Sunday, May 3, 2015

May 3 - Dear Nicolas Sparks (Guest Blogger Kandace Jordan)

Dear Mr. Sparks,

I'm going to try to start from the beginning. In December of 2004 I met Michael. We started dating and we are still together. He was 23 and I was 17. I turned 18 in January. In May of 2005 I graduated High School and found out I was pregnant 3 days later.

I never realized how scary it would be to have a real baby inside of you...or how scary it would be to tell my parents....or for the small town of rumors to find out. I had been on birth control since I was 17. I stopped taking it in February of 2005 just because I forgot to go get it. By April I had never gotten pregnant so I didn't think it was going to happen. The end of May, my third month without birth control, I got pregnant.

I had my first doctor's appointment in Evansville, IN with a Welborn doctor. I was eight weeks pregnant and weighed 110 lbs. I went back to the doctor at 12 weeks and got to hear the baby's heartbeat. At 16 weeks I weighed 125 lbs. and got to have my first ultrasound. A boy. That's when I found out that horrible things can actually happen.

When my doctor tried to explain CDH I was totally confused. I didn't understand anything at all. I knew what the diaphragm was, and I new where they were supposed to be. I just didn't know how there could be a hole in my baby's diaphragm. I didn't know what to do or how I was going to explain this to everyone. A lot of people still don't believe that this sort of thing can just happen with no cause. I still don't know if I believe it. I know that during my pregnancy I didn't do anything to harm my baby. I was exposed to nicotine but I didn't use it myself.

I started going to IU Hospital in Indianapolis, IN. Everyone was so wonderful there. I loved my doctor. They cared and wanted to help me in any way. They explained to me what could happen and what they would do to try and help the baby. It was probably the most overwhelming thing that has ever happen to me and still is. Sitting here now I still don't believe it happened to me. The whole 38½ weeks I thought my baby was going to be fine. I just couldn't imagine something so horrible happening. I thought he was going to come out and be perfectly fine.

I had a long, exhausting, terrible pregnancy. I gained 50 pounds. Imagine going from 110 to 160. My stomach stretched out so far that I now have paper thin muscles. I couldn't walk for very long, it was even uncomfortable to sit. I bought the stretchiest pants they made and they were still uncomfortable to wear. Literally, it looked like I had a huge beach ball under my shirt. If I went out somewhere most people would ask if I was having twins. I found it very difficult to tell strangers about CDH. Normally I would just act like nothing was wrong because I couldn't bear to think about it.

I don't think Michael or I realized how serious this was until I was in the hospital the day before my c-section. I went to Indianapolis on January 17th and stayed in a hotel because I was supposed to have the baby on the 18th. That day they told me there was no room at Riley's for any babies. I would have to wait until the next day. I stayed in the hospital that night, and at around 9:30 on January 19th I went in for my c-section. Of course Michael went in the room with me in his scrubs. He held my hand the whole time. He got to watch. When they broke my water I was so relieved. I had more than double the amount of fluid I was supposed to have. I was numb but I swear I felt the relief of that fluid going away. As soon as they took the baby they ran out of the room backwards holding him up so I could see him as they went. He looked like he was crying and screaming but I heard nothing. I just started bawling watching him go. I was so scared and so overwhelmed.

Michael went in the room with the doctors. He took my digital camera and took lots of pictures. He also took pictures of my c-section.

They were trying to resuscitate him. An hour later a neonatologist came into my room and told me that his lungs had collapsed. They had done everything they could. He just couldn't breathe. I didn't believe it and I told them to please just do something. About 30 minutes later they brought him to me. I held him for a little bit. It was so hard to look at him. Now I wish I had looked at him longer.

I stayed in the hospital for three more days. I had the worst time getting up for the first time to walk. I also couldn't stand the pain when the nurses pushed on my stomach. I had really bad shoulder pain when I tried to walk. Finally, I made myself get up and try to get back to normal. Michael was wonderful to me in the hospital. He did everything for me. I was lucky to have him there and my mom there the whole time. We also had a lot of friends and family come and see us.

It's been four months since the death of Gauge. It's still hard for me to think about it. The worst part was the actual funeral. Since then I've been doing a little better. I still get depressed a lot. Every time I go out in public I feel like people are looking at me and talking about me. Sometimes I hear them. Eventually things will settle down. One day hopefully I will come to realize how true and real this is. I start college again in June. I'm going to be a surgical technologist.

I just want to say thanks to everyone. I got a lot of gifts and money to help out. I also want to say thanks for the CHERUBS group.

Gauge's mom, Kandace Jordan (Indiana)

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