Wednesday, July 9, 2008

State of total confusion...

On July 14, 2005 I headed in for my 37 week prenatal appointment. Everything checked out well. At the end of the appointment I asked the doctor if she knew the baby's position. I was already dilated a bit and I had an inkling that he might be breech (head up). She checked and said "Oh, I think you are right, lets send you over for a sonogram to be sure. If he is breech you will need a section."

Terror ran through my body as I heard the word section. I had hoped to avoid that at all costs. I remember walking over to the sono office praying that God would turn this little guy. We got to the desk and the woman said they weren't sure they could squeeze me in. I pleaded and she found a way. We sat in the dark sono room while the technician scanned my belly. She assured us he was breech and he was up pretty high still. Then awkwardness filled the air. There was a deafening silence. She quit speaking and her light heartedness disappeared. I knew something was wrong. What could it be? I asked if there was a problem and she said she wasn't sure.

She looked a little longer and then told us she saw some swelling on the baby's brain and excess fluid. She wanted to go over the results with a doctor and she wanted us to wait because she thought they would want to deliver him immediately.

We were sent back to the waiting room of the doctor's office. It was pure torture. I was trembling. How could this be happening. We intended to leave the visit and go to lunch. We knew it would likely be our last alone time for a while and we had plans. Our plans did not include a c-section or a baby that day.

We were called back to the exam room and the doctor looked at us with tears in her eyes. She explained that she was not sure exactly what was wrong but that something was severely wrong with the baby's brain. She explained that she needed us to take a few minutes to process all of this and then we needed to walk across the street to the hospital to begin getting ready for a c-section. We would then need to be prepared for Howard to leave with the baby to fly to Pittsburgh. I would be alone. She hugged us and said she was so sorry but that we needed to move quickly and she needed us to hang in there.

We walked to the hospital still reeling from the news. I began to "check out" the world was moving way faster than my mind could keep up and I just mentally checked out. I sat in a hospital bed practically vacant while doctors and nurses prepared me for surgery. This was completely unlike me as I am a complete baby when it comes to this stuff.

They began to wheel me to the OR and I remember a nurse giving me a medallion with the virgin Mary on it. She told me to pray to Mary. I remember Howard snatching the medallion and simply saying, put your faith in the Father Kristy. He will pull us through this. Howard was steadfast. He has faith that is amazing.

I sat in the OR waiting for my spinal. The anesthesiologist tried to make jokes. I was less than amused. I told him I was scared. He began to tell me about the scariest moment of his life. He began with the words Cedar Point and I asked him to stop talking. He told me things were going to be okay. I told him that this was not what I signed up for. He assured me when you sign up to be a parent this is exactly what you sign up for. There are no guarantees. I thought he was a bit harsh and so I chose to block him out too.

I was given my spinal and Howard was allowed to come in. I remember shaking uncontrollably, likely just as much from medications as from fear. The baby was born quickly and silently. I was terrified. I just kept asking "why isn't he crying?" they assured me that they were clearing his airways as there was meconium in the fluid and they did not want him to inhale it. I got a brief view of him and they wisked him off to the NICU.

I was then wheeled to recovery. I remember sitting there trying to cry but unable to really sob because it hurt so much. They wanted to give me drugs and I was terrified to take anything as I was afraid to have my mind clouded at all at this time. Howard went to be with the baby and I sat there motionless yet freaking out inside.

Howard made phone calls and he returned to be with me. That was when the OB and the neonatologist walked in. The look on their faces said it all. I assumed they had lost him. I remember saying to them "Just say it." The doctor said it didn't look good, but they had him stable. They would not be taking him to Pittsburgh because there was nothing that could be done for him. His brain was too underdeveloped and there was no way to add brain tissue. we would just have to wait and see, he explained that the baby may not have long or he could live a long life, but would likely be in a vegetative state. He told us he was sorry and that we would need to decide what measures we wanted taken to keep him alive.

We had gone to the doctor at 10:30 figuring we would be in and out in fifteen minutes and then heading to lunch. Now we were sitting in a recovery room, our son had been born and was not expected to live. I was still checked out. It is painful to remember but I sat there stone cold. Cold emotionally and cold physically. I think it was a coping mechanism. I decided then and there that it was probably better if I not see him and if I just tried to be strong.

I was moved to a regular room and nurses were in and out. Everyone was bugging to know his name. I didn't know. I didn't want to name him. I thought it might hurt less if we didn't name him. Maybe if we didn't allow ourselves to get attached it would be less painful. Maybe we could just forget this ever happened. Howard was the opposite. He spent much time with the baby and when he wasn't with him he was in the Bible or praying. He had a faith that I will never forget in that moment. He fully believed God was about to perform a miracle and that our baby would be coming home. Funny looking back...he was certainly right.

Family came and went. No one knew what to say. Everyone tried to be positive which only irritated me. I wanted to be realistic. I did not want to get my hopes up. I wanted to face the brutal truth, my son would soon die, if he didn't die, he would be a vegetable.


Michelle said...

I am following along as I want to know more about Isaac! I am glad you are sharing. My heart breaks for you as I read your words. Praying for you tonight.


Suzie said...

I know you are not done sharing this with us all, but I want to say thank you. I am praying for you now and in the coming days. Love ya very much!

Chris and Emily said...

shaking, crying, praying for you as these days approach.

Anxious AF said...

I remember going in to the hospital for my normal lets have a baby experience, and everything giong wrong, i wanted so badly to go back in time and "start over", this wasnt what I signed up for. I can realte to this part of your story.
Thanks for opening up about your Isaac.

Laurie in Ca. said...


I pray that this is healing for you as you share it with us. Such an intimate hurt that I cannot even imagine. I have followed and prayed for you with Asher, knowing of Isaac but not knowing this. I am so thankful for you to have Howard to be your rock along with Jesus. And I am very familiar with "checking out". It is a life saving tool to get through something so devastating. I love you girl and am praying for you. Thank you for sharing this precious baby's story with us. I admire you even more.

Love, Laurie in Ca.

Erin said...

I didn't realize you didn't know about Isaac's condition before he was born. I remember "that day" when we found out something was wrong with our Isaac. I am thankful that we knew there was something wrong ahead of time and had time to prepare. I am sure it was so much more difficult having it all happen so quickly. Thanks for sharing more about your precious Isaac. I hope it is healing for you to share about him and remember him. "That day" is coming up for us in August and it is always a difficult one. Thinking of you!

Our beautiful mess... said...

Thank you for sharing something that still must be so painful to you. I'm so scared right now to lose this baby. I've been cramping off and on, and all I want to do is "be still" but I can't. I'll be praying for healing for you today.
With Love,

Mrs. MK said...

"everyone wanted to be positive, I just wanted to be realistic".

what a powerful statement in the midst of suffering....

My wise mother who has suffered loss, reminds me that people can't win in my eyes. If they are happy, I'm mad at them. If they don't ask, I'm mad at them. If they go on like everything is OK, then I am mad at them.

Thank you for sharing this story!

Corie said...

Oh my dear Kristy. Thank you for sharing such intimate details about your son. Many of your emotions at the time I can totally relate to now. This just brings tears to my eyes. I continue to be so thankful for your strength and faith in Christ. You are beautiful. Maybe one day we will have the privledge to meet. I would love to give you a big fat hug. Hard days ahead in the midst of so much grief. I am praying.

Tiffany said...

My heart is just aching reading that. All the memories from Kinsie came flooding back and now not knowing the outcome of our unborn child this just really hits home. I admire you so much for putting your heart out there on the line and sharing with basically the whole world what you went and what you are going through. The Lord sure is working in you and I pray for you and your family every day.

I just can't imagine. I am so sorry that you have had to go through this kind of pain though.

All my love, Tiffany!