Friday, August 21, 2015

August 21 - Dear Nicholas Sparks (Guest Blogger Ann Lennon)

Dear Mr. Sparks,

My name is Ann Lennon, I am 33 years of age and I am Irish. I had a baby boy called Darragh born with C.D.H. on the 13th of May, 00. Unfortunately he died 11 hours after birth. And this is my story.

Well I had been seeing someone for a few months, it was not that serious and we broke up. That was okay but about two months later I realized I had not had my period for a while so I did a test not thinking that I would be pregnant but I was. I had no idea how far on I was, so I went to the doctor and she confirmed it, I was then given an appointment for a scan to determent my due date.

Well I had four weeks to get used to the idea and to tell everyone of my news and slowly I started to get used to the idea. I then decided that I would raise the baby alone with the help of my family; the father of Darragh was from a different area so he did not have to know unless I told him. Well by the time I had my scan I was so happy about my baby, I realised that this was going to be the best thing that ever happened to me. I was very financially secure. And I felt that I did not need anyone, it was just the baby and I all the way. I was so happy.

The day of my scan they took down all my details listened to his heart beat, confirmed that I was 15 weeks pregnant and the baby and I was doing fine. I never had morning sickness or needed to take iron I was so healthy and blooming. And my baby was to born on the 2nd of May 2000. What a brilliant new Millennium.

Well I had no problems what so ever until the last few weeks, I had a lot of fluid and my body weight had increased from 10 stones before I was pregnant to 15 stones. I had very high blood pressure and I was having spells of flashing in my eyes, numbness in one side of my body and migraines. I was taken into hospital over night for my self and my baby to be checked out but they could not find anything wrong with me and the baby as always had a very healthy heart beat and was doing fine. At forty weeks I was given another scan because they thought that the baby was very big and that I might have had trouble delivering him. The scan confirmed that he was about 9lbs and he was doing fine.

At 40 weeks plus 8 days I was taken back into hospital with the same problems only this time I also had 3 parts of protein in my urine, this was a Wednesday and I was booked to be started on the Friday morning. I was started with gel at 10am. Well I had a long labour I was not dilating after about 5 hours, so they put me on a drip, but then I was having drip contractions (false contractions) so I had an epidural and at 4am the following morning I was fully dilated. They told me that I would start pushing in 1 hour, just to let his head move fully down. They also told me that I would only be allowed to push for 30 minutes because of my high blood pressure. So at 5.55 am Saturday 13th May 2000 after a vacuum delivery I had a baby son. Weighing in at 7lb13.5oz and I called him Darragh.

The cord was round his neck and when the cut they cord the doctor handed him to me, well I never experienced a feeling like it before. He said Ann you have a beautiful baby boy. He just looked up at me and blinked twice I remember how long he looked and how prefect he was, and his little warm leg against mine. I think I held him for about 1 minute when they rushed over and took him from me, because they had noticed that he had went limp and had not cried at all. They started to revive him and the next day the sister told me that they could not find his heart it was slightly moved to the right, but I did not know at the time. They got him back and he was a beautiful pinkie colour they handed him back to me for another minute and told me they where taking him to special care to be checked over but he was fine. That was the last time I was to hold my baby alive. I taught that he would be okay. Then my after birth broke up inside me which had to be removed manually I lost 1 litre of blood but my worry was with my baby I just felt that they were not telling me something I asked and asked them and after a while they told me that he was having a chest x-ray and that the baby doctors would be along soon to talk to me. He came along about 7.30am and told me that he had a diaphragmatic hernia and that he was been transferred to a hospital in Dublin for sick children. Where he would under go an operation. They took me to see him I stayed for 30 minutes and then I asked to go. I could not stop crying and I felt that I had been stupid because I didn't realize how sick he was. I had my self-done advanced first aid and I knew about Hernias and I taught that it was only a small operation. The nurses and doctors were really great and took photos of him because he was going to a different hospital. They told me everything but they did not tell me he could die. Although looking back how I think I knew in the back of my mind he could. At 9.30am he left on his journey to Dublin, I prayed to God that they would get him there alive. I went back to the labour ward to be monitored I told them as soon as I was able to get out of the bed I was going to Dublin and they told me I would be going nowhere if my blood pressure did not come down, so they persuaded me to go to sleep. My parents went with Darragh because I did not want him to be on his own. The doctors told me he was going to the best hospital in Ireland and if anyone could do anything for him they could.
Miriam the nurse woke me about 2 pm to tell me that the hospital was on the phone and I taught that they where going to tell me that he was over his operation and doing well. But they told me that they could not stabilize him and that he was gravely ill, they asked me had he been baptised I said no. I think I just keep saying what about his operation, they said his heart had stopped several times and that it didn't look good, I remember saying could he die and she said I think he will. I could not believe this, they where not saying this to me. I dropped the phone and screamed the nurses moved me into a private room where I lived the 2 worst hours of my life. At 4.50pm they phoned back with the news that he had died 10 minutes ago. That his heart had stopped again and that they had to let him go. They told me that they could not believe how beautiful he was when they removed all the tubes and machines. I could not speak I cried and just answered yes and no.

I was asked could they do a post-mortem but I said no because I wanted him back with me. So my dad and my brothers-in-law, took him back to me where we stayed two sad but glorious days together. I had all my family, relatives and friends and we took pictures and enjoyed him. Its been five months now and I love him so much and cherish his memory and I thank my little baby boy Darragh for making me is mammy and for the pleasure of knowing him, even if it was for just a short time in his lovely life and sharing it just with me. I love you my son even though it hurts this much I would not change having you all over again, even if I knew you where going to die.

Darragh's mom, Ann Lennon (Ireland)

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