Ashlynn Elizabeth Hamm was born November 12, 2008 at 11:10pm. She was born premature at 23 weeks and 3 days. Ashlynn weighed 1 pound 5 ounces at birth and was 11.25 inches long. Click on Read Story below if you want my birth story and more information about me.
The pregnancy was high risk from the begining due to a blood clot in my uterus and a shortened cervix. I was put on bed rest the begining of September at 13 weeks. At 22 weeks, Monday November 3, my water broke and I was put in Spectrum Hospital. Labor had stopped that night and I was able to hold off going into labor for another week. On Wednesday November 12, I started getting a fever and doctor's knew I had gotten an infection. They had no choice but to deliver our daughter. I was induced around 8:30am on November 12th and slowly dialated throughout the day. Finally at 11:10pm after only a couple pushes, Ashlynn Elizabeth was delivered. Ryan and I couldn't believe how small our precious baby girl was. She was immediatly handed off to the neonatal doctor's and nurses. They got Ashlynn stabilized as Ryan took pictures of her and then they held her up to me to see one last time. Dr. Elderkin couldn't get my placenta out, so they took me to surgery for a D&C (had this done when I miscarried our first child). I ended up having emergency surgery because the uterus was so badly infected. Things took a turn for the worst in the surgery room, I lost all my blood 3 times, needing 38 units of blood (our body holds 7) and they ended up taking my uterus and cervix to save my life. Surgery lasted almost 6 hours and there were 50 people in the surgery room. I was in the ICU for three days and didn't even know that Ashlynn was still alive when I woke up. It was a miracle that Ashlynn and I survived that night and day.
So here we are now. Ashlynn's in the NICU, putting up quite the fight and I'm working 40 hours a week, while trying to spend as much time by her bedside as I can. Ashlynn opened her eyes for the first time on Saturday, November 22. She loves hearing her mommy and daddy talk to her and tries opening her eyes whenever she hears us talking. We have both held Ashlynn and done her care.
The nurses call Ashlynn fiesty because she wiggles out of her diaper, moves her arms and legs constantly, and pees out of her diaper. Ashlynn hates getting her care done. She loves being on her tummy, with her arms and legs confined, and when nurse Emily puts ribbons around her head.
Now that she's a big girl and 4 months old (gestationally just born), her likes and dislikes have changed a little. Instead of wiggling out of her diaper, Ashlynn now scoots down the bed. She loves getting her care done and loves getting talked to. Ashlynn's so interested in everything going on and hates falling asleep sometimes. More than anything, she loves looking at her toys and seeing herself in the mirror ... she's just so cute!! She loves when nurse Abbie reads her book to her and when nurse Emily does excercises with her. Most of the time Ashlynn loves getting her clothes changed, getting a bath, and sucking on her pacifier. Mommy and daddy are still her favorite things to hear. Things that Ashlynn doesn't like are dirty diapers .. she gets an owie butt pretty easily, being woke up when she's really tired, and staying in one position for too long.
Ashlynn Elizabeth passed away on Tuesday evening, June 2, 2009. She passed away peacefully in my arms surrounded by her father and close family. Her passing was very unexpected and something that I never thought would happen. Although she was very sick I thought she would prove the doctor's wrong like she had so many times before. I knew that day after looking at her that we had no other choice. We called the family to come up to the hospital and spent the day with her. She was highly sedated, but still tried opening her eyes to look at her daddy and I. When I looked back into her eyes she did not have that Ashlynn glow like I have seen every day. I knew that when her heart stopped earlier that morning, it had changed her and she was no longer the Ashlynn that I knew. She was in pain and in her last hours. We went in a room and everyone held her. When the family left that night, after she had passed away, Ryan and I just held her by ourselves for hours. I never wanted to let her go because I knew I would never hold her again. I had no choice ... I gave her to her nurses who I knew would tuck her in peacefully. The memories get me through the days and I picture her with that beautiful smile and angel wings.
Not a day goes by that I don't think of her. I miss my Ashlynn ... my biggest girl. I had always said to her in every talk that we had (there were lots) "Your my biggest girl".
I'm so glad that I kept this page up. Though I don't go on it too much to write updates it is so nice to have for times like this when I do want to and I love reading through the journals. It keeps her here in another way.
A few hours from now is when we got the call 4 years ago telling us that we had to get to the hospital because Ashlynn was not doing good. Her heart rate was slow and her stats were all over the place throughout the night. I will never forget the call, scurrying around the room after being woken around 3:30am, and from that moment on and throughout the day feeling completely sick to my stomach that my girl wasn't going to make it. That was the start to the worst day of my life. A day that I can replay every minute in my head of what took place and what was said. A day that changed my life in so many ways. No matter how many years go by the pain from that day and the constant missing her will never go away.
I know she is watching over us every day. I always wonder what she thinks... is she proud of us, what does she think of her little brother? In some way I feel that she had a hand in choosing her little brother, Decklan. and perhaps it is why a few possible adoptions didn't end up happening during our process. I'm grateful to have Ashlynn as our guardian angel and cannot wait to tell Decklan all about his brave big sister.
Ashlynn Elizabeth I miss you more than I can even say. I cherish every moment that we spent together and I will continue to live life to the fullest for you because I know that is what you would have wanted for me. I picture the day I get to hold you again in Heaven and though it makes me cry because I want to hold you right now, it definitely gives me something to look forward to. I love you so so much!