Tuesday, March 1, 2011

WHY I WALK - Part 1

Parker's Birth Story

This is why I walk:

When a child is born, this is not what you expect to see in a newborn picture.  The wires, the machines, the tiny little 2lb. 3oz baby in a little isolette.

Most of you have followed me long enough to know our story, but if you don't then let me give you a little run down. 2 years ago I was going through a normal pregnancy, I was happy and excited to be growing a baby in my belly. I was due in August of 2008 and enjoying every moment of the sweet lil' one growing in my stomach. Then May rolls around and things go wrong. I get sicker and sicker and finally I end up in the ER. I hadn't slept well, I was in terrible pain and was sure something was wrong with the baby in my tummy. They watched me in maternity triage for several hours and sent me home on a strong antacid...they said it was bad heart burn. The week that followed sucked, I hurt and things didn't get better. I started spotting and ended up in my OB/GYN's office. My blood pressure was climbing and I had protein in my urine. I began a 24 urinalysis. I ended up in the hospital again...the pain was even worse - all up my right side....I was sure I was dying and I was sure that they baby was NOT ok. After some tests, I heard the words no one wants to hear at only 29 weeks gestation: "Well, you're having a baby today."

The nurse/doctors then went on to tell me that I had a extreme case of pre-eclampsia called HELLP SYNDROME. This is a very uncommon complication, 1 or 2 of 1,000 pregnancies are affected. I was one of them. My blood pressure kept rising, while my liver was not functioned correctly, my blood platelet count was low - I required a blood transfusion. The main treatment? Having the baby...so I was given a choice - induce labor or emergency c-section (where I would be under general anesthesia, I'd probably intubated, any my husband would not be in the room with me.)

I chose the c-section - from there things went so fast...I was being prepped, signing papers, calling family and my minister and trying not to overly freak out....my room was FILLED with people; nurses, my ob/gyn, a high risk ob/gyn, a resident. I was being hooked to iv's, someone was putting in a catheter....and then it was time... they started wheeling me down the hall. I had only been in the hospital for 4 hours and little peanut was coming. I didn't really have time to be scared at this point...of course until Drew kissed me good bye and went to his "waiting dad" seat and I was taken into the room. I don't remember much from the room... other than the hustle and bustle and rushing of everyone in there. I remember seeing the little isolette in the corner...everyone was ready for him...except me. Then came the sleepy meds and the last thing I remember is a nurse saying, "Denise, I am right here, I am holding your hand through the entire thing...I promise." Mary was amazing, even though I remember her mostly as a fuzzy person (though later on she got to see Parker before he went home!)

At 9:35 am on Thursday May 28, Parker James Northern was born. 2lbs. 3ozs and 14.5 inches long he came out kicking and screaming (so I have heard.) And me - I ended up in the ICU not doing well at all. I spent a little over a day in the ICU, intubated. I don't remember much - I was hazy - drugged up. I know a lot of things have been filled in from Drew, friends and family, but I don't remember much from that time in the ICU. On friday afternoon they took out my breathing tube (which didn't hurt more than it tickled!) and got me off several meds. (I remained on morphine and a couple to help with blood pressure.) They prepped me and moved me to labor and delivery. I wasn't healthy enough to go to the regular maternity ward, and I was too sick for high risk floor. I stayed in L&D until Monday. Sunday, was the first day that I got to see Parker in the NICU and touch him. That's right I went 3 days without feeling, touching, holding my son. I ended up on the high risk floor for the remainder of my time in the hospital (total of almost a week.)

So this is why I walk, why I choose to support March of Dimes and the March for Babies. Because I don't want to see someone go through what I went through with PArker.

For the next few Tues. I will be posting my Why I Walk Story. Partially because I WANT to share this and partially to help raise funds for our walking team. I am going to be perfectly honest with you...I hate asking for money. I was a girl scout and sold cookies and hated having to ask people. It makes me feel desperate...but I know that the money will go to help the research in how we can end prematurity. Personally I want more research to understand HELLP Syndrome....they don't know the cause...and that sucks...

Long story short..if you feel led over these next few weeks, I'd love for you to donate to Team Parker. Please don't feel like you have to. I totally understand if you can't help us financially! I just want you to consider it. Every little bit counts. If you live in the Columbus, Ohio area and would like to join our team and walk with us on May 1st, you can also sign up to do that. We'd love for you to join us! Of if you can only offer prayers, that too is fine...

You can donate, join the team or find out more about March of Dimes and March for Babies, by either clicking on the purple badge on the left side of the screen or on the above link attached to "Team Parker."

"The mission of March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant morality."

1 comment:

Jennielle said...

I know the story well, but you wrote it so eloquently. My heart goes out to you. I can't even imagine what you went through. I am so glad that this story ended up a happy one and that I was able to meet you and Parker. Even though we are far apart now, I still love you! You will always be one of my best friends. HUGS! P.S. I just can't believe how big and strong Parker is now. What a miracle!