Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Jadon Riley

Today Ian is 11-months old. It feels like such a major milestone. We are one-month away from making that one-year mark.

I have been asked about Jadon. And again, I never mind talking about Jadon I just have to be in the mood to handle telling the story of my sweet baby boy.

When I became pregnant with Jadon, Jason and I were not yet married. We had known each other for almost a decade and we were engaged and living together. We were in the midst of planning our wedding when I found out. We had planned to go to Antigua to tie the knot and quickly dashed those plans.

My pregnancy with Jadon was seemingly normal for the most part. In the very beginning I had horrible cramps that I never remembered experiencing with Marley but I didn't think much of it.

With Marley I had to be on bedrest for the last month or so of the pregnancy. I had been going into early labor. With Jadon, I told the doctor, who I hated entirely, about this and she never really seemed to take anything I said very seriously.

When I was pregnant with Marley, my triple screening had turned up with funny results that indicated that Marley might have Down's Syndrome. I refused an amniocentesis due to the 1% chance of losing the pregancy and spent the duration of it worried out of my mind and in near hysterics.

I refused to worry through my pregnancy with Jadon and perhaps I should have. During the first ultra-sound with him they had a hard time finding all the chambers in his heart. They spent a good long time looking at it and in the end determined that everything was appearing to be fine.

I had follow-up ultrasounds where again they looked with great detail and couldn't quite see everything but always they decided it was fine.

Then? Then I started with the contractions. The same as I had with Marley but earlier. It seems I have what they call an irritable uterus. Really? That bitch was just pissed I was pregnant... All three times.

I was in and out of the hospital, like I was with Marley but worse this time. The experience was extremely similar but it all seemed so much worse and I had a dipshit for a doctor. I was put on Magnesium which my doctor bluntly told me she believed to be one of the worst medical experiences you can go through. She may have been right and it was the second time in my life I had done it.

After over a month of being in and out of the hospital and being on bedrest my body just wasn't going to keep the little guy in there any longer. They kept trying to put me on the meds and something inside me just said it wasn't right and there was a reason my body wasn't doing what it was supposed to.

Finally I refused the meds and told them I was having the baby and that's just all there was too it. By the time they listened to me, Jadon was born in a flurry of activity. It was extremely fast and I felt very little. Immediately when he was born you could tell he wasn't breathing normally.

They rushed him out of the room and Jason went to go watch them clean him up and hook him up to a seemingly endless number of machines. He came back in the room to give me a report on the situation and in all honesty, I didn't want to hear it.

I laid there, totally numb. For the first time in my life, as horrible as it sounds, I almost understood how animals in the wild will ignore the small and sickly babies. I knew in that moment that he wouldn't make it. I just knew it and I can't explain to you why other than it was entirely instinctual.

For a minute I didn't want to see him or know any of the details. But then, then my heart took over and I took myself over to the nursery and there was my little baby boy. He had so many wires and whatnot attached to him but he looked otherwise healthy.

Day after day they said he'd get better. And with every day that passed I fought harder and harder for him. As the doctor's started to get worried and say we needed to look further into the situation I got more and more adamant that he was going to be okay. Because if his own mother didn't believe it who the hell would?

They released me after a few days and everyday I would go up to the hospital and sit next to his little incubator and hold his hand. I would put him on my chest and rock him for endless hours. He would smile and hold my hand. I knew he was in pain, but always that smile would come.

The emotional rollercoaster we were all on was exhausting. Doctor after doctor would come in. His heart was looked at numerous times. And never any determination of what was wrong with my little man.

Finally he was transferred to Children's Mercy and that day I laid in bed and cried. Jason knew I couldn't go admit him so he went to the hospital like the strong man he is and filled out the paperwork that I couldn't bring myself to think about.

The doctors and the nurses there were excited to get him on their floor. He appeared to be the healthiest baby there. They had him for one day when they discovered what the problem was.

They called us at home and asked us to come to the hospital so they could talk to us. We knew it wasn't good. Jason said it wasn't good, but still I held out hope. My baby would be okay.

When we got there my parents were already there sitting with him, so tiny in his little bed. We were taken into a room where the doctor assigned to him started to cry as she told us our son was going to die.

What do you do when a doctor who sees babies die everyday is crying and can barely speak? I don't remember everything that transpired after that because I was numb. I do know Jason threw a chair across the room, he was so heart broken.

After that it was meeting with endless people and being told there was no way to tell what his life expectancy would be. He had pulomonary vein stenosis, an underdeveloped lung that was useless and his veins in his chest were too small and too few.

We met with geneticists, hospice, cardiologists and the people with the oxygen tanks. We didn't know if we had 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 month, 2 years... All I know is wanted to take my son home.

And we did. For two weeks. I slept with my hand on his chest every night, just waiting for him to stop breathing. Stepping around oxygen tanks, worrying and loving my baby. Every morning was spent trying to get all his medication in him until he threw it up and then it was starting over again. Every day was spent, struggling to get him to eat. He spent his first weeks being fed through a tube so he didn't know how to eat.

Two weeks. That is what I had with my son. Two, precious, love filled weeks of agony and pain. It was such a tortuous combination of feeling and being raw.

Jadon Riley died 3 days after my 28th birthday. That was the best birthday I ever had. That year I had that whole day with him.

If you made it this far and you read all of that, then you will understand why heading into this last month of Ian's first year is so very awesome. Everyday I look at him and I see him, I see his brother and I see his sister. My three babies.

I am the mother of three.

Not two.

13 comments:

KaritaG said...

WOW. That was beautiful. You have such an amazing attitude and I have decided you must be incredibly strong. I lurked on over here from DPH and your hair does, indeed, kick ass. I have a husband named Jason too, and he is also the type of guy that would throw a chair because he was so sad. That was really touching.

XOXO

Trouble said...

That was a pretty fucking amazing post. Happy birthday to your baby.

Erin and Liann said...

This brought tears to my eyes. I had started this post at work and had to leave early. I am reading this later and I have to say that the love for your children moves me. Thank you for being so strong and showing me that when I decide to be a mother I will be able to uphold the same strength. You are an absolutely amazing woman! Thank you for sharing!!!!

Lee

Kat said...

I'm in tears. That was beautiful and I agree about your attitude and your love for your kids. And... I feel like I want to say thanks for writing and posting the story. It can't be easy to do. But I'll tell ya - your strength and continuing love for your son is inspiring and I'm sure it would be helpful for someone to read if they go through something like that.

gwendomama said...

Wow. How did I just find you?
My son Elijah died 4 years ago. We had 13 months and 11 days together before he bailed.

Which fucking sucks.
I understand the roller coaster - I really do.

Sorry. Is all I can say.

thordora said...

I am so so very sorry.

Christine said...

Amazing. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for writing that.

karmapearl said...

Hi there,

I stumbled across your blog randomly through a few clicks of links. As I read this post, tears filled my eyes. As I write this, the tears are there still. The story of your son is heartbreaking, and the love that you express for him and your other children is touching. I lost my first baby to a miscarriage at 7 weeks gestation in Dec. of 07. It in no way compares to the pain you've been through.. I just wanted to say that your story touched me and I'm sorry for your loss.

Rene said...

I am so sorry.

Wacky Mommy said...

I am so sorry about your loss.

Creepy said...

I can relate to some of this, the birth of my first was traumatic, we should have lost him but for some reason, he decided to stay.. I only stood on the edge and peeked into your world... It's a sacred place, and I can see that you know it.

what a gorgeous post.

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Florida Girl In Sydney said...

That was a beautiful and sad and timely post. This past weekend our preschool teacher had a miscarriage, she was 7 months pregnant. Two weeks ago a friend of mine in Florida, mother of a 3 year old and a one week old baby girl, passed away from a brain hemorrage. She also has an identical twin sister she left behind. This seems to have become a month of mourning-- and I'm so sorry for your loss.