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12/29/2016 Latest post:
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
Logan was born on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at 8:11 am. He was delivered by C-Section at Cleveland Clinic in the Special Delivery Unit. Logan's original due date was Sunday, March 19, 2017, so he was certainly early arriving at 27 weeks and 3 days! To back up a little bit, Ralph and I had a pregnancy that ended in a silent miscarriage in 2015. I also has lupus, so this pregnancy was automatically categorized as high risk. The first few months went very textbook, and all standard tests were going well. Besides for seeing the regular OB-GYN, I began seeing a high risk doctor for precautionary measures around the 12 week mark. Around 18 weeks, a plural effusion (water on the lungs) was noticed on the ultrasound on the left lung. Originally, the doctor wanted to schedule the appointments a little closer together to monitor this and see if it developed into anything further. A few appointments later, and while the effusion grew, so did baby. Logan continued to develop as he should, and additional ultrasounds and a heart echo did not reflect any concerns. The doctor continued to monitor this, hoping that this was strictly a lymph node leak that could be corrected at delivery by draining it out. At 25 weeks (week of December 6), the doctor now seen the plural effusion on both sides of the lungs, plus a new large mass he could not identify by the umbilical cord. Cyst? Blood clot? Potentially even a twin? I was sent off for a second opinion during week 26. The second opinion matched with the first, and the mass remained unidentified. They decided an amniocentesis test (a more direct yes/no on genetic concerns compared to previous sequential tests that provide probabilities) would be highly recommended, and also steroid shots in case of early delivery. The shots were given on back to back days Thursday & Friday December 15 & 16. Another heart echo and a MRI were scheduled for the following Wednesday December 21 to see if anything had changed with heart function due to the mass, and the MRI as a last-ditch effort to identify what it was. At 27 weeks on Tuesday, December 20, I went in for a spot-check ultrasound, and very quickly the doctor seen both the fluid increase, the mass, and now swelling on the baby. I was taken out of the ultrasound room and led to a regular room and the doctor said I'd need to go straight up to Cleveland Clinic, after he made some calls and conferred with the team. After about 45 minutes, I got the go-ahead to leave and head up there. I had just enough time to run home and throw some things in a bag and go. I was told I'd be delivering either that day or the next, depending on when they could get the results back from the amniocentesis test and what the doctors up here decided. As I pulled in to the main campus, I got the call that the results were negative for any genetic concerns (such as Down Syndrome). I met with Elaine, who would give me a quick tour of the Special Delivery Unit, the NICU, and cover as many questions as possible while the doctors worked on the plan for me. I met with 2 doctors who would be taking care of the baby as soon as he was delivered. I had to have magnesium ran through IV, which takes 12 hours to do. The magnesium helps protect the baby from Cerebral Palsy and a few other complications that could happen during delivery. The Special Delivery Unit consists of 2 patient rooms, the operating room, and the room they take the baby immediately after delivery. After my tour, I was taken there, and got settled in for the long magnesium run. They have to do vital checks every 15 minutes then every hour after that to watch for toxicity levels. It was a long night on edge mentally preparing for the next day. This was the start of no sleep. Delivery was set for 7:30 am. THE BIG DAY! It was Wednesday, December 21 and It Was Time. The nurse prepped me for surgery, and the overseeing doctor for the C-Section arrived about 15 minutes before to introduce himself to me. I was taken into the operating room, and given my spinal. It numbs you but you are fully awake and aware of everything going on. It is like a bee string and a pinch at the same time, then for several minutes after you feel very tingly from the mid-section down. The anesthesiologist also put in a few IV's using size 18 needles, which certainly left their mark. The room is very busy with about 12 people working around you preparing tools and things. They brought Ralph in at the last minute right before they got started the operation, and he sat on a chair beside my head. With the shield up, neither one of us could see anything. After much pushing back and forth on my stomach, the baby was out! Everyone in the room began shouting 8:11! 8:11! 8:11! For a second, we thought 8:11 was some medical code then we realized they were shouting the time of birth. OUR BABY WAS HERE! The best moment of my life. He was rushed out of the room and neither Ralph or I even seen him they moved so fast. They took him to the room next door where nearly 20-25 people were waiting to get to work on him. At some point, a nurse ran in with a phone to show us a quick picture of the baby, the first time seeing him, and he was gorgeous. The doctors continued to work on him, and took him upstairs to the NICU. The doctors in the operating room continued to put me back together, and around 9:30-10 I was wheeled back into my room for post-op recovery. I would be in recovery for a minimum 2 hours. It was a very long 2 hours, and even after all that, we still weren't able to see the baby yet. My postpartum room way over in G unit was not ready either, so we continued to wait. Finally around 1 pm, they gave me the okay to see him or eat lunch...you can guess what I chose! Because I was not ready for a wheel chair yet, I had to be moved just directly in the bed to upstairs to see him, and the bed barely fit through the doorways, but finally I was getting to see my child. Gorgeous, beautiful, amazing and tears cannot describe seeing your baby for the first time. He was attached to a variety of tubes, wires and IV's but it didn't matter, he was here! I wasn't allowed to stay long, and they took me back downstairs. Around 230 my postpartum room was ready, and they took me to unit G71, with a bowl of mac and cheese on my belly (I was still in the bed) as I was finally willing to eat something now that I had seen my baby. I got transferred from one bed to another and got settled into my new room. The grandmas left for the day, and Ralph and I were on our own for the night. The afternoon was a painful one and very odd at first. Everything was a struggle. By 8, I had pumped my first breast milk. I could not get an update on my baby, nor get my milk taken to the NICU. Finally I was able to get into a wheelchair and taken down by Transport to see him. His stats were all not quite where they should be, but he was still alive. He was very much hour by hour if not minute by minute. He had even more on him than when I seen him last. At some point, his numbers took a dive, and the doctors got to work on him. Tubes were draining, not draining, debate which should be bubbling or not bubbling. He was getting an X-Ray after each adjustment, as he was not only battling the fluid, but now air leaking in him, which was just as much if not more dangerous. He spiraled even further, and nothing seemed to be working. Around 1 am, Ralph and I got The Talk from the doctors, as in a last resort may be chest compressions, however this baby was 2 pounds 8 oz. There wasn't much of him to work on. They recommended that we stand beside him and spend as much quality time with him as possible. How do we make this decision? How do we decide enough is enough? DO we decide enough is enough? This baby had come this far. He was here, he had a heartbeat, how do we decide? Our baby's life was slipping before us. I stepped up to him and I told him the story of Harry Potter. Most of you know this, but for those who do not, I am very much in love, biggest fan, obsessed with the Harry Potter series. I think it is nearly the best thing ever written, wonderful for people of all ages, for it displays such wonderful things as friendship, loyalty, bravery, strength, determination, courage, will, family, changes in life, adversity, and overcoming fears and challenges. It covers everything and brings everything from beginning to end full circle. Harry Potter is The Boy Who Lived. My boy needed to be my Boy Who Lived. To fight, to overcome this, to choose to be here, be with us, and see what this life is all about. We had already re-read the books and seen the movies repeatedly during my pregnancy, I know he was familiar with the story, but this was different. This was him struck down in the Forbidden Forrest, this was him in his own King's Cross Station, making a decision. His stats were down. They were nothing, he had nothing to go on. What did he have to come back with? All I could say was Mama Loves You. All I could hope was that love and prayers and faith would be enough. What would he decide?