Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Day That Changed Everything :)

Natalie Grace Fagan was born at 26wk 4dys gestation on April 26th, 2010 at 8:36am. She weighed 1lbs. 13oz. and was 13 Inches long. Being so tiny put her into the micro-preemie category, which I had never heard of until that day. During my pregnancy with Natalie we traveled to CA in Feb. 2010 for my mom's wedding. While we were there I started spotting and having mild contractions. When returning home I had a routine doctors appointment where they did blood work for Spina Bifida, came back with high levels of protein so I was sent to the perinatologist just to make sure everything was okay with her spine. Her spine was just fine but they were also finding a few cyst in her brain, her bowels were dark colored and there was a bright spot in her heart. They also found that I had an abnormal placenta and diagnosed it as Circumvallate Placenta. Rather than lying flat against my uterus my placenta curved upwards which increased my chances of placental abruption, preeclampsia and IUGR. Around the beginning of April I started having pretty regular contraction, still mild but often. So I started taking it easy and being careful to not over do anything. Seeing the perinatalogist once a month to monitor her progress. At 12am on April 26th I started having severe lower back pains and contractions along with a sensation to push. Thinking all of this would pass over time I tried walking it off and resting to see if that would help. At 2AM I started bleeding and we rushed to the ER. The sweet ER nurse had to push me in a wheelchair what seemed like five miles to Labor and Delivery. They immediately did an ultrasound and found that she was just fine but I did in fact have placental abruption. I received a steroid shot and they put me on magnesium sulfate to stop the contractions. I was told that I'd be in the hospital until she was born which wasn't supposed to be until July 29th. They continued to monitor Natalie and I while I rested but around 7:50am they did not like what they were seeing. I started praying that God would give our nurse wisdom on what to do because I knew she was making the decision on whether or not to deliver Natalie. It was way too soon to have this baby, that is all I could think about. As soon as I finished my short prayer our nurses entire face changed and I asked her what she was thinking. She said, "I think we're having a baby." She walked out of the room to call my doctor and saw that she had just walked into the hospital to do her rounds. My doctor came in, looked everything over, looked at my tear-filled face and said we're having this baby right now. The chances of her surviving outside of you are greater than her surviving inside of you. That was at 8:03AM. I was inside of the OR room at 8:16Am and she was delivered by emergency c-section at 8:36AM. They immediately wheeled her off to the NICU, all I could see was a pile of blankets fly past me and daddy quickly following behind them. I then stated experiencing panic attacks it felt like I wasn't getting any air, my mouth was so dry from all of the medication I had been given. I kept asking for water, all I needed was water but after surgery you can't have anything. I eventually received some ice chips, which helped. It took about two hours to recover from the panic attack.

Once in the postpartum room I was surrounded by friends, church members and family and we all just started to pray, that's all that we knew to do. It felt like everything was out of control and all I could do was count on God to see us through such a scary and uncertain time. Peace filled our room and hasn't left our hearts since. We know that she is going to be just fine and have comfort in God's plan for our family.

Today is July 11th, 2010 she now weighs 5lbs. 11oz. and is almost 18 Inches long. She has a healthy heart, lungs and brain. She is learning how to bottle feed and will be able to come home. God is truly amazing and has shown us mercy through this experience. She was named after the song Amazing Grace and this has been an amazing journey. We have seen so many miracles performed and are continuing to witness miracles through conversations, God's provision, seeing how strong Grant and Olivia have been through this experience, outpouring of prayers, support, encouragement, meals, financial help and friendships. Also, witnessing the progress that Natalie has made each minute of every day. We have been given a new perspective on how fragile and precious life is.

2 comments:

  1. Jennifer,

    You and Mike are so strong. This blog that you wrote is beautiful. Natalie is a miracle! I am so glad that you have a very strong support system in Austin. I miss you so much. Reading this made me get all teary-eyed. Just reading about all the struggles you had with your pregnancy is crazy! You, Mike, Olivia, Grant, and now Natalie are so blessed. God truly is amazing!! I am sorry that you went through all of that. I can only imagine how scared you must've been. You are such a strong, beautiful, and lovely woman that I look up to. A wonderful mother that I hope to be like someday. Such an amazing sister as well. I am so thankful to have you and your family in my life. I love and miss you so much. Give the kids hugs for me.

    Sincerely,
    Linda

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  2. Our birth stories sound almost identical. I can clearly remember the doctor saying, "You are having these babies today." Like you, I thought "No, that is not possible. This cannot be happening. I still have 16 weeks to go!" But, look how far our babies have come. God does work miracles!

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