This is the best way to describe how I have been feeling lately. It feels as if my heart was ripped out of me and broken in to tiny bits and pieces that look impossible to put back together.
Our journey dealing with infertility has been comprised of years of struggles. Dealing with surgeries to attempt to carry a child again on my own and then finally making the plunge into surrogacy to find someone willing to sacrifice their time and body to bring our child into the world for us. It's been an indescribable roller coaster.
We finally saw light at the end of the tunnel when our gestational carrier told us she was pregnant. Then finding out we were having a girl. We were on cloud 9.
Our daughter was born one day shy of 26 weeks gestation because our surrogate got severe preeclampsia and our baby had to be born to save our surrogates life. It was an emergency c-section and we missed her birth since we were in the car driving to the hospital.
Our baby spent 20 days in the NICU dealing with several types of breathing support. From a ventilator to nasal canula and CPAP and back on the ventilator. She had numerous blood transfusions, all from a direction donation from Dad! She got pricked in one of her feet every day to test her for all her blood levels and other levels. She was constantly monitored and fed through a tube down her mouth to her belly with donor breast milk (thank you to all those women who donate their breast milk!). There was a team, no, an army of doctors and nurses taking care of her around the clock.
There are many complications that can occur with a premature baby let alone a micro preemie, a baby born under 26 weeks and less than 1 and a half pounds. They are at risk for infection since their immune systems are basically non existent, they can have brain bleeds which can cause cerebral palsy, they have respiratory distress, and are at risk for something called NEC which is when the bowls, since so premature and not ready for digestion, become infected. It's a crazy balancing act for the doctors and nurses to take care of babies this premature.
Our daughter lost her battle with the real world only 20 days after her birth. She had pneumonia and an infection that got into her blood stream and she was too tiny to fight any more. It was the saddest day of our lives. I finally got to hold her and cradled her in my arms but it was bitter sweet. She didn't have any tubes anymore and looked peaceful. She was a dream come true and a miracle and we will always love her.
RIP Finley Ever Hotchkiss
May 17, 2012 - June 6, 2012