About Our Boys

Jack-Our First Born Son
It has been a long journey for us to have a family of our own. So long in fact it is hard to know where to begin to tell the story. On Christmas Eve 2009 we found out we were expecting our first baby and boy were we ever excited. It was a wonderful Christmas, full of spreading the good news and cheer. A holiday I will never forget. We had no idea what life had in store for us or our little baby. We never knew what would come to pass.

The pregnancy was anything but easy, I was sick to the point of loosing weight at a steady pace. By the time we had our baby, I had lost 30lbs. The doctor even prescribed me an electrical wristband to help me eliminate my nausea. I'm certain that had the nausea continued, I would have eventually needed further medical intervention. But fortunately, it subsided and by the middle of the second trimester, I was feeling better and actually beginning to enjoy being pregnant.

My husband and I were elated to find out we were having a boy. We had an easy time coming up with the boy names we wanted, but were just totally undecided on the girl side of things. So this worked out perfectly to us. We both loved the name Jack and had agreed on it years before we ever began actually wanting a baby. We came up with the middle name Everett after spending many hours trying to find something that would go with a shorter first name. Once we put them together, we knew we had named our special little guy.

Our family was so supportive of us as we made our way into parenthood. My Aunt gave us a very nice crib and changing table, my mom made blankets for the baby and we had even began to buy clothing. Our friends were giving us hand me down items and everything was going seemingly well. Until May came and we hit 23 weeks pregnant.

It was my mother in laws birthday that day, May 3rd, 2010 and I had been in a work meeting most of the morning. I was sitting in the meeting and suddenly began experiencing back pain in my lower sides. When I went to the restroom after the meeting, I noticed that I had completely soaked my underwear. I thought that it was very odd, so I called my doctors office thinking they would give me some generic pregnancy answer and it was no big deal. Instead I got very stern orders to go straight to the hospital. I had no idea what was wrong or that it was going to be the start of a very long week.

What we discovered after getting to the hospital was that my water had broken and I was leaking amniotic fluid. The doctors explained to me that I would have to remain in the hospital on bedrest until the baby came due to the risk of infection. They also explained that if the baby were to be born, he would have a very small chance of survival unless I could manage to keep him inside of me until 28 weeks gestation. At that point I had to be transferred to a hospital with a high-risk floor and a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). I spent Tuesday through Saturday in a hospital bed, trying with all my might to help Jack grow as big as he could. They gave me steroids for his lungs and kept me on anti-biotics to stop any infection. On Saturday May 8th, 2010 our son was born by emergency classical cesarean section after his heart rate was dropping too low and he showed no signs of breathing movements.

Jack was born weighing in at 1lb and 3 ounces, 11 inches long. I will forever look at a ruler and think to myself, "my son was smaller than that". He lived for Mothers Day, Sunday May 9th, but sadly passed away the following day in the early morning hours. I won't go into detail about his death, because I have spent the entire passed year trying to cope with his loss. I have a blog dedicated, just to Jack for this very purpose. If you would like to visit it, you can do so here.  Just know that my heart will never be complete because a large piece of it died when Jack died and it will never be whole again.

Owen- Our Rainbow of Hope
After we lost Jack, my husband and I discovered through testing that I carry a rare blood disorder called MTHFR. I am a compound heterozygous carrier of this gene mutation and to keep things brief, it basically can lead to my blood being too thick. The doctor hypothesized that the reason my water broke early with Jack, was because of blood clots in his placenta. We knew that with our next pregnancy we would need to seek special help to deal with this disorder. It was at our grief support group that we met others who shared the same condition, and people who could recommend a good high risk pregnancy doctor.

After seeing the high-risk doctor and performing some exploratory testing, he concluded that my reproductive system was in good health but because he wasn't my doctor during our loss, he could not know for sure whether or not I didn't have an incompetent cervix. He set out a plan for us that if we got pregnant again, we would use an injectable blood thinner to deal with the clotting disorder, progesterone injections for the pre-term labor and a cervical cerclage to keep my cervix closed. After a few months of trying again, and 6 months after loosing Jack, we were fortunate enough to conceive again. This time, it was right about Thanksgiving when we found out, another holiday to remember.

This pregnancy has been remarkably different from the first. There has been little morning sickness, I have gained weight and we have been fortunate to have now made it past the 24 week mark. We found out Owen was a boy and again were elated to have another son. We decided to honor his older brother by giving him the same middle name. Owen Everett is due in July of 2011 and we are hoping we can make it as close to his due date as possible. This blog is mainly for Owen, because I felt like I needed a separate place for him. While I love both of my boys equally, I wanted them to each have something special.

Thank you for reading about our boys and for spending time here on our blog. If you ever have a question or would like to share your story of your baby or babies, I would love to hear from you. My email address is emilyhughes88@yahoo.com .