Mom to Luke Patrick
January 27, 2017
When I was ten weeks pregnant, I began to bleed. I didn’t know what to do, so I went to the ER. I happen to be an Emergency Room RN, and I trust my co-workers with my life, so where else would I go but my ER. That was how most people found out I was pregnant. Not the most ideal way to tell people, but nothing about my pregnancy was ideal. Luke’s heart beat was 170 bpm at 10 weeks, they had no explanation for the bleeding and he continued to thrive. I had many trips planned before I found out I was pregnant, so Luke traveled to Las Vegas twice, Wisconsin and Hawaii all within the first 3 months he was conceived.
I had horrible morning sickness all the way up to 20 weeks of pregnancy. Even up to the point of delivering Luke, I was throwing up. And the heartburn. I never knew heartburn could cause you to throw up until being pregnant. I was also having horrible rib pain. We were sent to a perinatologist after they found Luke’s kidney was slightly enlarged. They told us he had cyst on the back of his neck, and his kidney was measuring 4.5 and it should be less than 4. They asked to perform an amniocentesis. I refused. No matter what was wrong, I was going to have Luke, and I was going to love him regardless. They did blood tests, eventually everything came back negative on the genetic aspect. Scheduled an echo, all came back good. We were told that they would have more information at 30 weeks, and that appointment was scheduled.
I went in for my scheduled OB appointment at 27 weeks. I was miserable. My ribs were killing me. I had to pee literally every 15 minutes. My OB offered to take me off work but I wanted to keep working for a few more weeks. That night, I lost part of my mucous plug. Researched it online and saw a lot of people had this happen, it could be normal. I wasn’t able to sleep much that night, woke up at 7 am with period-like cramps. Took some Tylenol, was able to sleep for 3 hours. My friends urged me to call my OB. I told you, I am a nurse. I am stubborn. I didn’t want to go in. My OB told me to go to the hospital to get checked for peace of mind. I went, all the while thinking it was overkill. The nurses told me I was having contractions. They checked my cervix (ow) and did an AFP test. My cervix was closed, however the AFP test came back positive. A positive did not mean I was going to go into labor, but a negative test tells them that there is a 99% chance I would not go into labor for the next 2 weeks. The doctor checked my cervix then (double ow) and I was still closed. Ordered an ultrasound, my cervix was still long, however she wanted to keep me overnight. They gave me Terbutaline twice, and started me on Procardia to try to stop the contractions. In the morning, she checked me again (with the promise I could go home if it was closed) and I was still closed. Sent home on modified bedrest.
Fast forward to one week (exactly) later, I went to the restroom, on the toilet paper, bright red blood. Refusing to want to go to the hospital, I waited an hour. I wanted to stay home however I called my OB and she asked me to come in. I really, REALLY did not want to go in. The cervix checks were so painful. Thinking of Luke’s well-being, I went in. They checked my cervix (yippee) and I was 1-2 cm dilated. I was 28 weeks and 3 days. I couldn’t possibly be in labor. But I was. I was placed on strict bedrest. I put people on bedpans. I did not go on bedpans. I already told you I was going pee every 15 minutes. I’m not exaggerating. I was that annoying patient on the call light, even though I was trying to wait as long as I could. My OB told me I would be in the hospital for weeks. I cried. I couldn’t sleep in hospitals. I was placed on Magnesium. I was awake all night. At 6:45 am I had to pee so bad, but it was almost shift change so I decided to wait until my nurse came in. At 7:15 the OB and my nurse came in. He asked me if I was ok, I told him I had a lot of pressure and I really needed the bedpan. He explained that my baby was breech in the ultrasound from last night and he needed to check to make sure a foot was not coming out. Then, of course, the dreadful cervix check. I was 6 cm. He told me (while I was in shock) that they needed to do a c-section right away. I had sent my family home, I was alone. I couldn’t have Luke by myself. I was able to get ahold of my boyfriend and my mom, they were already prepping me. It was surreal from that moment. I couldn’t have Luke. The nursery wasn’t ready. He wasn’t done cooking.
There we were in the Operating Room. After Luke was born, I didn’t hear him cry. The OB said something isn’t right. I heard them breathing for my baby. We had no idea what was happening. After I was taken to recovery, and then my maternity room, the neonatologist came in. He had trouble intubating Luke. His CO2 levels were sky high, he wasn’t responding. My boyfriend, John, was able to go see Luke. His CO2 levels started dropping before his eyes, and before we knew it, they were normal. I was told I wasn’t able to see Luke until 8pm because of the c-section. Even though I hadn’t slept in 2 days, I refused to sleep until I could see my baby. So, I was taught how to pump. What I was able to give Luke was to be used as VAP care, basically to help prevent infection from the ET tube. Finally, I was able to see my baby at 8pm. He was beautiful. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. We were told by the NICU nurses that he was a survivor. He was doing well, and he had a good chance. I was able to sleep finally after seeing Luke. At 10:15 pm, the neonatologist called. Luke wasn’t doing well. When I was wheeled into the room, I didn’t believe this was the same baby. He was sunken in, darker in color, and struggling. His heart rate had dropped. He wasn’t breathing. They told me there was nothing they could do. We spent the next hours with our baby, loving him, kissing him, and crying. Our little fighter lived for 15 hours.
At my 2-week post-op appointment, the OB explained that I had a large amount of amniotic fluid. The first week I went in to L and D, the amniotic fluid index (AFI) was 26. I should have been around 18 at that time. The day before Luke was born, the AFI was 53. That was why I had to pee so much. The fluid was causing the rib pain, squishing my bladder, and pushing my stomach causing the horrible heartburn. They came to the conclusion that he had hypoplastic lung. His lungs had stopped growing. No matter how long he lived, he would never be able to survive. It has been one month since we lost him. I miss him every day.
You can email Jackie at JCK4537@gmail.com.