Racheal’s Story

March 4th, 2017, the day we became members of the club no one wants to be a part of. The day we lost our son, our parents lost a grandson, our siblings lost a nephew, and our daughter lost her brother.

I remember my husband leaving for work like he always does around 4am. I went to the bathroom and when I got back in bed I couldn’t get comfortable. I rolled over and felt a huge gush.

I panicked and called the on call doctor and left a message. I didn’t hear back until 9am. When a nurse called me she told me to go up to labor and delivery at the hospital to get checked out but that it was mostly just left over urine and it’s probably fine.

I heard that a lot throughout this pregnancy.  When I found out I was pregnant I just knew something wasn’t right. I was always calling the OB about “leaking”. I swear I was in that office every.single.week. but they swabbed me and send me on my way every time. A few times I came back with an infection and they put me on antibiotics.

The anxiety I had from day one was unreal. I just knew. And boy was I right.

Back to the day I went up to see if my water broke. I remember the doctor that was on at the hospital and I never vibed with him but he did a test where he swabbed me to see if my membranes broke. It came back negative and he told me I was fine. No exam, nothing.

On my way home I felt like I could breathe but never really relieved. Two days later on a Saturday afternoon I was having contractions. I knew I was so I called the OB and they told me to go up.

I drove myself and my husband to the hospital in full blown labor. But I didn’t know how far I was and was naïve that it could be real. I never even had a clue about what was about to happen to us.

I was in pain having contractions pretty close together so they checked me right away. Then I remember the doctor calling a code “whatever” and a million people were in my small room.

They paged the NICU team and tried to get me some medication. Everything was happening so fast.

While breathing through contractions I talked to the head NICU doctor and he told me all the options and asked me all the things.

Looking back I would have done so much differently but I just wanted to do whatever I could to save my baby at that time. They said a C-section is the best chance to save him if any and off to the OR we went.

The rest is so foggy but I remember laying there and a nurse came over to my husband and I and told us it was a boy and he was breathing but needed to be intubated. My husband went with her to see our son and I wish looking back he didn’t.

That haunts me and I feel extreme guilt that I said he should go with her and see him. He watched them poke and torture our son with all the life saving measures possible. After 23 minutes our son stopped breathing and they were not able to do anything further.

That day at 24 weeks pregnant I was no longer pregnant and I would be leaving the hospital without my child.

After they put him on my chest I was in such shock I had no idea what just happened and I thought this couldn’t be real. It couldn’t be happening. I just wanted to wake up from the worst nightmare of my life. But I’m so happy my hospital has a cuddle cot and we were able to keep him with us for a while.

My mom was the first person to the hospital and I can only imagine her pain. Not only did she hold her grandsons lifeless 1lb 5oz body, her daughter would never return to the daughter she once knew. My sister was next, all the way from another state she got there fast and I honestly didn’t even expect her to be there but I was so glad she was, not just for myself but her as well. Then my in-laws came and held their grandson and my brother in law held his nephew.

It changes people. Forever.

I wanted everyone to leave but at the same time I didn’t. I looked at my husband and knew he wanted to be left alone so away everyone went. We had the best nurse that night and almost every night after that that we were there. Her name was Beth and I wish I could hug her right now. In such an unknown confusing and painful time she literally helped us more than she could ever know.  Shout out to all the medical professionals that have to care for patients in such terrible times.

When we were ready or so I thought we finally said our goodbyes to our son. Dawson Robert. He was so cute and so tiny and man, what I would do to hold him for a little bit longer. But we let him go and tried to get some sleep but I couldn’t sleep.

Then I started shaking really uncontrollably and my husband got the nurse. I ended up being septic with a blood infection. As if losing my baby wasn’t enough I had to stay at the hospital even longer when all I wanted to do was go home.

So after a week on IV antibiotics I was able to be discharged and go home. It was not for long though. A few days later I was back in the ER with an infection of my incision and another 10 day there I was able to go back home again, but with a PICC and wound vac.

I can’t believe I ever made it through that time of my life when I couldn’t grieve entirely because I was so sick myself. But I did grieve and I continue to do so every day. You get really great at waking up pretending you’re okay because if not you just crumble. And that is how we became members of the club no one wants to be apart of.

Now our rainbow who we would not have if we did not endure the worst storm of our lives. That pregnancy was actually easier than I thought. I was so numb still and just trying to get through it with a baby to take home this time.

There was a lot of bumpy roads still but on February 23rd, 2018 our rainbow came into the world shining bright. Josie Dawson is the most vibrant full of life little girl. She is hysterically loud and so loving. She makes us laugh and we love her more than I could ever put into words. She truly is a rainbow and I love her so deeply it hurts.



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