I am 32 years old and have been married for 4 years. I was so happy to find out that I was pregnant last Oct. I went to the doctor for my first appointment and everything wasfine.
Around l5 weeks I went in for a glucose tolerance test because we had some concerns aboutmy blood sugar. The test results were high so I was sent to a maternal-fetal medicine specialist. I had a sonogram and everything was fine so I went to see a dietician and started a diabetic diet. My blood sugar levels returned to normal and stayed that way as long as I followed the diet. I thought about telling my child one day all about how I had to give up some of my favoritefoods for him. But I did everything I could to help my child be healthy.
At 22 weeks I went in for a routine sonogram to determine the sex of the baby but I already knew it was a boy. Sure enough, it was a boy. But then my world fell apart.Doctor after doctor came into the room to look at the sonogram, then the techs, then the nurse but nobody would tell me anything. They just kept talking to each other. I knew that something was really wrong but they still wouldn't tell me. I asked what was wrong, they told me that Samuel had something called Congenital Adenmatoid Malformation of the Lung or CCAM but I still didn't know what that was. The doctor had someone call my husband and wanted to wait to talk to me until my husband could get there. My husband was across town in a class, it seemed as if it took hours for him to get there but it was about 30 minutes. Then the doctor explained that Samuel had a mass growing in his chest and it had pushed his heart over to the right side of his chest. The possibilities were that he could die before birth due to hydrops, he could be born without enough healthy lung tissue to survive or he could be born and require immediate surgery to remove the mass. We had to just wait and see what would happen. This was on a Wednesday, we went back to the doctor on Monday and nothing had changed. So we went back in another week and Samuel had hydrops and the mass was larger. We were told that if we did nothing he would die in 2-3 weeks or we could go to Phil. where the doctors at Children's Hosp. do fetal surgery.
It was our only chance to save Samuel so we boarded a plane for Phil. a few hours later. Everything was happening so fast that we barely had time to pack any clothes. We arrived in Phil. and went straight to the hospital. We had another sonogram and an echocardiogram and then we met with the surgeons. We were told the risks of the surgery and I have never been so terrified in my life. But if I didn't have the surgery , my baby would die. What a choice, no mother should have to decide this. I was not really scared of the actual surgery, but ofthe medications that would be necessary after to prevent premature labor and we would have to stay in Phil. for the rest of my pregnancy. I would be off work for 3 months and would not get paid but it didn't matter. I wanted my baby more than anything. So the next morning, around 11:00 , I went into the operating room. At this point, Samuel was still very actively kicking me which I thought was good because it meant that he was still strong. When I woke up from the surgery, I asked the nurse about Samuel and she went to get the doctor. He came and told me thatSamuel was gone. Later that day my husband told me that the doctors were able to remove the mass from Samuel's lung but before they could put him back inside me, his heart failed and they were unable to get it going again.
Sometime after that, the nurse brought Samuel in for us to hold him. He didn't really seem that small when they laid him on my chest, but now when I look at his footprints and handprints, I guess he was really small. The nurse weighed him for us. He weighed one pound,six ounces. I held him and his daddy held him and then we let the nurse take him.
I was in the hospital for 3 more days after the surgery and then spent 2 more days in Phil.before flying home. We had a graveside service for him with just our immediate family and then people came by our house after. I was physically in so much pain from the surgery that every movement was difficult. My husband was able to stay with me for a week and then he had to return to work. My mother and grandmother helped take care of me for the next week.
It has now been six weeks since Samuel died and part of me died that day. I am supposed to return to work next week and I don't know how I can. I teach kindergarten and the thought of all those children is more than I can handle right now. Everything is overwhelming to me right now. I never knew that I could hurt like this or be this lonely.
My only comfort is knowing that we did everything we could to help Samuel. His mommy and daddy love him so much and miss him so much.
Haynes Baton Rouge, LA
lost Samuel at 24 weeks