Thursday, February 25, 2010

On the birth of Jay

5I have been thinking a lot about Jay's birth lately. Honestly, it's not a story that I share too openly. There are a handful of people who lived it with me and they are pretty much the only ones who know everything that happened and all that I was feeling back then. For some reason, now feels like the time to finally let everything out. I'm sure a lot of it has to do with the upcoming birth of Bean and the fact that I am now more pregnant than I've ever been in my life.

When I was 27 weeks and some days pregnant, I had what would ultimately be my last appointment with my high risk specialist. She sent me to the big hospital and told me that I would be there for the duration of my pregnancy. Turns out, that was only four days.

At 28 weeks and 1 day pregnant, Jay started doing very poorly. I have a penchant for auto immune diseases and my body was basically attaching him. I was heavily into my period of Graves Disease at that point. So heavily, in fact, that I was taking 12 anti-thyroid pills a day and still producing too much thyroid hormone.

Every time I moved, Jay's heart would decelerate because his umbilical cord was so poorly formed. I laid on my left side for days. I watched a lot of Cat-Dog. And the Golden Girls. I was miserable and my body was basically killing him, which made me even more miserable. It's a horrible feeling to know that your own body is attacking your unborn child.

So, around 9:30 on New Year's Eve, I went in for an emergency c-section. I was put to sleep and woke up just before midnight to find out that I had a son. A son that the doctors said wouldn't live through the night. A son who weighed 1 pound and 14 ounces and wasn't breathing when he was born. At the time, I remember wishing I could have been awake for my c-section. But now I think it was probably best that I wasn't.

After midnight, a team of NICU doctors and nurses brought Jay in to be named and meet his mommy. I wasn't allowed to hold him, but I was able to touch him. He couldn't handle much touching because his little body was just too sensitive. I do remember holding my thumb up to his feet. His entire foot was the same size as the bendy end of my thumb. There are still times today that I look at my thumb and mark off that area with my forefinger. Just so I can remember how very far we've come.

I never got to hold Jay until he was 2 weeks old. He was just too fragile and I was only allowed to hold him long enough for the nurses to bring in a new incubator. That's the way it was for awhile. Holding him every two weeks until he was strong enough to come out more often. It's heartbreaking. I still wish I could have held him after he was born. That's a moment that he and I will never have.

For the next 11 months, Jay and I went to hell and back in that hospital. He finally came home on December 2nd. We had scary moments. There were times when it didn't look like he would make it. It was the most horrible and wonderful year of my life, if that makes sense. A lot of people don't understand it, but when you sit in a hospital every day for 11 months fighting for your kid to survive you develop a different kind of mother/child bond.

Jay and I have never spent more than 24 hours apart. I fought like hell to keep that kid and there is no way I'm going to be away from him. If something ever happened to him, I would lay down next to him and die. I have never loved anyone the way I love Jay. He is a part of me. He is the most precious part of me.


  1. wow..thank you for sharing those hard times. i can NOT imagine the agony you went through...yes, i understand why it was the best and worst time of your life.
    what a story! what a brave boy! what a brave mama!!!!

  2. Oh wow, what a touching story...

    And regarding the comment you left on my blog, what's the Jack Black experience? I'm curious now. (And he was really scary on Yo Gabba Gabba...he wore SPANDEX..)

  3. Please leave your funny concert experience on my blog!

  4. Thanks for sharing this! I lost two babies through miscarriage. My second one was when I was 13 weeks pregnant. It was the same week I lost my Dad. I was terrified through every second of my other three pregnancies.
    When my second son was born, he had to spend a week in the hospital because of severe jaundice. My arms ached to hold him, I can't imagine what it was like for you.
    I'm so glad you're able to enjoy him now.
    Congrats on your new baby! Hope all goes smoothly!

  5. what a beautiful miracle story. Thanks so much for sharing it. I had a niece, Nyah, who was born at 26 weeks and weighed the same as Jay. She went to heaven right after she was born, but I had the joy of holding her little body for a few moments. Your story made me think of her and made me so happy for you that your little guy made it! He seems so sweet, and you seem like a great mom.

    Thanks for your comment on my blog, glad you stopped by!

  6. What a beautiful post. It gave me goosebumps and brought tears to my eyes. I can't imagine how that must have been for you. My boys were preemies too, but they were only 6 weeks early. We have had our own issues and our own battles to fight, so I can understand to a point what you are saying. Your love for your son is so apparent and so sweet. What a lucky little man.
    It is so exciting that you are getting ready to have a daughter. I hope the next few weeks are relaxing (or as much as they can be).