We had been trying for about ten months before finally getting pregnant with Taylor. I can still remember taking the home pregnancy test. I was at work and had gone to a drug store and bought the test, then went back to work. I went into the bathroom and took the test. After waiting a few minutes, I looked at the test and couldn’t believe it when there was two lines. My husband, Armando, and I worked at the same company, so I went and showed him the test. He didn’t believe it and asked to see the instructions to make sure I knew what I was talking about. After reading the instructions, he still didn’t believe it, and said he wouldn’t believe I was really pregnant until I went to the doctor’s office and had a test done there. So I called the doctor’s office and set up an appointment. Sure enough, I was pregnant. After waiting so long, we could hardly believe it. I got pregnant with my first daughter without hardly trying at all on our honeymoon.
The pregnancy was going well, no morning sickness or any other discomforts, but I was as big as a house by the time I was 6 months pregnant. I kept telling Armando that this pregnant wasn’t going to go to full term. My stomach couldn’t get much bigger. I could feel my skin stretching, it was pretty painful.
On Wednesday, January 17, I woke up looking like the Pillsbury Dough Boy. I was so swollen I could only wear my tennis shoes, tied very loosely. I called my ob/gyn’s office to ask if I could come and have my blood pressure checked just to make sure everything was okay. They told me to come in the next morning for a non-stress test.
The non-stress turned out okay. They then had me give a urine sample. When they tested it they discovered that my urine had protein in it, which is a sign of pre-eclampsia, but my blood pressure was fine. Then the nurse weighed me and I had gained 16 ½ pounds since my regular appointment the week before. My ob/gyn, Dr. Breen, wasn’t in the office that day, so the nurse had me see one of the other ob/gyn’s. She couldn’t believe I had gained so much weight in just a week. She even weighed me on another scale just to make sure that the first scale wasn’t broken. She said since my blood pressure was fine there was probably nothing to be worried about. The nurse gave me a note to take the rest of that day and the next day(Friday) off of work.
Later, that day, the nurse called me back and said that she had spoken to Dr. Breen and he said that I should be on strict bedrest until Monday when I should come back and be checked out again. I didn’t really stay in the bed as much as I should have, I didn’t really think anything was wrong.
That next Monday morning(Jan 22), I went back to Dr. Breen’s office and had another non-stress test, which turned out fine. When they weighed me, we discovered that I had gained another five pounds since Thursday the 18. I also had more protein in my urine, but my blood pressure was still fine. He measured my stomach and said I was measuring bigger than I should have been. Like I said earlier, I was as big as a house! He had me have an ultrasound done because he thought I might have had excess amniotic fluid. While doing the ultrasound, they discovered that I did have excess amniotic fluid and the baby was also retaining fluid in her abdomen and in her scalp. They could also tell that the baby had some heart problems.
Dr. Breen sent me to another hospital that had a better equipped NICU, he said I may be having the baby soon because of the problems I was having. I was almost 31 weeks pregnant, the baby’s lungs wouldn’t be developed enough to survive without a lot of help. He also wanted me to see a peri-natalogist, which is a doctor who specializes in problems with babies while still in-utero.
The peri-natalogist did a level 2 ultrasound. Taylor’s heart was enlarged, taking up almost all the room in her chest, but the left side was very small. Her heart wasn’t pumping the blood properly, the good blood was mixing with the bad blood. He said that the baby probably wouldn’t survive, and if she did, would need an operation to correct her problems.
A neo-natalogist came to see us later and said that our baby would probably die very soon after being born. They wanted to wait off on the delivery as long as possible to give her lungs time to mature further, so that she would have every chance to survive.
The peri-natalogist wanted to do an amniocentesis or another test where they draw blood from the umbilical cord to see if Taylor had another problems such as Down’s syndrome or dwarfism. He said if she did, they wouldn’t be as aggressive in their actions of trying to save her. My husband and I refused the tests because we didn’t care if our baby had any other problems, we wanted them to try and save her no matter what.
That night, my kidney’s almost quit working completely because of the pre-eclampsia so they had to deliver Taylor, they couldn’t wait any longer. At Tuesday, January 23, 1996, at 12:54 AM, Taylor Alyssa Ordonez was born via c-section. She didn’t die immediately after birth like everyone thought she would. After they had her all hooked up to everything, Armando got to go see her. One of the nurses took a picture of her and brought it to me. It was so hard not being able to go to my baby.
Later that day, one of the nurses came and helped me into a wheel chair and took me to see Taylor. It was terrible seeing her hooked up to so many machines with so many tubes coming out of her. She was still retaining a lot of fluid and was very swollen. Since her heart wasn’t functioning properly, the blood was standing in her veins instead of being pumped through, and the fluid in her blood was leaking through the walls of the veins causing the retention in her abdomen and scalp.
I left the hospital on Thursday, January 25. Leaving the hospital without my baby, not knowing if I would ever see her alive or not, was hell. I cried all the way home. We went to see her the next day. She had her good times, and she had her bad times. Things would seem to be going well, and then she would start to go downhill.
On Saturday, the 27, Armando, his sister Anna, and I went to the hospital to see Taylor. My sister and her husband were already there. The neo-natalogist said he needed to talk with me and Armando. I knew it was bad news and started crying before he even said anything. He told us that they needed to do surgery the next morning. They couldn’t wait any longer because the diuretics that they had been giving her, to relieve some of the fluid retention, was causing her to have kidney problems. They had to try and fix her heart so that they wouldn’t have to keep giving her the diuretics.
Me and Armando and our families got to the hospital early the next morning. They performed the surgery in the NICU because Taylor was so sick they couldn’t move her to an operating room. She came through the surgery okay, but they didn’t know if the surgery was successful. We all sat in the waiting room praying and waiting for some news. The cardiologist came and talked to us. He said that Taylor’s chances of survival were very slim. He didn’t know how long she would survive, but it probably wouldn’t be very long. My heart was breaking. I can’t even begin to describe the sorrow I felt.
A little while later, the neo-natalogist came and got me and Armando. He said that she wasn’t doing well, they had already revived her two times. He asked if we wanted them to continue to try and save her or let her go. We knew that it was time to let her go. We had tried everything, but she just wasn’t going to make it.
The doctor let us go in and see her. He asked me if I would like to hold her. I honestly didn’t think I wanted to because I didn’t know if I could handle it. I asked Armando if he wanted to hold her and he said yes, so I said that I would too. The nurses brought in chairs for me and Armando, and they put a partition up around us, so we could have privacy. The neo-natalogist asked if we wanted him to take her off the ventilator while we were holding her or wait till we were through. We told him to go ahead and take her off.
The nurses and doctor unhooked all the wires and tubes and wrapped Taylor in a blanket. Then they placed her in my arms, it was the first time that I had held my precious little baby. The doctor told us that she may shudder or gasp a little, but, thank God, it was very peaceful. We said our good-byes, told her how much we loved her, and that we would be together again someday. We told her that God was going to make her perfect. The doctor came over every few minutes to check for a heartbeat, and after a few times of checking, there was none. At 1:00 PM, on Sunday, January 28,1996, Taylor Alyssa went on to a better place. My heart may have been breaking before, but now it was totally shattered into millions of pieces. My worst nightmare had come true. My baby was gone.
Armando and I took turns holding her for awhile before giving her back to the doctor. Then we went to tell our families that Taylor was gone. Looking back, I wish we would have taken Taylor and let everyone say goodbye to her, but at the time it just didn’t seem right to be passing her around when she was already gone. There are a lot of things I would have done, looking back.
I can still remember that day like it was yesterday. The day my world fell apart. I never dreamed something as awful as this would happen to me. It happened to other people, but not to me. I couldn’t believe it. It all seemed so unreal. She came and went so quickly. I barely had time to say hello, before I knew it, I was saying goodbye. I know she is in a much better place now, but it still breaks my heart to know what she had to go through, and that she can't be here with us.
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