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This fundraiser ended on 11/24/12

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Grace was born at 24 weeks gestation weighing 1lb 9oz. After a long battle for her life,she is getting closer to coming home.

I am a Preemie Mom. If someone had told me 3 months ago that my daughter was going to be here 15 weeks early, I probably would have laughed at them.I had complications with previous pregnancies,but nothing like this.My daughters delivery was so sudden that I didn't even have a chance to really understand what was going on,our what kind of health she would be in. The day before she was born I had seen my doctor. He assured me that even though I was leaking fluids,had been for at least 2 weeks, and she didn't have very much room to even open her legs,she was doing fine.In fact,he thought she was doing well enough that I could wait another 5 days to see a high risk doctor. Sometimes we trust our doctor's too much.We're supposed to take what they say to heart and believe that they know exactly what is going on and what is best for you. Sometimes this is not the case. He completely wrote off my cramping as normal and my leaking as not that seriouse,nevermind that my water was open, and I had some kind of bacteria infection that could be making its way to my child.He simply sent me home with a perscription for antibiotics that he had given me before and hadn't worked and paperwork to fill out before my appointment with the high risk doctor and called it good. It wasn't good.I was scared,but my doctor told me it was nothing to worry about,so I went on with my day.By 6 o'clock that night my cramping had turned into full blowen contractions that were making me double over in pain,and were at regular intervauls of 5 min apart.I called my doctor. He told me to just take and ibuprophine and that that should stop it.I did as he told me,but had already set it in my mind that if it didn't work, I was not going to wait any longer.By 8 o'clock they were even stronger and a little closer.I didn't wait.I didn't call my doctor.I simply told my boy friend, "we are going to the hospital,now." And off we went. I arrived at the E.R. at about 8:30pm. After I did the paper work for checking in, they sent me straight to labor and delivery.They had a very hard time locating the babies heart beat,they couldn't find it at all with the normal belt monitor they use,they had to use a doppler to find it.Once they did, it was very low,in my hip area and very faint.The nurse wasn't too worried though because she still could hear that it was beating nice and strong,even though it was so faint when we did hear it. Even though I was feeling them, they couldn't pick up my contractions on the monitor either.Later I learned that was because they weren't occuring in the top of my belly,they were occuring in my lower belly but mostly in my legs and hips.Once they got me all hooked up (they never did actually hook it up to where they could see my contractions,at least not in Bullhead City),The nurse finally checked me to see if i was dialating and if so,how much.Her face changed quickly from a happy "oh-you're-stressing-for-nothing" face to a "uhoh-something- isn't-right-here" face and she left the room with out saying anything.She returned shortly after with another nurse and then informed me that this other nurse was going to check me as well because thought I was dialating,but wasn't sure.The second nurse checked me,and then a third nurse.Finally they had concluded that yes,I in fact was dialated to a "loose 1" and about 70% effaced.Panic hit me like a ton of bricks. They did a swab test to double check that I was still in fact leaking fluid,and it came back positive.Yep,more panic. I knew it was too early. As most pregnant women,or mom's in general know, there are times in your pregnancy that you state how much you can't wait to have this baby cuz you're so tired of being sick,or fat,or tired.This was one time that I was begging God to please,just let her stay in.(At this point I still did not know weather or not I was having a boy or girl.) I had a very strong feeling,that I even vocalized to my boyfriend,that I would soon be sent to Vegas.The nurses left us sitting there,praying for good news,that they would try and stop her from coming there at that hospital.When they came back in (at this point,we didn't see just one nurse,it was as if they were scared to come in alone to talk to us) it wasn't to tell us everything would be ok.It was to tell us my doctor was on his way in and that I was now in active labor.By 9:30pm,an hour since I had first arrived at the hospital,my doctor was just walking in the door.The first,and only thing he said to me was "You're dialated to 1,you weren't dialated in my office this afternoon,we are sending you to Vegas." He didn't even look me in the eyes when he told me. He stared down at the floor the whole time.That was all he said,and then he walked out the door,and I haven't seen him since. Things moved quickly from there,or at least they felt like it.I learned I would be going to Sunrise Children's Hospital by Flight For Life helicopter.By 10:30 I was in the helicopter looking down at my boyfriend who was standing behind the hospital watching me leave before he went to pack and head to the hospital himself.A little after 11pm I arrived at Sunrise Children's Hospital.They got me into my room and instantly started the I.V.'s and medication to try and stop my labor. I was soon fast asleep.I woke up a few times to nurses coming to take blood or checking on the baby.(at this hospital they were finally able to find the babies heart beat,mostly cuz I told them where it was,they were also able to find contractions because the nurse took the time to actually ask me where I was feeling them,sure enough,the were strong and regular.) Finally my boyfriend showed up.I was so happy to see a familiar face at this point.I was so scared because I dodn't know what to expect.I had no clue what was coming. At this point I had basically lost track of time.All I am sure of is that I got up many painful times to use the rest room,and then would go back to bed and sleep.And then it happen.I woke up in such pain,I wasn't sure what was going on,my bed and I were soaked and I could barely move.My legs hurt so bad,they felt like they were on fire,mostly my left one.I woke my boyfriend up (he slept in a chair right next to me) and had him help me to the bathroom.There was so much pressure I thought I needed to go.(No,this was not my first child,however it was my first time feeling all of this.)I got in there,tried cleaning up as much as I could of the wet stuff dripping down my legs but it just kept getting worse.Finally I yelled for my boyfriend to call the nurse in.That's when it hit me,my water had fully broken.I made my way back to my bed just as the nurse came in.I told her my bed and I were both soaked,I believe my water had broken, and that my legs hurt so badly.She turned the light on and saw for herself that everything deffinatly was soaked.She called the doctor, changed my sheets,had me change my gown,and got me settled back into bed.Things got so much worse so much quicker.They gave me even more meds to try and stop the labor as well as a steroid shot to help the babies lungs.I was told I'd be getting another one in 12-24 hours. The doctor finally came in,he checked to see if I had dialated more,sure enough I was now at a 3.The contractions were full swing,with only seconds in between each one.The doctor ordered an ultrasound so we could see just how much fluid my baby had left so we knew when I would be having her. (I already knew before all of this I would be having a c-section because with my son,3 years ago,I had one.) The ultrasound tech came.The doctor did the ultrasound himself however,which I have to admit was awesome because I was able to find out everything right then and there.My baby had no more fluid.We could not wait any longer,it was time.He tried to find out the sex,but still couldn't for sure say one way or the other.Within an hours time I would have a baby,and would not know weather it was a boy or girl until it was already born. A NICU doctor came in to talk to me.She explained that with babies this young and this small struggle very hard.With the added of my bacteria infection,and having been leaking for so long,the chance of my child surviving was very low statistcaly,20% chance.In fact,she did not think my baby would survive at all,but she did not know for sure,it depended on how strong the baby was and how willing it was to fight.She rattled off a bunch of numbers and more information that I basically tuned out.I was in shock.I knew there was a chance I would deliver,I had no idea it would be this soon.I also knew that it was too early,but I had no idea how little or underdeveloped my child would be,or could be.I was scared. Finally they took me in for surgery.They gave me an epidural and layed me down on the table.My boyfriend was right beside me.I could feel the doctors tugging on me,but could not feel actual pain,nor see it because they had put a curtain up.Finally I could hear the doctors say they got the baby out.The look on my boyfriend's face was more then enough to tell me just how bad it was.I waited and waited,praying to hear even the smallest of cries."My baby is supposed to cry,why isn't she crying?" is all I kept thinking.A nurse gave me some meds and told me I may start feeling sick and dizy.Sure enough,everything started going black,and spinning and I felt worse then I had the whole day. I was finally taken to a recovery room,and all I could ask was how my baby was.No one would tell me anything.Finally,my boyfriend,who had followed my baby to the NICU,came to my room.The first thing out of my mouth was,how is the baby? He told me,"It's a girl.She's not able to breathe on her own.She's very little.One pound nine ounces and eleven inches long.She's not doing so great."He showed me a couple of pictures of her,and I bawled.I already knew what we would name her,Grace Marie.She was so underdeveloped in her facial features. Her lungs were not working at all on her own.The doctor's weren't sure if she'd make it through the night. 2 days later,I got to see my little girl for the first time in person.She was,and continues to be,the most beautiful little girl I have ever seen. After the first couple of weeks she started getting better.Her facial features developed as if by magic,and she eventually opened her eyes. She started breathing better,stronger,with the help of the breathing machines.A month went b,and we had hit a couple of rough patches,she had to go to a stronger machine at one point,but was moved back to her normal one not too long after.And then,at almost a month and a half old,she took a drastic turn for the worst.She stopped breathing altogether.They finally learned she had some bacterial growing in her lungs and pneumonia.They started her on 5 antibiotics and changed her to a stronger machine once again. Grace is now almost 2 months old.She is still battling 1 of the bacteria in her lungs,but has moved back to her normal breathing machine as of just 2 days ago.She has made such great progress and has over come great obsticals.She has defied the odds.She was 1lb 9oz at birth and is now a whole 4lbs 11oz and growing more each day. Watching her take these steps forward,and backwards has been amazing.At times it's hard,the hardest thing I've ever had to deal with. But then there are the times that I am just blowen away with her.No matter how great she is doing on any day,I still stay up late evry night until 3 or 4 in the morning waiting for a phone call from the hospital.Waiting to hear that she isn't doing so great.I pray that I never get that phone call.I pray that when she takes these steps back,which I know she will,she follows up by taking even bigger steps forward. But mostly,I pray that our story doesn't end here. I am a PROUD Preemie Mom.

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