*WARNING: super long post ahead*
As promised, in honor of raising money for the Preeclampsia Foundation, I would like to share the story of the deliveries for both of my miracle babies. In order for you to better understand, you must know that I'm not the typical girl...I didn't grow up dreaming about my wedding, to be honest, I was more of the girl who looked forward to having a family of my own...a husband and children someday. So when I became pregnant with Kason, I was beyond ecstatic that my family dreams were coming true. As most moms do, all I could think about was meeting my little man for the first time...holding him in my arms...kissing him...but most of all, sharing this beautiful experience with my best friend and love of my life, Daniel. Never in my dreams, did I ever anticipate there would be so much hurt and pain along with the joy of creating a new life...
It was a Sunday afternoon, Daniel came home from church and noticed right away that I didn't look right, so he took me in to the hospital. I was officially diagnosed with preeclampsia that afternoon and the doctors thought I had a week at tops before I delivered. Little did any of us know that I would become sick so quickly...throughout the night my blood pressure continued to spike and my preeclampsia worsened by beginning to shut down my organs. They held off Kason's delivery until Monday afternoon so he could at least have had the steroid shot for 24 hours. My first born's delivery was nothing like I ever imagined...it was happening way too early at 29 weeks...I mean, I didn't even have the nursery finished yet! As I laid on the table holding Daniel's hand, we heard Kason ring out one loud cry and then go completely silent. I saw him for maybe 1 or 2 seconds, then he turned completely blue. I remember asking Daniel how Kason was doing, he graciously smiled and replied, "They are working on him". He kindly freaked out internally without letting on how serious Kason's condition was so I wouldn't panic. They whisked Kason away to the NICU while I stayed in the recovery room for 2 hours...alone...with no one to talk to. I sat and wondered what was happening to my little man. When I finally was able to see Daniel, he explained everything to me and they wheeled my bed to the NICU so I could get a quick glance at Kason, but I still hadn't been able to kiss, hold, or even touch my baby...instead, I was more of an outsider, seeing my baby from a distance. I went from beginning to really bond with him one day by feeling him kick within me, to a disconnect of feeling like I had lost him...no longer feeling him or seeing him within the swell of my tummy. So as I stayed confined to my room, missing Kason, I continued to stay sick by also developing the HELP syndrome. By Tuesday, I was so sick that I wasn't even able to see my own parents, sister, or family...only Daniel...but still no Kason. The NICU staff was wonderful by sending up pictures and footprints....but I can't even begin to describe how difficult it is to learn about how your son is doing or his little personality that is starting to develop from someone else. By Wednesday afternoon, my body finally began to heal and I was able to go meet Kason Maddux Clayton that afternoon! Still I could only barely lay my fingers on him, it wouldn't be until a week after I delivered that I was able to hold him for the first time. I ended up staying in the hospital for a week. Delivery is the only cure for preeclampsia, but unfortunately it didn't cure me...I had the worst year and a half physically following Kason's birth. I not only struggled with my blood pressure, but I found out I had a thyroid problem...it is like my body went completely out of whack...that is until I get pregnant with Max.
Our Max was God's little surprise for us. Daniel and I weren't planning on having any more children biologically due to Kason's delivery, but God had other plans. My body played a trick on me because when I got pregnant with Max, my blood pressure became better and my thyroid was back to normal. It wasn't until 25 weeks that preeclampsia symptoms began to show. Max's delivery story was a lot less scary for me personally since I was monitored so closely throughout the pregnancy and we knew what to expect this time around. Needless to say, I was plenty sick from being on magnesium for several days...but the worse part was wondering every morning if this was going to be the day that my body gets so sick that they finally take Max...and when they take Max, will he survive the long journey that is ahead of him? The waiting game was emotionally draining because I would wake up extremely early every morning trying to prepare myself to meet my little love bug who was not even two pounds yet. After being in the hospital for a week, the exact day I turned 27 weeks I delivered that morning. The operating room was a much happier place this time around...the nurses and doctors didn't look as frightened as with Kason...their smiles and jokes easily relaxed me as Max entered the world. I'm assuming due to Max having steroids for a week, he did much better at birth. I even was able to see him for a minute before they whisked him away to the NICU. This time around, the nurses let Daniel return to the recovery room to stay with me which was a relief to not be alone. My body still took a little bit to balance out from the shock, but I was able to meet Maxwell Brooks Clayton 36 hours later! Of course, I had to stay in the hospital several days before I was released and Max stayed in the hospital for 6 months. My delivery with Max wasn't a near death experience like it was with Kason, but I soon had an additional near death experience two weeks following Max's delivery. I developed a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in my lung) due to having a major surgery and being confined to a bed and not being able to walk around for over a week. My doctor told me that only around 50% of people survive a PE.
Even though preeclampsia took away the joyous moment of meeting your child for the first time, I still felt complete peace even though I was flooded with a range of other emotions...I still felt God's presence. I am a two time preeclampsia survivor and I personally believe God has saved me. Some days I wonder why, but most days I just thank Him. I have a beautiful family with two miracle babies and a husband who loves me despite my imperfections. So, if you read my blog you will discover that we love to have a good time! As a family, we have decided to enjoy every day that God has blessed us with and live it up to its fullest potential. At any point in the week, you will find us running around the house screaming and playing...laughing until we almost cry...singing loud to music...having a party with just us...we believe in seizing the day. Yes, we do have struggles...we do argue...we do cry...we do get overwhelmed with Max's situation...we even get lonely and feel isolated by Max's situation...but we do strive to live day to day because we never know when it will be our last.