I found out that I was pregnant on Dec. 13th, 2002. My first son was 6 months old, and I was 6 weeks pregnant. Not prepared, but still excited, we told our friends and family members.
Two weeks later I woke up in the middle of the night and was lying in a pool of blood. We rushed to the ER, where we were told that my body was attempting to abort my child. With sorrow beyond comprehension, we were sent home and waited for the pains. They never happened. The next day I went to the Dr, where they did an U/S and heard the most beautiful sound. A strong heartbeat, coming from the strongest baby I've ever known.
I was sent home on bed rest. After 8 weeks I was given the OK to go on home and resume normal daily activities.
Two weeks later, on Sunday March the 16th 2003, I went to the mall with a younger cousin. While there I got a blinding migraine, causing me to lose sight in my right eye.
We went home, where I rested and slept off and on throughout the rest of the day. On Monday morning, March 17th at 2:45 am I woke up laying in a puddle, of what I feared was blood. I got up, went to the bathroom, and it was clear. I figured the baby had just pressed against my bladder, and changed the sheets, got back in bed. Something wouldn't allow me to go back to sleep, so I called my Dr and explained that I felt like something was wrong. I don’t remember our conversation, all I remember is the Dr telling me that I needed to go to the ER, again.
Off we rushed, fear pounding in our hearts. Upon arrival they do a strip test and find that it was actually my water. I had PROM (Premature Rupture Of Membranes). I was 18 weeks. I was also informed that we were having another son.
Devastated, we are told to go home and wait for him to die. We tell the Dr’s that we cannot accept that, and asked for a referral to a Perinatologist.
We are given a number, and a message from the Dr. The message was not one of hope. We head home, to give the horrible news to our family, who had gathered in our living room at this point.
The contractions have started, and my worst fear is coming true. The pains were even stronger in my heart, as I felt it shattering into a million little pieces. At 9 o’clock in the morning, my husband and I get in the car and head to the perinatologist’s office without an appointment.
Upon arrival we give them our name, and they rushed us right in. We waited for about 5 minutes, and the Dr walked in. Within minutes we were confident that we had made the right choice in seeing this Dr, as he was a fellow Christian who not only prayed with us, but read us a scripture that brought us much hope!
I was put on strict bed rest, allowed to shower ONCE a week, had to use a bedside commode, and was seeing weekly for ultrasounds and water level measuring.
After 5 weeks of being rushed to the ER two to three times a week, due to my Terbutaline pills failing to stop contractions, they decided to admit me into the hospital. At 23 weeks I was informed that, should I progress into full blown labor, they would not have a NICU team at the birth, because a baby is not considered viable until 24 weeks gestation.
A week passes, and the NICU doctors are brought in to consult with my husband and I. We are informed of who would be in the delivery room in regards to the medical staff (including how many members of the NICU transit team), what would happen, and what did we want to do if certain things were to happen. Or not happen. I was also given the 2 shots of steroids, to help strengthen my angel’s lungs.
We made prior arrangements that my mom would be in the delivery room, as well, knowing full well that my husband would go be with our Son.
Mother’s Day that year was on May 11th. It was my first mother’s day. And one of the worst days of my life. I went into full blown labor, but the contractions were not picking up on the monitor. I was told that I was imagining things.
The night passed rather painfully, with only more terbutaline pumped into my system, causing me to not sleep. The next day I was so grumpy and frustrated. I felt unheard, and I felt like the nurses were frustrated with me, thinking that I was over exaggerating. I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, I was not.
That night, at 11:50 PM I started bleeding again.
The Dr that was on call came in, checked me, and said that I wasn’t dilating or effacing, at all. I was given a ton of meds for the pain, and something else to help sedate me, as I was becoming near hysterical.
After a short night of sleep, I woke up to pain beyond anything I could imagine. I called my husband, and he dropped our son off w/my parents, and rushed over. I was wheeled into L&D, and they hooked up the internal monitor, where they realized that my contractions (which were still not picking up on the external monitor) were off the charts.
They checked me at 8:00 a.m. and I was dilated to 1. The pains became even crazier, and more intense, taking my breath, making me scream. Five minutes later I was checked again and was dilated to an 8.
They hurriedly did the epidural, and were literally running down the hall, pushing me in the gurney as I screamed “I Need to push, I need to push.” We got into the delivery room, they hooked up all the necessary machine. The NICU transport arrived, everything was set up.
And it all came to a screeching halt. After 20 minutes of waiting, the NICU transport team went back to their hospital, and we waited. About 10 minutes later, his heart rate plummeted with a contraction. It was down in the region around 30 – 40 bpm. Frantic movement and harried nurses became a blur, as I realized my baby was struggling for life.
The NICU Team came back, I was prepped for surgery, where they did an emergency c-section, took my baby, and whisked him away. I saw him from across the room as they were resuscitating his precious life. Then I saw him once more, as they wheeled him past me in his isolette.
After an excruciating 4 hours in the Recovery room, due to unstable blood pressure, I was finally sent back to my room. 30 minutes later, just got settled in my bed, a nurse comes rushing in and tells me that they need me to get into a wheelchair, my son is dying, and I need to say goodbye. I struggled for 20 minutes to sit in a wheelchair, but I couldn’t. My stomach had been torn apart, my muscles severed. It was impossible.
The nurses in the anti-partum unit called the NICU where they were given the go ahead to transport me in the gurney.
I was rushed across the street in my gurney, taken to the third floor NICU, and wheeled into a room full of bleeping and breathing machines. None of it made sense, and I was in a morphine induced fog. I sobbed as I couldn’t get close enough to my baby. I couldn’t touch, or hold him. I couldn’t whisper strengthening words of encouragement to his precious ears. I laid in my bed and sobbed.
My sons pod was completely void of parental units, as is custom when a baby is going to die. The only other people in the room were the NICU Dr’s, a handful of nurses, my beloved husband, and myself.
After a few hours I asked to be taken to my room, where I laid and waited for the news that my son died.
The news never came.
He grew stronger, but was still near death, over the next week. I was discharged from the hospital, and my husband and I took our oldest son and moved into the Ronald MacDonald house. Exactly 1 week later, I was changing at the House, and got a phone call from the hospital. I was told that I needed to get to the hospital as quickly as possible, as my son was dying again, and needed to have surgery within the next few hours. Death was imminent.
He had NEC – I can’t spell the exact term, but it was a hole in his intestines that was leaking air into his stomach and entering his blood system, causing him to be toxic.
They did surgery, and he had a colostomy bag for 5 months. The same day of the surgery they diagnosed him with Bilateral Grade III IVH’s. IVH is Interventricular Hemorrhage. Grade IV (four) is considered to be death or severe mental delays. For my son to have two grade three’s, and to have them self resolve, and for him to have absolutely no residual problems as a result, is a miracle.
In my son’s first year of life he experienced 6 chest tubes, the brain bleeds, two surgeries, 12 blood transfusions, almost died Four times…and was touched by God for ever.
During the trial of our son's first 74 days of life my husband wrote a poem for our Son and I want to share it with all of you:
God is good Tobias; He really is you see,
He's blessed my wife and I with you; you're here alive breathing.
I know its hard my child with every breath you take,
but son I really love you I'm here no matter what it takes.
My heart it aches with sorrow for all you have gone through,
you've had such a rough start Tobias and its getting harder too.
I don't know what tomorrow holds, will you be there with me?
I long to hold you in my arms please give all your pain to me.
My God's a God of comfort He'll hold you in His arms,
for I am weak with pain and grief and He has held me this far.
I pray that you won't pass away, but Tobi, if you do . . .
I trust that you will see my God and He will hold you too.
Bill Wayne Scott
Bill Wayne Scott
My son will be celebrating his 4th birthday this year. A celebration that I never thought we’d experience with this wee one.
My reason for sharing his story with you, is not because I want you to feel bad. Nor do I want pity or sympathy.
Every year, half a million babies in the U.S. are born prematurely. Premature birth is the leading cause of newborn death and many life long disabilities. The funds we raise in WalkAmerica support research that saves babies' lives.