Anastasia’s story

July 12th, 2008 by Cristina Rodriguez

My princess Anastasia Elizabeth was diagnosed with NEC back in may. Her bowels actually perforated and all her meconium had spilled out into her abdominal cavity. Luckily her doctors caught it before any part of her intestines died.

Upon doing a small procedure to remove the meconium it was discovered that she had roughly 30mls of meconium and fluid inside her abdominal cavity. It was so severe that simply making the incision allowed it all to come gushing out of her. She had a penrose drain put in and it drained any fluid that hadn’t already been removed. She recovered beautifully, although her belly did remain at about 23cm-23.5cm which for a preemie her size I thought to be quite large. You see Anastasia was born at 24wks and 6days. She only weighed 1lb 13oz at birth and measured 12in long.

This past Sunday July 6th her belly blew up yet again, bear in mind it had never really gone back to its original size (it remained anywhere from 23cm-23.5cm to 25.5cm). She also threw up and took the NG tube out of her nose. Up till then she was doing great. She was tolerating 10mls of food every hour, she was gaining weight significantly, she was off her intubation tube and down to a nasal canula, she was urinating and defecating as she should’ve been. Come Monday morning things just got worse. Her belly got even bigger and she was struggling to breathe. She was rushed into emergency surgery after it was discovered that there was free air inside her intestinal lining. Upon arrival my husband (her father), my mother and myself were told that she did indeed have the disease again, but unfortunately it got her harder than it had prior. All her intestines had died and there was nothing they could do for her. We were told that we could keep her on life support for a few days, but it would simply be more painful for her because the infection would just begin to spread throughout her little body and shut down all her vital organs. We made the decision to end her suffering. All our family was present as we baptized her and soon afterwards she was taken off her ventilator, her leads and her IV’s. She was brought into a family room where us and both our immediate families were all waiting. Our beautiful princess took her last breaths in her father and my arms. She went peacefully. She did get to see us all one last time as he woke up when she was brought to us. I will never fully understand why it happened to her again. I realize it is no one person’s fault. I just wish we had more time or at least some sort of sign that would’ve told us her organs were dying inside her. Perhaps then she would still be with us.

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