Thursday, February 7, 2008

February 7, 2008

"He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave." Psalm 107:20

Joe and I have been reflecting back to where we were at this time last year. One year ago today is when I went into labor while we were on vacation. Madison and I had spent the morning in the craft room at the hotel making Valentine cards. Afterwards, we headed back to our room so that we could get changed for the pool, which is when I noticed I was spotting. I immediately called my Obstetrician in Ohio who assured me that some spotting was completely normal and I had probably just overdid it being on vacation. It was recommended that I take it easy until our flight home the next day. I sent Joe and Madison to the pool and I tried to lie down. After about an hour I decided that I was going to the hospital anyways, hoping that they would just tell me it was nothing to worry about.

I left Joe and Madison at the pool while I headed to the hospital closest to the hotel. When I arrived at the hospital the nurse was so nice and chatty and explained it was probably nothing...they get this "all the time with expectant moms overdoing it at Disney." Then while doing my exam, her whole demeanor suddenly changed. She soon discovered that something was very wrong and started frantically paging a doctor, telling them there was an emergency. I was rushed to Labor and Delivery where I was allowed to call Joe. In the delivery room I was hooked up to monitors which indicated that although I could not feel them (yet!) I was having contractions. Once Joe and Madison arrived, the doctor let us know that the hospital was not equipped to handle my situation, but I was in too critical a state to be transferred to a large hospital. They decided to try giving me some medication to see if labor might subside. If they could get the contractions to stop, I would be moved via ambulance to a Level 3 hospital. It was a long day/night, as unfortunately, my contractions began to increase in both frequency and intensity. Soon they were coming every two minutes and we feared that the medicine was not going to help. Thankfully, at around midnight things started taking a turn for the better and I was stable enough that Madison and Joe were able to head back to the hotel.

The next morning I was transferred to Orlando Hospital South. We sort of naively thought that since my contractions had stopped, everything might be okay. Our plan was that Joe and Madison would fly home, and I would wait things out either on bed rest in Orlando or until I was allowed to fly home. At noon I was examined and it was discovered that my water had broke. We were devastated as they went over our chances. My due date was still 121 days away. We had a 90% chance that the baby would die in the delivery room. They told us that IF the baby would survive the delivery that there was a 50% chance he would then die during his NICU stay. If he beat the odds and survived, it would almost surely be with severe disabilities and a very poor quality of life. All of this is happening just two hours before Joe and Madison's flight was scheduled to depart for Ohio! We decided that Joe would go to the airport, and if they would let him take Madison to the gate and get her on the plane, we would allow her to fly home by herself and Grandpa would meet her at the gate at Akron Canton Airport...which is what ended up happening. After getting Madison on the plane, Joe rushed back to the hospital. On top of everything else, on the way back to my room the hospital elevator Joe was riding in broke, and Joe ended up stuck in it for close to half an hour!

My medical records from my OBGYN in Ohio were transferred down to the doctors in Florida and I was admitted to Labor and Delivery. The doctors really felt that I was going to deliver the baby in the next 12-24 hours and we were even offered medication to "speed up the inevitable." Thank God we declined!!! The next couple days were probably the hardest of our lives. I was only 23 weeks along, and although it was not hospital procedure to resuscitate a baby born at 23 weeks, we had the option to have them try. How do you make that decision??? We would ask every nurse and doctor that came to our room what they would do if they were in our shoes. We also were asked if we wanted to hold the baby when he was born, keeping in mind that there was only a 10% chance that he would be born alive. We were told that if Kyle was born at 23 weeks it would be considered a miscarriage, and we would not get a death certificate, but if he was born at 24 weeks the hospital was required to file one. Did we want to have a funeral? What did we want to do with the "body?" We planned for the worst.

Finally, we had two breakthroughs. First, according to my due date I was only 23 weeks and 2 days pregnant...BUT we had conceived Kyle through in vitro-fertilization at the Cleveland Clinic so we knew the exact date of conception, which was September 11, 2006. Joe and I figured out that this technically made me 23 weeks and 5 days pregnant. After verifying this date with the Cleveland Clinic, our doctors in Florida agreed to "age" Kyle by this date. It may have only been a three day difference, but we were at such a critical point that every little bit helped. If I could stay pregnant until 24 weeks, the hospitals whole course of treatment would change and I would then be moved from Labor and Delivery to the Perinatal High Risk Unit where they would strive to keep me pregnant longer. Our second breakthrough happened around the same time when we had a new night nurse named Tammy. Remember when I said that we would ask each doctor or nurse that came in our room what they would do if they were in our shoes – regarding whether or not to resuscitate the baby. Every one had told us, that if they were in our situation, they would not have the baby resuscitated. They said that it would probably be our only chance to hold the baby and so rather than immediately trying to have the doctor revive him (which most likely would not have worked anyways, we were told) we should just hold him and love him as he died. This is what we had decided to do, UNTIL we met Tammy. She told us that she had actually had a baby born at 23 weeks who had survived and was now 9 months old. For the very first time since being admitted, we had hope…!

As I said when I began this blog entry, Joe and I have been reflecting back to where we were this time last year…our heads were spinning! If you would have told us that a year from now we would have a happy, healthy baby boy, we would have been doubtful, yet here we are. We had a great appreciation for Kyle even before his prematurity because I had such a difficult time getting pregnant, so even his conception was nothing short of miraculous to us. But everything now is even more precious to us and we take nothing for granted. We have learned some valuable lessons through this trial and we’ll never be the same. You never know what a day will bring, but God promises never to leave us, nor forsake us. I know I have said this before, but we would not be where we are today without the prayers of so many people - thank you, thank you, thank you! We are truly rejoicing in God’s faithfulness and Kyle’s health.

God Bless,

Jennifer, Joe, Madison and Kyle


Anonymous said...

Hey Jennifier & family
That was a great letter and to think about all you have been thru is something. All I can say is"""GOD IS GOOD"""and it is all because of Him you have Kyle today.He is such a beautiful, cute and adorable little baby boy and I know you all are so proud of him. He also has a beautiful sister that went thru alot at the same time you did, as I know how much she missed having her mommy with her at home. God worked it all out and now your a big happy family serving the Lord and that is what counts.

Just stay true to the Lord and stay in church and He will bless you more than you can ever think about. Thanks for the nice letter and taking the time to write it to all of us. I love you all."""GOD BLESS EACH ONE OF YOU""



Breanne and Rylee said...

I love the new update. I am sure that it was much harder on you since you actually had to think about having Kyle early. Rylee came so fast that I did not have time to think about anything. It was just that they were going to take her and there was nothing I could do about it. I thank God everyday that we have the most perfect little ones in the world. How we got so lucky, I will never know. We both know how rare it is to have a baby born that early with no major health problems. I look forward to seeing you guys soon. I know that Rylee will just love to give Kyle a big huge.

PS-He looks so cute trying to eat the spoon. I should get some out for them so they can play the drums together.

cristi.l.hudkins said...

Hello guys!!
Your recap of events again brings me to tears, trying to imagine having to make such difficult decisions after all that you went through to get pregnant is something that only you both will remember. After two unsuccessful attempts at IVF last year, Cary and I both are skeptical if we want to try it again. It becomes harder and harder emotionally. But I cannot help but think, What if? Sorta like you guys, What if you would have listened to all the other nurses and Dr's. What if you would have taken the meds to speed up the inevitable. Look what you have now!! It helps me to think that we could be successful this time too.
Let us know what dates you will be here, we would love to maybe head that way for lunch or something if you guys will have time. Take care and talk to you soon. The Hudkins Family

Colleen said...

Hi Jennifer. It's been so cold outside that the neighborhood hasn't been out socializing. I have seen Joe at the bus stop but haven't seen the rest of ya'll. Kyle is so adorable... he's gotten so big!!! Well... big compared to where he was (he he). He is still such a little peanut. Thanks for the updates.

Funny - Luke had to pick 5 girls to get the Elizabeth Swan valentines in his pack of valentines and the rest of the girls had to just settle for Captain Jack or something. Madison ranked and got an Elizabeth Swan!!! Impressive (huh huh).

Later gator... Colleen

Anonymous said...

Hello Kupiec Family!
I still love getting updates on Kyle and seeing the adorable pictures! What a great recap of the many miracles you have allowed all of us to witness over the past year through this blog. Thanks for continuing to share your family's amazing story. Thinking of what you all have been through and the happy, healthy baby boy you have now is such a wonderful reminder of the power of prayer and God's work as well as to never take anything for granted.

Stay warm!

Kara Lewis & family

summerzfamily said...

an amazing story---- found you thru c jane--- you are very interesting & a great writer..... so happy things worked out for you :)