Mom to Kaleb Joseph

Born February 20, 2012
Passed February 22, 2012

Baraboo, Wisconsin

My husband and I found out we were pregnant shortly after we were married August 27th. On October 18th, I had gone to the clinic for my yearly PAP. I was told that I would get the results in the mail unless something major was wrong. So that same day at like 4pm, I got a call from the doctor telling me that the blood test had come back and I was 8 weeks pregnant. We were so excited. We set up an ultrasound and my first prenatal checkup. During the ultrasound, the doctor played our baby’s heartbeat on the speaker; it was so amazing to hear. Tears began to build in my eyes as my husband already shed a few. Everything felt so perfect. We told everyone about it, how our child’s heart rate was 176 and strong. So far everything in the pregnancy went great.

At 20 weeks along we had our ultrasound and were informed it was a baby boy. We began picking out names and planning a baby shower. But all that changed so fast…I still wish it was a dream. February 2nd around 5pm, I sat eating dinner and all of a sudden, my right side had some extremely sharp pains. I moved to the floor and tired to get comfortable. My husband, Joe, asked me what was wrong. I told him, and he suggested I try to sleep and see how that works. I woke up around 2am on February 2nd and told my mother about the pain. We went to the doctor’s in Baraboo. I was checked in and taken to the OB  ward and the nurses monitored my baby and made sure I wasn’t having contractions. I asked when the doctor would be in, and I was told he wasn’t going to see me until he did his final morning round around 8am. They told me to sleep and gave me Tylenol and a blanket.

When the doctor came in finally around 8:15am, he pushed on my side and said it was round ligament pain. My mother asked him if it could be my appendix and he said that no, there was no blood in the urine test they ran and I wasn’t running a fever. She was very concerned that he was wrong. She told him that she had had 9 children and the pain I was feeling wasn’t close to being round ligament pain. He still said it was, and sent me home with Tylenol 3’s with codine. I called my OB, and he said he agreed with the doctor’s finding and he didn’t want to see me.

After going to bed and trying to get up it, took me an hour and a half to get up to go to the bathroom. So we decided it was best to get a second opinion, and around 6pm the 3rd of February we went to Sauk Hospital. Upon arrival they were very concerned. I could barely walk and I hurt so badly. They ran a blood test and a urine culture; next was the worst feeling in my life. They came back and said that my blood count was 34,000 and I was being admitted into the OB ward. They said I was smart to come in, because I was on the verge of death. I was so scared we were going to lose our son. I wasn’t really thinking about myself at the time. They pumped me full of IV fluids and antibiotics. They watched me overnight and would come in and listen to my son’s heart beat. It was still strong and fast that I was so happy that it hadn’t affected him.

Come morning, the OB on duty told me that they felt it was my appendix, and that I would need surgery. They had me sign all of these waivers and my mother and husband arrived just before I was taken down to the OR. What should have been a 2-hour ordeal turned into a 5-hour surgery. Turns out when I had seen the doctor the day before in Baraboo, him pushing on my side caused my appendix to rupture. They surgeon had never seen a rupture like mine. It blew up literally and was adhering to everything. They had to unwrap it from around my right ovary and carefully scrape it from the uterus.

Three days later, everything was looking okay and I was being discharged with a lot of antibiotics and pain meds. Not even 1 week later, I began having right side pain again. I had an ultrasound and they didn’t see anything. Baby appeared to be healthy and I was sent home. On February 18th, my pain became worse and I started running a fever. My mother took me to Sauk Hospital E.R. I had the urge to go to the bathroom and I asked; they said it was okay. When I was done, I looked down and there was part of my mucus plug in the toilet. The OB nurse said it wasn’t anything to worry about and they put a pad under me to see how much I was losing. Yet again, I had to pee. Same results, except more this time. Finally the doctor did a pelvic exam and told me that he could see the amniotic sac and that I was dilating. They called my OB in to double-check, and he said that according to the charts, I wasn’t far enough along to go to the Madison Hospitals where they could save my baby. I was very upset at this point, because my OB appointment was that next day, so he figured it out and said he was sorry and I was on my way to St. Marys in Madison. When I got there, they told me it wouldn’t be too long before I had my son.

When my body didn’t dilate any further, they moved me to a different room in the OB floor and put me on bed rest. About a day and a half later, the resident in training came in to check on me. After I asked him not to lay me flat, as I knew the bag would pop, he did anyway, and within seconds of him doing so and turning around, I was lying in a pool of fluids. They rushed me down to a birthing suite and while in the elevator my son was half way out, feet first. I could feel him squirming around as they told me, “Don’t push, don’t push.”

We got to the room, and within seconds my son was born. I never heard him cry and didn’t see him until 3pm that afternoon. They tubed him and rushed him off to NICU. So there I sat, and shortly after a nurse came in and told me that he’s stable and they have him on antibiotics, and he’s in a induced coma and he seems to be a fighter. I was happy to hear this until the 22nd of February, when in my hospital bed we got a call that he’s not going to make it; his kidneys are shutting down and he’ll pass sometime today. We called my family and told them to hurry and get here to say goodbye. Our son, as if he knew they were coming, stayed strong until everyone was there…..as we slowly watched his heart rate drop. I held my angel baby close to me and watched as his little heart finally gave out. I was relieved that he never suffered.

I know that I will see him again and he’ll be just as perfect as the day he was born. In the end, when my appendix ruptured, it had gotten into his blood and when he passed, his blood had an infection that wasn’t caught. But with my go ahead, my son’s legacy will live on as the samples they took are going for research to find a antibiotic that will fight this kind of infection in infants and preemies. So, my son may be gone, but he is part of a bigger picture that could save many lives.

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  1. I am so sorry to read about your son. I also went into early labor because of a ruptured appendix at 21 weeks and have never known of anyone else in that situation. My son was born at 25 weeks 6 days and lived about 8 weeks. My thoughts and prayers are with you…

  2. Crazy stuff happens. I had a preterm labor at 22 weeks. I was having really bad back pains and they told me it was just her pushing on my nerves. The pain went away and then I started bleeding. So I went in and like you my sac was bulging due to my cervix opened. I had a bad bladder infection and a uterus infection. 2 days later I had my angel Sophiya. She stayed strong for my close family to meet her. I’m extremely close with my dad and shortly after he got there she passed, in my arms. For some reason God needed her. I’m so thankful I got the time I did with her. RIP to your little angel. He’s above watching you. (:

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