Mommy and Baby Bonding/The Gift of Love

It was killing me not to be able to see my baby, and at the same time, I did not realize how long it had been. All I knew was that I still hadn’t seen my angel. Destynee wasn’t doing well, and neither was I.

The NICU nurses started getting very concerned, because she started going down hill again and they didn’t know why. One of them made it very clear, that she thought that Destynee desperately needed to bond with her mommy. They knew I wasn’t strong enough to walk or even get into a wheelchair.

I remember being so excited, and at the same time, scared to death to see her. I didn’t know if I was mentally or emotionally strong enough to see her. I wanted to be strong for her, and I just wasn’t.

I wanted so bad to hold her, and tell her everything was going to be okay…..She looked so fragile, I barely dared to touch her……. After I left, I felt stronger, yet more torn than ever. I couldn’t bare to be away from her, but I had no choice. I knew that we both had a long way to go before we could really be there for each other.

Gordon came back about an hour later, and excitedly told me, that she was drastically doing better and that her heart calmed right down. The NICU nurses were amazed!!! She stabilized moments after I touched her, and she started progressing rapidly.

Gordon was our sticky glue that kept us all together. He would run from my room, to the NICU and back, all day long. He was our ROCK.

So Resilient!/Bruised Body

Destynee had bruises all over her fragile little body. Her head got the brunt of it. Because she had no water to protect her and was head down (good girl), her head was on my pelvic bone. I could feel it, and I’m sure she could too. She didn’t have any room to move or turn to relieve the pressure. Babies are so resilient!

She seemed to struggle the first day. The first two days, I was mostly unconscious, and I was too weak to go see my baby. I vaguely remember occasionally waking up, and Gordon telling me how she was doing. He always had a new picture to show me.

It’s A GIRL!!!/Destynee Noel’s Arrival

Destynee Noel was born on a Wednesday, November 29th, 2006 at 4:51am, 4lbs. 3oz. 17 1/4 inches long.
She was immediately sent through a window to the NICU who was waiting for her. Because she had a hard time breathing at first, they bagged her, suctioned her, and then after three attemps, she was successfully ventilated. Her lung collapsed when they were reviving her, so they put a chest tube in to keep her lungs open. She was on a breathing machine, antibiotics, given a blood transfusion, and was on several other medications to keep her alive.
Daddy says, “The first time I saw you I was in shock. I thought you looked perfect. I saw all the wires and hoses, and for some reason I was able to look pass that. All I saw was a perfect 4 lb 3 oz baby girl. Mom was so sick, she spent the first 2 days recovering, so I would take pictures of you, and take them to her. There were alot of hoses and wires to help you through your first few days. You’re doing great!”

The Traggic Loss/Hysterectomy

After about 8 hours, I was stable enough for Gordon to see me. He said he just sat by my side, watching me sleep. I woke up almost 16 hours later. I only remember bits and pieces of the next few days. Gordon, Dr. Draper, and my mom were standing around me. As Gordon grabbed my hand, I felt his warmness and strength. I remember thinking that he was going to have my baby there for me…..He waited until he could see that he had my full attention; I was in and out of it.

He looked deep into my eyes, and I could see the tragedy inside him. As he told me what had happened, I felt myself sink deep into an indescribable darkness. I wanted to go back to sleep, was very foggy, and hoped it was all a dream. I don’t remember showing much emotion, as I was numbed with pain.

Dr. Draper told Gordon he admired him for having the courage to tell me. He said that most men ask him to do it. Gordon said, he thought I might take it better from him. I could see that both of them wanted desperately to be there for me.

Placenta Incerta/Life Altering Decision

While Gordon was waiting for any news on either of his girls, Dr. Draper came out and told him that they had run into a big problem. After he opened me up and was going for the uterus, he saw what he thought looked like the placenta. He was in a hurry to get the baby out, so he quickly delivered our beautiful baby GIRL, Destynee Noel.

I immediately started hemorrhaging, so he didn’t have much time to assess what was going on. What he discovered, was placenta incerta. (Placenta Increta occurs when the placenta attaches deep into the uterine wall and penetrates into the uterine muscle). He knew what he had to do, but needed a specialist to assist him. While he waited for assistance, I continued to hemorrhage. The team working on me, gave me continuous blood transfusions, and Dr. Draper came out to talk to Gordon. Thank goodness I was out for all this.

Gordon talking: As I paced the floor, for what seemed like hours, I didn’t know if my girls were going to be okay. I couldn’t imagine my life without them. As soon as my mom got there, I literally fell apart. I felt completely out of control. I didn’t know what was going to happen….And I couldn’t do anything about it.
Dr. Draper came in, and told me that they would have to do an emergency hysterectomy. He told me what that would mean for my wife and my family. He made it very clear, that if we didn’t, Jessica would not make it…I gave him the okay……As thoughts flooded my mind, I wondered how I could break this tragic news to my precious wife. I knew that one of her dreams, was to have several children. She has always loved babies, and grew up with them her whole life.

Gordon in the Waiting Room/Daddy’s Experience

Gordon’s experience:
I called Grandpa Gary, Grandma Linda, Grandma Cathie, and Aunt Connie when everything was getting out of hand. The weather was so bad that night, that it took them hours to get down to the hospital. Mom got taken to the OR, and left me in the delivery room. I sat there alone, wondering if everything was going to be okay with you and mommy. Right when mom went to OR, they showed up; just in time. There was no telling what would happen.

I started feeling sick, that is when I first found out what anxiety felt like. I was breathing in a sack, started pewking, and I wanted to pass out……..I was scared that it might be the last time I saw my wife, and didn’t know if I would get to meet my baby.

We all went down to get something to eat but I couldn’t eat, sleep, or drink. We went back to the waiting room and said a prayer with Grandpa.

The whole time the nurses would come in every hour to tell me how things were going. The first time they came in they said that you were born, but were very unstable. About an hour later, they came in and said that you were looking better, but they didn’t know if mom would make it……. The night turned into morning, and that was when they came in and told me that you both made it, but it was going to be a long recovery. From the time they took mom in for the c-section, it was about 8 hours before I got to see either one of you.

Dr. Draper came to talk to me and tell me everything that had happened and how much you and mom went through. That is when he told me, you would be our only birth. He asked me if I wanted to tell mom what happened. He told me he would if I didn’t want to. I told him I wanted to be the one, but that I wanted him there with me.

Doctors & Decisions/Risks Too High

As the labor progressed, the pain was unbearable, and I was losing ground. I asked for MY OB, Dr. Draper,to be called in. The doctor there told us that it was the middle of the night, one of the worst snow storms, and that he wouldn’t come in. I told them that, if they didn’t page him, I would…….. The doctor came back in and said, “he must really think you’re special, cuz he’s on his way”. It felt so good to be assertive and I knew that he needed to be there. I needed someone I could trust.

The anesthesiologist finally came in and tried 3 different times to get the epidural in. I have scoliosis, and he kept hitting a nerve that shot sharp pain down each of my legs, causing them to go numb. I was having a very hard time holding still, and was in so much pain. I thought he was going to paralyze me…. I was so scared:(

Dr. Draper showed up while the anesthesiologist was still trying. He finally got it in the right spot, but before any medications were administered, my OB wanted to check to see how far I was dilated. We spent alot of time with him during the pregnancy, and he knew how much it meant to us to do everything we could to have it vaginally. I wanted it so badly and he knew it. I wanted to be awake for my baby, and know everything was fine.

He quickly assessed everything and knew it would be too dangerous for baby and mom. Gordon was under a lot of stress & pressure, and felt like he was out of control and there was nothing he could do for me. He called his mom, my parents, and my sister Connie, to let them know what was going on. Because of the snow storm, it took them hours to arrive. Gordon badly needed their support.

I was still only dilated to a 3, sepsis was setting in, and I had maternal heart disease. The baby kept having decels and tachycardia, and was not doing well at all……. He dreadingly told us that we could not wait any longer, and would have to do an emergency c-section. I trusted my OB and I could feel it was the right thing to do.

Because I would have to be put completely out, be intubated, and have a camera (transesophegeal echo) down my throat to monitor my heart, my husband, my biggest support, couldn’t be in the room at all. It was very hard for both of us…… I felt like I failed……

We said our goodbyes and off I went…..

Pre-term Labor/Infection

The cramping continued, and I wasn’t feeling very good at all. By now I was feeling very fluey. I almost wasn’t sure how I was feeling or what was happening. I only knew I didn’t like it, and I knew something was wrong. I didn’t want this to be happening. I was in complete denial.

Gordon could see that something was wrong, and said, “why don’t we have them check the baby again”. The nurse was just here an hour ago, and everything was fine. Concerningly he said, “We are at the hospital to get the help, just call them in to see.”

We called the nurse and they came right away. They had told us earlier that every time I called, they came right away because I rarely called and they knew it was important.

The baby’s heart rate had increased above 200 bpm, and my temperature was up noticeably. Within minutes the staff was running around, I was being rushed to Labor & Delivery, and Gordon was grabbing last-minute things and trying to keep up.

From there I was transferred to a very hard bed. At first I thought the bed was a mistake, it felt like a was lying on cement…. Nope it was for real. Here came the IV’s, nurses, doctors, and anesthesiologist.

It was utter chaos. The infection was so bad, I starting feeling confused and very sick. The doctor said I had sepsis. I felt completely out of it, and couldn’t communicate to get any help. Gordon was trying to help but didn’t have any idea what to do. The contractions didn’t seem to break at all. Occasionally they would ease up a little, long enough for me to breathe. I was waiting for the epidural, and there were 2 other emergencies besides me that night. It seemed like I was waiting forever, and every minute things were getting worse.

Continued Cramping/32weeks

Nov 28th was one of those days, except the cramping continued to slowly grow in its intensity. Right after Gordon got to the hospital from work, the cramping became more uncomfortable and I didn’t feel like eating. I was use to cramping through the entire pregnancy, but I usually would just lose my appetite. This time, I was extremely nauseated. The pain started feeling very familiar, like my previous miscarriages.

We tried to relax and go to bed early to see if I could relax enough to stop the cramping. It seemed next to impossible with the staff coming in and out so much, for what seemed like unnecessary things. I started getting upset and scared. I didn’t know if the baby was ready. We were 2 days away from testing the baby’s lungs. I was extremely grateful that we had made it to 32 weeks, but was overcome with everything that could go wrong. I had worked so hard, and wanted the best for my baby.

I found myself being consumed by negative thoughts. I asked Gordon to talk about anything else, to keep my mind distracted. The cramping (or so I thought) seemed to ease up a little for a short while. I asked the nurse to come and check us early around 10:00 pm so we could get some sleep. I had told her that I was cramping, but nothing new. My vitals were normal, and baby’s heart rate was good.

Something inside me felt that there was something wrong…. I decided the “something wrong” was the pain getting to me. I tried to ignore the feeling and be tuff….I had to be strong for my baby.


I was still having mild cramping throughout my stay in the hospital. At first the doctors wanted to monitor us while I was cramping, but after the first few times, they decided it was not anything to be concerned about.

I would have a scary day and cramp about once a week, but could usually get it to stay mild and quiet with prayer and rest. I really learn how to take care of myself.