I have been meaning to get on and post about what happened with Adam but have had so many different emotions and thoughts that I couldn't even begin to know where to start. But I will do my best, it might be a little long and sometimes hard to follow, but that's how my mind works these days.
Monday, Nov 2, my sister, Heather, and Allison came up to St.Pete to spend some time with me and Steve. There was a little change in the weather and it made Allison start to wheeze and have a lot of breathing trouble. Heather and I decided to go find a store to buy her some medicine to hold her over until morning when my parents would come up and bring her nebulizer machine. While we were out at the store we decided to go and check on Adam. And I couldn't be happier that I did because this was the last time I would see him alive. He was doing pretty good. He was on a normal ventilator, his blood gases were good and his blood pressure was holding steady. I held his hand and told him that I loved him and would be back in the morning. Before I left, I reminded the nurse to call if anything happened. She seemed a little annoyed at this, but I didn't care. I wanted to make sure that she knew I was his caring mother and needed to know about any changes in his status.
The medicine we got for Allison didn't help her for very long. We were up all night with her moaning and whining because she was so miserable and couldn't breath. About 6:00 am I decided that she had suffered enough and we couldn't wait a couple more hours for my parents to get there with her nebulizer machine, so I took a shower and was going to take her to the ER. As I was about to get dressed, Steve's phone rang, it was the NICU. They asked how soon we could get there because they were doing chest compressions on Adam. I froze and didn't even know where to start. Allison couldn't breath and desperately needed to get to the ER but my baby boy needed me too. Heather had to tell me where my clothes were because my mind was not capable of working at that second. Steve hurried up and got dressed and we rushed out of the room, trusting that Heather would take care of Allison for us. I had been discharged from the hospital the day before so we had stayed the night at the Ronald McDonald House which was several blocks from the hospital. We didn't have time to get to the car and then find a parking spot in the parking garage so we ran as fast as we could to the hospital. Adrenaline must have really kicked in for me because I barely felt the pain, c-section stitches and all, I just knew I had to get to my son.
When we got to the NICU, I remember seeing a crash cart and lots of people standing around Adam. I just stopped and one of the nurses had to tell me that it was ok to go in. I looked at the monitor and saw that his heart rate was zero and was just in disbelief. What happened? He was doing ok 10 hrs earlier. They said that his heart just stopped and they couldn't do anything to get it started again. My baby boy was gone.
They brought us to a room where we could hold him and take pictures. We started calling our family to let them know what happened. At first I was ok holding him but as his color started to changed, it felt weird. Steve told me that if I didn't hold him more that I would regret it and I decided that he was probably right. It felt so nice to hold him in my arms. I wish we had stayed longer.
Before I had Adam I had contacted a photographer with an organization called "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep". They take pictures free of charge for families whose babies have a poor prognosis. Heather had contacted her when Adam was born but I was holding out on her coming, hoping that we would be able to get pictures when he didn't have the breathing tube in and we could hold him. I am really happy I decided to wait because she came that morning and took the most beautiful pictures of my baby. This is how I want to remember him, as beautiful, not with tubes everywhere and with all the swelling that he had .
While we were in with Adam, Heather was in the ER with Allison. The chaplain went over to the ER and spoke with them to expedite the process so that Allison could come over and meet her brother. After she got her breathing treatment in the ER, she was feeling a little better and did very well with Adam. She didn't understand what happened and I'm pretty sure she just thought he was sleeping. By the time the photographer got there, her breathing was pretty bad again and she did not want much part of the pictures. We were able to get a few with her in them, but we never got one of her holding him.
Since I was 17 weeks pregnant, we knew this was a possibility, but I never knew how bad it would hurt to lose him. Yes, I bonded with Adam while I was pregnant. I miss his hiccups and feeling his feet kick me so hard that it hurt. But when I really bonded with him was the first time I was able to hold his little hand. I automatically felt the connection. I never got to hear him cry, see him move or open his eyes. I wish I had, but the only way that would've happened is if we took him off all life support and let him go. I didn't want to give up on him. I knew God was going to tell me when it was his time, and he did. The morning that Adam passed, the neonatologist basically told us that the nephrologist was going to tell us that he would not attempt to place a dialysis shunt and Adam would die anyway, but it could have been days until that happened and we would've just been waiting around for the phone call. This way, God took that pain of waiting away from us and took Adam very quickly. I am thankful that I never had to make the decision to remove the ventilator or take him off any of the medications that were keeping him alive.
Today was Adam's funeral. It was hard, but I made it through. The baby in the casket did not look like my baby. This is not how I want to remember Adam. He was so much cuter than he looked today. Allison was so good today. I think she is starting to understand what happened to Adam. It was really good for her to be there. We put a little cross and a crystal heart in with him and she kept moving them from one hand to the other every time she would go see him and say that he was going to bring them to Heaven and give them to Jesus when he got there. We couldn't keep her away from him. She kept hugging him and kissing him and saying how cute he was. I loved seeing how good she was with him and about the whole thing, but it really broke my heart to see how good a big sister she would've been and now she'll never have that chance.
I hope that nobody reading this ever has to go through losing a child because it is the hardest thing in the world! I am finding it hard to just live. I don't feel like doing the basic things in life. If it wasn't for Allison I would probably just self medicate with benadryl and never get out of bed. But I have to take care of her. Sometimes she has to remind me that she's hungry and then I feed her, but she's not starving. She might stay in a wet diaper a little longer than usual, but I think she will survive. Potty training is over for now. It is the farthest thing on my mind right now. I know eventually I will have to go back to work, but I don't know how to even think about that. I don't even want to be a nurse anymore. I just think it will hurt to much to be in a hospital setting. People keep telling me how strong I am. Well, I don't feel very strong at all. I am a mess. This post cannot even begin to describe how I feel. I know this was what is best for Adam and when I remember that I do feel a little better. But I also feel like this could have been my fault. I had 2 xrays while I was pregnant, I just finished an antibiotic right before I got pregnant, I had to take prednisone for a few weeks because of my asthma. All the dr's say "no", but I will always feel like maybe I did this.
I will never forget Adam. He will always be a part of me and my family. I will not pretend that he didn't happen and not talk about him. I will proudly mention my baby boy and hang his pictures in my house. He was my son and I will always love him. I want to thank everyone for their support and prayers during this hard time. I really appreciate everything.