Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Day My Life Changed Forever (Part 1)

It is November and in honor of Prematurity Awareness Month and Colton's Birthday (the 25th) I will be re-telling the story of Colton's birth and NICU journey on my blog over the next several weeks. Some posts will be told from what I (and others) remember and the rest will be written word for word from a journal I kept for a short time during his first month of life.

At 7:30 in the morning on November 25, 2007, I woke up with the same urge to pee that I had woken up with every morning since I became pregnant. On this morning though something was different, something felt off. It was hard for me to get out of the bed and I had pains in my abdomen and back which I attributed to the Braxton Hicks contractions I had read so much about in my "What to Expect When You're Expecting" book. I thought nothing of it, after all the book says these pains are normal. I went from calm to cautious, though, as I stood up from the toilet to see a small amount of blood mixed with my urine. Bleeding was not completely uncommon in my pregnancy so I woke Seth up, let him know what was going on, he urged me to go back to sleep for a couple hours and take it from there when I woke. I set the alarm for nine and fell back to sleep with little trouble. The beep of the alarm clock woke me in what seemed like just a short time, I stood up to return to the bathroom and assess the situation but quickly fell back down on the matress, I was in terrible, throbbing pain. After 30 seconds or so it went from unbearable to just uncomfortable, I woke Seth up again, without even checking the bleeding, to tell him that things were definitely worse. Being the "man" that he is, he told me I was probably fine but if I was really worried I should go downstairs and ask his Mother since she had been pregnant before and well, obviously, he had not. (We were staying at his parent's house for the night) Practically crawling I headed down the stairs and into his Mom's room to wake her and ask her the opinion of a female. While waking her up I experienced another sharp throbbing which caused me to grab my stomach and double over in pain. When she saw that I was having that much trouble we both agreed that I needed to be at the hospital so she went upstairs to wake Seth back up so he could take me. In the short time it took her to do that, I had another throbbing pain, they were getting closer together. Because of the pressure I felt in my lower abdomen I thought I might need to go #2 really bad so I made my way to the downstairs bathroom. When I walked in I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I was as white as a ghost and noticed that I had sweat building up on my forehead. "Something is very wrong" I said outloud to myself and decided not to even attempt to sit on the toilet, there was no guarantee that I would be able to get back up. I met Seth and his mother in the foryer, by then he knew something was not right, he draped a jacket over my shoulders, slipped shoes on my feet and helped me out to the car. The local hospital was about 15 minutes away, I layed down in the back seat of Expedition, having what I knew now were contractions as Seth did 95mph to make it across town. About half way there I heard him let out a "Oh No" under his breath. "What?" I half yelled at him. He told me we were going to have to pull over for just a second. I think I said something along the lines of "why in the world would we pull over" but just as I finished talking I heard the sirens of a police car quickly approaching us. A cop was pulling us over... NOW?!?! What luck! It took him FOREVER to get to the car and when he finally got there he would let Seth utter a word until he muttered the standard "Do you have any idea how fast you were going" and "What exactly are you in such a hurry for". Seth pointed to the back seat where I was panting and moaning and told him that I was in the labor and I was only 23 week along. The cop stood there with a dumb look on his face for a couple of seconds, then told us not to run any red lights and walked away. When we made it to the Emergency Room at Frankfort Regional Medical Center, I was in the worst pain I had ever experienced in my entire life. While Seth went to register me, I was so out of it that I actually laid down on the waiting room floor. At this point, the worry was not yet trumping the pain, I thought they would just give me something to stop the contractions and send me back home. Eventually Seth came back with a Nurse and a wheelchair to get me up to Labor and Delivery. One of my Doctor's just happened to be on call, he met us as we got off the elevator to ask some questions. Seth pushed me into the room and helped me change into a gown while the Doctor prepared to examine me. As soon as he checked my cervix he yelled something to the Nurses in the hallway and told me that I was 7 centimeters dialated. He got up from his stool and came to the head of the bed with a very serious look on his face. "You're going to have a baby very soon" he started "and if you deliver at this hospital the baby will not survive, we just don't have the equiptment to handle an infant that small. We are going to send you to UK Hospital, the NICU there is the best place for your baby to be." Seth and I just looked at each other then he sprung into action, he went to talk to my parents who had been called earlier while heading to the hospital. I heard talk around me, they were trying to decide if I needed to be flown or if an ambulance would make it in time. After someone (my mom or Seth, I'm not sure which) told them I had never flown in an airplane or helicopter in my entire life they decided an ambulance was best. People were talking to me, talking at me, all around me but I couldn't respond, I was in shock. I was in some deep, dark place that I had never been before, picturing my baby born blue and not breathing then in a coffin so tiny and fragile, dead and cold. A stabbing pain in my leg jerked me from my morbid thoughts and I realized that there were nurses all around me. They were giving me shots to help my babies severely under-developed lungs and slow the contractions, I noticed monitors that had been placed all over my body. Minutes later the paramedics entered the room as they were briefed by the nurses a look of terror came over there faces. Why were they scared? Weren't they trained for this kind of thing? "What are the chances she will deliver on the way there?" one of them asked. The Doctor procedded to tell them that he was pretty sure I would last the 30 minute drive to Lexington but if not there was really nothing they could do. My contractions were getting worse and I wasn't sure he was correct... I prayed that he was.

Part 2
Part 3


  1. Wow, how incredibly scary for you. Can't wait to read the second part of your story.

  2. Oh my gosh! I have been both, looking forward to and a little afraid to read your story.