Imagine a love so strong that saying hello and goodbye at the same time was worth the sorrow.

November 25, 2010

Kolton Sage Sanchez's Arrival: 11/23/2010 10:20 am (CST) 5 lbs 8 oz and 17.5 inches long

Early Monday morning (1:00 am) on November 22nd, 2010-- I was standing in the bathroom and there was a popping feeling and a small gush of water. I rushed out and told my husband, Kelby, and he thought that we should go to the hospital but I didn't think it was my water that broke so we didn't go up to the hospital. Throughout the whole day, I was trickling water. Kelby said to call the hospital and explain to them and to see what they wanted us to do. At about 3:30, my mom called the Hays hospital because I had to go to an appt with my daughter. Hays hospital said to go to the emergency room here or to go to Hays because if my water broke then we had 24 hours to have our baby before an infection set in.

Once the appointment was over, Kelby and I went down to the hospital in town. The nurse was beyond amazing. She did a test strip (can't remember the name) and said, Yes, your water broke. The Dr. came in and checked my cervix and said I was 2cm and 50% effaced and said it did in fact break. He did another test and said that it didn't break. Then, he said he didn't know for sure if it broke or not and that we can go home or go to Hays just in case.

We decided to go to Hays. It was about 6pm or 7pm. We went home and packed our bag and Kelby's mom came to town and picked us up and we left to go to Hays. We figured that we would get sent back home, with everything that the Dr. here had said. We were put into an OB room and the nurse checked my cervix and said I was 3cm and 90% effaced and she did a test that is accurate to determine if my water broke and she said my water did break. She said that if I didn't go into active labor by 4am-5am that they were going to start me on Pitocin. She said I was having contractions but I had yet to feel them. We tried our best to get some sleep, but sleep never came. We were scared and nervous and just weren't quite ready!!

When we found out my water broke, Kolton's grandma Polly, Kolton's big sissy, Kolton's auntie Ray, Kolton's uncle Andy, Kolton's aunt Heather, Kolton's grandpa Dan, and Kolton's cousins Kyla, Taiya, and Arrionna, and Kolton's aunt Shelly and Kolton's cousin Sophia started heading down from Goodland. Our families sat with us and we all talked and then they waited in the waiting room. Our wonderful Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep photographer, came to our room and we talked and decided what we wanted to do, then she left and said to call her when things start happening.
It was 4:42 am when they started the Pitocin. I started feeling contractions shortly after that. They were so intense. They were getting very strong and 2 minutes apart. The nurse kept asking me if I wanted an epidural yet, I kept telling her no, not yet. I wanted to wait it out until I absolutely needed one. I remember hearing a baby down the hall crying and I told Kelby, I hope Kolton is born crying.

A new nurse came in at 7 and checked me and I was at 4cm and 100% effaced. The contractions were so strong and hurt so much. By 9:30, I was in so much pain that I asked for the epidural. Not long after that, I became dilated to 6 cm. About half an hour later, I was dilated to 8 cm. At 10:00, the nurse said it was baby time. I just couldn't believe it. Our little man was coming so soon. I still felt every contraction and that's what helped me push when I needed to. Throughout all of these contractions, Kolton's heartbeat remained strong. Our Dr. came in and told me to start pushing with the next contraction. To hold my breath to the count of 8 and push as hard as I could. A nurse was holding my left leg and Kelby was by my right side holding my leg and my hand. The Dr. told us when Kolton was in the birth canal and he was still moving his head around. This took about 5 different times. Towards the last few times, Kolton's heartbeat started dipping and slowing down drastically. I pushed with everything that I had to get him out as fast as possible. His heartbeat got slower and slower with every push. The Dr. kept telling me to breathe deep breaths so Kolton can get some air and that this is getting really hard on him and his heart is slowing down. Kolton was born at 10:20 am Central Time. His Daddy cut the umbilical cord. He wasn't breathing so the nurses tried to initiate his breathing. That didn't work because his heart had stopped right before he was born. The Dr. was talking but I couldn't hear him. I was staring so intently at Kolton and the nurses trying to get him to breathe. I was willing for him to breathe and the nurses put the breathing thing on him and kept staring at each other, saying no. The Dr told me, "hold him". I said yes. He was then put in my arms.

Our sweet, beautiful angel was here!  I held and kissed him and counted his perfect little toes and his little fingers. He was born with one eye open, as if he were taking in his surroundings. His eye was Dark blue. He was born with his mouth open. Daddy and I took in every detail of him. He has Daddy's hair and there was quite a bit of it! He has baby fuzz everywhere. If you look at him just right in the light, it looks like he has sideburns like his daddy. =) He was fuzzy on his back (which his daddy was trying to tell everyone that he got that from me. lol. which he didn't, by the way), his arms, his shoulders, just everywhere! He has his daddy's ears and his mommy's full lips. He has big precious little feet and long arms. He has little blonde curled eyelashes. He has a line in the middle of his big toe and the softest skin. He has such tiny tiny little fingernails with lines in the middle just like his daddy. His perfect little fingers and how they wrapped around my finger so perfectly. He has this beautiful heart shaped face. He weighed 5 lbs 8 ounces and 17.5 inches long! Kolton's big sissy came in right away and so did Kolton's grandparents. They each held him and gave him so much love that I am sure that he could feel it in Heaven.

Karen took pictures and my sister recorded a video and took some pictures as well. There were family and friends and our pastor that came to see Kolton. We were just surrounded by so much love. I couldn't begin to express how thankful I was to have these amazing people in our lives. We had such a wonderful staff of nurses as well. They went above and beyond to help us. Our nurse, Lisa, did his hand and feet molds, did his handprints and footprints, cut some of his hair for us, helped Daddy and I give him his first bath, she put his handprints on a christmas ornament, among many other things. The hospital gave us a satin bag with a baby book in it, a tile to get his footprints on, a little gold ring for him to wear, and a few other things. Karen and my sister captured all of these precious moments in time for us to cherish forever. These people are such a blessing. Thank you all so much.

Daddy and I gave him his first bath. We have a recording of part of it. His skin was so soft. We put baby lotion on him and just held him and loved on him some more. We couldn't get enough of him. We did hand and feet molds- we got big sissy and his hand holding her finger, my fingers with his hand holding one of them, and his foot.

We put him into a little kansas chiefs onesie. On the front it says "Born to be a Chiefs fan", on the back it says, "I poop on the Broncos". =) My sister took some more pictures of him.

We participated in the Duke Study (to try and find a cure for anencephaly) and that was the only time that he was ever taken out of the room until the funeral home came to pick him up.

Our families left to head home and we spent some time with Kolton, just admiring our sweet son. Our pastor came and said a prayer with us. He was going to take some pictures but the funeral home had to come pick Kolton up. I am hoping that we can get some more pictures though, I don't think that we could have enough.

The funeral home came to get him around 4 or 5 and that is when my heart broke into pieces. That was the hardest part. I asked that he stay wrapped in his little blanket and that his little lamb go with him. I didn't want him to be all alone and most of all I didn't want to abandon him to a complete stranger. They were wheeling him out of our room and the pain was so unbearable. I wanted to scream at them to stop them from taking our baby away from us.

We had to stay overnight in the hospital. We stayed in the same room, though we were given the option to move to a different floor so that we didn't hear the sounds of the other babies being born.

So raw with grief. We were discharged the next day a little after 8:00 am. We went to Walgreens to drop off my prescription of Percocet, though I didn't plan on ever taking any. I want to feel all of this. The physical pain could never match up to the mental and emotional pain that I am feeling.

We went and picked up Kolton at the funeral home. I was so happy to finally have our baby back. His mouth was closed and he looked so at peace. They had to cut him on his collarbone to do the embalming, I just want to kiss his boo-boo away. =(  They did such an amazing job. They even did it free of charge. Amazing people.

We went back to walgreens and I got my prescription and Daddy held Kolton. We thought he was heavy when he was born and now it seemed he was doubly so.

We headed back to Goodland. Daddy driving and Kolton in Mommy's arms. I will cherish these moments forever. When we got to town, we went to my mom's house and Kolton's aunts got to hold him for the first time, and his papa, and his great grandma, and his cousin, and of course everyone else held him again. =)

We had to take him to the funeral home before the funeral home directors left for lunch. We took him down there at about 11:40 on the 24th. I held him while we talked and made final arrangements. I gave him a kiss on his cheek and told him I loved him. Daddy held him. I asked that he stay wrapped in his blankey and that his little lamb stay with him. Daddy asked where they were going to be keeping him and she said in the coldest room in his little casket. Oh, how I wish he could come home with us. ='(. She took him from us and I just broke again...You can feel your heart when it's breaking.

We went home and spent time together as a family. Last night, was our first night back and it was so hard to be there without our precious baby. His big sissy slept with his bear. Daddy and I slept with his blankey that he is going to be buried with. I also held tight to the little bear that I recorded his heartbeat and his kicks on and finally cried myself to sleep. I miss our baby so much and although we knew that we would lose him, there is nothing that could have prepared us for this. The pain and heartache is unbearable and where do you find peace? I feel so guilty that if I had pushed harder that maybe he would have been born alive.

Today, my amazing sister brought over some pictures that she took and ones that Karen took. She brought the videos that were taken as well. These ladies are so gifted at what they do. I am going to be watching those soon. I miss Kolton so much. The funeral home said that we can go in on Friday and hold him and rock him, I am looking forward to holding our little baby again. I wish I could hold him forever. I would never let him go.

I will be adding more pictures to share of our sweet angel who has blessed our lives in so many ways.
I may have missed things too, and if I did I will update with them.

Some people only dream of angels. We got to hold one in our arms.

November 14, 2010

Kolton's Birth Plan

Birth Plan for:
Kolton Sage Sanchez

Son of Kelby and Lacy Sanchez. Little Brother to Alexia.

On June 23rd, 2010, 18 weeks into our pregnancy we were devastated to learn that our son, Kolton Sage, had anencephaly. We realize that Kolton will look different physically and will have facial anomalies. We hope that everyone can see him for who he is, our beautiful little baby. We may only have seconds or minutes with him, but we may also be blessed with hours or days. As Kolton's parents, it is our greatest wish to be able to cherish every moment we have with our baby, in a loving and caring environment. We have compiled this list of requests and wishes regarding his birth and care in order to make this experience as easy as possible for all involved. Please do not hesitate to ask us for clarification, if it is needed. Please don’t mind if we change our wishes at any time. Our wishes all revolve around our need to spend as much precious time with Kolton as possible and to prevent him from suffering during that time. Our wishes are as follows:

We ask that our son be referred to as Kolton.

We wish to have a sign placed on our door that designates what type of situation Kolton's birth is. We prefer not to have extraneous staff entering our room without speaking to our nurse first (i.e. housekeeping, dietary).

If possible, we request nurses specifically trained in bereavement.

We are participating in a research study conducted by Duke for neural tube defects, which includes anencephaly. For this study, blood must be collected from both Kelby and Lacy Sanchez. Also, tissue must be obtained from Kolton after Kolton has passed. Supplies have been provided by Duke and can be obtained from Kelby or Lacy. Directions for obtaining the tissue and blood samples will be provided along with directions for packaging and sending all samples. If any questions arise you may contact Heidi Cope, MS- Certified Genetic Counselor at Duke University Medical Center Center for Human Genetics:: 1-877-825-1694.

We ask not to be judged and that each member of the medical profession provide us with excellent medical care and the compassion to allow us, as much as you are capable, privacy to celebrate Kolton's life with close family and friends. It is our belief that precious time with Kolton is the only thing that will soothe the pain of those that love him.

We are planning on a vaginal delivery unless a c-section is necessary. We prefer to have continuous fetal monitoring during labor and delivery. Also the monitoring of heart tones Any drugs used should have minimal side effects and present the least risk to Lacy and Kolton while still providing pain relief; given it in the smallest dose that will be effective; Lacy wants to, and needs to be, alert during and after delivery. Lacy would like to have an epidural. Please respect our right to make all decisions regarding the birth should anything unforeseen occur.

We have arranged for a photographer, Karen Bonar, to be present after delivery. She is affiliated with Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, a bereavement organization and will be taking pictures of us and our baby. Her number is (316) 371-7846. Rachel Ford will also be taking pictures and video immediately after Kolton is born. Please accommodate these ladies as much as you can. Any pictures and video they obtain will be very important to us to look back on.

Kelby will stay in the room with Lacy at all times.

Assuming they do not rupture on their own, please do not rupture the amniotic membranes artificially. The membranes and fluid will help protect Kolton's head during labor and delivery. We feel this will increase Kolton's chances of being born alive.

Cutting of the umbilical cord is to be done by Kelby, if he wants to cut it.

We have a special blanket that we would like Kolton wrapped in as soon as he is born.

As long as it is safe for Lacy, we want her to be able to hold Kolton immediately following delivery. If Lacy is unable to hold Kolton, we would like Kolton to be handed to Kelby. We wish to cherish all the time we have with him. Every second counts.

We want Kolton’s airway to be suctioned as soon as he is born to help him breathe. We would like to hold Kolton as soon as possible. We want to be told right away if he is breathing or if he has a pulse. If he is not breathing, we would like efforts made to help initiate his breathing. We would also like him given supplemental oxygen if needed. If he is doing poorly, we ask that he be given to us to hold. If he is to die right away, we want it to be in a parent’s arms.

We would like mechanical assistance to be used only temporarily to initiate Kolton's breathing. We do not want any extraordinary measures taken to maintain breathing or to initiate his heartbeat. We request that blow-by oxygen be available if we want to use it.

Since it is possible that Kolton is going to be with us for only a short amount of time we want every second possible with him in our arms, beginning from the moment of his birth. Please delay (or even prevent if possible) any procedures that can be put off until later. If any procedures must be done we ask that they be done while Kolton is in our arms.

We anticipate that Kolton will be born with a large opening to his occipital area and neural tissue will be exposed. If he is in stable condition, we would like a dressing placed to any open area AFTER we have been allowed to see it.

We would like Kolton to be kept warm.

We may want routine admission medications given, such as erythromycin ointment, or Vitamin K, and we may want his blood sugar monitored, if requested.

We ask that you give us privacy, without abandoning us. Encourage us to do whatever feels right.

We do not want Kolton to be taken from the delivery room at any time, by any person, for any reason. For however long we may have with him, we want him in the room with us.

If Kolton lives long enough we would like to feed him. We would like to breast feed him. If he lives long enough to require nutrition, if he doesn't take to the breast then we want to bottle feed him, however, if he is unable to be bottle fed we do want a feeding tube inserted.

In the event that Kolton does not die immediately, or soon after birth, we may consider having an IV inserted for the administration of pain medication. We wish to make Kolton's time on earth as pain-free and comfortable as possible.

In the event that Kolton is experiencing severe seizures and seems uncomfortable or in pain, we may consider the administration of anti-seizure medication.

We want the nursing staff to weigh and measure Kolton when we request it. Should we forget to request it, please do it prior to him leaving the hospital.

We would like the opportunity to give Kolton his first bath.

If Kolton looks like he won’t survive during our time in the hospital we want him to be with us and we want to be holding him in our arms when he leaves us. When he has passed please notify staff members who will come in contact with us. Please do not take him away from us after he passes.We will let you know when we are ready for you to do any routine procedure on him. If we are blessed with the opportunity to take Kolton home with us please give us advice on how to feed him and care for his head (with dressings etc.).

Please do not allow anyone in our room without talking to us first. We want our daughter, Alexia who is 10 years old, in the room immediately after delivery. We would like to have the option to bring our family to in the room to meet Kolton and spend time with him. We ask your assistance in keeping them updated as we request it. We might need your help with getting visitors in when we are ready. Polly Potterf- Lonnie Potterf and Marlene Penton- Danny Penton are to be the first visitors. They are his grandparents. Followed by immediate relatives. Kolton has family that is very eager to meet him. If possible, we want them to be able to spend time with Kolton while he is still alive. Time is of the essence for us and we do not want any avoidable regrets or missed opportunities.

We do not want Kolton to go to the morgue at any time. We will call Bateman Funeral Home directly when we are ready to say goodbye to Kolton. We will be taking him to the funeral home ourselves. We have made prior arrangements for this. Bateman Funeral Home can be contacted at: (785) 890-6600.

If any caregiver has a suggestion or an idea that you think may be helpful, please share it with us, as there are many things we might not have thought of.

We would like to have as many keepsakes and mementos as possible. Please save the following items for us to take home:
the bassinet card
baby blanket
any photographs taken by the hospital
hospital ID bracelet and cord clamp
hand and footprints (we also wish to have footprints put in frames that we have brought with us)
mold of hands and feet (we have kits with us)
lock of hair if possible
clothing Kolton may have worn
heart rate/contraction strips from any monitoring
and any other things you think we may wish to have

This is a very difficult time for all of us. We truly appreciate your help and support, and ask that you understand the varied range of emotions we may experience. We also appreciate and find comfort in your expressions of grief, so please do not hesitate to show your emotions in front of us. We have tried our best to prepare for our short time with our little Kolton. Saying "Hello" and "Goodbye" in such a short period of time will not be easy. With your help and support we hope to make this time as meaningful as possible.
Thank you,
Kelby and Lacy Sanchez

Thinking of you, Kolton

I haven't updated in awhile.
I lost my mucus plug last Sunday, Nov. 7th. I've been bouncing back and forth between being 1cm dilated to being 2 cms dilated. We had a Dr. appt on November 10th and my cervix was 50% effaced at that point. But that still gives us no idea when our little man will be here. =) I am not rushing it. He can stay safe inside as long as possible.

Our first appointment with our new Doctor was as amazing because he was the only Doctor that we could find who wanted to give our baby every chance possible. It makes me sad that now, it's more about my health and me because "there's no hope for our baby. So, no point to do any unnecessary things to my body, etc." I asked how he would know if the baby was in the right position to be born. He said, Even if the baby is breech, he will not give me an emergency C-section because of the risk it poses to me. It will pose risks to the baby because of the breech position but he seems to think that there's no point if there is nothing that can be done for our baby. That breaks my heart. He apologizes every time for being crass---
He also said that if I don't go into labor by our due date that he won't let me go past 42 weeks, which is December 6th. I really wish he understood our situation. I really wish that he knew that we are unemployed, that we have to borrow a vehicle every week just to make it out of town, that it costs $50 in gas every week just to see him for 10 minutes so he can remind us that there's nothing that can be done for our baby,  that it's going to be interesting when I go into labor and driving 2 hours to get to Hays because he refuses to induce us at any point unless I am 42 weeks along, and that this is OUR baby and we want him to be born ALIVE, dammit. We KNOW our baby's condition is fatal, don't think we are naive. We want him to be born alive among other things. But being born alive is a [[HUGE]] very important thing to us.

We also met with a pediatrician. She was amazing. She talked to us about options and told us we needed to finetune a birthplan. We need to actually finally talk about this and see what we would like to do when Kolton is born. We have kind of put it off because it is a hard thing to deal with but we are only 8 days away from our due date so we better get in gear.