O is For Omie

This section tells the tale of my second son Omie, the little warrior who drove me to start this blog. Mommy and Daddy love you forever and always, my sweet son.

You are rooted deep within my soul, a part of me forever. In the deepest parts of my heart, there you are.

The Beautiful Beginning

After losing our little Noah in May, Jason & I knew we wanted to try again. We took the time to grieve, to process what had happened, and to run several diagnostic tests to ensure I was healthy and able to carry another baby. Again we considered the timing, when a little one’s arrival would be least disruptive to our studies (again L O L at us) and decided to aim for a May due date. And again, we were incredibly lucky – we decided to get pregnant and we did.

Jason was gone the first few days of September on a business trip, and I just “felt” pregnant so I tested – and tested again and again and again to see those pink lines, to see them get darker every day. When Jason came home, I had a positive pregnancy test and a “I Heart Dad” onesie on the bed. Our reaction wasn’t quite the same as it was the first time, with Noah, because were both painfully aware of the dangers that lie ahead, but we were cautiously optimistic for this little miracle. 

By this time, I was being seen by a reproductive endocrinologist as well as my normal OBGYN so we got the benefit of lots of testing and ultrasounds early on. I was anxious at every appointment, afraid that something would go wrong or the heartbeat would stop, but things went perfectly for months. At our 12 week ultrasound in November, our little one – affectionately known as “Blueb” (for blueberry) – spread his legs wide and made his sex known. This was confirmed by blood testing done the same week. 

We announced our rainbow pregnancy on Thanksgiving, around the 15/16 week mark, and started to really plan for baby’s arrival. We discussed names, and decided on Roberto Omar Diaz II, after Jason’s father. We planned to call him Omar, but from the day of that 12 week ultrasound to the day he passed, our little one was always known as Omie. We created a baby registry, talked about the timing of the baby shower, took weekly bump photos, and started looking at new homes and nurseries. We felt safe and secure and blessed for the miracle growing inside of me.

The Incompetent Interval 

On January 7, at 21 weeks, we went to the OBGYN’s office for the normal mid-pregnancy anatomy/morphology scan. We stared at the ultrasound screen in amazement, looking at his perfect little face and how much he had grown. All was well with our son, he was perfect in every identifiable way. The ultrasound tech went to check cervical length, which is normally checked halfway through pregnancy, and this is about when our world stopped. She checked and then checked again, and told me that my cervix was only measuring about 0.8 to 1 cm – it should’ve been at least 2.5 cm, if not longer, at that point. We went into the exam room immediately to speak to my OB, who diagnosed me with an incompetent cervix and told us to head straight to the hospital for admission.

My last bump photo with Omie

At the hospital, the doctors & nurses took swabs and blood samples and did all sorts of checks, and found that my cervix was not only short, but had dilated to 3 cm and the amniotic sac was bulging through. They got me started on progesterone, contraction meds, antibiotics, and probably some other things I’ve since forgotten.

I spent the next few days in the antepartum ward, with constant monitoring and several cervical checks, but by Thursday it was clear that the doctors could not place an emergency cervical stitch (cerclage) without breaking my water or introducing infection. Because there was no other medical intervention to be done at that point, they discharged me and told to come back at 23 weeks for re-admission. 

I was at my parent’s home for all of three hours before I had to rush to the emergency room at another hospital. By this point, my white blood cell count suggested that I was developing an infection, but we were hopeful that the medication would work and we would make it to 23 weeks. Over the next few days, I got used to life on hospital bed rest and prepared for a long wait till my son’s arrival – but the Universe had other plans.

The Emotional Ending

Around 5:30 PM on Saturday January 12, I started having contractions. I paged the nurse and they put on the contraction monitor and we waited to see what would happen. After an hour of constant contractions about 3-5 minutes apart, they started more meds to see what could be done and paged the OB on call, a wonderful woman that had been caring for me since Thursday. 

Instead of slowing down or stopping, my contractions got more intense and closer together. I was running a fever of about 101 at this point, my heart rate had spiked into the 130s-140s (I usually have a resting heart rate of around 60), and the bloodwork showed that my white blood cell count had increased dramatically.

The doctor did her best to explain what was happening, but I can imagine it is wildly difficult to explain to a mother that she has an infection and her body is responding to that infection by trying to rid itself of the infected tissue AKA her unborn child and his amniotic sac. Jason and I had to suddenly prepare ourselves for the birth of our son, at a gestational age when no hospital would try to save him, when he had no chance of life. 

Omie Diaz was born sleeping at 11:47 PM on January 12, 2019, weighing 1 lb 2 oz and measuring 11.22 inches. He was beautiful and perfect in every way. He looked exactly like his father, except for his cheeks – he had my chubby cheeks. We decided on Omie for the name, because when he was born, his “chosen name” just didn’t fit – he was and will always be Omie. Jason and I spent hours holding our son, loving him and taking photos and basking in joy. It sounds silly, to be joyous when we knew our son would not come home with us, but birth is a funny thing. 

As I finish this section, I notice that it has been exactly 166 hours since Omie’s birth, or just two hours short of a week. Seven days. Somehow I have managed to live my life, without my son, for seven days. How I’ve done it is a blog post for another time, but for now, this is enough. Just sharing Omie’s story is enough.