Brittany Paige’s Story

Site created on May 14, 2019

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Journal entry by Channa Ring

August 8th 2019....I was 33 weeks 6 days pregnant.  The day started out like any other day, as the day progressed I started feeling sick and my back started hurting.  By 5pm Thursday evening I was having contractions every 20 minutes, however this wasn’t odd for us, I had been having them for a couple weeks and they would become regular and I’d take Benadryl and they would slack off.  After 4 hours of this (steady but not super strong or getting closer) I took some Benadryl and went to bed for the night.  Randy knew something was up and didn’t get any sleep. I tossed and turned all night and by 4 am on August 9th I was having more contractions, only Brittany wasn’t as active as she had been so I was getting worried.  Brittany LOVES breakfast time and always got excited with kicks after I ate so I fixed breakfast and we ate.  30 minutes later her activity hadn’t Picked up so I called my doctor at 6:45am and they told us to go straight to the hospital in Charlotte. I knew I was in labor at this point but wouldn’t admit it to randy or anyone else because we were only 34 weeks and I knew the importance of keeping Brittany in until 39 because of her size and diagnosis.  We arrived at the hospital around 9am and were put straight on the monitors where we learned that with each strong contraction I was having Brittany’s heart rate was dropping to the low 70s. I wasn’t dilated any however my cervix was 80% thinned out.  They immediately sent for steroid injections to help with her lungs. We had our first around 11am and began to call family and close friends to tell them within 24 hours we were having this baby. We were moved from a triage room to a regular birthing room and a nurse was assigned to us to constantly watch the monitors.  I spent the next 4 hours continuously switching from side to side to keep Brittany’s heart rate up.  We wanted so bad to make it to our next injection at 11pm but around 4pm contractions picked up and Brittany’s heart rate started dropping more and more often. At this point the doctor said we were headed to the OR.  The next steps happened so fast we didn’t even have time to think.  At 4:15pm the anesthesiologist came in to speak with us, at 4:25pm I was getting on the operating table and at 4:54pm our sweet girl was born.  That was a scary moment, she wasn’t breathing, she was slightly blue, she couldn’t open her eyes yet her heart was beating so the doctors did as we asked and began to work on her.  After several minutes she was finally stabilized and Randy able to see her in the resuscitation room while I was getting cleaned up from surgery. They took me to recovery as Brittany left for the NICU.  20 minutes into recovery I heard the words I’ll never forget. The neonatologist came in and sat down in a chair and said “I’m sorry but I’ve did everything I can do without performing surgery and putting Brittany permanently on a Trach and ventilator. I do not think she is strong enough for surgery but I will let you make that decision when you see her. I have her temporarily stabilized and we need to get you to her now.” There was one problem with that...to leave recovery I had to be able to move my feet. In that moment I was able to feel my left foot enough to wiggle it and they were able to take my bed to the NiCU and finish my recovery There.  When I seen Brittany I knew her small 2lb 11oz body wasn’t stable enough for surgery, she was in distress, she was unhappy in the incubator, she didn’t like the breathing tube.  When I laid my hand in her arm she grabbed my finger with her tiny hand and it was in that moment I knew she didn’t need surgery, she needed to spend that time with her family where she felt safe and that was exactly what we did. We pulled everything, Randy held her, I held her, we took pictures, we made memories, we spent time as a family.  I laid by Tiny baby on my chest and watched her smile and I watched her breathing slow down and become regular because she was safe in her moms arms where God wanted her to be. I held her for 9 solid hours. I couldn’t sleep, I just looked at her, I talked to her, I kissed her, I hugged her, I cried for her and for myself. I watched my husband struggle and my daughter hurt with no understanding why God was taking her sister away from her. I watched the hurt in our parents eyes knowing they would never hold their granddaughter because she wasn’t stable enough to be passed around yet no one said anything because they didn’t want to take time away from us as her parents.  Around 8pm we were moved from the NiCU to a private room where the doctors checked on Brittany every couple of hours. My Brittany was full of surprises that night. She would let out little screams when she was moved away from my heart or when she wasn’t skin to skin, if I would dose off holding her she would scream and wake me back up.  She was very vocal and full of smiles.  Brittany couldn’t feed (breast or bottle) and to get IV fluids she had to stay in the Incubator and not with us.  We kept her hydrated by rubbing colostrum on her lips every 30 minutes and she would lick her lips every time and smile. Breastfeeding was important to me so these moments we’re very special for her and I. Shortly after 3am Brittany let out a little scream and smiled at me really big, she then took one big deep breathe and passed away with a smile on her face laying on my chest and in my arms. It was peaceful and I knew she was better off.  The doctor called it at 3:25am on August 10th 2019.  Brittany didn’t pass because of her Trisomy 13 or because of her semi lobar holoprosencephaly, she passed from a medical condition she had because of the diagnosis. Despite what was said by doctors the only issue Brittany had at birth that had an impact on living or dying was her breathing. Everything else was minor.  Her problem was her windpipe didn’t fully developed so when she was born they couldn’t pass her windpipe to get to her lungs to put her on life support.  A trach/vent were her only options at life and she wasn’t strong enough for surgery being born 6 weeks early. Brittany is our miracle. She has changed our lives forever.  Fly high sweet girl mommy and daddy will see you again one day. Until then we will hold you near and dear to our hearts and keep impacting lives with your amazing story and how you beat the odds.
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