Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Beginning

Over the last couple of months, before Freddie came to Earth I'd been having weird thoughts and feelings regarding having a baby. For some reason, whenever I talked about it with my friends or with family, I could never fully picture me with this baby and I kept receiving promptings that this pregnancy wasn't going to go as I'd planned and I needed to be prepared for that. Of course, I brushed off any and all of those thoughts telling myself I was crazy and was making up thoughts like that. I'd never even told Fred this until we were in the midst of the only week we would have with our perfect baby boy in this life. Looking back I know I was being prepared by the Spirit and that I've known something was going to happen - I just didn't know what.

My pregnancy was perfect. There I said it. I was never sick. never tired. I felt great and I even felt cute. I had little to complain about and therefore little to worry about. Monday, April 4th was like any other day. I worked and chatted with friends about finalizing baby shower lists and dates, girls trips, and an upcoming Utah trip. That night, I began having some weird stomach cramping and Freddie wasn't moving as much as he usually did. I was of course nervous but tried not to think about it because I just knew I was being paranoid. The cramping began to get painful and continued all night but I still tried to brush it off thinking that this was all normal pregnancy stuff and it was finally my turn to have something to complain about. Around 3:30 AM the cramping was accompanied by bleeding and that's when I decided we needed to go to the hospital just in case.

On the way to the hospital, I talked/cried to the OB on call at my office (someone I'd never met or heard of). She wasn't worried about the symptoms but agreed that I needed to go. Fred thought we should go to the Mercy Gilbert Hospital which is about 10 minutes from where we live. I said no, the Chandler Hospital was within 3 minutes and since they were going to give me some medicine and send me home it didn't matter where we went.

When we checked in at labor and delivery, they did a couple quick tests, hooked me up to a fetal heart rate monitor, and then ordered an ultrasound. I continued to have cramping which was getting more and more painful. The triage nurse commented that it looked like I could be having some minor contractions but nothing consistent. She checked on the bleeding and then left us alone.

During the ultrasound, the technician wasn't worried. She told us that Freddie's heart rate was fine and the placenta was fine as well. I continued to have cramping so she asked if I had received anything for the pain yet and said that hopefully they would be getting me something soon. As she left, I began to cramp again and the nurse came in to lower my bed to help  relieve some of the pain. Moments later, three nurses surrounded my bed and were telling me that they were taking me into a room.

As they wheeled me into a room, I kept thinking "why are they taking me into a room? I just need some medicine and an order to be on bed rest and then send me home!!!"

When we got into my room, they had me move beds. When I sat up the room was a beehive of activity - there were nurses moving very quickly organizing equipment, an incubator, and a million other things. We had no idea what was happening. Poor Fred just had to stand in a corner to stay out of the way yet no one would say what was happening. One minute they weren't talking to us just buzzing around us and the next I had an IV and a nurse was in my face asking me what we wanted to do if our baby came out and wasn't breathing.

What do you mean if our baby came out? I'm only 23 weeks pregnant and I just need to be sent home.

Of course Fred and I said we wanted to save our baby but how was it possible that I was in labor?

The nurses tried to help me breath through the cramping which I was told were actually contractions - something that hadn't crossed my mind because I 1. had never been in labor and 2. was only 23 weeks pregnant so this wasn't a possibility.

At this point, I begin to panic and yet I'm still contracting and it's getting more and more painful. I uncalmly ask for something for the pain - something to stop the contracting - anything and am told that there is nothing they can give me because I am dilated to a 10 and anything they gave me would mostly effect the baby at that point which would do more harm than good.


They told me that I was having this baby and all they were waiting for was the neonatologist and my doctor and then we would begin.

It was probably about 6am at this point. I tell Fred that I want a blessing before this happens - he immediately gets on the phone and tells me that two of our friends are on their way.

The Neonatologist and OB get there and immediately begin prepping. The nurse pops back into my face to tell me all about the risks and outcomes with having a 23 week old baby and does an excellent job of scaring us.

My contractions are strengthening and when my doctor is all suited up she tells me that she's going to break my water. As she's reaching for the hook, my water breaks. She tells me that during my next contraction I need to push. At this point my contractions are about every 45 seconds, after she says this everything stopped.

I didn't have a contraction for another 3 minutes. It was the longest, scariest, most restful period. Then another one came and out came Freddie. This is a bit gross- but he literally shot out. The doctor barely caught him and actually kind of fumbled him in the process.

He was born at 6:22 AM.

They wisked him away and once they got him breathing and somewhat stabilized, Fred was able to go over and look at his tiny newborn son.  On their way out they stopped and showed me this tiny little person. I couldn't see much of him and they literally only paused on their way to the NICU.

They finished taking care of me and cleared out. I felt fine. Like nothing had ever happened.

Our friends called Fred because they had just gotten there to give me a blessing - he went out to speak to them and I just sat staring at the now empty room - wondering how this could have happened and when I was going to wake up. Finally a nurse comes to ask if they've fed me. nope. So they get my order and leave to find me a breakfast tray. Fred comes back in and then a new nurse comes in to say she's replacing whoever my previous nurse was and would be taking care of me. She was great (and will get her own post). She knew of our worries and told us that they were working on stabilizing little Freddie and that as soon as they did he would be moved to St. Joseph's hospital in Phoenix that had more experience with babies his size. She told us that before they life flighted him she would make sure we got to see him.

Our first family picture

We were so blessed that our friends lived just as close to the hospital because they were able to come back and give both me and little Freddie a blessing. As soon as they finished my blessing, my nurse came in and told us we could see our baby. We all went down to the NICU and there he was. This tiny, 1 pound 6 ounce, 11 inch baby boy. He was perfect.

While in the NICU, our friends Curtis & Craig were able to bless Freddie. It was one of the most tender experiences I've ever witnessed. Freddie was in an incubator and Curtis was only able to get one finger on his tiny head. Despite the rush of motion in the NICU, there was a peace that was evident as Curtis blessed Freddie.

While the Helicopter crew came to prepare Freddie for flight, one of the NICU nurses came up to me and put her arm around me and offered a prayer. The staff there was very sweet and supportive. They told us countless stories of babies his size beating the odds and making it.

Don't be alarmed. The plastic was to keep his tiny body warm and add humidity

Ready for his flight
Freddie was then life flighted to St. Joseph's and we were sent back up to a new room. We spent a few hours there (wondering why we were at a hospital. I felt great) and then they discharged me. In total, we were in the hospital for less than ten hours. What I would later call a drive by birthing. They didn't have a chart for me - we weren't served any food - and all of the expectations I had about birth were blown.
This is everything we brought to the hospital.
My purse & a book.
Where was my crushed ice and free hospital mug? (this may actually be the things I was most concerned with - in regards to my hospital stay that is)


Kristina Curtis said...

I am so grateful you shared his story with us. He is beautiful.

Caro said...

I cant beleive how fast things went, no wonder you thought you were dreaming.

Unknown said...

I'm so very sorry for your loss and don't know what else to say except that I'm grateful that families can be together forever (I love how in google reader it shows your first family picture - such a great picture).

Stan & Ash said...

He is beautiful.
Labor is a dream for all of us. So don't ever regret or feel cheated because it happened so quick. No matter what or how long it is it's all a blur in the end, and your wishing you could have taken in it all in more.
I am grateful your posting this chapter of your lives. I feel the spirit so strongly when read this and I know that your family will be together forever.
Again he is beautiful.

Mary Ellen and Kevin said...

chana, he is beautiful! and so perfect in so many ways. He was in such a hurry to meet his mommy and daddy knowing he wouldn't be here very long. he just couldn't wait. We love you and Fred and wish were closer.

kate said...

Chana your strength to tell this right now amazes you! You are one beautiful momma.

What a sweet reunion it will be in heaven when you get to see your Freddie again.

Jared and Davian said...

I love all the pictures of little Freddie! I can feel of your strength and the spirit while reading about how your beautiful angel was born. Thank you for sharing.

Brandon and Amanda Brady said...

Thanks for sharing Chana. He sure is a sweet little Angel!! You are such a strong woman, emanating the spirit through your writing.

Amanda said...

Just reading about it seems like a dream. Thank you for sharing this story. You guys are constantly in my thoughts and prayers.

Abbey said...

Have not stopped thinking about you since Wednesday when you text. I have been wanting to call you but I can imagine things have been kinda crazy. Want you to know I love you and Fred. Am so happy you have good friend in AZ and are hoping they're taking care of you! Wished I lived closer so I could make you a meal, bring you a coldstone or a cupcake or something... Thinking of you and hope to talk to you soon.

Unknown said...

Chana, you and Fred are positively amazing. The spirit and testimony you guys have and share is special. I know that my testimony of this life and out eternal life has grown. I'm amazed by you both everyday. I know that you have a long journey ahead of you but I feel confident in you both to grow and thrive through life as you make it back home to little Freddie. Such an amazing, sweet and perfect little spirit he has. He is watching over you as a guardian angel. Love you guys.

Haley Reay said...

Chana what a roller coaster ride I am sure this experience has been for you and Fred. I am most definitely positive that you have the loving support of many. Thank you for sharing with us and making me laugh in regards to your crushed ice comment. That is without a doubt my favorite part of a hospital stay. I love you Chana. May the Lord bless you and your husband with peace and comfort.

Breanne said...

Chana, thank you for sharing your experience with us, I'm sure it isn't easy for you to relive the details with us. You are an amazing family and I am so grateful to know you and feel of your strength. I will be thinking of you and praying for you.

Chelsie and Trace said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chelsie and Trace said...

Thank you for posting your story. Little Freddie just looks so cute. My heart is broken for you and I will keep you and Fred in my prayer's. I love that you made light of not getting a mug or ice.:) You are so cute I love you and hope that you can stay strong through this tough time.

Kristine said...

Chana I know that we are not super close cousins but I wanted to tell you that my heart is so full of love for you and Fred. Little Freddie is a whole healthy baby now looking and watching over you. You are so blessed to have an angel always caring for you. You were chosen to be his mother for a great reason. You are a wonderful woman and mother. Your life will be forever blessed by your little angel baby.

Madelyn said...

I honestly can't even imagine going through all of that. I can definitely see why it felt like a blur to you. I agree with Ash, labor seems like a dream to everyone. I really look up to your for writing this post and how you are handling the whole situation. The Lord will help you through this!

Jake and Danielle said...

Chana, I am so glad that you did share this story. I can not even imagine how you guys must feel. I know that the lord will bless and strengthen you guys from the inside out. I love that you were so concerned about your mug and ice. That was the first thing i asked for when i got to the hospital. stay strong. love you guys.

Lacey said...

We really have been thinking of you so much and praying for you. My heart just breaks for you. We sure love you guys. Thank you for sharing this with us. It is so touching. Let us know if we can do anything

NicoleCondie said...

There is so much amazing emotion in this blog. I think you are just awe inspiring for sharing this with everyone! It made me cry. I love your testimony and you gave that little guy, Freddie, the greatest gift. :) Blessings to you!

Dave and Lizzie said...

Wow, you're one amazing lady. You don't know me (I graduated with Erin) but I just wanted to pop in and tell you how much I admire you. Your strength is obvious in your writing and I think you're amazing.