Oct 23, 2017

Slater Coombs is born

We had our beautiful baby boy at 11:30 pm on October 21st. He was 1 pound and 14" long. He had perfect hands and feet, and a tiny little body. Caleb and I were the only ones in the room for the birth and it was life changing for both of us. Slater had the umbilical cord around his neck and was breech. He showed no signs of life. He just laid motionless.


Caleb and I shared many tears, and we continue to share many tears. We held him for a couple of hours. Played with his little fingers and toes. His body was so tiny and weak, and he was just not meant to be.


We struggled for months with what to do, and after our follow up appointment earlier this week, there was really no choice anymore. Slater was not surviving and there was zero amniotic fluid for him to thrive. We had to act quickly, but they did give us a day to go home and get our other children settled.


We sat down the three kids at home and told that that even though we did everything we could, our little baby was unable to live. Ronin was too young to understand any of it, he just knows that mommy has been sick and unable to do anything. We put him to bed and stayed up talking to Shelby and Calvin. Calvin didn't say a word, he just rolled up on Caleb's lap in a blanket and didn't move. Shelby had many questions. Why did this happen? Exactly what did the doctor say? She said "I know babies don't need lungs when they are in moms belly because they get oxygen from moms blood. But once he's born he does need lungs." Caleb and I were shocked with how much she knew about this, but she's obsessed with all things related to the human anatomy. She continued to ask many questions, and Caleb and I did the best to answer them.


We then turned our attention to Calvin who was in a puddle of tears. He just cried and cried. He was so sad. He really wanted a baby brother. He didn't understand how this could happen. We all sat there and cried together. Calvin wanted to know what would happen if he went to a different heaven than his baby brother and then he wouldn't even see him in heaven. We assured him that families are forever and we will all be reunited some day.


Caleb and I stayed in the hospital for two days and then we came home together. On the way out of the hospital, a couple came out in the hall in front of us. They had just had a baby boy, they had a cart full of flowers and gifts, their little boy snug in his new car seat, and the parents couldn't stop staring at him. I just bawled and bawled the whole walk behind them until we got to our car. Once we got to our car, Caleb just sat there with me while I had a huge epic meltdown. Then he drove me to a store and bought me a drink as we headed back to our house.


The last day has been really hard. I can't sleep, I don't eat much, and I mostly cry. Caleb cries with me sometimes, or just rubs my back. We pray together a lot and I am reminded what a good mad that I married. Caleb has been my rock. He and I are bonded in a new way that I never knew existed. I love him and my kids so much more now.

Oct 16, 2017

Weekly tests

Every week I go in for ultrasounds and blood work, and so far the results are all over the place. Some weeks my fluid is up to 5 cm, and sometimes it's been as low as 2.9 cm. They want me no lower than 5 cm if possible. But the good news is that his heart looks strong and he continues to grow.

We have been overly blessed with all the friends and family who have helped us. Every day someone comes to my house and gets my kids off to school, someone else takes Ronin, someone else gets them all home, and another person brings us dinner, and sometimes we even have an evening babysitter.  I cannot believe how many people have volunteered to help us. It is very humbling and brings me to tears on a daily basis. Love my friends and family more right now than ever.

Sep 28, 2017

Fever

On Sept 25, I got a fever of 101. They told me that if I got a fever over 100, I had to go into the hospital immediately. I was at very high risk of infection and my life would be in danger. I called Rhoda, she came and got me, and we went in.


They took me to labor and delivery. They said I had to deliver the baby. I was at too much risk. I asked how they knew I had an infection, what if I was just sick? I told them Caleb had not been feeling well and maybe he just got me sick. They said the would run some tests, they drew lots of blood, and they would call Dr. Jason.


They put me in a delivery room, gave me lots of Tylenol and said I would have to deliver in the next day. They got blood work back and my white blood cells were going up. They drew them days before and they were normal, and now they were high. All signs pointed to infection and I wasn't safe.


They did another ultrasound and the baby looked the same. He was still alive, really low fluid, and that was about all they could tell me.


I got a blessing, Caleb, Trevor and Rhoda were all there. I just still couldn't believe I was going to be forced to deliver this baby.


Dr. Jason said to wait, he didn't think I needed to deliver right away. He said to wait for the cultures to come back to confirm infection, and keep watching the white blood cells.


A day later, the white blood cells went down, and my fever broke.


The next day, they let me go home. Again, with strong warnings about my life, and what signs to look for. But once again, I escaped without delivery, and this baby was a few days older. I would take every day I could get at this point.

Sep 21, 2017

Dr. Jason

I am still pregnant and made it up to the specialist on 9/20. Dr. Jason sent me for a new ultrasound and the senographer couldn't really read the fluid levels because they were too low to measure. But she could see the baby was alive. She couldn't find the hematoma, but she couldn't find much of anything. She got pretty frustrated and tried many times before she sent us back to the doctor.


I had Kim, my friend and neighbor come with me. I should have probably brought Caleb, but he had to work and I wasn't sure they would tell me anything new anyway. Dr. Jason was awesome. He had so much more information than anyone else. He spoke to Kim and I for an hour and went over all the conditions, the plan from here forward, what could happen, what may not happen, and gave us a wealth of information.


He said he was more optimistic than when they called him two days ago when I was in the hospital. He said the fluid levels were about the same, so that's good. I didn't lose all my fluid, and the baby had enough that he was still alive. He said it's unlikely I will ever have more, but if I could keep this amount, he baby may live.


We need to make it to 24 weeks. I can stay home until then, and just take it super easy. Not complete bed rest, but no real walking or doing anything either. I can shower, use the bathroom, get water, change positions, but not go anywhere.


So I go in every week for ultrasounds, and try and make it to 24 weeks. My next appointment with him needs to be with Caleb. It will be on October 18, right before I am 24 weeks. At that point, if I make it, I will be hospitalized in Portland until the baby is born. The baby is likely to have many serious health conditions and needs to be in the hospital and NICU immediately for awhile.


Back home I go, more waiting.

Sep 19, 2017

Water broke

I was still waiting for my appointment with the specialist and on 9/17, something changed. I felt sick all day, I skipped church and stayed home. I was just not feeling well. That night Caleb and I were laying in bed and I sat up with bad cramping. I stood up and there was blood everywhere, down to the floor, through my clothes. I went to the bathroom and it just poured out of me. Every time I tried to go back to bed, I leaked through my clothes. Caleb got towels, and eventually a bucket, there was so much blood. I called the nurse again and she said to go straight to the hospital. So once again, I called Rhoda and she met me there. This time I was 19 weeks pregnant and they called labor and delivery who got me right in for an ultrasound. After that test, they transferred me to labor and delivery where I met an actual OBGYN who read my ultrasound and said that my amniotic fluid was really low. He had me do a test and sure enough, they found that I was leaking fluid and my water broke. They suspect that the hematoma ripped it because it was so big and in the way of everything. They put me in a delivery room and told me I needed to deliver the baby. The baby can't survive without fluid, the likelihood of regaining fluid after this much loss was unlikely. I told them I couldn't make that decision without talking to Caleb. They also said they would double check with the specialist in Portland who had not seen me yet, but had reviewed my case. So I needed to stay the night and wait until after 8 am. The doctors last words to me were "I'm not optimistic, I am sorry. You shouldn't be either". The nurse who came in to the room had a sad frowning face and kept telling me how sorry she was. She spoke to me as if the baby was already dead. It was a very surreal moment and I was trying to take it all in.


Caleb and I both agreed that we couldn't terminate the pregnancy. The baby had zero likelihood of surviving at 19 weeks. I just had an ultrasound hours before that showed he was still alive, so how could I force him out? I didn't want to make the decision. If he couldn't survive, he wouldn't, and I would deal with that when it happens. But for now, he was alive, and I was not in labor.


There was a doctor shift change at the hospital after 8 am, so I had a new doctor who came in. I recognized him because he delivered Calvin. He also is LDS. I told him how I felt, and he said he would not make me deliver. He said he will talk to the specialist and get back to me. After he consulted the specialist, he said he would let me go home. He said that I was at very high risk of infection, sepsis, and miscarriage. There was a good chance I would deliver the baby in the next day or two, and likely at home, but I could go home.


I got instructions from my nurse, and a take home bag with supplies in it to catch the baby after he was born. They told me it would feel like I needed to use the bathroom. Just hold the baby against my stomach, don't try and deliver the placenta, and call 911. They said the infection risk is very high so call for transport immediately. They said it would take 1-2 days before the baby would likely either be born or pass. I grabbed my home delivery kit as my girlfriend Britni showed up to give me a ride home. I think she was in just as much shock as me having to hear all of that. But I was glad that I didn't have to hear it alone. Off to home I go, just waiting.

Sep 11, 2017

Life without work

I may have crammed too many activities into our three weeks off before school starts. But I can't help myself. Do you know what it's like to go do things in the middle of the week? No traffic, no crowds, it's so much easier!!


We went to the beach, the zoo, the trampoline park, camping, paddle boarding, fishing, and watched the total solar eclipse. We had the best last month of summer ever!

Sep 8, 2017

Scary pregnancy

The first day of school was September 6, and started like any other day. That night I went out with some girlfriends to celebrate a birthday. After ice cream, we went to our friends new office and helped decorate for their open house party the following day. It was around 11 pm and I started feeling hot and crampy, and I kept going to the bathroom. One of the times I went, there was a bunch of blood and I knew something was wrong. I came out and told my friends I need to come home and I couldn't drive fast enough. I got home and started telling Caleb what happened. We called the nurse advice line and they said I need to go straight to the hospital. I have had enough miscarriages to know bleeding is not good. I called Rhoda about 50 times and she wouldn't answer her phone, so I called Trevor and he woke her up. She just finished a shift at the hospital and I woke her up and asked her to meet me in the ER. Caleb stayed home with our kids who were asleep and I told him I would update him and he could come later depending on what was going on. I knew it would be hours of waiting and tests before anything could or would happen.


Sure enough, Rhoda and I were in the hospital for hours and hours. They did an ultrasound but wouldn't let me see anything. Just lots of silence and no news. There was a regular ER doctor and no OBGYN. After about 5 hours they said that I had a large hematoma, or blood clot, that was next to the baby and there was lots of blood in my uterus. They said they didn't know much more than that and I needed to call my doctor the next morning. Then I came home.


The next day I started to call my doctor and nobody seemed to think there was anything to do. They said stay home, bleeding was normal for this condition. That was it. I called every day, and they didn't seem to think I needed to be seen. Finally I convinced them to let me see my doctor and they got me in a couple of days later. My doctor felt this was a very serious condition and he was quite concerned. He said my hematoma is large, which is the worst kind, and it's right by my placenta and could cause damage. He said bleeding for two weeks is normal, don't do any real activity, but don't just lay in bed, get up and walk around and he scheduled a rush ultrasound.


After the ultrasound from my doctor he said he was worried and wanted to refer me to a specialist, so he schedule an appointment with a perinatologist in Portland. First available appointment is 9/20, we wait to see what happens then.