I laid down and tried to get comfortable.

It was about midnight when my husband and I started to doze off. I turned over in the bed and felt a gush; I thought it was blood. We got up and it wasn’t blood; it just seemed like I peed on myself. I hadn’t really been able to use the bathroom very much, so we thought my bladder finally let loose. My husband and I got a little laugh and couldn’t believe I peed on myself. Little did we know it was my water breaking. Shortly after, I started getting throbbing pains in my stomach. We still did not associate this with labor. I didn’t know what was going on but I knew I had to go to the hospital.

We headed to the hospital. It took us about 45 minutes. Of course we got there and I told them that I was 22 weeks pregnant and was diagnosed with a UTI. They checked my urine and sent me to labor and delivery. I told them that I peed on myself (because I didn’t know it was my water breaking). The pain kind of subsided and I made it through the night. Because I had a perfectly fine pregnancy, even the nurses and doctors didn’t expect labor; it was the furthest thing from everyone’s mind. Early the next morning, they sent me to have my kidneys checked; all signs were leading to a kidney stone. My husband went to work that morning and his mother came to sit with me. There was no need for him to miss work if it was just a kidney stone.

I remember going down to get the ultrasound and that’s when the pain started again and it was worse than ever. I was so uncomfortable. Finally, that was over and I was back in my room. My nurse came in and I expressed to her how much pain I was in. She hooked the fetal monitor to my stomach and had to listen for 10 minutes before she could give me pain medicine, because it was going to sedate me and Caleb. I tried so hard not to move when the pain hit, but it was like every 7 minutes, so I kept knocking the fetal monitor off and we would have to try again. My nurse was amazing. She sat down beside me and watched the monitor. It was then that everything became so clear. When I would get a pain, Caleb’s heart rate would skyrocket and then drop. She left the room and came back with 2 other nurses. I then knew something was wrong. It was then that my mother in law called my husband and told him he should come back. The nurses pulled out a doppler and searched for Caleb’s heartbeat. My heart was racing and they kept picking up my heartbeat. Finally Caleb’s heartbeat was picked up and it was in my lower stomach. I was contracting and he was making his way out.

My doctor came in and examined everything and told me I was dilated and he was coming and he had no chance of survival. Those are words I never thought I would hear. My world stopped. I didn’t know what to do. All I wanted was my husband. I was crying and asking, “Where is Chris?” My mother-in-law called him again, just to check and see if he was on his way. He was about 10 minutes away and not knowing anything. He finally got to the hospital and the room was full of people. I am sure he knew something was terribly wrong. I had to tell him that our son was coming, we couldn’t stop it and we didn’t know how long he would live. It was a very emotional time for everyone.

We were in shock, and before we knew it, Caleb was born at 12:18 p.m. He was 1 pound, 3.6 ounces and 11 1/2 inches long. He was PERFECT. He died at 12:49 p.m. My husband told me he came out moving his arm and legs all around. His eyes were shut, of course. They wrapped him and gave him to me. I talked to him and told him how much he was loved. I rubbed his chest and he gave me a little coo. Nothing major but I know he heard us!! My husband and I were the only ones that got to hold Caleb while he was living. It is something we will never forget. It was all so unreal.

I couldn’t believe that was happening to us. I couldn’t understand why. We didn’t deserve this. No one does. I was so confused. My pregnancy was fine. I never had any reason to think that it wasn’t. Why did God want Caleb? We wanted him MORE. I didn’t know what to think. Thank God for my wonderful husband. Without him, I don’t know how I would have done it. We kept Caleb all day. We had visitors and they were able to see him. We wanted everyone to see him and hold him if they wanted to. He had the cutest little nose, like his mommy. He had his daddy’s long legs and big feet. He was a perfect mix between us. He was precious. I just kept looking at him, trying to figure out what happened. This was not the delivery I expected. He was supposed to still be growing, not in my arms, deceased.

I am happy to say that my husband and I are doing okay. We have our days, but together we are getting through this difficult time. Our support system is amazing. We know that when the time is right, we will have another child. This has been a life-changing experience and we have decided to try and find the positive. Believe me, 8 weeks ago [at time of writing], I would have never thought I could do this. Heck, I didn’t think I would be able to get out of the bed, but I know that is not what Caleb would want. God needed him more than we did and he will forever be our angel.

You can contact Brandy at: brandynmayo@yahoo.com
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