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Samantha Jones

$1,724 of AUD $3,000 target.

Raised by 0 people in days for Bears of Hope Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support Incorporated

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Happy Birthday Lucas

Story

Lucas birthday is coming up fast. In honour of his birthday I'm also sharing our story, this was hard to write. I hope it gives you a little understanding as to our journey to get Lucas and the choices we made. Thank you for all your love and support x

Word of warning tissues may be needed (so I've been told). I apologise for the length, but I wanted to include everything

 

When we found out we were pregnant, we were excited, scared, Happy and very anxious, especially after 2 previous early pregnancy losses.

I remember going to our dating scan with my girlfriend and laying on the table with my eyes squeezed tight bracing myself for more bad news. I was so relieved when she said I could open my eyes and that everything was fine. Our 12 week scan went very much the same way. I loved seeing our little bundle once I knew they were ok. Our obstetrician told us there was nothing to worry about now and that it wouldn't be long till we would be taking our baby home. 

 

At 13 weeks and 5 days pregnant I rang my gp as my blood pressure readings were high and I wasn't feeling very well. I'd been monitoring them the last few days since he had noticed they were elevated at my last appointment. He was concerned and after spending over an hour there I was sent to hospital.

I was so scared. What would this mean to our pregnancy, my health? After several days in hospital and several different medication combinations I was allowed to go home. It was determined I had estrogen sensitivity and it was causing my blood pressure issues. I now had someone to manage this and my obstetrician, no one was concerned.

 

At the 19 week scan I was excited to see how much our baby had grown. They looked perfect. Our obstetrician spoke to us about my medication level said I would only be seeing him and the other doc instead of the midwife due to my blood pressure but there was nothing to worry about until 3rd trimester when the risk of pre eclampsia increases.

 

At 21 weeks 4 days, I saw the doctor managing my blood pressure. I raised with her my concerns over weight gain, however given the side effects of the medications meant my activity level was limited she wasn't concerned. I was sent for bloods to put my mind at ease and to use as a base line ready for the coming weeks.

 

A week later she called me, you need to get more bloods taken and get to king Edward immediately. Your obstetrician is finding someone to manage your care. I didn't have time to think, or be scared, nervous. I didn't know what was wrong. All I knew was I was going into hospital, I had no idea how long. I rang my mum, so she could drive me. I rang hubby who was working away and I organised for my inlaws to have my dog while I was in hospital. I packed my bag, packed up the dogs stuff. I felt almost calm. I'd been to hospital already. It wasn't that bad….

 

I was referred to Dr Pennell and he was able to fit my in straight away. The appointment started with a very long scan. I was even asked to go back in a second time.

When I was taken into the room and I saw his face I knew something wasn't right.

You have severe pre eclampsia. It is causing your body to shut down and your baby is at risk. You will most likely deliver tonight. These are the chances of survival vs disability …. He spent ages explaining what was happening to me and what it meant going forward. I was under no illusion of how sick both myself and my baby was. Ringing hubby was the hardest thing I had every had to do.

When I got to hospital I had several people around me trying to get me stable and after 30 min I was moved to Adult Special Care Unit or ASCU. This would be my home for the next week. 

When I was first moved I had 2 doctors, 3 midwives and an anesthetist. Once all the lines they required were in, blood samples taking and I'd stabilised nearly everyone left, except for my nurse. Being in ASCU meant 1 on 1 nursing. 

Later that evening Dr Pennell came to see me. Your stabilized at the moment. Your platelet count has improved slightly, however we need to monitor your kidney and liver functions, monitor the fluid on your lungs and way up the risks to you and baby. We will take your case day by day to give your baby a fighting chance.

I was given a steroid shot to help his lungs, told I'd be having 2 blood tests a day constant blood pressure readings of course I was on strict bed rest and I'd have a scan everyday to check on baby and doppler readings 3 times a day. 

It was a lot to take in.

 

As you can imagine there were so many thoughts going through our heads and such a huge a ray of emotions. Scared and anxious was high on the list. A little excited to meet them. Worry over what would happen. There was no chance to feel bored. Especially as there was always someone (loved one or nurse) in the room to talk to. I also slept lots thanks to the amount of medication I was on. 

 

Thursday evening (23 weeks ) had our scan for the day. Baby seems to have improved slightly. We might be able to hold off deliver till Monday. Dr Scott will monitor you over the weekend. We weren't worried, this sounded like great news to us so we weren't prepared for what happened next. 

 

Dr Scott came in early Friday morning. I was alone when he scanned our baby. He spent a lot longer looking around then Dr Pennell. After a few minutes of silence. I think something might be wrong. Let me call Dr Pennell, he knows your baby best. I'll be back in an hour. 

I was instantly filled with fear and worry. Rang hubby and asked him to come in. I cried, I think it was the first time I'd really thought about what if “he” doesn't make it.

 

 

When Dr Scott came back he did another scan (2 scan a few hrs apart, we knew something was bothering him). Your son's cord and placenta are starting to fail. You have two choices. 

Choice 1: give him 24hrs and hope his cord and placenta can last that long (high risk of our baby being stillborn)

Choice 2: deliver tonight and deal with everything that entails (risks of disability etc)

 

I'll give you time to process, however I need your answer in an hour.

 

My nurse let us leave. They put me in a wheel chair and we went for a walk. Fresh air felt good, hadn't been outside since Monday morning, I didn't get the chance to enjoy it. 

 

Making that decision was hard. How do you decide. One more day in which improves their chance of survival and decreases risk of disability but could kill them in the process or delivering and risking severe disability. 

 

We decided to give our son a chance to live and opted to deliver. We were told due to his health I would need a c sec. I would also be having a spinal block due to my health. Ben was asked if he wanted to be there. When he said yes they said that is fine however if they need to put me to sleep due to complications he has to be prepared to leave the theatre. 

 

I also made him promise to name our son when he was born as I didn't want him to die without a name. We had already decided on his middle name just needed a first which I was leaving up to hubby.

 

Going into theatre was scary. I didn't cope very well with the administration of the spinal block but I won't bore you with the details. 

 

In theatre I was so cold. When our son was born there was no cry, he was to little for this. He was instantly whisked away. Hubby saw him briefly. A nurse directed him back to sit next to me. He was pale, all he said was he is so little. I tried to comfort him the best I could given I was being monitored closely on both arms. 

 

Once I was in recovery hubby went to see our son. This quickly became his favourite place. He saw Lucas more then he saw me.

 

I didn't mind. I was happy Lucas wasn't alone. I first saw my son in a photograph. I didn't get to meet him until he was almost a day old. I was to sick to see him after he was born and required several infusions prior to getting out of bed. 

 

The love I felt when he i first saw Lucas was like nothing I had ever experienced before. He was perfect. He was cheeky and looked like his dad. 

 

I saw Lucas 3 times across the Saturday and Sunday. I was still very sick and didn't get to stay in nicu to long with him which was hard. On Sunday arvo I was moved to the ward. No more 1 on 1 nursing.

 

We were told after the first 48hrs the chance of survival increases. Lucas had reached the 48hr mark and we breathed a sigh of relief. We told close friends he was here.

 

Hubby went home for the night and I was in my room messaging a friend.

 

My phone rings, it's a nicu nurse. Lucas is in distress you need to come in straight away. I rang hubby he headed in. I had no way of getting down there. I walked out my room and found a wheel chair. N pushed myself around till I found a nurse. It happened to be my nurse all I could get out was my son. She pushed me to the staff elevator n took me straight down to his bed. Unfortunately by the time I got there he had passed away. 

 

It was a bitter sweet moment holding my baby boy. I had been wanting a cuddle since he was born but not like this. I felt heartbroken and I was devastated. How could this have happened. He had survived 48hr. He wasn't supposed to go that quick. 

 

Losing Lucas was devastating and grief is all consuming. Especially in the early months. 

 

I was lucky enough after my second miscarriage to find a group called Bears of Hope. The women on there are amazing and the strongest people I know. The supported me through my miscarriage. These mothers are united by loss, each gas their own story, but still they support each other. A loss is a loss and you are called a mother regardless of gestation you lose your baby. They supported me during my pregnancy. Giving ideas and tips to try and bond (hard after 2 losses), how to cope with anxiety, celebrate the small milestones others wouldn't understand. They supported me after Lucas was born, some even offered to come keep me company in the days leading up to his birth and after so i wasn’t alone with my thoughts. After Lucas passed they supported me. Strangers, who are now friends, helped organise an angel gown, I requested one from my dress, she found someone willing to guide someone to make it for me (time constraints on the volunteer organisation meant they couldn't). Organised a Bears of Hope support pack. Gave me a safe place to express my love and my grief, encouraging me to share our story, pictures of my son and celebrate his short life. 

Without these amazing people I'd have been lost. Yes I had great support from family and friends (you were all amazing). These people understood in a way others couldn't. We are all members of the group because we had suffered a loss. Not just of our babies but of our futures and our hopes and dreams. 

 

Kelly, helped me with ways to manage the grief and let me express my love for Lucas. I know she is only a call or email away. 

 

All this support is free to families. Their website is full of information including on how to support a grieving parent, Ways to create memories, support packages. 

 

They also have support groups. I would love to get one in WA. However the sad fact is it's expensive. We need to get the bears support packages into hospitals so loss parents can find their way to this support network. There is a need for this the statistics say that. 

 

Please help us in supporting another family during their time of need by helping me raise much needed funds for Bears Of Hope. Every cent helps 

Thank you xx

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Bears of Hope Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support Incorporated

Bears Of Hope Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support is an Australian not-for-profit organisation based in Sydney NSW, providing leading support and exceptional care for families who experience the loss of their baby. This includes miscarriage, stillbirth, genetic interruption, neonatal and infant loss.


Our support is unequalled by any other organisation. We provide exclusive and invaluable support packages that include; a credible foundation of parent led and psychologist facilitated support groups, private online groups, phone, skype, face to face and email counselling and annual community events that remember individual baby’s and recognize their parents love. Bears Of Hope comfort, acknowledge, inform, empower, and guide families during their time of loss and beyond.

As a registered non-profit organisation we are dedicated to the care of others and reinvesting our finances and resources to ensure Bears of Hope is the leading support for pregnancy and infant loss in Australia.


Fundraising Enquiries: 
0400 475 012 
online@bearsofhope.org.au

General Enquiries:
1300 11 BEAR or
contact@bearsofhope.org.au

Grief Support:
1300 11 HOPE  
support@bearsofhope.org.au

Website
www.bearsofhope.org.au

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Samantha Jones

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