As I have thought long and hard about how I wanted to present "our baby loss story," I realized that Remembering "That Day," was devastating twice. For Brighton and I, we had 5 1/2 weeks to prepare us for 3 things. One: to walk away with a perfectly healthy small baby after being in the NICU. Two: to walk away with a baby with multiple disabilities. Or three: to walk away empty handed. Somehow I believe because we were able to prepare ourselves for one of three things, it has helped me process this a lot for the last 10 weeks. Enough to put in on paper for others to know "our baby loss" story.
It all started when I was 19 weeks along in my cookie cutter pregnancy, when one morning I woke up to what ended up being the scariest and saddest days of our lives thus far. Yes, my water broke. HOW CAN THIS HAPPEN? I didn't know this could happen. The term the doctor used was pPROM. (Preterm Pre-mature rupture of membranes) "THAT DAY" everything came crashing down on me and my already excited and "anxious-to-become-a-parent" spouse.
What is pPROM?
Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes. PROM is the rupture of membranes prior to going into labor (the classic, “My water broke! Time to have a baby!”) pPROM is when that happens any time before 37 weeks. (THIS WAS ME)
What Causes pPROM?
Common causes are Uterine infection (most common), over stretching (often associated with carrying multiples), trauma, or from a leak that doesn't heal (sometimes associated with amniocentesis), incompetent cervix, or early bleeding in the pregnancy. I of which had none of these. The doctor is calling mine a FLUKE! WHAT? A freakin' FLUKE! Ugh. I wish FLUKES couldn't happen.
Leaving the specialist "THAT DAY" we knew that our perfectly healthy baby boy was doing "well," but the chances of him living were slim. We were given many options, one of which was to "terminate" the pregnancy. The word "termination" still rings in my mind from "THAT DAY" and makes me ill.
I will forever be grateful to the fill-in specialist that we followed up with 2 weeks later who was one of few who told us to be "HOPEFUL."
Multiple specialists reported that 4% of women have this happen in their pregnancies. 4%. The specialist also told us that 90% of women go into labor within 72 hrs after their water breaks. We were that 10% that beat those odds. Unfortunately everyday after that point was crucial to STAY PREGNANT. I ended up putting my self on modified bed rest then eventually full bedrest. Everyday I would cry of course, but LOVED on my baby. I prayed for him, I sang for him, I listened to his perfect heartbeat. I took multiple vitamins to prevent infection. Also how much doterra "ON GAURD" did I go through? I drank at least a gallon or more of water a day. I ate my probiotics, protein and yes prunes. All that laying around took a toll on my body. I did everything I could to keep me pregnant. We BELIEVED in his fight and we were going to do everything we could for him. Of course we were realistic in "what could happen," but tried with every part of us to STAY POSITIVE. Having a constant hope for good things to come.
We could not believe we kept staying pregnant day after day. At 23 weeks we again were TOLD to terminate. Our baby wouldn't have a chance and if he did make it he would most likely have a severe disability. We knew this wasn't OUR decision. Our sweet baby boy was obviously a champ and we believed it was in our Heavenly Fathers Hands. WE prayed constantly. Our friends and family prayed constantly and we are so beyond grateful for everyones support. We continued on. I told the specialist, "WE WILL NOT TERMINATE." And we continued on some more. Hopeing and praying we would make it to 24 weeks where the baby was "viable." Ugh. I really dislike that term. Again, most of the specialty Drs. told us we wouldn't make it that far, but we did. Thankfully my OB was on board with our fight and after 5 and a half weeks on bed rest we reached 24 weeks. YAY! The baby was still doing great, however just like every visit prior since pPROM, my fluid levels were not measurable. Because of the support groups I had joined while on bed-rest; I knew there was a chance. We believed that we too could have a miracle baby who could live, considering he already was a miracle. Being that I had made it to 24 weeks. It's true that one of the most courageous decisions we ever made, was to BELIEVE in a miracle.
The big day had come. We were admitted to the hospital the day before our 2nd year anniversary & I was SOOOOO looking forward to 5 star hospital meals on wheels kind of dinner to celebrate. Of course I packed ALLLL my belongings and some because I was certain I was in it for the long hall. I was hoping at least 6 more weeks in the hospital. So I packed decor too. Had to make my room nice and homey. That night little did we know would be the last day I would be pregnant.
The following day was our anniversary and we started off the morning with hospital breakfast and our wedding video before the first session of General Conference. I had been experiencing a little bit of discomfort but nothing that the nurses were too concerned about. No contractions were identified on the monitors. WELL, it wasn't 2 hours later that those small discomforts ended up being HUGE contractions, which eventually led to placental abruption. I hemorrhaged and i'm talking I literally thought I was going to die. I have never in my life thought it was possible for someone to lose that much blood & still be alive. From there I knew it was happening. I was going to deliver my sweet baby boy that day.
The doctor re-assured me over and over again that I wasn't going to die, after me asking her probably a million times. I will say I have never been so calm in my life during that hour of delivery. (Even though I kept asking if I was going to die) It has always been a fear of mine. What can I say? I delivered our sweet Bode James naturally (not my choice) and overall that part of it went pretty well. He was born at 3:12 pm weighing 1 lb. 6 oz. and was 11 3/4 inches long. Oh and he was so cute. He even had Brightons big bushy eye-brows.
Brighton was so proud at that moment as be became a dad that day. What an exciting, anxious filled day becoming parents for the first time on our anniversary. I remember crying and praying to my Heavenly Father to let him live. At least one day. I will say I couldn't even imagine having him be born and pass away on our anniversary. That day needed to be a special day. So I prayed for that. It wasn't until several hours later that our hopes and dreams of taking our sweet baby home was not going to happen this time.
The night had come and gone as I was recovering after a pretty fast day. It all feels like a blur for me, considering many people are in labor for days or hours. It was 2:30 am on October 6th that changed our lives forever. We sat in the NICU very anxiously as the NICU doctors and nurses worked continuously on our sweet baby boy. Just when he would seem to be doing well, his sats would drop again. I remember hearing all the bells and whistles from the monitors and feeling numb. I still believed he could make it, but knew he was in a very fragile state. Because I could understand the Dr's medical terms and such while in the room with Bode, I knew that things didn't look so well for him. However, we pushed on and continued care. We sat and watched Bode as they continued to pump blood and other medicines into his fragile body hour after hour. It was "THAT DAY" at 5:05 am that our Bode James took his last breath and returned to the arms of Jesus and our Heavenly Father. The precious time we got to spend next to him in the NICU was not nearly enough. I never knew those precious 14 hours could make such an impact on us as it has. Our little baby is our hero and was such a brave and valiant spirit who came to us so graciously. He had so much courage and we truly are so proud of him and his fight to stay with us.
We spend the next 8 hours holding him and loving him & crying over him with our families. I was able to take pictures of him to always remember his sweet face, tiny toes, cutes nose and long fingers. His face will forever be engraved in my memory and the feelings of being completely IN LOVE with someone I just met will always hold a place in my heart.
For me, I will never forget leaving the hospital "empty handed." Brighton pushed me to the car with blankets on my lap instead of a sweet, bundled up smelling good baby. It was and still is somewhat haunting my emotions. That is the part of "THAT DAY" that makes me most angry. Something I am sure I will have to work through for a long time.
Just like all other angel babies out there, Bode is and always will be a part of our family and we would like to spread the word of HOPE for other families struggling with this and similar complications. You need to know there is HOPE. Unfortunately our sweet Bode James did not make it, but he was able to make it long enough for us to KNOW him. Like I mentioned, one of the most courageous decisions we ever made was believe in a miracle. By following other pPROM support groups on Facebook throughout my experience, I know there are babies who make it and LIVE. (Which does make it hard for us), but like some people have mentioned, he must be that special to be needed in heaven at this time for a greater mission. I'm so so grateful that we made the decision to believe in a miracle and do every thing we could for our sweet boy. I could never imagine living with any "what if's." PLEASE help me let others know there is HOPE for these babies.
Now, it is my HOPE that as for me and my husband Brighton that there are GOOD THINGS TO COME.
For now we will continue to grieve the loss of Bode. Remembering "THAT DAY" is hard as I have repeated the details over and over and over again in my mind. Wishing it was all bad dream and he was actually here with us as I know we both would make such wonderful parents. Even though I cry often and we both feel so many strange emotions, we know it's OK to do so. He was that special to us and our families that it only makes perfect sense to cry and I mean CRY like a baby often. I've been told it's healthy.
We are so grateful for good friends and family who love us and have been so supportive throughout this hard trial we have and are going through. The continual gifts, prayers and kind words have meant so much. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
You can follow the rest of our story here on instagram. Just add me if you please. Also, if you know others who are struggling with infant loss or have any fertility problems, I hope that we can all be kind and reach out to help each other through these not so fun experiences in our lives. Sometimes it really just doesn't seem fair.