Friday, December 29, 2006

One Year Ago

I don't recall everything about the delivery, but a few points stand out. We had a very tearful and restless night. In the morning, I was checked for progress. The OB's switched shifts and I had a new doctor. They decided to break my water to get things moving. The doctors didn't think I needed to dilate all the way, because she was a preemie. I progressed quickly and I remember telling the nurse I was feeling pressure. I was checked and they discovered I was dilated to 10.
The doctor and nurse came in. The room was fairly dark and quiet. It only took a few pushes. The doctor had me stop pushing between contractions, even though felt I could keep going. He put his head down between pushes and it was very quiet. It didn't take me long. I remember the doctor saying she was big. I don't think anyone expected her to be 6 pounds 4 ounces and 20 inches long. She was the size of a full term baby.
When she arrived, the doctor spent some time looking at her and shaking his head. He didn't see anything wrong. The nurse took the baby and cleaned her up for us to hold. The doctor delivered the placenta and examined it. He said there was some calcification, like it was old, but he couldn't see any reason for her death. He apologized for not knowing what had happened and I told him it was okay. I couldn't expect him to know everything.
The nurse brought Cami to us wrapped in a beautiful, hand crocheted blanket with the standard hospital hat. She had prepared a preemie hat for her and had to go get a full size hat to match the blanket. I held Cami in my arms. She was so warm and looked just perfect. It didn't seem real. The nurse opened the blanket so we could see all her perfect little parts. She had beautiful curly hair. I did not touch her skin and I wish I had.
After a few minutes, my arm began to ache from holding her, so the nurse asked if Brian wanted to hold her. At first he didn't, but I asked him to. He was so sweet bouncing her in his arms. I am so grateful I got to see him holding her. We didn't spend much time with her. The nurse brought her to the nursery and stayed with her all day. My mother flew into town and arrived a few hours after the baby was born. She held her in the nursery and sang to her. I was asked if I wanted to see her again, but I didn't. I only needed that first little snuggle.
My stepson and stepdaughter arrived and kept us company a little while. My daughter, Ivy, was with her dad and had no idea she had lost her baby sister. I wanted to be there when she got home, so the doctors discharged me early. I was wheeled out to the car with a box containing her little hat, a certificate, her hand and footprints and a lock of hair. The nurse apologized for sending me home with a box instead of a baby. It was horrible.
When I arrived home, the hospital called to tell me they had forgotten to give me my rhogam shot. We had to go back! The nurse came to the hospital entrance and gave me the shot in the car so I didn't have to go in. We made it back to the house just as Ivy arrived.
My mother was telling my ex what had happened and Ivy was inside with her step-siblings. Brian and I brought her upstairs and told her that her baby sister had died. She cried and said, "She's not supposed to do that. She's supposed to be alive!" She cried her name over and over. We all just held each other and cried. What a horrible experience for a family to go through. I still repeat it all in my head each day and can't believe it happened to me. Every time I read about it happening to someone else, I am brought to tears again.
I am so sad for all the families who experience the loss of a child. I am grateful to have a new little life in my world, but I will never forget my sweet little Cambria Quinn.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

One Year Ago

One year ago I was 34.5 weeks pregnant and working on home on partial rest because of contractions. I was having contractions that morning, so I called my boss to tell her I was going to l&d again, for the 6th time that pregnancy. I told her I would probably just get a shot and be back to work that afternoon.
I left Brian at home installing the new tivo and drove over to l&d. When they hooked me up to the monitors, they had a hard time finding the baby. I knew something was wrong and I said so. This baby kicked all the time and it didn't make sense. They brought in another monitor and still no baby. They tried the handheld Doppler and found nothing so they called the OB.
I knew something was wrong, but it was taking so long. The OB arrived and started the ultrasound. He looked around for a little bit before saying, "unfortunately, there's no heartbeat." I said, "what does that mean?" I seriously thought I was going to have an emergency c-section and they would get her heart going, jut like on TV. The OB said, "the baby has died in the uterus." and proceeded to show me the chambers of the heart and where the blood should be pumping.
I just cried, “No! Not my baby!” over and over again. I tried to grab the cell phone to call Brian but couldn’t push the buttons. When I finally got to him, I just cried, “The baby died!!!” That must have been so horrible for him. The phone cut out and I handed it to the doctor and asked him to call. He called back and told him to get in right away. They ordered an official ultrasound to confirm the baby’s death. I thought they would do a c-section. I was telling the doctor I just wanted the baby out!
Unfortunately, they had to induce. While I was lying there, the nurse came to ask if I wanted the blinds closed. I told her I didn’t because I was watching the rainbow. There was a beautiful rainbow out the window. The 22 hours I was in labor may have been the worst hours of my life, but I am so glad I was able to go through them before the baby arrived. There were just so many thoughts I needed to work out. I spent a lot of time thinking of the things I had done to kill my baby. It was completely irrational, but I’m certain it was necessary. I considered that I had taken Metamucil the previous day. I considered the benadryl I had taken early in pregnancy. Was I not putting my feet up high enough as I worked? Had I taken a bath that was too hot? Was it because I missed some of my vitamins? How about Christmas shopping?
Brian slept next to me on the couch. I had an epidural and was not in pain. We cried throughout the night. The nurse told us what to expect. She advised us to look at the baby. She said that what parents imagine is so much worse than reality. This was the longest night of my life. Tomorrow I will add what happened the next day.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Creep Creep Creep

Time is creeping closer to Cami's birthday. I don't even know what to do. Should we celebrate? Mourn? I don't know if we can even get to the cemetery on the 29th. This area has been hit by a terrible storm and the town with the cemetery has been without power for a week.

I am so grateful to have my little guy right now, even though I could really use a nap! I cannot imagine what this season would be like without little Z. If I were pregnant, I would be terrified. If I were not pregnant and did not have a new baby, I would be in so much anguish. I miss Cami so much, but I can focus back on reality by looking at my beautiful new baby.

He has grown a lot. Unfortunately for me, he eats all the time. It is difficult to get anything done or to get any sleep when I get no breaks from the baby. Brian is wonderful at watching him, but I can't even find time to pump milk to store for breaks. I will have to work on that more.

Z has started a bad habit of pulling his own hair. Once he discovers the pain, he panics and pulls even harder!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

6 Weeks!

I find it hard to believe he is six weeks old. He still seems like a brand new baby. I do notice he is much heavier and he may be about ready to outgrow a few of his outfits. It's nice that clothes don't just hang on him now. He has outgrown newborn diapers.
I still cry all the time. I know all the books about pregnancy after a loss suggest you wait a while before you conceive. They tell you that you need more time to grieve. It's true that I am still grieving, but I don't think more time would have made a difference. I am so sad Cami never got to feel the love I get to offer Zaeden. It is so hard to think that she never got to be alive in this world. I also cry when I think that if I hadn't lost her, I would never have Zaeden. I hate that I lost one child to gain another. It is a sacrifice no mom should have to make.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Weight Check

Yesterday Zaeden had this red rash under his eyes and they were all puffy, so I brought him in to the pediatrician. She says it's only contact dermatitis and no big deal. The good news is that she weighed him and he was 8 pounds 4 ounces. He grew 12 ounces in 5 days. That is amazing for him! We were doing weekly weight checks and now she says she doesn't need to see him until his 2 month visit. She also says it looks like his jaundice improved dramatically in the last 5 days. We are so relieved!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Great News!

He has the "good" jaundice! His bili levels are still 13.9, but that is down from the last check a few weeks ago. The pediatrician says he's doing fine and we'll just check his weight again next week. We added some formula to his diet last night. He ate more than usual and slept a lot longer. I don't know if that's good or not. It was good for me, but does that mean he missed a feeding? I guess loading up on the extra before he went to sleep made up for the missed feeding.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Waiting Game

We are still waiting for this little kiddo to do some growing. Last Friday he was 7 pounds 6.5 ounces. Today he's 7 pounds 8 ounces. That is just not enough! He's eating and eliminating fine, but still has jaundice. We just had blood drawn so the doctor can determine if it's the good or "bad" jaundice. The bad kind means there is some kind of physical defect with the kidneys or liver. I'm waiting by the phone for the results. She anticipates he's just got the good jaundice still from being a preemie and now that he has reached term, he should start gaining normally.
He's such a sweet little guy! He rarely cries, and if he does, it is very obvious what is wrong. Usually he cries when he's cold and wet. He also gets a bit frustrated if he waits too long to eat and has trouble latching on.
He sure loves his daddy! He's a very smiley guy and when he's awake, he likes to be snuggled and tickled. His sister loves to read to him and he doesn't seem to mind the Barbie books yet. She wishes she could hold him more, but we have to wait until he's a little more healthy.