Prepare yourself for an emotional blog.
My sweet, sweet Beren. How on Earth are you already one years old? From the very second I knew I was pregnant with you I knew you were destined for great things. I mean after all my tubes were tied and your dad and I tried for 3 years to have your baby sister with IVF!!!! Clearly you were meant to be here from, God. I will never forget the look on your dad’s face when I told him the test was positive. He looked at me with disbelief and said, “let me see it”, like I didn’t know how to read a pregnancy test. (silly daddy) Immediately I called my doctor and she had me come into the hospital for an ultrasound. I went back alone and sure enough, there you were alive and 10 weeks old. My brain could not process the miracle that God had given us. We tried for years to have a baby….FINALLY had your sister and a few shorts months later there you are. The feeling was surreal.
After the shock of you wore off, we could not be more excited! We slowly began to build your nursery and gather all the things needed for your arrival. This pregnancy was just like all of your brother and sisters, worry free. At 6 months I started feeling sick often. Sick to the point I was sweating profusely, passing out and throwing up. We all chalked it up to “pregnancy issues”. I was in in the ER roughly 5 times after the initial episode. Every single time the doctors and nurses try to come up with a different solution. Eat a gluten free diet, stop eating salt, ect. even with my pressures as low as 80/40. After the last ER visit I was defeated and thought it was all me, so my intentions were to “tough it out”.
June 22, 2017 I remember laying on the living floor dry heaving and feeling like death. Jon finally got to the house after the neighbor called him. (The neighbor witnessed me falling on our porch and crawling inside.) Our sweet neighbor tried to console me and take care of me. I was not ok. Something was very wrong. Jon arrived and took one look at me and immediately said I was going to the ER. Me, as stubborn as I am declined. Luckily he didn’t listen and put me in the van. Upon arriving at the hospital my blood pressure was low again and I was as white as a ghost. I absolutely hated being there. At the time I currently worked for the ER as a tech. I didn’t want staff thinking I was “faking” or trying to get sympathy. I just wanted to go home. After seeing my pressures the OB nurses came to check on Beren (the first time that had ever happened in the ER). Finally it was decided to admit me after Berens heart rate kept dropping way too low.
My mind and heart were racing. I was so worried about Beren I could could barley breath. My then doctor “looked” at my chart and stormed in my room stating ” Erin, I don’t know what is wrong with you”. Wow, ok, really? She told me she was just going to discharge me. Luckily I had an AMAZING nurse (Debbie). She had seen me in the unit a few times before today. She was a huge advocate for me. To this day I will be eternally grateful for her. Not only was she doing her “job” she truly cared about my well being. She knew something was wrong and wasn’t just going to sit by and let me leave without treatment.
Minutes later a male doctor (Dr. Brandon Lingenfelter) walks into my room. He calmly looked at Jon and I and said you need surgery. I was internally bleeding. My vessels were too big. The best answer he could give was a horrible case of placenta previa. What? Are you serious? I actually think I told him to shut up. I was in utter disbelief. How? I was just about to be discharged home, fine. After introducing himself he told us about my scans and how bad they were. I had never in any moment in my life felt as scared as I did then. He pretty told me if I was to walk out of the hospital I would not be returning, ever. Utter panic rushed over my body. I had never experienced anything remotely close to this feeling. How? How was this happening to me? What did I do? What about my kids? My husband? What if I don’t wake up? Nothing but negative thoughts weighed on my heart. After it was concluded this was a necessity I started to question so many things.
I was a complete disaster. I needed to talk to my older 2 kids. I needed Jon to tell my brothers. I needed his family to know. I needed everyone to know I love them. There is no other feeling like, “I might now wake up from this”. I remember attempting to talk to my older kids. Trying to keep my composure and not let them have any inclining that anything was wrong. I could not even finish talking to them. It was utter heartbreak. Saying “good bye” to Jon before they wheeled me to surgery was the single most hardest thing I have ever done.
I was scared shitless (excuse my language) when they wheeled me into the cold, scary operating room. After they strip you down and explain things to you it feels fake. Is this really happening? Am I really butt naked on this table about to have my insides on my chest? This can’t be happening. I am beyond words. I am beyond consoling. Silently, uncontrollably sobbing. Utter fear. The nurse and all the other staff tried to console me and tell me it would all be ok. Could things get any worse? Yes, yes they could, and they did. The epidural was not working. I could feel EVERY scrape of the scalpel. Every ounce of pain. Eventually they had to put me completely under.
Upon waking up from surgery I was met with a picture of Beren. The very first thing I remember saying is that he had a butt chin! I just couldn’t believe it. They wheeled me into the nursery where Beren was on a BIPAP. His tiny body laying there. It was beyond comprehension. I had ever kind of emotion you could feel wrapped into one. I was alive and so was my baby. He was alive in this world 6 weeks early. He is a fighter. He is ours. He is special. He is meant to be here. After surgery the doctor told me it was bad. Every time he tried to sew me up a new “leak” would pop up. He tried to save my uterus…..but it was impossible. He had to make the ultimate decision to take it from me.
After waking up and really being coherent (on my 36 birthday) I was told horrifying news. I had been internally bleeding. My uterus was paper thin. I was sick, really sick. I should not be here. But, I was!!!!!! Beren wasn’t ok either. He was having a hard time eating. He was having a hard time breathing and regulating his temperature. Jon described his delivery as he was “blue” it was “scary”. He didn’t know who he should stay with. Praise the Lord!!!!! Finally I had a doctor that figured out my problems and was able to fix them. Not only my problems but Berens too! The staff at PCH worked diligently to stabilize us both. We will forever be grateful for their professionalism, integrity, knowledge and kindness.
I am 100% certain if it wasn’t for the staff (especially the nurses) and the new doctor that I would not be here today. I will forever be indebted to them all. Beren and I are so grateful for you.
Happy First Birthday, my sweet, miracle baby boy!
Amazing photography by:
Autumn Branscome Photography
Rachel Vanoven Photography
Erin Kirkland Photography