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Life story
January 22, 2008
 
Two weeks past my due date and we headed into the hospital for a 6am induction. Checked into the room and was hooked up to fetal monitoring equipment. Patrice, my midwife, came in at 8am to chat with us. I was given an induction gel to soften my cervix once every four hours - we did this twice. The entire eight hours I was on the gel, I had amazing contractions. My contractions were 40 to 60 seconds apart and lasted well over a minute each. The gel was helping to soften/thin my cervix yet it wasn't happening fast enough in order to aid in dilating it.

Right about the time when we could have done the gel one more time, Patrice suggested that we start the Pitocin (another induction method), yet it's administered by IV and its meant to bring on contractions. I was given two bags of Pitocin (I believe) and while I was in a great deal of pain, my contractions became irratic and unpredictable. Those four hours were miserable and resulted in my cervix thickening back up and only dilating 1.5cm. I spent sixteen hours drugged up and nothing resulted.

Around 10pm, the next midwife on shift came in to explain our options. We could have a c-section or I could basically sleep on it and restart the next morning. Apparently it isn't uncommon to have two or three days to get into active labor. I didn't feel like I was ready to give up and I was determined to have my first birth be natural. The midwife said I could shower, eat, and sleep in order to prepare for round two and that often times that's all the body needs to get into gear. The idea of eating was what interested me the most! :)  They removed the Pitocin drip and gave me another application of gel, similar to the induction gel I was given earlier in the day. I was told that it would help me to sleep. I was even given two Ambien to get to sleep as well. I didn't eat my meal until 1130pm and was in bed trying to get some ZZZs after 12am.
January 23, 2008
 
The morning started early considering I didn't sleep one bit. I had intense lower back pain or what they call back labor all night long. The ambien didn't help at all! At 8am they put me back on pitocin and was supposed to check on me in a few hours but they were a bit late. I was definitely at the point of requesting an epidural because the pain was unbearable. They did another check and my cervix was still not dilating. I basically had to decide if I wanted to hang on and keep trying for natural in hopes that my cervix would do something OR opt for a c-section.

The decision was emotional because I really hoped to have a natural birth but I think my body was trying to tell me that that wasn't an option. I honestly believe I have a cervix defect! As soon as I decided to have a c-section, they brought my husband his paper outfit. We were all surprised it was happening that quickly. The c-section was a piece of cake and will definitely be the way to go for next time. We were so happy to welcome you to this world. You were 10lbs 4ozs and 20.5in long. A true butterball in every way! Your uncle Ben put it best by calling you "Buddha Baby." Friends and family came to meet you during those three extra days Mommy was recovering. The nurses were all aware of the 10lb baby and were fighting to catch a glimpse at your chubby baby cheeks. Mommy and daddy were so proud to be parents and couldn't wait to take you home with us!
February 18, 2008
 
Passed away on February 18, 2008.
April 30, 2008
 
While you aren't with us right now baby, we did find out today what took you from us so abruptly. The mystery has now been solved. The doctor told us that you got a virus from someone somewhere. It was very aggressive and you probably had it a few days. Since you were so young, you weren't able to communicate to us what was going on and maybe you didn't know yourself. Know that mommy and daddy miss you terribly and we truly hope that you didn't suffer. The only upside to this is that we learned that it isn't genetic which means when mommy and daddy are ready to have your brother or sister, they won't be born with it. I'm going to talk some mumbo jumbo now to everyone to tell them what you had now...

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I received a call from the ME. Dr. K was amazing and spoke with me for almost an hour - allowing me to ask all the questions that have been culminating. She explained that it isn't usually her responsibility to share the info with loved ones yet she felt emotionally invested in us because of the ME mess up that happened the day my baby passed (the 4 day delay in sending him to Richmond for his autopsy that resulted in us not attending his rushed burial). She ended up commenting on my strength and asked me a number of questions about how I'm dealing with my grief and my thoughts on how everything had been handled. She really listened and genuinely was apologetic.

She explained that a viral infection attacked his air sacs – they were inflamed and filled with fluid. The fluid filled his abdomen - surrounded his lungs and heart. His heart was engorged and the apex (bottom part) of the heart that's usually somewhat pointed was very globular. The ME had never seen an infant's heart look this way. She's also never seen a virus be so aggressive on an infant and she's NEVER put this on a death certificate in her entire career: Interstitial Pneumonitis. I have a hard time understanding the difference between viral and bacterial infections. The COD sounds like a fancy name for pneumonia but she said it's very different. The ME wasn't able to identify what kind of virus it was not that that would help tell us where it came from but it could help identify that it exists and they could possibly develop a vaccine. Bottomline is that we'll never know yet it's good to know that there was nothing we could have done differently. The ME even said that if he developed noticeable symptoms sooner, we could have had him treated but the virus was so aggressive that we'd only be prolonging the inevitable. He was just too little and too weak. Good news is that it isn't genetic and the odds of our lives being plagued with it again are slim.