Gramma Stays with Him

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Told by: LeRyan

We lost our son, Jarrit Dewayne Green, Jr., 4 weeks ago tonight at this very moment, ironically, 9:54 p.m. on Friday, July 26, 2013. I was 16 weeks and 5 days into my pregnancy and we thought we were safe. My long term boyfriend and I found out I was pregnant on May 2, 2013 – date of conception only having been April 15, 2013. We announced my pregnancy to my 80 year old Gramma who lived with us the morning of Mother’s Day the next weekend and she was surprisingly happy and supportive. I had just started my own company and financially we were not prepared. Two weeks later, my Gramma, who was amazingly active and healthy up until then, was admitted into the hospital and was diagnosed with cardiac amyloidosis the next week. We were given 6-12 months for her to live. This in its own right was shocking and devastating because my grandmother was my best friend, my soulmate, my Gramma, my mom, my everything. But, the only time I saw her emotional about dying at the hospital is when we’d ask the doctors if she’d be able to hold on for the baby. She came home on June 6, 2013 on home hospice care during which time I was the only caretaker around the clock. It was the most stressful, exhausting, draining experience in my life. On top of that, I was in my first trimester with an unplanned baby and nauseous 24/7. The smells and lack of sleep got to me horribly. There could not have been a worse time to be pregnant. I intentionally refrained from being excited about the pregnancy because I did not know how a baby would survive the environment which I repeatedly told my closest friends. I had even told a good friend of mine around 8 weeks that it would be a blessing to have a miscarriage. These words will haunt me now forever.
At week 12, I had my First Screen and saw my son moving around and looking beautifully human. They already could tell he was a boy, he was perfectly healthy, and even though I tried not to, I started becoming attached. My boyfriend started lighting cigars and telling everyone he was having a son. A few days later, my OB had a hard time finding his heart beat since he was so deep so I got another sonogram and he was again so beautiful, full of personality already, and he was healthy. Everything was fine. At 14 weeks, I began have some spotting and cramping. I again had a sonogram and every test under the moon. They could not find anything wrong and he and I both appeared perfectly healthy. I finally publicly announced my pregnancy, chose a date for my baby shower, picked out blue and brown elephants (to later come to be so much more meaningful – as I learned from my perinatal loss booklet & subsequent research how emotional, loving animals they are and how they are lead by the grandmother and mourn deeply for her and their babies) as our baby theme, and started debating names with his father. On July 24, 2013, I had a follow up appointment where everything seemed fine except my OB was concerned that I was not gaining weight the way she wanted. She assured me that the stress of hospice caretaking was not affecting the pregnancy.
At that point, my Gramma who had deteriorated dramatically over the weeks got a boost of strength and energy and was up about every single hour wanting to eat or be active and was actually getting out of bed for the first time in a long time. She was in complete denial that she was dying and was trying to darndest to hold on. Unfortunately, this boost ended the night of July 25, 2013 where she suddenly and for the first time started experiencing pain and was wholly disabled to the point she could not even sit up on her own or reposition herself at all in her bed. I had to start administering morphine early morning of July 26, 2013 around 4 am. Around 3:00pm., my grandmother woke in pain yet again. As I was caring for her and trying to maneuver her, she told me not to move her because of the baby. I didn’t listen and gave her a tiny bit of morphine for her pain and went back in the living room to escape. I was eating Nerds candy and joked that maybe eating them would make the baby smarter. About 10 minutes later, I began feeling discomfort but thought maybe just stretching pains or the like. I was not bleeding or anything, but after about 45 minutes of thinking I was just constipated but not have a b.m. and the pain increasing, I called the on-call doctor who instructed me to come to the hospital. I waited for my friend to come get me and while I waited, crying and moaning because the pain had increased so much, I sat in the dining room where I could view my gramma in her room. I looked into her room and just saw her moving her head to the left and right – she should have been knocked out from the morphine but I am now convinced she heard me. My boyfriend moved me back into the living room so my Gramma could not hear me and once my friend arrived, I yelled out at my boyfriend to take care of Gramma until someone came to relieve him so he could get to the hospital.
As soon as I got to the hospital, the doctor determined that I was already 10 cm – which was later determined hours later not true by way of an ultrasound still showing my son healthy and myself only having dilated a couple centimeters. My friend called the hospice nurse for me to make arrangements for them to get my Gramma for the night and within a few hours, my son’s Godmothers were both at the hospital along with my brother who had brought my boyfriend to the hospital. Around 8pm, the physician, realizing I was not yet dilated so far and realizing the baby was still healthy, placed my body headside, upside down in a last attempt to save the baby and to stop my labor and contractions. The entire time, I kept telling everyone to make sure no one told my Gramma what was going on because I didn’t want her to worry or think it was at all her fault.  After hours of labor and contractions, my son was born at 9:54 p.m. They gave him to me shortly after and he was absolutely beautiful. He already looked exactly like his father with his nose, mouth, and size – his father is 6’4″ tall and around 250 lbs. My son was already 5.3 ounces, 19.5 cm’s long, and had large hands and feet with all 20 fingers and toes with nails already. I could not look at him enough and they let me keep him until I was ready to let him go which was not until the next evening. The moment my body pushed him out, I felt the most heart wrenching, gutting grief I could ever have imagined. I knew I was more attached but didn’t know how deeply I already loved him. I also didn’t realize how much my boyfriend already loved him until he was himself throwing up with grief, still wanted to name him his Jr., and emotionally broke down Sunday morning after staying up and amazingly taking care of me the entire first night I was home.
Around 1:00am the night we lost our son, while laying next to him, I could not sleep and took a look at my phone which my friends had been using to correspond with my family throughout the evening. I learned from looking at the text messages that they had all been withholding from me that my Gramma had also passed while I was being rushed to the hospital earlier that afternoon. Turns out, her last words were telling me not to move her because of the baby. I think she heard me crying before taking off to the hospital and knew what was about to happen and so left to care for him or left and took him with her.
The physicians have no reason for my miscarriage – so far, no infection has been detected, my cervix was fine, the baby was perfect. They swear up and down caring for my Gramma did not cause it, although I still have my doubts about that and believe they may just be trying to console me. But regardless why, my life revolved around both of them and the Earth shattered beneath me. I still feel like it was all yesterday four weeks later and the grief for each of them together and individually is beyond understanding. But, I take some comfort in knowing that my Gramma is taking care of him for me and even think she may have taken him to have a part of me. She lived for me as much as I lived for her, but I loved her so much that I’m okay with her taking him from me although it doesn’t lesson any of the heartbreak. What most do not understand is that I did not lose just my Gramma, I lost my best friend and soulmate that night. What even more people don’t understand is that we did not lose a fetus, we lost our beautiful, perfect son that night.

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