Friday, November 28, 2008

Keeping it going...

Although Brody didn't make it, I am going to keep the blog going. Doing the blog is kind of like therapy for me, so expect a post at least once a week! It is nice to be able to get across my thoughts and feelings and let everyone know where I am coming from. I am so blessed that people were able to check in on Brody's progress and root for him like we were rooting for him. People were able to see that he was an actual person with a personality and all, not just a fetus to be disregarded.
I know that many people feel awkward around us not knowing what to say or how to act, so I thought I would let you know what helps me deal. Know that I LOVE to talk about Brody. I could talk about him all day. Like any mother, you want the whole world to know about your precious baby, so please- bring him up in conversation, let me talk about him and my experiences, I enjoy it. I am a mom without a baby to take care of, so talking about him is all I got. Know that I am grieving still, every minute is different. One minute I am at such peace, and the next minute I am asking "why me?" I may not always answer phone calls depending on the time, but know that the cards, calls, and facebook messages help me out so much. Thanks to all.
I am a part of an online group filled with other pPROM queens (yep-thats what we call ourselves!), some have had happy outcomes, others have lost their babies like me. One woman emailed a wonderful poem to the group, so thats how I will close this out:

My Mom is a Survivor

My Mom is a survivor,
or so I've heard it said.
But I can hear her cry at night,
When all others are in bed.

I watch her lay awake at night
and go to hold her hand.
She doesn't know I'm with her
to help her understand.

But like the sands on the beach
that never wash away,
I watch over my surviving mom,
who thinks of me each day.

She wears a smile for others,
a smile of disguise.
But through Heaven's door
I see tears flowing from her eyes.

My mom tries to cope with death
to keep my memory alive.
But anyone who knows her knows
it's her way to survive.

As I watch over my surviving mom
through Heaven's open door.
I try to tell her
that angels protect me forever more.

I know that doesn't help her,
or ease the burden she bears.
So if you get a chance, go visit her
and show her that you care.

For no matter what she says,
no matter what she feels,
my surviving mom has a broken heart
that time won't ever heal.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Perfect Memorial

Thank you very much for those who made it out to Brody's memorial, it was great to have your support. For those who could not make it, it was truly perfect (I was very worried because I knew Brody deserved something great). My aunt Diane started off with an amazing prayer followed by a wonderful speech by my dear friend Nancy and in the middle our friend Amanda sang a beautiful version of "Tears in Heaven." We then headed out to the burial site where Nancy recited Psalms 23 and my uncle Larry said another wonderful prayer. It was great for me to see the lives that Brody has touched through his short life here on earth. I don't think I will ever know the vast number of people that have followed my son's journey to make it here and the number of people that he has affected. I couldn't be more proud of him. Brody had such a personality before ever even leaving the womb and I am so happy that people got to see that. I still miss him every day, I wish for him back every minute and think that this sucks and its not fair because I would have been the best mom ever to Brody. But then I think-Brody only ever knew the tremendous amount of love that Jeremy and I had (and still have) for him, and he only ever knew the fight we fought together and how truly wanted he was. My son will never see the sorrows here on Earth, he only knows the joys of heaven, and I can't wait for the day when I can see his beautiful face again.

I have also been asked about people making a donation in Brody's name. Initially I wanted to donate money to pPROM research, but it looks as though no one is really doing much to research this. This has been my frustration the past 8 weeks. So now I am working on something with the NICU at St. V's right now. That hospital did everything in their power to give my son life, and that means everything in the world to me. I will never look back and think "what if..." thanks to the wonderful people at this hospital. I hope to have more information soon.

Friday, November 14, 2008

An explanation, memorial times...

I wanted to write to everyone to let them in on what happened, and how we are doing. Sorry if everything doesn't make much sense, I am still very out of it. Wednesday everything was going along as normal when my nurse came in to check my vitals around 4:30 pm. During this time I had gotten up to go to the bathroom and lost a lot of blood. Thankfully she was in there with me to know that something wasn't right. Slowly I began cramping up until I was in the worst pain of my entire life. Jeremy came in, they did an ultrasound and realized that my placenta was tearing away from my uterus (placental abruption). This is a process that is far more painful than actual labor, you have no idea the kind of pain I was in, it was terrible. Due to the fact that this was an emergency c-section, I was not able to be awake for surgery, and Jeremy was not allowed to be in the room. At 5:54 pm our little Brody Jason was born. They fought very hard for his life, but he passed away at 7:55 pm. 2 hours and 1 minute our little boy blessed this world. His lungs just weren't developed enough. Unfortunately I was not awake for any of this, but I don't know if I would have been able to see my son go through all that anyways. Later on that night the NICU brought him down so we could spend some time with him and hold him. I will never forget the time I spent with him. He was by far the most beautiful little baby I have ever seen, and he looked so very peaceful. I will never understand why any of this happened, and I hate the phrase "everything happens for a reason" that doesn't make the pain go away. I fought so hard for Brody, and would do it all again for the moments that I got to hold him. I miss him so much. This is so very hard, and no parents should ever have to go through something like this.

We are going to have a memorial service for Brody at 11 am on Tuesday in Waterville at Peinert Funeral Home. They are located right behind the McDonalds on the Anthony Wayne Trail (St Rt 24). Here is their website if you have any questions . The service will be from 11-12, the first half hour will be open casket for those who would like to see Brody, and the second half hour will be closed casket for those who would be too upset to see him. Directly after we will have a small service to bury Brody at the Wakeman Cemetery (right up the road). Jeremy and I will hold a small gathering afterwards at our home for food and visitors. We would love to see you there to help us through this hard time in our lives. Brody had many people thinking about him and praying for him, so it would be great to see the little guy you have been reading about and praying for.

Like I said, no parent should have to go through something like this. This is very hard for all of us, and we thank you very much for your support.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


This is Tami. Abby asked me to let you all know that our little Brody Jason went to heaven last night around 8 pm. She will write a post to everyone as soon as she is able. In the meantime we appreciate your prayers for her and Jeremy.
Love and thanks to all of you who have been so wonderful..................

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Brody is here!! Please Pray Everyone!!

This is Tami, Abby's Mom. I got a call this afternoon from Abby. She had a good day up until 4;30 this afternoon when she lost a lot of blood and was in a lot of pain. She was taken into surgery for an emergency c-section around 5:30 this afternoon. Brody was born sometime around 6 pm tonight. Please everyone, pray from both of them. I have will try to update this as I get word. I am still in Florida with Allie and Justin.
We need your prayers......................

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I'm an aunt!

Yaaaay! Yesterday Allie and Justin Riegsecker welcomed a beautiful baby boy into this world. Riley Steven Riegsecker was born at 12:41 pm central time on November 10. He weighed in at 7 lbs 8 oz and was 22 inches long (although they tell me he wasn't stretched out all the way, and they think he was a little longer).

Monday, November 10, 2008

26 weeks pregnant, 2 weeks in St. V's (contains name)

It has been a few days since I have posted, but thankfully the baby has been extra good and hasn't scared us at all. Everything has stayed very stable! Yesterday I got my IV out and I am just getting my fluids through drinking water. This is both a relief and kind of scary. I have to drink a lot now through the night so I don't get dehydrated at all, because that starts contractions. So far I have had none. Apparently though I was having them all day on Saturday and had no idea. I don't know how its possible to have contractions and not know it, but thats what my nurse told me. Maybe my pain tolerance is higher now since I am constantly being poked and prodded in here!
This morning I had another ultrasound. I talked to one of the high risk doctors about it already and he said that I do have more pockets of fluid. Unfortunately they are not able to measure these pockets because they contain the chord. This isn't a big deal, it just prevents me from telling you an exact amount. He did tell me that it looked like there was more than last time. We are showing progress, so I'm happy.
So far I have outlasted all the other girls in the "preemie" wing of labor and delivery. St. V's is a level 3 (3 is the best) high risk hospital, so they get a lot of different cases of odd pregnancies like mine. One girl was in at 28 weeks because her baby's heart rate was off the charts, another was in because she was 24 weeks and completely dialated but hadn't broken her water yet. Different girls are coming and going, but the baby and I are very competetive and enjoy outlasting everyone else.
Also, I have been asked a lot lately about what this little guy's name is. As long as he is a boy when he comes out, his name will be Brody. So from now on, I wont tell you about "the baby" I'll tell you about Brody :)
My sister is in the hospital right now, so hopefully today I will be an aunt! Check back tomorrow because I will post the details of his arrival for everyone (as long as he comes). That little stinker is a week late, but I think he is conspiring with Brody so they can get their birthdays as close together as they can.
Alright thats all for now, keep up the prayers- you guys are great!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

It has been one month since we found out the horrible news that I had pPROM. Since then we have surely had our ups and downs, but ultimately we realize that each day our little boy stays in utero we are blessed. Today is definitely an amazing day. I just spoke with one of the high risk docters that had reviewed my ultrasound from this morning. They did see about a centimeter of fluid, which really isn't much but is something! I will take anything at this point. He also said that the baby was developing well and that they didn't see anything to tell them that his lungs weren't developing. Woot woot! Lungs aren't something that are able to be seen on ultrasounds, but apparently they can look at other things developing in the baby to help them with determining lung development. I also asked the doctor about the hiccups and he said that it is a good sign, but he couldn't really tell me much about it, although he wishes that he could. He told me to keep doing what I'm doing because things are looking good. Praise God!! No matter what, this little guy is going to have a tough road ahead of him, but so far he is showing us that that he can take on anything. Thats my boy! I really can't tell you all how much I appreciate the time you take to read this blog and pray for him, it means the world to me.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Straight from the horse's mouth

I'm back!!! Thankfully my bleeding has stopped, so the MFM doctors have lifted my orders for strict bed rest. You know what that means? I get to get up to go to the bathroom, and I even got to take a shower this morning. It was so great to actually stand up, my butt was seriously hurting so bad. I'm not sure the last time I have felt this refreshed, it feels awesome!

Since my mom has posted last, we have only really had one scare. Monday night I started having contractions again and the baby's heart rate started increasing. It got up to about 170 bpm, when his usually falls between 145-150. The doctors said they were going to just watch it, hoping that it went down when the contractions stopped. I ended up falling asleep, but they had to wake me up on two different occasions to make me change my sleeping position because his heart rate was all over the place. Once again they flooded me with fluids, and everything eventually went back to normal. It wasn't really a big deal, but had the possibility of being a problem. The MFM doctor later told me that contractions put pressure on the chord, thus slowing down blood flow to the baby. They just wanted to put me in the best position possible, to let blood flow through the chord as easy as possible.

Due to the fact that I've been here for a week-and-a-half I have become pretty close to the nurses here. One advantage to this is that they fill me in on the doctor's game plans. Yesterday one told me that the doctors are talking about using a catheter-type of balloon to go in and fill my cervix to prevent fluid from coming out. As the baby pees, the fluid will fill up and he will be one happy baby drinking and swimming around. The problem with this is that the pressure that is put on my cervix will most likely cause me to dilate and go into labor. Right now it is just way too risky to try, but they might try it later on around 27 or 28 weeks. This is just coming from one of my nurses though, and is not any sort of definite plan.

This little one is still up to all his old tricks. He is finally letting the nurses trace his heart rate for extended periods of time, but he doesn't always make it easy. Twice now he has kicked the monitor as soon as the nurses place it on my belly. We all get a kick out of it because it shows us how ornery he is. He hiccups at least once a day (for about 20 mins), which just lights up my face. He actually has them right now!

Alright so I just had to put the computer up to get my IV switched (they like to take mine out and put a new one in every few days to prevent infection). Six tries and one new IV later, I'm hooked back up. Thats right, I have really crappy veins, and it took three nurses to try to find a vein that would work. Ouuuuuuuuch.

Tomorrow I get another ultrasound- pray for fluid!!!! I'm going to go rest my arms now because they are a little sore from all the poking.

Monday, November 3, 2008

One Week In.......

Abby has been in St. V's one week today! Yeah!!! So far today is a much better day than yesterday. The bleeding has let up today but is still there. Abby had an ultrasound at 7 am this morning. There was less than 1/2 centemeter of fluid, very minimal. However, the baby did have hiccups again, and that was good to see. He had them yesterday as well. We are hoping this is a sign that he may be getting a little fluid or at least has some lung development. Here is an excerpt I found online regarding fetal hiccups:
According to
Sophia Levis, hiccups in the unborn baby are just a fetal reflex that is remarkably similar to our own. Only the more mature fetuses will hiccup, as hiccups rely on the development of the central nervous system. Some experts think that hiccups in utero are a response to fetal drinking or fetal breathing, which causes the flow of amniotic fluid in and out of the lungs, stimulating the diaphragm to contract.
The hiccups have really helped bolster Abby's spirits as have the visits and messages from family and friends. Thanks to all for your thoughts and prayers. A special thank you to Di and Larry Weber and Grandma Rupp for the floral arrangement. It sure brightens the room. Thanks also to Megs Tameling for the beautiful cookie basket arrangement and to Joe and Nancy Dolan for the huge basket of goodies, slippers, books and magazines and especially your visit. Thanks to Jeremy's mom and sister for everything you have done. You have been amazing! Thanks to everyone who has sent a card or e-mailed, too. Abby really loves getting mail.
During the ultrasound visit this morning Abby was able to meet with one of the MFM Drs. He told her that even with the bleeding they do not want to take the baby yet if they don't have to as the chance of survival at this point would not be good. Keep praying they the bleeding will stop and that she will not have any contractions. It was decided after yesterday's scare that Abby's case will be managed primarily by the MFM Drs. as opposed to her regular OB-GYN. We think this makes sense as they are the high risk specialists and final decisions will now be left up to them.
One other bit of information......the nurses here have now given the little guy a name. They call him "Dennis the Menace" as they think he is very ornery. Whenever they try to find his heartbeat he moves as soon as they find it. He apparently doesn't like them pushing the monitor on her belly and finds a way, with no fluid, to move away. They can't imagine how he does this but somehow he finds a way! I can't say enough for the staff here at St. V's. They are the best and they help keep us going when things get rough.
Update on the bed rest situation. Abby is still confined to her bed. She is still a little bummed by this but has managed to find her usual sense of humor. She has come to the conclusion that pregnancy robs you of any and all dignity. I even heard her tell her sister today, "Just think, all you have to do is push your baby out your vagina." I knew we had a little bit of our Abby back.
Those of you who know her will relate to this.................. the rest of you I hope I didn't offend.
Thanks again for your prayers. We keep dodging bullets and I know that is the reason.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Good News - Bad News

This is Abby's Mom, Tami. First of all...the good news. We are at 25 weeks today! Another little milestone but every day this little one is in utero is equal to 3 days in the NICU, so every day is a precious gift. Now for the bad news......Abby has had some heavy bleeding today and the Drs. have put her on total bed rest. This means she can no longer get up to use the bathroom or do anything for herself. She also has a hard time typing on the computer as she is in a reclined position so it is hard for her to update the blog, hence you may be hearing from me for a while. She is right here beside me so all messages are subject to her approval! She is really struggling with these changes and feels pretty down right now. We are still waiting for the Dr. to come in today and aren't sure what they're response to this bleeding will be. It is one thing they did not want to see. Last night the OB-GYN was in and told Abby that both he and the MFM Dr. felt that she would hang on for a while yet. Of course, that was before the bleeding started again today. We are still hoping for positive news! One other bit of good news, the nurse was in the other day to check the baby's heart rate and she could tell the baby had hiccups. That means the baby did swallow a little fluid in order for hiccups to occur. Abby is scheduled to have another ulltrasound on Monday or Tuesday, probably Tuesday. Hopefully we will see some small pockets of fluid. We so appreciate your prayers. Pray especially for the bleeding to stop and for Abby's spirits to be lifted. I'm not used to seeing this girl so down so if you can send some positive thoughts her way it would be great! She can still read the blog and her e-mail, it's just difficult for her to type. I'll do my best to keep you posted. I am supposed to fly to Florida on Tuesday to be with Abby's sister who is due to deliver her baby anyday. As you can imagine, it will be very hard for me to leave Abby. I'll do my best to keep you all informed, even if I am in Florida.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Back to Stability

One of the problems with working with multiple doctors is that each is focusing on different issues with this pregnancy. What some doctors think is a big deal, others consider fairly normal. Yesterday some of the doctors were very worried when they saw my white blood cell count go up (white blood cells fight infection, so when your body produces more they can see that your body is working harder to fight infection), but I talked to one of the high risk doctors in MFM and he had a completely different outlook. He told me that it is extremely common for my white blood cell count to go up because I had just gotten steroids earlier in the week, he was actually suprised that my numbers weren't higher. I guess steriods make those number jump pretty high. This was a relief! He also said that contractions are fine at this point as long as they aren't regular, it is only natural for your body to have contractions after your water breaks. So right now they are just trying to flood me with an IV because if I ever become dehydrated the first thing that is effected is my uterus. When the uterus becomes dehydrated it cramps up, starting contractions. My OB doctor has also orded my blood to be taken every morning to test my white blood count on a daily basis. so far I have gotten my blood taken twice since my scare and my white blood count has dropped, which is great news. The nurses here have told me though that its going to be a fast process when this baby comes, it really could be any day- I'm just not ready for him yet!

ps- I should be an aunt any day now, Allie is due tomorrow!!