May 7th, 2016 by Christal Tillman

May 1, 2013 was the scariest day of my life. I woke up got ready for school and started my day like any other day. But this day was different I was five and half months pregnant and I notice once I went to the bathroom that I was lightly bleeding. I call my doctor and the receptionist tells me to come in for a checkup after school, so I go. Once I get to the doctor’s office I notice the bleeding has gotten heavier. The doctor checks me and tells me I’m in labor. No signs, no warning, no contractions, no nothing, the baby is coming now! I cry immediately, it’s too early, it’s not time yet; but he’s coming. Laying in labor and delivery the doctor comes in calmly and says “I’m going to do whatever I can to stop the labor but if I cannot I am going to have to take him but if he is over one pound he have a high chance to make it. The nurse is going to come in and give you three shots to cease the labor and then I will be back in an hour to see if it is working. Just calm down everything will be ok.” First shot. Second shot. Third shot. Silence. Thirty minute later, seven centimeters dilated. “The baby is laying on his back right above your cervix. The doctor is going to have to move him and take him before your water break and the umbilical cord chokes him,” the nurse says to me. The doctor comes in to give me another shot to help speed up the development of his lungs. More tears. His father looks at me, I look at him, with hope in our hearts that our first born is ok. Because it is an emergency cesarean delivery I had to face it all by myself. I’m starting to hyperventilate, I can’t calm down, and I can’t hear anything but the thoughts running through my mind. My hearing is back. “Lay down and breath,” is all I can’t hear but I’m stuck, I can’t move I can’t breathe. My heart is racing, I feel it jumping through my chest. Calm down, calm down, calm down. I open my eyes and I feel sharp pains, I want to get up but it hurts to move. Where is my baby? Is he ok? Nobody is there to me hear me. Where is my baby? Crying and screaming till the doctor comes in. “He’s ok and if we can get him stable fast enough you will be able to see him before we life flight him to a NICU more suitable to help him.” I tell myself over and over again, he’s ok. Jayse De ’Shon Luna born May 1, 2013, at 6:37 pm weighing one pound, eight ounces, twelve and a half inches long. I see him, he is so tiny, he has no health problems, he just need to grow.
Two emotional days after being in the hospital I finally get to go be with my baby. I get to the NICU and all the doctors come in and they tell me so much information I think my head is going to explode. Everything is ok, he just needs to grow, I repeat this to myself till it gets stuck in my head. I want to hold my baby but I can’t. Crying looking at him, he looks up at me and it makes me smile. A moment of greatness during a stressful situation. I can’t sleep. I can’t miss a moment. I need to make sure he is ok. May 10, 2013, its mother’s day! I finally get to hold my baby! I’m so nervous, he is so tiny. One pound twelve ounces, he’s growing! Every things is going to be ok. Jayse is growing, he has no problems. May 23, 2013, I decide to go home to get everything set up for Jayse, that way I do not have to do it when I bring him home. I get back to the NICU the morning of May 24, and the nurse looks at me and I know something is wrong. He is frowning, he looks like he is in pain. I can’t stand it, I burst into tear. “What happen? What’s wrong with him? What did you do?” I ask the nurse, she is trying to explain to me what is going on but I can’t listen. He was fine when I left. I checked on him last night he was ok. I’m looking at him and his stomach is so swollen it looks as if it is going to pop. Why is this happening? Why did I leave? The Neonatologist comes in and tells me they need to do surgery, but he have no problems they checked him. No muscle problems, no organ problems, he just needs to grow. The doctor tells me that Jayse has air in his liver and it was a possibility that some of his intestines could be dead. “If parts of it is dead we will cut it out and he will be ok but if all of his intestines are dead then there is nothing we can do. This is called NEC. They did explain that this is common and can happen to premature babies?” I nod yes, but there is hope and I have to believe that he is going to be ok. Two hours later, Jayse primary nurse Anne comes in and I see tears in her eyes and in my heart I knew what was happening. But it couldn’t be. She grabs my hands and I shake my head no. I couldn’t accept the words I knew she was going to tell me. She kneels down in front of me still saying nothing till the doctor speaks and it’s like a bullet hitting me directly in my heart. “I’m sorry his intestines are completely dead there is nothing else we can do.” “Are you sure?” Is all I can say. This can’t be happening. This can’t be real.
We decide that we want him to just go on his own so we don’t take him off the breathing machine because eventually it’s not going to work anyway. The doctor let us in to see him and he just looks sleep. I watch the monitor and his heart rate reads seventy-four. He is slipping away. My baby is dying and there is nothing that I can do about it. I can’t help him, I can’t stop it, and there is truly nothing I can do. He’s lifeless, he’s breath is faint, he’s getting cold, there is nothing I can do. I held my baby in my arms and watched as his life disappeared. Jayse died in my arms and there was nothing I could do about it. I did everything I was supposed to do. I walked, I ate healthy, and I never did drugs or alcohol. I wanted this baby, we planned to have a family and it was all getting taken away. Jayse died May 25, 2013 at 9:37 am, weight two pounds, fourteen and a half inches long. Twenty-five days is all I got with my baby and in my head the words that I can never erase, the words that broke my heart forever are, “there is nothing else we can do.” I can’t get them out of my head. I hear them, I see them, I feel them.

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