And then the whole world shifted.

I wrote this for one of the Red Dress Club‘s writing prompts, but never hit publish or linked up.  Now it’s too late to include with that group, but I figured I’d share with you guys anyway, since I’m kind of MIA this week.

I could never have imagined that I’d find myself back in the same situation I was in five years earlier.  I thought I was cured- yet there I was, in a hospital bed, fighting for not only my life, but the tiny one I was carrying.

Last time, I lost half the battle.  I may have left that hospital, but my baby did not.  It was just too early, and I was just too sick.  Last time, we bounced back afterward, with medications and extra monitoring, and a year later I was able to bring home a baby girl.  Two years after that, her sister followed.

So when we decided to add one final little one to our family, I went into the pregnancy confident.  I wasn’t that same scared baby loss mom I was just a few years before.  Not only was I cured, but things like that don’t happen to the same family twice.

I was wrong, so very wrong.

This time, I was a week further along.  Not a lot of time in the grand scheme of things, but I just so happened to be straddling the line between potential viability and certain death.  Every day made a difference.

The specialist came to see me.  Why aren’t you on the medications you took the last two times, he asked.  I had no answer; the family practice doctor I was assigned to had felt they were unnecessary.  He shook his head.  This wouldn’t be happening if you were, he said.

After a week of tests, it was decided that the tiny one pound baby I was carrying would have a better chance of survival outside of my body.   Unlike last time, this baby was going to be given a chance- one week made a difference of whether or not resuscitation was attempted.

She’s going to have problems, they told us.  She may never be normal.  She’s going to need lots of help, and she’ll spend months and months in the NICU. We didn’t care, she was ours.  We were willing to fight for her, to brave the ups and downs.  We hoped for the best.

The only sounds we heard when she was born were the doctors working on her, attempting to hook her up to machines to breathe for her.  Once that was done, she was whisked away to the NICU and for the next 24 hours, I was left with nothing but a photograph.

For the next 8 weeks and 6 days, she fought for her life.  In her short time with us, she underwent countless procedures, including several surgeries.  It was six weeks before she was even stable enough for me to hold her.  We were finally getting somewhere and we were seeing small improvements.  I spent time with her every single day, even if all I was allowed to do was sit next to her isolette.

We were in for the long haul.  Her progress was slow, even slower than most premature babies.  We knew it would be months and months before she came home.  But we made plans- we prepared for it as well as we knew how.

My husband was about to deploy, so after some discussion, it was decided to have my oldest children  remain with their father for the school year, instead of returning home after summer visitation.  This way, each child could get the attention and time they deserved.  With the NICU being over an hour away, we felt it was the best choice.

Then, on that 80th day of her life, she couldn’t fight any longer.  A blood infection she picked up somewhere in the hospital overtook her already weak immune system.  It was something no one saw coming, not even her doctors and nurses.  And then the whole world shifted.

Comments

  1. 2

    …and then the whole world shifted. I think our big boys should read this. It really is the beginning of everything we are feeling today. The whole world shifted. I love you, Jayme.

  2. 3

    This story hit me in the pit of my stomach. I can’t even imagine. *hugs*

  3. 4

    I admire your strength and courage to not only have lived this but to share it with us. The whole world may have shifted but it is a more beautiful place because she is a part of it. Thanks, Jayme. Many hugs and prayers coming your way.

  4. 5
    Jessica (sassysweetheart) says:

    Oh Jayme, I am so, so sorry that this happened. This should never happen to anyone, let alone three times. Elora was absolutely beautiful, as were Raime and Connor. ALL of your children are beautiful. I know you didn’t really have time to get to know Elora’s personality, but from the pictures she looks like she had quite the little personality right from the beginning.

  5. 6

    Stopping by from TRDC link up. I wanted to do this writing prompt as well – but I let life get in the way and missed it.
    You clearly hit it right on the head. Wow. How amazing that you shared this with us – what an unbelievable journey you have had.
    I’m so sorry for your loss and so glad that you are out here writing about it.
    Cate

  6. 7

    Wow, what a powerful post. Thank you for writing it. It must have been a hard one to write and you did it beautifully.

    Stopping by for TRDC.

  7. 8

    What a truly difficult thing to write about, and even more difficult to have experienced. Thank you for sharing.

  8. 9

    Im so sorry. What a hard post to write. I am sorry for your loss, and agree with the above poster that you wrote it beautifully. stopping by from #TRDC linkup.

  9. 10

    Beautiful post, I’m so sorry you have to write this story.

  10. 11

    I remember this all so well, Jayme. It is beautifully and heart-wrenchingly written.

  11. 12

    I had to write a similar post today. Kudos to you for doing such an awesome job with yours! It was beautiful. And I’m a new follower too!

  12. 13

    Visiting from SITS. Congrats on your feature day. What an incredibly difficult story to experience. I hope that others who have experienced a similar situation will stumble across your blog and be truly inspired by your strength in moving on and continuing to raise a happy, fun family!

  13. 14

    Stopped by from SITS. Thank you for sharing such a powerful and significant portion of your life. The love for your daughter comes shining through in your words. Hugs!

  14. 15

    I have chills right now after reading your post. I can’t imagine going through this and I’m so sorry for your loss.

  15. 16

    Stopping by from SITS today. I did this post for TRDC as well. What a difficult time you have been through. Thank you for sharing your story.

  16. 17

    Wow….I can’t even begin to express how amazing you, your children, your angels in Heaven, and your blog are. This gave me goose bumps and I’m having a hard time putting all of my thoughts on paper. So, I’ll just tell you, again, how amazing you and your story is.

    Happy SITS day and thanks for sharing this with us.

    P.S. I love twins…I am one. 🙂 My brother and I were born a month early before the time of ultrasounds so my parents didn’t know that “we” were more than “me” until about two weeks before we came!

  17. 18

    I’m so, so sorry for your loss. I think you conveyed this time in your life as well as anyone possibly could.

  18. 19

    Oh my….I have no words. I can’t imagine. All I can do is offer you my thoughts and prayers and a big hug. Nobody should have to endure that. I’m so sorry. That was a doozy!

  19. 20

    I was very moved by this piece. I suffered the loss of our only pregnancy and was devastated for several years. In my heart I knew we would never conceive again. We finally went on to adopt. But I’ll never forget my little unborn baby. Thanks for sharing this with us. {{{Hugs}}}

    Mary

  20. 21

    This is a subject I know more about than I thought I ever would, and I wanted to say I appreciate you sharing your story. There’s so little awareness of micro-preemies, but premature birth is on the rise. It’s such a tough battle, no matter how it plays out, and I’m sorry you had to go through it.

  21. 22

    I find blogging very theraputic… Thank you for sharing this with the world. I can’t say I know what you went through, but I can appreciate you more for being such a strong person.

  22. 23

    What a heart wrenching story. You are brave to share it, and I am sure you have brought much comfort to those who have also suffered loss. Thank you for sharing.

    Just found you through SITS – look forward to hearing more of your story. Your children are beautiful!

  23. 24

    Stopping by from SITS. You have great courage. Your children are lovely and they have a great mother. 🙂

Trackbacks

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jayme, Jayme. Jayme said: And then the whole world shifted. http://bit.ly/ghjlZc […]

  2. […] I reached out today to see if any other parents wanted to talk about their preemie. Jayme from the Tater Twins, shared her story and it was so beautifully […]