Why Harris came early

& What happened to Mama…

For 8 years my husband and I prayed to God everyday for children.  We believed that He would be our Infertility Specialist and never went through all the mess and finances to try and get pregnant.  We simply waited on the Lord.

On October 27, 1999 I found out I was pregnant!  I was stunned and had a hard time believing that someone was growing inside of me until November 11, 1999 when we had an Ultrasound to find out how far along I was.    I was 7 weeks pregnant by then.  Praise God!!!!

By the following week I was on bedrest due to my blood pressure beginning to rise.  For the next 5 months I was on Strict – Moderate – Strict bedrest.  By my second ultrasound – which was the most awesome, wonderful thing I had ever seen – the results said that the baby was 1 week behind developmentally.  The doctor didn’t seem too concerned about that and that was on February 11th.

March 21, 2000 my doctor sent me to the Perinatologists at a hospital known for its NICU.  The worries really started then.  They took an Ultrasound and the baby hadn’t grown in size since the February Ultrasound.  I was a swollen, high blood pressured, sick and worried pregnant woman.  The perinatologist started talking about how my child may be small due to Down’s Syndrome, or Pre-eclampsia, or a host of things.  Turned out to be a severe case of Pre-eclampsia that went to the HELLP syndrome.  By March 24th I was admitted in to the hospital.

At the hospital I was put on my left side, breathing oxygen, wearing monitors, poked with an IV to put fluid in me (not much amniotic fluid around baby), put on Magnesium Sulfate to stave off seizures and/or contractions, blood drawn just about every day, and checked every 2 to 4 hours by nurses and doctors.  I was rolled to Ultrasound everyday. The perinatology team there at the hospital was hoping I would stay healthy enough to not deliver the baby for 2 weeks to a month.  4 days later I was in MUCH PAIN as my liver started to spill enzymes.  The only cure for Pre-eclampsia/HELLP syndrome is delivery of the baby, otherwise I could die from a ruptured liver, go into convulsions, slip into a coma, and a host of other bad things the illness causes.

We decided that since the baby was the size of a 22 weeker but that I was 26 weeks and 6 days pregnant we would give him the best chance for survival and have a C-section.  Vaginal delivery could crush him to death.

The moment of truth came when he was lifted out of me…would he have the lungs of a 22 weeker or a 27 weeker?…..HE CRIED!!!  When I heard that sound I wanted to jump up and down.  The little guy would have a chance!  He had usable lungs.  He got scores of 8 and 10 for his APGAR’s.  He was moving his arms and legs trying to hit the doctors and nurses.  What a Fighter!!!!

By the time I was closed up and back to my room, the pain stopped and my blood pressure dropped from 166/116 to 127/70.  That quick.  4 days after the delivery of my son, every pound I had gained was gone too.  That was one of the difficult things to handle along with having a preemie; to leave the hospital looking like you had never been pregnant…  I cried a lot.  Empty Arm Syndrome hit me hard.  To have the C-section, go through all that pain, and not be able to hold your baby and have to go home to a big “empty” house?  Doctors telling you your baby probably won’t be able to come home until the end of August when your baby was supposed to be due June 30, 2000. 5 Months!!!!  Dear God give me the strength and patience to be able to handle that long without having our baby with us.

Well it is now June 7, 2000 and a little over 2 months has gone by.  Harris has fought off the jaws of death 4 times and come out stronger each time.  He is our little champion!  Also, 2 days before his 2 month birthday, I was able to hold him for the first time (Kangaroo Care)!  Now I get to hold him almost every day!  He is growing and getting stronger…Still looks like the end of August before we’ll take him home, but at least with being able to hold him things are better.   :’)

Today is August 26, 2000.  Harris has survived his final surgery to get his intestines reattached to each other and is now able to use his little bottom as it was intended to be used.  He has had a couple of setbacks but is now doing GREAT.  It now looks like some time in September for him to come home – all we are waiting for now is for him to take all his meals orally and home he goes!

I am doing pretty good now and have discovered that a large part of my problem was an unknown Blood Clotting disorder.  I have a Factor V Leiden deficiency.  This almost alway causes Pre-eclampsia and a host of other problems.  But now, praise God, if we are able to get pregnant again, we know exactly what to do to have a successful full-term pregnancy.

10-2-00 Harris came home today and what an exciting day!  It is so wonderful to be able to pick him up and kiss him and hug him and tell him that I love him anytime I want to!  So this is what it is like to bring a baby home!  I can see why people are doing this all the time.  He is a lot of work due to all the meds plus the normal 3 hour feedings whether he’s awake or not.  He has an NG tube to feed him and give him meds through.  The tube goes in his nose and down to his stomach and if he is too tired to finish a feeding orally we “tube” him the rest.