Natalie's Story (pics)
posted 2nd Oct '11
Well I've been on BG for a little while now. I've kind of been avoiding posting my first daughter's story, as it's still really hard for me to talk about. But with my son's due date quickly approching, I'm becoming more and more nervous, so maybe some support will be good for me; from Mommas who have gone through something similar.
So here it goes...
I found out I was pregnant at around 10-12 weeks along. I was only BARELY 17 at the time, so I avoided testing as long as possible, telling myself it couldn't be possible. But, after two months with no period, my BF (now my husband) bought a test, and I got a DARK positive immediately.
I cried. A lot. I was no where near ready to be a mom. I had no job, I hadn't finished school, and I'd only been with my BF for a few short months. WTF was I going to do?
We didn't really have to discuss our options. We both knew we were going to keep it. Eventually I told my mom. She cried a lot, also. But she's always been the supportive type, so we made an appointment with the OBGYN.
I don't remember the exact date of that first appointment, but I'll never forget how I felt. The ultrasound had me at 12 weeks, and the moment I saw that precious little baby, I was in love. And I wasn't scared anymore.
The next few weeks flew by without complication. Baby was always developing normally, no contractions, no bleeding. It was perfection. And soon enough, we found that we were expecting a little girl!!! I was overwhelmed with joy. We picked out Natalie Paige to be her name without much discussion. I was ready more than ever to meet my little princess.
I had my babyshower Feb. 8th, 2009 at my church; at 37 weeks along. Everything went perfect and I had a whole day of fun and food and we got a TON of gifts from everyone who came.
The next morning I had a doctor appointment. And as happy as I was going into it, it turned into one of the worst days of my life...
It started out normally; urine test, checked my weight, her heartbeat was normal, the usual. Well then it came time to measure my belly. As soon as my doctor stretched the tape over my belly, I saw her face, and instantly new something wasn't right. She must have seen my reaction, because she quickly said, "don't worry, it just looks like you're going to have a really big baby. Let's get you into an ultrasound so we can see just how big."
OK. No big deal...
The ultrasound, as far as we know, was going alright. the woman doing it was real sweet. We got 3D pics of her face and everything.
Then she said there was wayyyy too much amniotic fluid.
Then she scanned over our little girls head.
We didn't hear a word from her after that.
We were ushered out of the room into a side waiting room and I immediately start crying. I knew something was wrong. I KNEW it.
The doctor eventually met us and explained that while she didn't know what was wrong exactly, there was a large spot on the brain and she was sending us to see a specialist.
She walked us to another part of the hospital, and that was the longest walk of my life.
We got another ultrasound with a specialist that took a ton of pictures of her heart, lungs, and fianlly, the brain.
And that's when I saw what they were talking about. This huge black NOTHING in the middle of her brain. It wasn't a mass... it was nothing... like a huge hole...
The specialist left the room and came back a while later with another doctor.
They proceeded to tell me that my baby was very, very sick, and that I had two options. One: keep her in the uterus and risk her expiring in the womb. Or two: deliver her by c-section so they can see if there's anything that cold be done to save her.
Of course, we chose to try to save her.
The next morning, on Feb 10th, 2009, I was in the OR. I don't have many details from that experience, it's kind of a blur. Though I'm not sure if it was from the drugs, or if it was just that it was all happening so quickly, I didn't have time to process it. I do remember that the needle in my back hurt like a BITCH. And I remember throwing up after it. I remember the tugging from side to side. At 1:00 pm, She was born. 7lbs 11 oz and 19 inches long. I remember hearing her CRY. Music to my ears though it was only for a second. Then they wisked her away; and I was stapled up and taken to a room. I was out of it for the rest of that day. She was in the NNICU, so I wasn't able to go see her, till I had the strength to get into a wheel chair. My BF saw her though. Took pictures and videos for me so I could see how she was doing.
My recovery was less than ideal. On two seperate occasions, the nurses were late with my pain medication and I had to have two blood transfusions. So meeting my daughter for the first time was delayed even more...
They proceeded to do lots of testing. Genetics and whatnot. We still didn't have any answers that whole second day.
On Feb. 12th, our baby's doctor came to talk to us. He was the nicest guy. He explained that he thinks he knows just what was wrong with our baby.
It was called "Vein of Galen Malformation". Basically there was a major vessel in her brain that had not formed properly and resulted in too much pressure in her head. So best case senario: if we walked out of here with our little girl, she would not be able to function properly and would be mentally handicapped. He could not tell us how much so, as this was a VERY rare occurance, and not many studies have been done on it. We were completely heartbroken, but a little relieved that our baby girl might still have a chance.
A little after that visit she took a turn for the worse. She wasn't able to breathe on her own anymore and had to be put on a tube. She also had to be medically paralyzed.
I never even got the chance to see her move in person. Only in the videos that my boyfriend brought back to me.
Later that night, I told the nurse to bring a wheelchair, and that even if I screamed bloody murder I had to see my daughter. When I got down there, I couldn't take my eyes off her. I just wanted to stay by her side and love on her and do what I should be doing as a mom, and not trapped in a wheelchair and her trapped on a table not being able to move. It wasn't fair.
Feb. 13th, 2009, the doctor came in to talk to us again. It was obvious from the moment he walked in that he had no good news for us.
He told us that after consult after consult and test after test, it was determined that our baby girl was not going to make it. Not only did she have a malformation in her brain, but her vessels all over her body were a tangled mess. Not in any way working together. The way he explained it to us is how I'll try to explain it to you: her blood flow was doing one big circle. Going straight from her heart, to her brain, than back to her heart. causing an enlarged heart, and even more pressure on the brain. Also, that caused not enough blood to get to her lungs or the rest of her body. There was nothing they could do.
Feb. 14th, 2009. Valentines Day. A day of love. If we HAD to give our sweet baby away to God, there wasn't a better day to do it on. She got her wings at 1:00 pm on Valentine's Day. She passed right in mommy and daddy's arms. We sat there with her, holding her and kissing her for hours, till it was finally time to say goodbye.
I miss my Natie more than words can even describe. I still can't believe we lost our little girl so abruptly after a "perfect" pregnancy.
I know she's watching over me and her daddy, who is now my husband!
And I know she's keeping her little brother safe inside me. We are so thrilled to meet him. Thanks for reading her story. If you have questions, please feel free to ask. It's time I let this all out.
Here's a few pictures of our precious little angel:
NATALIE PAIGE "NATIE"
Feb. 10th, 2009 - Feb. 14th, 2009
We love you so much baby girl. RIP.
<img src="http://i801.photobucket.com/albums/yy295/ohshtdottie/0210092014.jpg" />
Natalie and her daddy.
<img src="http://i801.photobucket.com/albums/yy295/ohshtdottie/004.jpg" />
<img src="http://i801.photobucket.com/albums/yy295/ohshtdottie/005.jpg" />
Natalie and Daddy.
<img src="http://i801.photobucket.com/albums/yy295/ohshtdottie/Bleser-Hale053.jpg" />
Her and her frog that her daddy bought her.
<img src="http://i801.photobucket.com/albums/yy295/ohshtdottie/Bleser-Hale080.jpg" />
my little family...
<img src="http://i801.photobucket.com/albums/yy295/ohshtdottie/l_78da7d0e2edf4143a310888e8c330b1e-1.jpg" />
My tattoo for her.
<img src="http://i801.photobucket.com/albums/yy295/ohshtdottie/Natalie-1.png" />