Friday, April 3, 2009

The scale reads 26 ounces but what we feel; is the weight of the world.


Greyson Matthew Stokes was born on March 30, 2009. According to our doctor "He came feet first jumping into this world." He weighed one pound 10 ounces and was 13 inches long. It is estimated that Greyson was born at 25 1/2 weeks.

Matthew and I expected the arrival of our on little man on July 11th 2009.

Below I'll outline the events that triggered such an early delivery:

At 5 1/2 months I noticed a sudden increase in swelling. The swelling was never mild, which all my baby material said to expect. Before I knew it, my fat little feet and "cankles" became the topic of conversation among my co-workers. I must pause for a moment and say that I have some very wonderful female co-workers (Nannette, Julie, Kara, Joyce, Gabi) who took immediate concern with the swelling and never once brushed it off as "what to expect when expecting" These women checked in daily and definitely spiked my determination to find out what was happening with my body. Julie's advice was "go straight into the clinic and prop those feet on the counter and say now what!"

Once the swelling settled in so did the headaches and high blood pressure. I had never experienced high blood pressure until 24 weeks. On Friday March 20th I visited the Women's Clinic due to high blood pressure. Once the high blood pressure was confirmed my urine was tested for protein and labs were ordered. I was notified later that evening by my doctor that my labs (blood test) were good but I should continue monitoring my blood pressure. On March 23rd I called my doctor again and left a message explaining that my blood pressure was still reading high (150/90). On March 24th my doctor called early that morning and explained that she would like to see me same day. I again visited the clinic and repeated the same process as on March 20th- however the results were much different: protein was found in my urine and my labs were not reading the same numbers. Furthermore, I left the clinic and was admitted into labor and delivery at the main hospital. I was told that I would be monitored for "3 to 4 hours and then could go home." At this time, I calmly called my parents and husband and let them know that I was going to be monitored for a few hours and would be home.


Well, the calm immediately vanished once the first nurse mentioned a "catheter and IV." Before long the medical team was explaining that I had preeclampsia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-eclampsia My doctor explained that the concern was early-onset. Preeclampsia usually doesn't appear until 30 weeks. Matthew and I were shocked hours later when we were visited by a high risk pregnancy doctor and he explained that we were "going to shoot for 2 weeks" Meaning, we were going try and keep Greyson inside for 2 weeks. The thought of delivering my precious baby boy in 2 weeks was incomprehensible. Literally, my brain felt numb to the data/facts. Thankfully, my amazing husband is strong in faith and immediately pulled me from the doom. Matthew and I prayed and confidently decided that we would shoot for 5 weeks!

I was given magnesium sulfate via IV for the first few days in hopes of delaying the need for delivery. Once my labs were proven stable I was taken off the mag and I reentered the real world- magnesium sulfate is very interesting, I didn't have the ability to move my legs/arms or think clearly. However, I was immediately hopeful when I was moved out of the labor and delivery room and into a standard room a few halls down- who cares that I couldn't walk or even remember my last visitor- things were looking good.

Matthew and I continued our stay for another 4 days- these days consisted of constant vital check-ins. My blood pressure and temp was taken every hour and blood work was taken twice daily. We received a lab report each day from one of the doctors, which explained if we were in the "safe zone" still. Sadly on March 29th 2009 Matthew and I were informed that my liver enzymes were elevated and a new diagnosis was being used at this time, HELLP syndrome. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HELLP_syndrome. The doctor suggested delivery but allowed Matthew and I to make the decision to wait. We could wait but my blood work would be taken every three hours to ensure my health was stable. Matthew and I decided to wait. I had already decided that I would do whatever it took to protect my Greyson from delivery.

Matthew and I managed to buy another day. However, our emotions were shaken early on the 30th when we learned that my platelet count was dropping. We had been warned from the very beginning that delivery was a must if my platelet count dropped. I had fallen under 90,000- which then puts you at risk for surgery. In an adult, a normal count is about 150,000 to 450,000 platelets per microliter (x 10–6/Liter) of blood. The delivery would not be delayed and I was next in line for a cesarean section, actually, I was bumped to the head of the line for delivery that morning. Magnesium sulfate was re-administered via IV ( I think this was in hopes of preventing a heart attack or stroke b/c my blood pressure was also extremely high that morning). I don't like to remember the c-section because the fear was overwhelming- however, I do know that I was assured all was going well. Grey was here at 10:39 am and handed off to a NICU team of 6. I briefly glimpsed my tiny miracle before he was whisked away.

And here is where we begin... Our life with Greyson. Matthew and I plan to use this blog so family and friends can follow along with Greyson's progress- Our little fighter.

1 comment:

Robert said...

Kiley Im proud to be your father and proud to be the new father in-law of Matthew. Im so proud and happy to be the Grandfather of Greyson. I want all three of you to know I will always be here in the good days and the bad days. I will due everything in my power to meet your needs and provide you with anything that you ask of me. I love all three of you. I feel that God knows how much I care for you and will keep me strong in this process of making Greyson a healthy and strong little baby. Love Dad.

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