Baby Paige

We had three children when we found out we were pregnant with Paige. We were so excited--we had planned for her and I wanted a big family. Gabrielle was 7, Ian was 3, Zoe was 13 months. My pregnancy with her was going very smoothly, which was a nice change from the pre-term labor and aches and pains I was used to.
 
Then, almost overnight at 30 weeks, I felt like my belly had grown two times bigger and I couldn't get comfortable. I called the midwives. The nurse asked, "Are you having contractions?" I said, "No, I just can't get comfortable." So they told me to come in. When the midwife came into my room she looked at me and said, "How far along are you?" When I said 30 weeks she listened to the Paige, who sounded great, then measured me and said, "You are meauring way over 30 weeks." I stayed for an ultrasound and was diagnosed with polyhydramnios--too much amniotic fluid. The doctor said that this can be a sign of a hole in the baby's throat, but if she had a hole they wouldn't be able to see her stomach, and he showed me that he could see it on the screen. He said it looked like there was no medical cause for the fluid build-up and I would be monitored closely. He scheduled my next ultrasound for two weeks.
 
Within a week and a half I was sure I was in labor--the contractions were so strong and I felt bigger than before. My father came over to stay with the kids and Mike came home to take me to the hospital. When I got checked into the labor and delivery floor, I had the same midwife that saw me in the office. She measured me again, and hooked me up to the monitor. I eventually needed a Mag Sulfate drip to stop the contractions. It slowed them down, but they never stopped. I wasn't dilating much, though. In the morning I was taken down for an ultrasound. Once back in my room the doctor came in. He said that my fluid level had gone from 29 to 39, and that it was too high to stay at home--I needed to go to a specialized hospital an hour and a half away. The midwife told me I was measuring 45 weeks pregnant, and had already been meauring 40 weeks pregnant at my appointment before. I got to say goodbye to the kids as they loaded me into the ambulance.
 
I ended up there for 5 weeks. Within a few days my fluid level was up to 42. I had it drained off twice--2 liters each time and the level was still high. The doctors couldn't tell me for sure whether Paige would be born with the hole in her throat or not, but they said they could fix it. No one ever mentioned a bigger problem or suspected one.....
 
My labor was induced at 37 weeks and Paige's heart almost stopped. I was rushed in for an emergency C-section and Paige was recusitated and placed on a ventialtor. She was bornApril 6, 2007. They found she did have the hole in her throat. Also, her stomach was connected to her lung. They said they would do surgery and repair it. I was numb thinking about her future and the sureries thay lay ahead for her. I couldn't let myself think about it: I decided I would have to deal with it as it happened. Family came to visit. We spent a lot of time in the NICU. Paige was so small laying there with all the tubes and wires. She would open her eyes and look at us when we talked to her. She was 5lbs, 3oz and 19 inches long.
 
The doctors hit us with the news 24 hours later--the more they looked at her, they said, the more they noticed small features that made them think she had something called Trisomy 18. We were given a pamphlet and told the geneticist would be in to talk to us. She agreed that is what Paige had, and rushed the blood test through over the Easter Sunday weekend. Within another 24 hours, we had our diagnosis and made the decision to remove her from life support. She was dead before she made it down the hall from the NICU to my room, and gasped little gasps for air as her heart stopped and we held her. It was the most terrible thing I will ever experience.......
 
Paige's lungs never developed and she had been failing on the ventilator. We did the right thing. We are so glad now that we didn't get the diagnosis before birth, because this way we had a C-setion, got to meet her, and got to say goodbye. I think about Paige every day. She has a new little sister now, Jillian, who is 7 weeks old. I can't wait until we are all in Heaven and get to see Paige again. It will be a wonderful life for us all. We thank God for the blessing of all of our children, including Paige.
 
Paige Elizabeth Brown
April 6-9, 2007
www.paigespage.org

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-The support, information and encouragement provided by the PPFL parents is not meant to take the place of medical advice by a medical professional. Any specific questions about care should be directed to a health care professional familiar with the situation.