Cheri Peoples

Empty Arms Broken Hearts Chapter 11

by CHERI on April 24, 2012

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To read Chapters 1-10 click {HERE}

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Continued from Chapter 10:

That night–I woke up in the middle of the night and I had to go to the bathroom. That was not usual for me–I typically slept through the night so I ran to get the pregnancy test out of the kitchen. I could barely get the package open. I stood there waiting for 5 minutes in the middle of the night. My husband and little guy were sound asleep –everything was completely quiet and still.


Chapter 11: Neonatal Intensive Care

The pregnancy test was positive. My head was spinning. My little guy was only 4 months old. It had taken us years to finally get pregnant (6 years) with our first little guy and here I stood pregnant again. Excitement, worry, even thoughts of what were people going to think. In all honesty I don’t know how I conceived because I had been having cycles, every 2 weeks for about 3 months.

I woke my husband up to share the news. It probably would have been better to wait till morning, after all we were sleep deprived — with a little 4 month old.

Life was so different from one year ago. During this time my little sister had become pregnant as well. We had our little guy, she was due in November and I was due the following March.

Live was changing drastically for us.

Once again I was very sick but in a different way. With my first I would feel hungry, eat and then loose it all. Time time even the thought of a cracker would make me gag. I was so sick to my stomach I could barely get out of bed before noon. My mother would come help with my little guy till I felt like I could sit up without getting ill. Since this pregnancy was somewhat different I wondered if this was a girl. I even carried this baby totally different.

For some reason with both babies I was ill till about 20 weeks. Right around that time we had a sonogram. The Dr guessed that it was a girl based on the heart beat. My doctors office had their own sonogram technician–she did the sonogram and announce that we were having another boy.

The rest of my pregnancy was pretty typical.

I was getting close to my dues date–about a week and a half away when I woke up having some contractions. After an hour, we called the doctor and we were instructed to head to the hospital. Once I was all hooked up to the monitors the contractions would stop. They had me walk and walk and walk–all the while having contractions. They would hook me up again only to have them stop. They were anywhere from 2-5 minutes apart. After several attempts they sent us to the Country Club Plaza for lunch and said to walk for an hour afterwards and if the contractions were not a minute apart to go home. The entire time we walked they were getting closer and closer and for the last 30 minutes they were a minute apart. We headed to the hospital and our little guy arrived pretty quick.  So quick that they checked his lungs to make sure they were clear.  We were given a thumbs up that everything was clear and he was perfect.

In the middle of the night, while he was nursing, I noticed he pulled off a couple of times to get a breath.  I decided the next time the nurse came in I would bring it to her attention.  Early the next morning before the nurse walked in my little guy was puking up meconium.

They took him to run test and  observe him but re-assured us that they did not believe it was anything to be alarmed about.  My husband felt comfortable going home to take a shower and change clothes before we had visitors arrive.  I wasn’t quite as comfortable about him leaving but he assured me he would be back as quick as possible.

About an hour later the nurse came in with my little guy, placed him in my arms and said she wanted me to be able to hold him for ONE  minute before they rushed  him to the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). His blood work showed an infection and they had to get it under control.

I held it together until she walked out and that is when I lost it. For the next hour I was not able to get a hold of my husband.  (He was so tired when he got home he thought he would rest for a few minutes before showering and heading back to the hospital–only problem he fell asleep so soundly that he could not hear our home phone or his cell phone ringing.)  Do you remember my gut feeling/not feeling comfortable about him leaving that morning.  Oh well, I couldn’t change any of that .  I had to deal with the fact that I was sitting in the hospital all alone, post delivery emotions and all–all alone, with my baby in the NICU–unable to hold or touch him for the next 24 hours.  My parents, with our little guy, my little sister, her husband and their baby all decided to stop for lunch before coming to visit –so not even they were there to comfort me.

I sat in my hospital room and cried.  A nurse walked in and saw me crying, within a few minutes my OB was in my room talking with me.  I knew the NICU was the best place for him but I just wanted my little guy in my arms.

When I finally got a hold of my husband he had not even taken his shower. He quickly showered and headed back to the hospital. For the next week we lived at the hospital. They ran all sorts of tests but could not determine where the infection was located. They would not allow us to go in and be with him while they did the spinal tap. It was agonizing waiting for them to bring him back to me. I just wanted to hold him, nurse him and cuddle him so he knew everything was going to be ok now that he was back in my arms.

My husband made a trip to the FAO Shwartz store and bought him his first teddy bear, a vintage looking Winnie the Pooh.  We placed it in his little bed so he had something close to him since it couldn’t be us.  The nurses took pictures of him and brought to us.  After a couple of days he was moved from the critical care area of the NICU to the regular NICU.  Although he was very sick, he looked so healthy compared to all of the other NICU babies.  My little guy was over 8lbs at birth.  All of the other babies in the NICU were tiny, some only a pound.

After our week long stay at the hospital, and all sorts of tests, rounds of medications to treat for overall infection– we were released to head home. FINALLY we could begin our life as a family of four.

As excited as I was with my sweet little family I was not prepared to be pregnant in 4 more months so I told my doctor THIS TIME I absolutely wanted birth control before I left the hospital.

It appeared that our fertility troubles were over. After all we had not even tried to conceive our second child and we had been blessed with two babies in a span of 1 year and 10 days. Little did we know that our journey was not over.

Until next time…

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Heather @ new house, new home, new life April 24, 2012 at 8:14 am

Hi Cheri – thanks for sharing this part of your story. My son was in the NICU when he was born and it was the scariest time of my life – he was born breach, had bruises covering his entire body from the trauma of it, was on a respirator for a week and a feeding tube. At 33, he’s a strong, tall police officer. When I look at him, it’s hard to remember his fragile start.
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2 Becca April 28, 2012 at 2:17 am

Oh, I have to go back and read the missed chapters now! I think you’re brave to share so much of your life. It’s also funny how many of us gals who had/have trouble getting prego blog. The hubs and I have been married 10+ yrs now- and no baby yet…though I’m certain it will happen.
Seriously need to check out your other chapters- why can’t the days have more hours in them?!
xo Becca
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3 BECKY PEARCE July 7, 2012 at 8:20 am

ok girl….hurry up on that next chapter!!! lol (j/k) all good chapters!! i must say that when i see,”until next time”…..i kinda yell out “DANG IT! AND IT WAS GETTING SO GOOD”! LOL KE

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