Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Just the Beginning

It has been 2 weeks and 2 days from where our story begins. The story that has changed our lives forever in both good and bad ways.  I've been trying to  fabricate an  informative prologue for how our story came to be, but it all had happened so fast. In a very small nutshell, this is how it all began...

For the last 3 years, I had been struggling with endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome. I had tried countless drugs, surgery, and hormone therapies with no relief. For the last two years, all I could do was muster up enough energy to suffer through work, get home and crawl onto the couch my heating pad until it was time to go to bed with my dear friend, the heating pad. It was a miserable few years, and I had finally had enough. I was put on many different forms of hormone therapies to try to get my body in a condition to where we could try to conceive, but I had never been able to reach that point. I had only just turned 25 years old when I was considering the decision with my doctor that the best thing for me was a hysterectomy. It was a decision that tore me in half, as I knew I wanted children with all of my heart, but I could not live in pain anymore.  My doctor suggested waiting for just one more cycle of fertility drugs so that we really got a chance to mentally prepare for the surgery. As fate would have it, some way, some how -that very next cycle was when Jaxson Hartley was conceived. Josh and I couldn't have been more happy. Not only did being pregnant temporarily take my pain away, it was our dream come true. Our miracle.

However, being pregnant with Jaxson was a hurdle from the start. I had suffered severely with hyperemesis from 6 weeks until I delivered. I had to be hospitalized multiple times for IV hydration. I also had an amniotic fluid scare at around 20 weeks which was monitored very closely and had corrected itself.  When things finally seemed to slow down for us - everything became chaotic.

In the early morning of October 24th, 2011, I took a visit to the emergency room. I had sudden severe preeclampsia, HELLP and Press Syndrome which earned me a very fast ambulance ride and an emergency c-section: Jaxson was born at 11:33am. He was 9 weeks early and weighed 3lbs and was 15 inches long. I knew we were not in the worse case scenario, but Josh and I were petrified. I only had time to receive one steroid injection to help mature his lungs, so the doctors prepared us for the worst. The procedure itself went by so fast, it all seems like a blur but I remember very much how scared and sad I was. I didn't get to see my baby for a day, and I didn't get to hold him for over a week.  His lungs were very immature and fully collapsed requiring him to have bilateral chest tubes. He needed to be maintained on a special kind of ventilator to be able to breathe. For two weeks, Josh and I watched Jaxson wax and wane, the "preemie roller coaster" that we had both read about. There were days where Jaxson looked like he was getting better and then through the night he would take a turn for the worst, and we begged for him to live.

Now on day number 16,  Jaxson is doing well, he has given up his chest tubes and now only has a feeding tube in place. He has been stable on oxygen and other than a few bradycardic episodes, his vitals appear stable. The doctors told us this morning at rounds that he may be able to move to the critical care nursing unit across the hall as he becomes more stable in the next few days. Josh and I are excited to leave the hectic worry and constant alarms of the NICU.

We are hopeful that our blog will not only help inform our family and friends, but also other scared preemie parents going through the same experience. This event has opened our eyes and we both have decided that we are going to invest ourselves in some way to help other preemie parents any way we can -   I guess this is how we start.

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