Thursday, February 17, 2011

Emily Faith's Story Part VIII

This the final part of Emily's story. Writing this was very hard, but it was healing at the same time. I have also included a few pictures of Emily.

Tuesday night I started to contract and bleed again.
About 5AM on Wednesday January 26th, the contractions began to get stronger. I called Ron at 6:30AM and told him that he should get ready and come over. He got to my room at about 8:45AM. The actual times are kind of a blur for me, but I do know that at some point the doctors came in and did an exam and ultrasound. It was determined that I was 10cm dilated, but they could not determine the position of the baby or if my bag of water was still intact. So the doctor did another digital exam. The pressure from this exam was so intense that I passed out.
When I was conscious again and the pressure was gone I felt better. Right after that, around 10AM, I was moved to a L&D room; my 4th room since arriving at UW. From there I met with the anesthesiologist about an epidural because I had decided that I did not want to deal with the pain. But they had to wait for some blood work to come back, and by the time it came back I had talked with Ron and my nurse and decided that I really did not want the epidural. During the entire labor I had a lot of pressure but I never had any pain. I remember right before I actually delivered that the contractions started to be spaced a bit further apart and between each one I almost fell asleep each time. I think it is that little bit of rest that got me through the rest of the labor. I really think the Lord was gracious in saving me from the pain of delivery.
Emily Faith was born at 12:10PM.
At only 23 weeks and 3 days, Emily was born enclosed in a fully intact amniotic sac, which cushioned her during the delivery. The fact that she made it through the delivery process was the first miracle. Once she was delivered the doctors ruptured the sac and took Emily into another room. They had her stable and brought her in so I could see her before taking her to the NICU. My first thought was that she looked like a little elf. She was so small, but so perfect. She weighed 15.3 ounces and was 13.4 inches long. She was actually smaller than they had thought she would be based on the ultrasound from the day before.
After Ron was sure that I was okay from the delivery and our friends John and Jaime had arrived, Ron went to check on Emily. He came back a bit later and told me what was happening with her. He told me that she had a strong heartbeat, but had to be intubated for oxygen. They also placed two lines in her umbilical cord to give her meds and to be able to draw blood. The umbilical cord has two veins and an artery that can be used for medical treatment. However, to test her blood sugar level they had to prick her heel every hour, and then give her insulin as needed. This is because premies have a hard time regulating their blood sugar levels.
 A bit later he and John went back to the NICU to see Emily while Jaime stayed with me.
Shortly before 3PM we were told that we needed to come be with Emily because she was not going to make it. Ron ran out of my room and down to the NICU while the nurse helped me get out of bed.  I was still trying to get out of bed when Ron came back and told me she had passed. He told me that he watched the doctors try to save her, but she just did not respond. When they turned the machines off Ron came to tell me. We cried and then I asked if I could still see her. As I got in the wheelchair to go, the doctor came walking in and was smiling. He told us that they had tried to resuscitate her but it had not worked and they had turned all the machine off when Emily began to breathe on her own.
What a miracle.
Since I was already in the wheelchair, we went over to the NICU so I could visit Emily Faith for the first time.
It was so hot in the NICU and with everything that had happened, I almost passed out again, so I had to leave. Once we got back to my room, they decided to move me yet again. Five rooms in three days… seems a bit crazy to me.
When one of my friends from Wenatchee heard that I was going to deliver, she decided to bring Maddie to Seattle to be with us, they arrived in at the hospital at about 4pm. I am so thankful she did it because Maddie brought so much joy into the room amidst our sadness and worry over Emily’s condition.
The rest of Wednesday was spent in the NICU spending time with Emily and in my room spending time with our friends, my dad and Maddie.
My dad took Maddie to a hotel that night and Ron stayed with me in the hospital room. Once everyone was gone for the night, around 8PM, we decided to go down and spend some time with Emily. When we got down to the NICU the doctors were working on Emily because her stats were dropping. We spent a lot of time talking with the doctor about what we wanted to do and for how long. We told them to do whatever they could to save our little girl. I had the chance to touch and talk to Emily, and the nurse even let me help take her temperature.
We had to watch the doctors resuscitate Emily one more time while we were in the NICU. Then, about 20 minutes later her stats started to fall again and the doctor told us that she was needing more and more help to just keep her alive, and the meds were not helping to improve anything. A few minutes later her stats started to drop again and we decided that it was time to stop trying. We realized that she was going to die and we wanted to be able to hold her before she died. So the doctors disconnected all the wires and tubes and gave Emily to me. She was still alive and breathing when she was placed on my chest. She actually took a few more breaths while I was holding her.

I am so thankful that Ron and I had that time with Emily before she died. I have to say it was the most special thing that could have happened; the three of us getting to spend those precious moments together and say goodbye. I know in my heart that we made the right decision to let her go peacefully, but it does not hurt any less.
The nursing staff was wonderful and very respectful of our time with Emily. They took a bunch of pictures that I am so grateful to have. Ron also had a chance to hold Emily. It was a very special family time.
Emily died at 10:30PM.
Emily's perfect little feet

We spent a bit more time with her and then left her with the nurse. It was such a hard thing to do… give our baby over to an almost stranger. I am so thankful that we got to have that time with Emily. As hard as it was to let her go, we both know that Emily Faith is in a much better place, with no more pain, and one day we will see her again.

I was discharged from the hospital the next morning.


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