by Jessica Spradlin
My husband and I have been married for two years, for a year we tried for our baby with no luck and on year one of not trying, God blessed us with a positive pregnancy test. I was 5 weeks along and we were thrilled. I have three children and he has a twenty year old, so this was a big surprise for him to be expecting a new baby!
At 12 weeks we did our routine bloodwork and found out he was a BOY! After many long talks and prayers, we decided he would be Kailor Dean. Kailor means “little warrior.” Little did we know how much this was going to ring true for our sweet baby. At 15 weeks I woke up in the early morning having what I was almost positive was a late miscarriage. Rushing to the emergency room and not knowing if there’s going to be a little heart beating when we saw him was terrifying. But after a major bleed, there he was, being his usual spunky little self. He was always sucking on his thumb, rubbing his face or waving at us. They sent me home and said everything looked good, that sometimes this just happens. Relieved, is the emotion we felt.
After two more weeks and the bleeding continuing with baby boy still healthy and growing as he should I was sent to a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist a town over. Same diagnosis, this just happens sometimes. We were scheduled to return at 20 weeks to follow up, the bleeding never stopped and honestly, I as well as my doctors were in shock that Kailor was unaffected by this. At 18 weeks, the diagnosis came unexpectedly during a routine ultrasound. A sub chorionic hematoma reared its ugly head. They aren’t even that uncommon actually, but most of them disappear by 20 weeks but unfortunately mine continued to grow instead of disappearing. “It increases your risk of a miscarriage” “You should consider terminating this pregnancy” But I wasn’t giving up on my baby. He deserved a chance, he was surviving against the odds!
At our 20 week appointment with the MFM, he was not pleased with the size of the hematoma and by now my body was wearing down. My hemoglobin was low, and I was just not a picture of health. He immediately sent me for blood transfusions, my hemoglobin was 7.2. A normal range is 10+. He said I would be admitted at 23 weeks to start the steroid shots to prepare Kailor for his early arrival. So here I was scared knowing my son was coming entirely too early and after me fighting for my life, he’d be fighting for his. But we were ready, and I was determined we were going to make it to the 23 week mark! We had made it so far and we weren’t giving up on him. Those next 2-3 weeks were the most frightening of my life. I was in and out of the hospital due to blood loss, 20 weeks passed, 21 weeks passed, 22 weeks passed, we were going to make it! He was going to be the baby who made it against all doctor’s predictions. The night that 22 weeks 4 days rolled around I suddenly got very sick and passed out at the hospital where I had been for 3 days. I got 10 emergency blood transfusions. Yes, I said 10! The magnesium drip was started to try to stop labor, I was in indescribable pain (the worst I had ever been). Pain medications were started but it didn’t do much to alleviate it. I thought I was dying. But I got the first round of good news, my MFM said to transfer me, he was ready for Kailor and I (this was the NICU). I was thrilled, even though I was questioning if we’d make it because I was unstable.
During paperwork and waiting on an ambulance to come get me, they had me upside down in the bed to try to prevent me from having Kailor, he was born at 9:45 am. As rare as it is, he was born fully in his sac, so my sweet boy didn’t even know he had been born. It took seven whole minutes for a pediatrician to make it to him and get him out and it was detrimental to him. His heart was still beating by the grace of god, he was 1 lb 2 oz and 12 inches long, a clone of our youngest son and his daddy but to my surprise the hospital did nothing because he was 3 days too early. Those three days cost my baby his life. We embraced him for 51 minutes until he passed in his mommy’s arms. We are broken and we miss him every single day. I should be in the NICU fighting alongside my son like he fought alongside me when my life was on the line keeping him alive but instead, I’m holding his memory box and visiting his grave.
I fight for awareness to be brought to these micro preemies. They deserve a chance.