This is for “My Semblance of Sanity”‘s birth story. I don’t know if I will win–it’s half really amazing and half really sad. Be forewarned! (This is a copy of the email update I sent out on 8/28/2001 to friends and family)
Hello dear friends.
Some of you will know the following, but many of you don’t, so I’m sending to all.
I haven’t emailed an update in a long time because I went into the hospital on August 14th with a ruptured sac. Baby A, Connor John, had broken thru. Our local hospital didn’t have the nursing staff for 24 week old quads, so I was sent to Christiana hospital in Delaware (not even in my state). It was touch and go for a few days–I was on Magnesium Sulfate (very nasty), but came through ok. I settled in for the long haul of bedrest.
Saturday the 25th started like any other day. We monitored the babies around 10-10:30. Then I started having contractions. Before I knew it, they were 2 1/2 minutes apart and I was 4 cm dilated. They took me in for a c-section 2:00 ish.
Connor John came at 2:08 pm weighing 1 lb, 9 oz.
Bennett Quinn arrived at 2:09 pm weighing 1 lb, 11 oz.
Ethan James came at 2:10 pm weighing 1 lb, 11 oz, and
Laura Grace finally got pulled out at 2:13 pm weighing 1 lb, 10 oz.
They were immediately whisked away to the NICU admittance and I went to recovery. 5 hours later I was finally able to see them. Bennett, Ethan and Laura were ok, but Connor from the very beginning was having more problems. To shorten the next part of the story, fast forward 3 more hours to 10:30 pm, when the Neonatologist comes up and tells Jim and me that Connor will not make it through the night.
Jim went down to spend some time with him (I was still very drugged and was in and out of consciousness). He came back upstairs a little after midnight to see if I wanted to come downstairs. The NICU called and said that he needed to come downstairs NOW. So I gathered myself and moved onto a gurney and went to the NICU to hold my firstborn son and cry. He was SO tiny!! So fragile!! We cried so much! While Jim held him, he quietly left us to be in the loving arms of Jesus. Saying goodbye was the hardest and most emotional thing I have ever done.
Coming home today, Tuesday, to our playroom full of baby things, many in fours, was extremely difficult. It will take some time before I can face going in there without crying.
Our other three, like typical preemies, change from day to day. The two boys have heart murmurs, but are responding to meds. Laura was doing the best, but is now on a special ventilator called an oscillator. It pumps 300 breaths per minute into her tiny lungs. But all are holding their own. I have three journals to track their day to day improvements, which will be encouraging along the way.
The joy and hope of my three living children tempered with the sadness and grief of losing our son is a very difficult place to be. We are in the process of trying to decide whether to have a funeral and burial or cremate. I never thought to be in this position. Only God is sustaining me now, I can assure you. Jim is crying and grieving as much if not more than I am. We can only cling to each other and be there for each other as we work our way through this difficult time.
We still appreciate your prayers for both Mommy and Daddy and our three precious children. They will be in the NICU for at least 10 weeks, and we will be traveling 45-50 minutes each way to get to them. I will also be pumping to provide breast milk for the babies, so life is already revolving around them.
As I’m sure you can tell from the whole tone of this email, this is a very difficult time for both of us. Thank you all for your support, prayers and understanding. I will not be on email that often, and the phone will be answered as possible. Visitors are welcome, but we ask that you call first.
(I’d like to add that 6 1/2 years later Bennett, Ethan and Laura are healthy, happy and wonderful children and have an almost-5 yr old sister).