My pregnancy was an unplanned pregnancy, however we both became excited once the initialshock subsided. June 2, 1999 was my ultrasound. They told us we were having agirl, which really excited Peter and I. We decided on a name, Tea Elyse Cepeda. We began making plans for the three of us. June 22 I was at work when I noticed some spotting. Immediately went to get myself checked out. The doctor said I was having contractions, although I couldn't feel them. I was put on bed rest at home. June 29 I began having labor pains.I rushed to the hospital. I lasted almost a week in the hospital on bedrest when my water suddenly broke. Sunday, July 4, 1999, at 3:57 p.m., my daughter, Tea Elyse, was born by emergency cesarean section at 26 wks., 1 lb. 15 oz., and 13 3/4 inches long. The doctors all told me she would have a tough time. However, my daughter was a fighter and she showed them all.She did not require a ventilator, nor did she have any problems. She was in the hospital for 2 1/2months, just there to sleep and grow. The doctors all said she was amazing. September 15 we got to bring her home. She was home five hours when she had a choking spell while feeding,went apneic, and started turning blue. We were able to resucitate her and she was admitted to the hospital for observation. She came home the final time on September 18, three days later.
Tea Elyse was a spunky little girl. She had a lot of spirit. I've never known that babies can have such personality. We were able to spend 6 1/2 months with her. She really made our holidays special. I am really grateful God allowed me this time with her. I quit my job so I could spend every day with her. She became my life, my purpose, my identity. My whole day was filled with her. She was beginning to really enjoy life and start doing things. She was the size of a 3 month old but had the capabilities and the development of a six month old term baby. She had her favorite toys, she had just started her rice cereal, and she had just begun really "talking", where you were able to converse back and forth just as if you were talking with an old friend (even though I had no clue what she was saying in her language).
January 22, 2000 she woke up vomiting. I called the advice nurse and they said it was the stomach flu since that was all she had. Throughout the day I called two more times and was told to wait until the following day, and if she was still vomiting to take her in. Sunday,January 23, 2000 (a day forever etched in my mind), we took her in to be seen. Once there the doctor checked her out and pronounced her with the stomach flu. A mere twenty minutes later, the doctors were calling out "Code Blue!!!" Peter and I have never been so scared in our lives. Our baby had stopped breathing and nobody knew why, not even the doctors. Peter and I were instructed to wait outside. What was to be a run of the mill check-up had become a nightmare. The doctor eventually came in and said they had to begin chest compressions because Tea's heart stopped beating. They tried unsuccessfully for an hour anda half to resucitate her. I was glad they were able to keep her alive for her baptism. They allowed us to go in and say goodbye, all the time keeping her alive with compressions. I was able to tell her that we loved her to the moon and back, which is what I told her every night before we went to sleep. I've never seen Peter so broken-hearted. She died while staring at Peter, which is something I am sure will always remain in his mind. As soon as they stopped the compressions, Peter picked her up in his arms so she wouldn't have to die on a cold table. She died in his arms. They let us hold her for a few hours after she passed and the whole time I was waiting for a miracle to happen. I thought that maybe she would open her eyes as if nothing had happened.
It was determined by the autopsy that she died of intussusception. However, Tea displayed none of the determining symptoms. Her symptoms looked like the flu, and no one,not even the doctors, were able to figure it out. I pray every day for her. Peter and I miss hearing her laugh, her cry, going to sleep with her, and the way she would turn her head when she was ignoring you. We miss her stubbornness... she was already very independant and had to have things her own way. She loved to be held and hugged, in fact, this baby was never put down. She was always in the arms. Everyone told me we were spoiling her, but we were just loving her so much and so hard. She was a lovable baby, and she received and enjoyed tremendous amounts of affection and attention. She was not demanding, she loved attention but did not demand it from you. Tea Elyse is our heart. She is still with us,and we feel her everyday. This has been the longest two weeks of our lives, but we know one day we'll be together again.
Marisa and Peter