Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Motivation.....are you out there?

This is a picture of Naomi as she was sleeping and it was touching time, and I got to hold her tiny little hand. What a beautiful baby I created I always thought. It wasn't too long ago before that that I felt her moving around in my tummy, even though towards the end I felt less movement from her (due to the distress).

I haven't done much today. My father was supposed to wake me up before he went for work at 830, but he didn't so I slept in til 1030, normally I sleep all day. I am 22 I should be getting own self up, but I just do not find the motivation to do so. Yet I see and read all these other mommy blogs, they are working, going out, helping others, and yes they still hurt, but they are continuing living. I know it doesn't do me any good laying in my bed day after day. It's almost been a year since I've had her and I am still without a job. Most of it, well all of it is simply my fault. I have no one else to blame but me. Yes for awhile after I lost my nanny job, I obviously didnt go back to work due to having Naomi, and then also losing her. I needed time off. I went out with friends and stayed busy for the 4 months, I was constant, helping others and just doing things that I had left to do for a while.

Then, I don't know what happened, but I just stopped, I started slowing down a lot more. It was time to look for a job and I wasn't looking much. Everyone would suggest places to go and things like that, I would always say "okay, yeah Ill check it out". But most of the time I never did. I had a few interviews, and I NEVER blow interviews, but apparently these last ones I have. I don't know whats wrong with me. I KNOW for a fact I am scared. Scared to get back out and "live again". I have lots of anxiety. Yes I like meeting people and talking to others, but now I feel like I got myself in a huge hole. That I do not know how to get ouf of. I do not know where I want to work. I have an excuse for every place. Yes I have alot of background in childcare, but I don't know if I am strong enough to go and do that again. I don't have any experience in anything else, besides organizing and typing, I am very good at computers, and was told I should try and be a secretary, but I cannot sit for long periods of time at all due to my back.

I just have to go out there and do it, and apply somewhere, anywhere my parents say and if I dont like it keep it until I do. I have absolutely no money in my name besides maybe $1-2 grand in my bonds which my parents refuse to give me, I am 22. I did not save a PENNY when I was a nanny, and I made great money, worked 18 months. I wouldn't me in half the situation I am if I had saved, I would have my own car and possibly a place to live.

While in the process of seeing Naomi in the hospital, I decided I was finally done with my husband. I even told him while I was pregnant with her that I would not take ONE thing from him. I stuck to my guns. I went through hell and back with that marriage, very physically and emotionally abused, and having left my family at the young age of 19 til about 21. Luckily, my family welcomed me home with open arms. It is just now hitting me, well my mom said it maybe a few months ago, I didn't just lose Naomi, I lost my job, and my marriage, all just like that.

I always said after losing Naomi, that I need to make Naomi proud, I wanna make her proud. Change my life around, go to school, get a job. But things didn't happen that way. I don't even know if they still can. I am just at a loss of what to do or where to go, just where do I start? Ive pretty much let myself go, stopped caring again, part of my depression, I don't want Naomi seeing her mommy like this. I should know better. No one else is going to do this, but me. I just have to get up and tell myself "I AM GOING TO DO THIS, & NO LOOKING BACK". Easier said than done, but I don't want to live a life in my room, I watch the days go by so quickly, while everyone else is living their own life, and I just basically hide in my room. Its spring, I should be happy and get some sun, help others.

I remember after losing Naomi I helped alot, I even went into the NICU to help this young couple (17 & 19) and be of a support for them, at the same hospital Naomi was born and left at. I remember meeting them when I was waiting in the lobby for a support group, I just was crying because all the memories came back. They noticed me crying and asked whats wrong. I told them and they said "I am sorry". And they then explained they had a 23 weeker. My heart just stopped. I gave them a hug. I told them I would like to see their daughter after my meeting. We exchanged numbers and I was brought up to see her. I don't know how I did it but I did. The nurses were suprised to see me back but welcomed me with open arms. The baby was so so tiny, beautiful little girl. I remember feeling good being there for them, but then I had to stop because I was going to often and I just couldnt bring myself to do it as much.

I just need that "pick me up" to push me along. I feel quite alone, although I have amazing friends, a best friend & that is enough, and my family. I want to do more, to help others, helping others, I know will help myself. Just gotta get out there and do it!

Monday, March 29, 2010

"Rollercoaster" is just a bit of an understatement..

Honestly, I would have to say that the next 48 hrs was bit of a blur just because of how sick I was. Now when I say sick, I ended up having severe preeclampsia. I was on a high amount of oxygen, had the cuffs on my legs to prevent blood clots, I was like a huge blowfish, with all the fluid I still has in my body. My blood pressure was also high as well. The mag that they had me on was awful. I remember being so hot with it and just wanted to rip the damn thing off. But I needed it. My mom and dad and best friend came and visited me. My mom stayed the night about a few times because she was just so worried about me. I didn't know i was that sick, then I started to worry. I kept asking my mom if I was going to die.

I wouild say about 48 hours after or close to 3 days, I was able to go and see Naomi. Let me tell you, getting up from a c section, oh my. I never had so much physical pain before, but I managed even though I felt quite dizzy. I was then able to get into a wheelchair and the father wheeled me down into the NICU to see Naomi for the first time. I remember going back into this little room, I would always hear that she has her "own room" I guess because it was full in the main area. Sne was under the "light" and I wasn't prepared for what I saw. She was SO tiny, but so perfect. She had 10 fingers, 10 toes, a cute little nose, lips, 2 eyes, 2 ears. Everything. I couldn't believe she was my daughter, Naomi. She weighed 790 grams which is 1 lb 12 oz. She also had IUGR (inunterine growth restriction), so basicaly she was the size of a 26 weeker, even though I had her at 28 weeks.

I would always call on the phone in my room, down to the NICU to check and get updates on sweet Naomi since I couldnt be up and about just yet. I loved saying "this is Naomi Marish's mom" and then had to give the number id on my bracelet just so they made sure they were speaking to the right person! I had lots of visitors, my friend Amanda, Bonnie, Kylee, and Tori & David. It was wonderful seeing my friend and to say congratulations Mommy! I ended up getting moved eventually maybe 4 days later of being down in perinatal room 5, to labor & delivery. It was sort of sad because I saw lots of mommies and daddies with their babies in the room yet I was on the floor of the NICU, closer to Naomi.

I was able to walk myself whenever I wanted to go and visit Naomi. I would just sit and watch her sleep and talk to her and sing to her. I went to visit quite often. I also remember when my friend wheeled me into see Naomi, the nurse was changing the incubator and she gave Naomi to me to "hold" on my chest sort of like kangaroo care. I was just amazed, I will never forget that feeling of having her on my skin, feeling her tiny body and little hands. Eventually I got released after being in the hospital about a week. I remember bringing the cart full of goodies, flowers and stuffed animals and gifts from my visitors. My mom picked me up and the nurse helped me get in the car. I remember as we left the hospital driving away, I looked back and just started crying. I was leaving without my Naomi, and seeing these mommies get wheeled out with their babies in hands going home.

From then on, I would go every single day to visit Naomi because I still wasn't able to go back to work being a nanny, and having my c section. I remember seeing myself for the first time, my face was still very swollen, my legs were HUGE, and my arms were still puffy but my doctor kept saying, it will go down. I thought when?? I remember getting up alot in the middle of the night to use the restroom and I would look in the mirror in the morning and within 2 days of coming home, I had peed all the fluids that I had retained from being so sick. It was amazing how I changed from a huge blow fish to about my prepregnancy size.

Naomi was doing "quite well" in the NICU. She was having trouble with the feedings, never fully got her going on my milk, and other regular issues for in the NICU but they had said it takes time. She wasn't even on a ventilator! I was so proud yet had the cpap and nose canula. I remember pumping every 3 hours, at hospital and at home. I was never so tired, but I thought I have to get used to this, this will be exactly what I will feel like at home with little Naomi. My neighbor, who also came to see me in the hospital, I didn't know but worked in the same hospital. So she told me if I ever wanted a ride I can ride with her to work in the morning. So I would get up at 7 o clock and meet with her around 730 and be there bright and early EVERY DAY. I never missed a day of seeing my Naomi. The nurses teased me all the time saying I had their hours. I would stay about 8 o clock til 10/11 pm at night. I wouldn't stay in the NICU the whole time I just stayed in the hospital and ate, had friends visit me and my daughter, and met other people and families there.

I remember getting to change her for the first time. I was so afraid I would hurt her. Having to put my arms through the incubator and I was so gentle with her tiny little legs and oh boy did she have some big feet for such a tiny little girl. The nurse said to me "oh you won't hurt her, they aren't as delicate as they look." Which i dont know wha that meant but shes my daughter, and thats what I was doing. I also got to take her temperature and measure her as well. I got to do lots of the "mommy" things. I remember holding Naomi for the first time in the rocking chair. What an amazing feeling that was. Having her wrapped up just like a little baby doll but even smaller, and handed over to me, her mommy. I was so content and just started at her while she slept and opened her beautiful eyes peaking at moommy. She always opened her eyes she she heard my voice, and I loved it! One time, my sister came and got to hold her, she never held a baby before, I was SO nervous. But she did great. Naomi started to fart or have some gas and I remember laughing so hard because she made such a cute/funny face.

One day/night I was told by a nurse that Naomi has a possible infection on her arm. I noticed her arm was swelling a bit and so they did some testing. She also had quite a few blood transfusions. I was always worried about that but she needed them. I remember what a difference that made in her acitivity and how she was. When she needed them she was so very tired, barely active, and just needed the little pick me up. Well, there was an announcement to be made at around 8 o clock one night. before that, she started having problems breathing so she needed to be put on a ventilator. I would say about 4 weeks after she was born. I remember waiting til 8 oclock since between 630 and 8 you could not go in due to change of shift and nurses talking and things like that. I was so nervous and worried waiting. I remember coming into the NICU and noticing right away a huge machine next to her and I thought that wasn't there before.

I was told she was put on a jet ventilator because the regular one just wasn't doing it for her. The infection was really taking over her and making it very difficult for her to breathe so basically this machine was doing it for her, at a much faster rate.

Here we go again, I've been rehasing this part quite often nowadays. Naomi just became very very sick. I never stayed the night in the hospital but the night of May 31st it was late, my husband was there at the time with me, we were aruging, he wanted to stay there with me, I said no and wanted to be alone. At around 1 am, I went to the NICU to say goodnight to her but for some reason they werent opening right away so I thought I will just see her in the morning. I went up to the 3rd floor where there is a chapel and place to lay down. I fell asleep and at 3:46 am my phone woke me up to a call. "Platantion General Hospital" was calling. I paniked, picked it up I dont remember what was said but I told them that I was there in the hospital they said I need to come down. I grabbed my stuff flew to the elevator and started banging on the NICU door to let me in.

I got there and it was a scene out of a horrible horror movie. There were about 4 nurses at her side, a few respitory, and my favorite doctor of hers. She told me that Naomi isn't going to make it. Had me call someone to be with me. I called my mom. My mom arrived, and just held me. I saw Naomi and it did not look like her at all. She was very swollen and puffy, and they told me that she was sedated. Her eyes were open but I don't think she was really there or alert. One of the nurses had me and my mom sit down, I could barely sit. I was in disbelief that this was all going on. They had me look away while they perform a type of emergency surgery on her. Then brought in xrays, I watched as they came in and out.

They supplied emergency drugs as well. Thats when they had me and my mom come up and to touch her. I thought why are they letting me touch her without scrubbing up first. They started to say 5*17, then 5*18, I said mom why are they counting minutes? 5*19, I was watching the green numbers on her screen and also looking at the respiratory "bagging" Naomi. Their faces looked so grim, so sad, like even as if maybe they werent even trying. My mom and I also were sitting and saying the "Our Father" before all of this. Then 5*20 came and I s aw the question mark on the screen. The nurses all looked at each other, the doctor started walking over to me, I collapsed into my moms arms and started screaming and crying. My beautiful baby girl Naomi was gone. Taken away from me. They cleaned her up, while I was downstairs to go bring one of my friends up to be with me.

My mom was holding her, I said right away I did not want to. They suggested I do. I held her, not for too long. Then my mom, the father, and his mom, and I all went into a little room to wait wihle they took the tubes out of her and so we could hold her. I never wanted to let go or say goodbye. I just cried & cried well I hell her. Then after being spoken to and having a priest come and having the NICU director in with us, Naomi was then taken away, I gave her a kiss and told her mommy loved her so much. My beautiful girl faught so hard, I almost told them to stop and just let her go but I was holding on to some kind of hope. She survived 35 days, passed on June 1, 2009, loved by so many. She had gotten a horrible staph infection, and possible pnemonia that just took over her small little body.

I was then asked about funeral arrangements, I was in no way to decide or talk about it. I just told my mom and dad to handle it all. I had went into the cafeteria of the hospital, as my few close friends and family arrived while a memorial box was being prepared. I remember waiting with my best friend and a friend outside of the hospital, it was raining, I remember just running down the street and just collapsing and screaming, I couldnt believe she was gone.

My father and mother decided to cremate Naomi, and put a beautiful, beautiful service for her. My neighbors, friends, and family flew down. I cant remember who all exactly came because I was a mess that day. I remember my uncle who flew down, he lost his 9 yr old, 20 years ago, and he told me hes not going to lie to me that I am going to have a tough road ahead of me. He also told me later on that he looked at Naomi's death in a way that she got a "free pass to Heaven".

I know that my baby girl Naomi is in a safe place, free from pain and suffering, and is looking down on her mommy. I was taught so much in such a short period of time with her. I have never known so much love existed. The love you have for your cihld is unexplainable. I was so lucky to have met her, held her, changed her diaper, and show her to my family & friends. Even though it was a brief time, I am so thankful I had such time with her.

As I write in this blog, my purpose is to carry on her story, tell the whole world about her, and show that she existed.I also hope that one day, I will be able to help others in my situation and give back as so many mommies and wonderful friends have reached out to continue on this journey with me. She will always be my first born, my daughter, my sweetpea, my Naomi, and my angel. I love you Naomi, & I miss you, always and forever.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Where to start?

As my first blog/post ever, I never thought I would be writing about this. I struggle right now to even find the words, through my tears. I just opened in my email where I had saved the pictures I sent from my cell phone in order to make sure I would have a safe place for them if God forbid something happened to my cell phone & I lost all my pictures of my beautiful Naomi. It has been a while since I have seen them, I opened some of them to see which pictures I would like to post. It was ever so hard, some made me cry, I got a little laugh out of one, and it is just so surreal, still. Like most of the mommy blogs I have read, most have a fairy-tail husband and or wedding to share. Me? I don't really have such a grand story on that end to tell. So for now, we will skip just that. Yet I sometimes think if I never got myself in that situation or left when I should have, none of this would have happened, but I look back on all of it and I would do it all over again if it meant having my daughter, Naomi.

At around sometime in November of 2008, I found out I was pregnant. I had recently just left a horrible living situation/marriage in October of that same year. I just happened to take a pregnancy test for the "heck of it" I had no symptoms nothing, I just was used to them turning out negative. I remember taking the test in my bathroom. I put the stick away and I waited the 2-3 minutes. I read the words positive. My mouth dropped, I think my heart even stopped. I immediately went outside and took a walk around the block called one of my friends, just was so stunned and told her the news, thinking what the heck am I going to do? I didn't cry, I just was in shock, complete shock. From that moment on, I had many emotions-scared, upset, hurt, confused, and most of all just scared. I thought I am 21, I myself am just a "baby'. I went and got blood testing done just to be positive and for sure enough I was about 4-5 weeks.

For a good while. I was walking around in denial & I was quite upset. One day, my mom could tell I was very upset. I started to cry. She said lets go outside and we sat on the porch swing, she said whats wrong? I kept saying over and over again "my stomach, my stomach." She did not quite understand. She said are you sick? I shook my head. Then she said those words "Are you pregnant?". I just nodded. So from there on, I just decided I was going to take care of this baby, it wouldn't be easy but I would do it. I was a full time nanny for a wonderful family with a toddler and infant. I loved every minute of it. I took them swimming, to the park, to the library, on outings to the mall, to the waterpark, oh how we all had a blast ever day! I was a nanny for them from Decemeber 2007 until April 24, 2009, the day I had never expected.

For awhile, the pregnancy was going uneventful. Soon enough I started getting excited! I would journal alot and about my doctor appointments and couldnt believe I was going to be a mom. I absolutely love children & babies, I was so happy. I thought I had liked my doctor. But now that I look back, she was very quick, and never listened to me. I should have took that as a sign right away. I was wondering when I would start getting bigger. But in the beginning, like most, you lose weight due to the nausea and vomiting. I was lucky and only "gagged" 4 times, by orange juice, a prenatal on an empty stomach, eating a banana on an empty stomach and just once out of the blue. I wasn't getting that "belly" I kept asking when? I would talk to other expectant moms and they say "oh don"t worry, you'll get there". Well I dont remember exactly when it was but maybe 2 or 3 months before I had Naomi, I just had that "feeling" or gut instinct that something wasn't right. I just felt it.

I remember telling my mom, I didn't know what it was, but boy was it strong. I wish I had listened to my gut instinct. They tell you to always listen. So I remember having my 28 week ultrasound appointment and how excited I was. Oh! Before all of this, I started to worry about my job, I thought I would lose my job. I sat down and talked with the family, and they were wonderful! They asked me what I had wanted to do, I said I would like to continue working with them while pregnant, as far as I can, and they even said I can have my daughter there at work too. I said I could do it, I know I could. Even thought I would have 3 under the age of 2. We even sat down and planned my maternity leave and everything, I was so excited.

My gosh! All these details, I just do not want to forget, so I can't leave them out. The night before my apt, April 23, I went to my brothers baseball game with my family. I remember not feeling well at all! For awhile before too, I had noticed swelling in my hands & ankles, which normally they say thats normal, but I just didnt think so because I hadn't gained too much weight and it just did not look right. I stayed until the end of the game but went back to where I was living because I just felt awful. I figure my appointment is in the morning I will address it then. Apparently, that night my face was very swollen. My mom didn't say much about it because she thought "oh Jill is finally putting on some weight".

So, I had told my boss about the appointment, they were always good about letting me go in early morning before work, and then come back to their house right after so they can leave for work. Normally one of them were able to get off or go in late due to their very flexible schedules but this time, on a Friday, no. So being that this was an ultrasound, and I had the 2 of them, she said I can have a friend help me since they probably wouldnt be allowed in. I asked my best friend Bonnie. (At the time we weren't best friends, but we had known each other from 8th grade, and we got reconnected on myspace, due to me being pregnant and we just started talking and hung out a few times before my 28 week apt.) So I asked her and she was more than happy to help me (I hope!) Ha,

Friday, April 24, 2009 was my appointment. I was so excited because I knew after that, I would go to the doctor every 2 weeks, then once a week. My appointment was 8*30 that morning, I got the kiddies ready and off we went and to meet my best friend there. I remember going to be seen, while Bonnie had the kids in the waiting room. I think when I was seen, they had determined I had a short cervix and was worried about that. Then my doctor came in and said "whats this?" I said "what?" She told me about having 2+ grams of protein in my urine. I had no idea what that was about, didn't understand the term. So they sent me out in the waiting room. The nurse came out was like pretty in a panicked mood but with a worried look on her face. She said you may have to get stitched and possible bed rest. Then she comes back out and says nevermind, I am too late in my pregnancy for that. So they had made an appointment, with an MFM, then I did not know thats who he was.

So needless to say, I was a little worried, freaking out a bit but thought, oh I will be okay. I called my boss, both of them, to address they needed to pick up the kids here at the office, they were cranky and needed to be fed. I didn't want them to be so hungry and tired, and also things just weren't going right. We waited some time but they did end up coming, I saw them and had tears in my eyes, they both gave me a hug, I told them briefly what happened and that I had an appoinment later that afternoon. I was excited that day due to the fact it was Friday (the end of the week for me, pay day and my appt!). They picked up the kiddies and off they went. My best friend Bonnie was still with me, I do NOT know what I would have done without her & again we weren't too close then, but she has such a big big heart, so kind, caring, just the sweetest girl.

So she suggested we go to IHOP down the street to eat, until my MFM appoinment at 2:30 that afternoon. We walked in and I remember the waitress saying "how far along are you?" I remember smiling and said no one has asked me that, I didn't know you can tell. She said oh yeah, you have the look. Towards the very end of my pregnancy I then started sprouting a belly. I couldnt even begin to tell you what we had, but thats pretty much useless info. We then headed off to my appointment. I seen the doctor, and I had an ultrasound done. I can't remember if he had said Naomi was measuring small and he then said some other terms I did not understand until later on. He then told me he was going to do a direct admit into the hospital. I came out in tears and told my friend. I didn't think too much of it still though I was upset, but I had thought oh I'll be in there a few days and come out and I'll be okay, wrong!

So, she offered to take me to get some things for the hospital, I was starting to pack clothes! Where was my head? Ha. Then I thought, I will be wearing a hospital gown, so I threw all my clothes down and took a few things. We then went to Walgreens. She suggested we get some snack foods and maybe magazines. God, typing this out, is making me go through all my emotions again, just gotta cry. We then headed off to the hospital, went into the emergency room, gave them the paper saying I was a direct admit and I was pretty much seen and taken to the back right away. I remember for a couple hours getting a room in the emergency room until there was an opening. My mom then came to see me & the father as well. Then finally I was moved to perinatal room 5. The last room in the hallway.

Boy, did I get very lucky, all my nurses were wonderful. I remember my favorite nurse, her name was Kathy. She was so kind and took really good care of me. Bonnie came quite alot to come and visit me, so did my mom & dad, my husband at the time. By the way the nurses were talking, I was going to have Naomi very soon, due to how sick I was. I didn't know until a few days later how very very sick I got. The doctor (that covered for my regular ob, she was on vacation, thank god) he came in and told me they were going to do a 24 hr urine and them let me know the results on Sunday or Monday. I was also given steroid shots to help mature Naomi"s lungs over the weekend. I'm not too sure but I think they also have a NICU represent to come in and speak with me, but not much was understood.

Monday morning, April 27, rolled around. My husband stayed the night and was going to go home because he had work later that day and I said I would call him and let him know what was going on. Not even about 5 or 10 minutes after he left, the doctor came in. He told me that my protein levels had jumped from 2+ grams on Friday to 6+ g. He said thta 5 was the cut off. He told me I was going to have an emergency c - section , told me the nurses were going to get me ready & that he would see me in a bit. I don't even think I had much time to think or process it all. I was going to have Naomi, at 28 weeks. I called my husband to tell him to come back & that I was having Naomi. I remember calling home and speaking to my brother to tell him to put my mom on the phone, I told her I was having Naomi.

The nurses came in, and started prepping me and told me what was going to happen and that they would tell me every step of the way, as it was being done. I was then wheeled into the OR. I remember it being very very bright, with lots and lots of lights. I thought, hmm is this where I am going to have the baby? I wasn't prepared for this. I hadn't even had a baby shower yet (thought it was in the works). I remember seeing my husband with scrubs on, and he looked so nervous and scared. They had him go out while they prepared me and got me ready. I remember having the dreaded thing in my back (I forgot what its called!!). I was told to sit straight, hug myself, and put my neck down. That was the worst part. I couldn't stay still. I was freezing, and it hurt to hold my neck in place for so long. Finally they got it in, and that wasn't the bad part. I remember being placed on like a "table" I call it. I felt as if I was going to fall off.

They were ready to start surgery. My husband came in and sat next to me, they had the drape up, so I couldn't see. My husband took my hand as it started. I remember the doctor talking to me during my surgery. I thought thats weird, but hes awfully nice. I didn't know he was just doing that to make sure I was okay and there while I was being "worked on". I remember smelling a burning smell, I guess was something used in my surgery? He then told me I was going to feel alot of pushing and pressure. I felt all of that. During when Naomi was in the process of being born, they had the radio on and "Home" by Chris Daughtry came on. The doctor was signing. Little did I know, that song had some kind of meaning I think. They then had brought little Naomi out and I heard a "cat's meow" kind of cry and as I heard that I started to have a few tears rolling down my cheeks. I was a mommy.

They then rushed her to the NICU and Daddy followed while I was being stapled back up. I was then wheeled into recovery room where later I met my mom and sister there. I don't remember much because I was a bit out of it, but I do rememeber my sister going to see Naomi and the first thing she said "her eyes are beautiful Jill, she has beautiful eyes and they really stick out" I smiled. I still didnt get to see her or a picture just yet. After that, it was much of a blur, and then I was eventually moved back into my room #5 since I was still very very sick.

...continuation of Naomi Hope's Story will be soon, its quite difficult bringing up these memories.

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