Saturday, September 18, 2010

Due Date

A note to readers: 
Dan and I initially started this blog to update everyone on our journey with Aaron, from his diagnosis and delivery to the rest of his story, yet to be known at that time. To our friends and family who have been following our journey, thank you for your continued prayers, love, support, encouragement, hugs...and the list goes on; we appreciate and love you all more than I can put into words. Although Aaron is no longer physically with us, his story and our story goes on. I am continuing to journal/blog my way through this roller coaster known as grief simply to get my thoughts out of my head. If in the process this helps someone else understand the grace and love of our God, find solace during their journey of loss or increases awareness about the monster that is CHD, then I feel I have helped, even if in some small way. So, if you would like, you are welcome to continue on this journey with me through my thoughts and ramblings (as crazy as they may be at times)...thanks for joining me and for lending an ear. 

I apologize in advance that this is a long entry. It was a late night with a heavy heart and lots of thoughts of my little one.

Yesterday was another milestone in the journey that Aaron has taken us on; it was his actual due date. September 17th... a day that had me anxious for so long, not because of the uncertainty of his heart and future, but because Dan and I were finally going to meet our child! If I was walking this path alone, I most likely would have stayed inside and moped around all day, wishing that I could just be with my son and wondering if our story would have been different had we made it a little closer to our due date. BUT, I'm not on this journey alone...thank goodness. I am blessed with an incredible husband who encourages me on a daily basis to keep putting one foot in front of the other. If Aaron's short life has taught us anything (which it has...many, many things), it is that life is precious; we need to enjoy the smallest of things in life and the beauty that is God's creation. So, Dan and I decided to do just that. What better way to celebrate Aaron and the miracle that he was and is to us than to enjoy one of our Creator's other beautiful masterpieces...the Rockies and their gorgeous Autumn colors.

We generally enjoy the serenity that comes with hiking and truly getting away from it all, but as I am still recovering from Aaron's delivery via c-section, we opted for a long scenic drive. Aaron was with us and on our minds all day as we felt the clean, crisp air blowing in the windows and enjoyed the bright blue Colorado sky and the golden aspen groves lining the mountain sides. What a beautiful, rejuvenating day. This was one of those experiences I had dreamed about sharing with our son...him bundled up and snug in a carrier as we enjoyed the beautiful Colorado outdoors. Even though he was with us, I longed for him to be with us, physically, all day; I just wanted my little Aaron Matthew back. Although I missed him more than I thought was humanly possible, I smiled and was comforted in each small way that I saw him and felt his presence throughout the day. During moments here and there, it seems that we are learning to find joy again.

 Celebrating and missing you, my sweet little one

Calm evening on the lake

The aspens signal the changing of seasons

Peaceful day in the rockies to sooth a restless heart

Speaking of finding JOY, I suppose I should share Aaron's birth story (one of the most joyful days of my life) before the details escape me; it seems fitting as I am journaling about his actual due date:
As of August 24th, I was still working full time and began having somewhat frequent and mildly uncomfortable contractions on my way home from work...I chalked it up to a full patient load that day, a significant amount of time on my feet and our due date slowly creeping up in the next few weeks. It was nothing that an evening of rest didn't seem to relieve as the contractions slowly dissipated on their own. The next day brought with it another typical sign of labor being on the horizon; however, the labor and delivery nurse I called in the early hours of the morning said not to worry about it as I was still a few weeks out. As the morning progressed, I noticed that little mister Aaron was not moving quite like normal as he generally squirmed frequently, all day long.  All of my usual attempts at getting him to move were not working...a single little movement here and there was not satisfying me, so I called my OB, somewhat concerned. She encouraged me to come in for monitoring as soon as I could get there. 

Dan and I arrived at the hospital and I was hooked up to the usual machines and monitors that were unfortunately becoming all too familiar through this journey. Only minutes later and faster than I knew what was happening, several people were in the room and I was on oxygen, had an IV placed and was being told to try to turn in several different positions as Aaron's heart rate had plummeted. His heart rate was generally maintained at 130-140 bpm (like most babies); however, during a strong contraction, he dropped to 60 bpm and stayed there for several minutes before returning to normal. The little stinker scared us to death. "You're definitely not going home anytime soon and you're going to be parents much sooner than later" were the next words we heard. I distinctly remember looking at Dan and then our OB saying, "you know that we'd really prefer to do this naturally, but whatever you have to do to get him out safe and 'healthy'... we'll do it".  We continued to be monitored while the OB group met with our cardiologists and surgeons at Children's Hospital to determine the best course of action for Aaron. We underwent another echocardiogram to determine how his heart was tolerating the recent events and were being prepared for an amniocentesis to assess lung maturity when it happened again. His heart rate plummeted during a contraction and was not coming back up. Before Dan or I could ask a question or even grasp the situation, I was being rushed down the hall to the OR to "get him out as fast as possible".  

The next hour was somewhat of a blur. The things I do remember: being scared out of my mind, 20+ people buzzing around the OR, asking if/when Dan would be able to join me for the birth of our child and praying, praying, praying "God, you've carried us through this far...please, save our son...just let me hear that little cry." And we did. God was there, orchestrating everything. Aaron's  heart rate stabilized in time for me to have a spinal and be awake to witness, with Dan, his arrival into this world...little Aaron Matthew came out with a fighting spirit, a strong set of lungs and even managed a pretty good shot as he peed all over one of the nurses. 

I remember kissing his warm, soft cheeks and finally meeting our son...completely in love with this little guy. From that moment on, I would have given my life in a heartbeat, in order to save his. 

1 comment:

  1. It was a joyful to be remembered over and over again. Love you all, mom xoxoxoox


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