My husband and I have been together since we were 16 years old.
When we were a few months shy of 20 years old we found out we were pregnant with our first daughter who was born in September 2012. We were still finishing college, but with the love and support of our family we made it through.
In September 2014 we got engaged. In July 2015 we found out we were pregnant with our second daughter, Josie. We were married October 2015 and in March 2016 our daughter was born.
Life was great. We just bought our first home, got married, and had our two girls (which I had always wished for ever since I was a little girl).
On Sunday, September 10, 2016, what was our perfect little world would come crashing down. Josie woke up in the middle of the night crying. My husband tried to calm her, but she wouldn’t stay calm for very long and would start crying again.
First thing that morning I took her to the ER. By the way she was acting and by getting an x-ray of her belly I was told she was severely constipated. We were sent home with MiraLAX and I was told to get glycerin suppositories and cut them in half if needed.
That night I gave her one and about a half teaspoon of blood came out. I thought her poor little bottom had just been through enough and decided I wasn’t going to push it. The next morning she was became very lethargic. I called the ER back who told me to call her doctor.
I called her doctor who told me to go to the ER. I finally ended up going to Quick Care and ended up in the ER in Evansville. We waited for about 2 hours. My poor baby had no energy. She was poked so many times trying to get a blood sample and it didn’t phase her a bit. She was so dehydrated.
We were told that the doctor believed she had intussusception. This is when your bowels fold into themselves. We were admitted, but wouldn’t be seen by another doctor until early the next morning. At 7:00 am the doctor came in. She said they were going to try and release the bowels by doing something like an enema but with air.
I walked down with them, sat and waited, and just prayed and begged for her to be okay. When they came out I was right beside her all the way back up to the room. We got news we didn’t want to hear. She has a perforation in her bowel and was going to require emergency surgery.
Within 30 minutes we were going back downstairs and it took everything I could not to cry. Her surgery was only supposed to last 3 hours, but it ended up being 4-5 because from the time I handed her off and she went through those double doors until she got to the surgical room she had gone downhill quickly. They ended up taking a small portion of her small intestine and half of her colon.
In the early morning on Wednesday we got a call from the PICU doctor that they wanted to send her to Riley Children’s Hospital, because they were afraid she had a seizure. My husband and I drove home, got everything set up/laid out that needed to be taken care of and drive the 2 hours to Indianapolis. There, we met with a team of doctors/nurses.
Thankfully, she did not have a seizure but our baby was very sick. We still held onto hope, though. The medical team was having a hard time getting her numbers where they needed to be, but we knew it was going to take some time. We had a plan to meet with the whole medical team who would be involved with her case on Thursday morning at 8:00am. After we met, my husband and I and his grandparents went downstairs to get breakfast. At this point neither of us had eaten much or slept much.
At 10:00 I got a phone call that we needed to come back upstairs. They were taking her for an MRI and he would explain why when we got there…her eyes were no longer responding to light. My baby was brain dead. I pleaded with God. I got on my knees and begged and prayed that He would perform a miracle and she would be okay.
We waited 24 hours before doing another test to confirm what the MRI showed. We left the hospital on September 16, 2016 without our baby. I felt like I was in a nightmare. That this couldn’t possibly be our reality. My feet felt weighted and I couldn’t manage to make a simple sound. I cried myself to sleep that night, and as soon as my eyes opened the next morning I cried some more simply because I had woken up.
I carried a lot of guilt and I still carry some, because a mother is supposed to protect her child and I felt/feel like I failed her. Since her passing we have had 2 more children. 2 beautiful boys. I love both of them so much, but I would be lying if I said I hadn’t hoped they were girls or that I still long for another girl. Not to replace my Josie, because that could never happen, but I just wanted a tiny glimmer of what we had.
My heart will never be fully healed and I will always long for the day that I get to see my girl again. I just hold onto the hope that is promised and that every day is one day closer to her. Until that day, I will find joy in the blessings I have been given.
Photos taken by Steve Osha.
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