Tragedies & Triumphs…

My friend Katie came to visit today and bring me lunch.. it was such a beautiful day and we were able to sit outside and Greyson demanded all her attention…. 🙂 But… when we did have time to talk…. we were talking about all of the difficulties I went through… and I don’t know if I’ve ever really recapped… what our family went through… so I will… Some of the people who’ve kept in touch with me… through it all…

Darrell and I got pregnant…. in 2008, we were ecstatic… it was unplanned… but a very welcomed pregnancy. I was thrilled at the prospect of having another baby and getting to have a girl, since Darrell said… his genes only made girls… I was like… fabulous, I had two boys from my previous marriage… and I was thrilled at the prospect of having a baby girl! I held him to his promise… 🙂

The pregnancy went without a hitch… until I was 17 weeks…. I woke up at 4am  with a severe hemorrhage… I went to the ER… at that time the baby looked great, a bit on the small side… but we found out… she was indeed a she…. They could not determine the source of the bleed and said all looked great and I was fine to go to work at 8am…. so I did.

20 weeks and 6 days pregnant… I went to my doctor appointment with my Mom and Darrell because my 4D Ultrasound was to follow with Prenatal Picture… At my doctor’s appointment…. all went great, she said the heartbeat was great…. and we went onto my 4D Ultrasound…. At my ultrasound appt… Mary Lucas was my sonographer… and she kept moving the wand and sighing and my heart started to pound outside of my body…. I knew something was wrong. She had me get up and drink a sprite and walk around… and nothing… there was no movement. She urged to me to immediately go back to my doctor’s office…. and we did… and they confirmed that the baby had passed…. They told me I could go home and think about it… and process it… but we said… no absolutely not…. and we stayed and they induced labor….. I labored all night….. and the morning of February 14, 2009 Gabriella Christine Ann Gaddy was born….

The days/weeks that followed were the hardest and worst weeks of my life…. My doctor told me that as soon as we were ready… we could try again. It became my mission to be pregnant again….

May 2009 we were on our anniversary vacation and Greyson was conceived…. When I was 7 weeks pregnant…. I had a severe hemorrhage… on the way to the hospital… I remember telling Darrell… I’m sorry, but I can’t keep losing babies…. He told me… I understand. So, we went to the hospital and his little heart was flickering away…. It turned out I had a subchorionic hematoma…every 7 days until I was 12 weeks, I bled out… and every week I was scared that something was wrong….. Weeks 12-15 weeks were glorious…. I had no issues…. When I was 15 weeks pregnant, I started having pre-term labor…. and was forced out of work… and to be on strict bedrest….  Weeks 15-19 I was at home, staving off bedrest with procardia and lots of hydration…. at 19 weeks the labor was becoming too intense and my insurance wouldn’t cover terbutaline until I was 22 weeks, I believe…. My doctor told me she would admit me and keep me there until insurance would cover the terbutaline. I was in the hospital for 8 days…. and finally they agreed to allow me to have home monitoring and sent me home on terbutaline…. Greyson was so low in my pelvis… that I could feel the pressure, so Darrell would lift me upside down in the recliner…. to relieve the pressure….

At my 22 week 5 day appt…. they did an ultrasound to see the length of my cervix… and it was paper thin… she made me lay upside down in her office… and they called the ambulance to transport me to CMC Main…. When at CMC main… they tried everything… Mag Sulfate (2 rounds)… they gave me steroids for the babies lungs…. I was on blood thinners and circulation cuffs because I had been so immobile, they stopped feeding me because I was at risk of delivery and I was having a c-section with Greyson because he was breech…. They tried procardia….They did the fetal fibronectin and it was positive… which meant delivery is imminent within 2 weeks…. I met with the neonatologist… and everyone encouraged me…. to make it to 24 weeks pregnant…. I laid there for days…..

October 3, 2009… I was 24 weeks pregnant… finally!!! That morning a nurse graciously allowed me to sit and sponge bathe, I’d been laying in bed and no baths…. I was so grateful!!! It was THE best bath of my life…. They had started me on another round of Mag Sulfate…. and it just wasn’t working, my contractions were not stopping…. They came in and met with me and told me…. if you reach 5 cm, we’re taking the baby….. 2:30pm…. Darrell had just left to go home and shower…. and he got the dreaded call. I was 5cm and they were going to immediately prep me for c-section….. at 5:03pm… Greyson was born. Weighing 1#8.5oz…. The next 24 hours were critical…..

He made it through the 1st 24 hours…. then the next week…… then the next month…… and he was a little super champ…. he did so amazingly well…. he was our miracle… at that point, we finally felt like…. we might bring a baby home…. 89 days later…. still on oxygen… Weighing 5# 4oz…. Greyson came home. The BEST time in our life….

While at the hospital… we decided we would restructure everything and name our photography company after Greyson Steele….. so became the birth of Greyson Steele Photography…. The next 4 years were an absolute blur…. and wonderful achievements….. our company grew and grew and grew…. and we really made a great name for ourselves within the Charlotte Wedding Photography Industry…..

And, now I have breast cancer…..

I have these ladies, moms and friends who have followed all of our tragedies… and I had one today…. leave  a comment… that she used to come home every day and look for the updates on Greyson and now she’s looking for my updates daily…..

So, that brings me back to my visit with Katie…. Katie and I sat and reminisced today…about all of this, I don’t think I’d ever told her my stories….. and she sat and looked at all of Greyson’s tiny diapers and paci’s and hospital mementos…… and I also showed her a photo of me holding my beautiful baby girl….

She asked me…. “which was harder…. Gabby, Greyson or Cancer?”…… Hands down, losing my child. That was THE worst thing…. and worrying about losing another….. the NICU was terribly stressful, but I told her…. we felt so hopeful and I always said, that what I went through with Gabby prepared me for what I went through with Greyson…. it made me stronger and it made me more appreciative for having a baby that was ALIVE.

It was such an amazing visit with Katie today…. and I thought… you know many people who read my blog may not understand when I say we’ve been through a lot….. so I’ll fill you in…. I like talking about it…. although all of it has been hard… all if it has also made me stronger…. including Cancer.

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Greyson loved our visit today…. love seeing him so happy….

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2 thoughts on “Tragedies & Triumphs…

  1. Heartbreaking. When they told me that I had cancer, the first thought in my head was “Thank G-d it’s me and not one of my children”. A little girl in my daughter’s class had leukemia at age 10. She’s fine now. Losing a child, there is nothing worse, at any age.

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