Saturday, October 8, 2011

At a Loss

It is hard to keep positive thoughts and outlooks when life is just not the same. This past Wednesday morning, my sweet Brock passed away. When we brought him home from the NICU a few weeks ago, we brought him home not eating well and not being able to stool on his own. The problem did not improve so each week when I took him to the pediatrician; I expressed my concerns. After trying all at home remedies to produce poo: prune juice, karo syrup, etc. our Dr began to explore the idea that is could be an anatomy problem or a bowel issue such as Hirschprungs Disease. She scheduled for us to do a barium dye test to track his bowel movement for the next Monday. This elated me as to he would be getting relief as well as us getting answers as to why he is not able to go to the bathroom; something that has been needed to be done for quite sometime.

It wasn't but a day or so after the pediatrician appointment that we noticed Brock becoming even more fussy. We got up and going early on Sunday in hopes of taking the entire family to church. I picked out the boys' matching Sunday outfits and got them dressed and wrapped in burp cloths as to not soil their Sunday best!!! I propped each boys bottle and began to feed. Brock barely took ten milliliters before vomiting a dark vomit with red in it. Because I had been using karo syrup in his bottle; I questioned if it was the syrup...but the red could not be explained. I rushed my little boy to the ER where he continued to throw up dark and red. I panicked on the inside while trying to be a comfort to him. After testing was done and his previous records were reviewed; the ER doctor highly suspected of him having Hirschprungs Disease. What he was vomiting was his own stool. He admitted us to the Peds floor; something I was not ready to do over again. Once on the floor the Dr on call told us that they would not be doing anything for more testing because we had the only test they would have done scheduled for the next day and he was not showing signs of sickness as he was still feeding. Having three other little boys at home I asked if we could just go home and do the test outpatient as originally planned. After seeking the advice of his attending doctor, he cam back and told us there was no reason for us to be admitted but they can not deny a ER doctor from wanting someone admitted so they discharged us. Home we went. Grateful I was. He had no new issues over the night. We got up and going and went to have the test done. As he was getting instant relief from the test; I was anxiously awaiting the results. The radiologist showed me that there was a block in his bowel; not completely blocked off as some of the dye was able to flow through, but bad enough that he can not push stool around and it was completely backed up to one side of his intestines. She highly thought that he had a high transition point of Hirschprungs Disease; which would ultimately require surgery. When was the question. First a biopsy would have to be done to see for sure if the cells were dead and that the disease it was and then the surgery to follow.

The attending doctor we saw while admitted on the Peds floor, called minutes after we left the appointment to discuss the results. He also agreed that Brock's test showed some sort of obstruction and put a consult in to surgery to begin a game plan. He told me he would notify our pediatrician and that she would tell us more of the plan during our Wednesday appointment. We never made it to that appointment.

After the test, Brock continued to have stools during every diaper as we were told to expect since he had the barium enema for the test. He began decreasing what he took in and became very lethargic and screamed when he was touched or moved. It was a rough night for us all. We woke up on Tuesday to a phone call from our pediatrician checking in on him. I told her how he was acting and she said to bring him back to the hospital where they would admit him to follow him more closely. She told us that surgery would see us that day and it would probably take place in a few days. That is not how it happened at all. Surgery never came and the doctors told us it was probably a virus or infection causing the watery diapers, fever and fussiness. Jeff stayed with Brock as someone must accompany him at all times and I went home to be with the boys who were being taken care of by neighbors. I continued on the schedule with the other three boys. Jeff's mom was flying in anticipation that Brock would be in the hospital for a little while as we thought he was having surgery. I was overwhelmed with three other fussy boys and the thought of being away from my little boy. After feeding Brock a bottle he went to get his mom, brought her home and returned to Brock. I got a call two hours later from Jeff. He was frantically telling me that something was wrong and that Brock was now in the PICU and being put on a breathing machine and he didn't think he was going to make it. I lost it. I woke up Jeff's mom and gave her the quick run down on how to feed the babies and sped out the door to get to my baby. I ran as fast as I could up to the PICU where I saw Jeff talking to the chaplain. This was the indicator to me that things were not ok. I went in to see them working on Brock and just held his little hand. The doctor was trying to make an explanation for what was going on with my sweet boy. He thought he had an overwhelming infection as well as his bowels being a cause for his stomach to being so distended that it was causing him not to breathe. The surgeon came to examine the xrays, dye study we had done the day before and to see if an emergency surgery was needed. She came out and told us she did not deem it necessary to do the surgery and told us she would wait until he was more stable at an unknown day or time...days, weeks, months, ? I asked her if she thought he was going to die. She looked at me and said first off what we have heard a hundred times. "I have no crystal ball; however, I do not think so since his counts and numbers were rising." This was reassuring to me. I walked back in to be with Brock and things just get fuzzy from here. His stomach was huge and his umbilical hernia which he has had for a couple of months now that was already huge; was even bigger. His hands and feet had a red rash that was growing. His color pale. His body still. His lungs began not responding to the ventilator so they decided to hook him to the high pressure vent. Before he got to that point; he went into cardiac arrest and they spent the next hour pumping him full of meds and giving him CPR. He was still not responding so they shocked his heart and continued CPR. Two familiar faces from the NICU were with us and I looked at the nurse Brock called his "girlfriend" and asked her if my little boy was going to make it. When her eyes got red; I knew. But I just could not accept it. I prayed like I have never prayed before; begging God to not take my baby. I stayed positive and faithful knowing that he would be spared and an unexplained miracle was going to happen and my baby would pull through. I still wish this was the outcome. However it was not. I had to say goodbye to my little Brock while leaving the hospital with an empty car seat and an empty feeling. I was not a triplet mom, I am a quad mom...I don't know how to just do three babies; I do four. Who was my little Keaton going to sleep with now. What were we going to do.

As much as I wanted to crawl into bed and not get out...I had three other boys ready to start their day who needed a strong mommy. So that is what I did and is what I have done. I had no idea what the next steps were; a momma is not suppose to bury their child is all I knew. I also knew that I had to bring Brock back home to Florida where he belonged and was going to do everything in my power to make it happen. In a matter of two days; Jeff and I met with the necessary people and have arranged his funeral in Panama City. I am writing this from the airport waiting for our flight. I hated to leave my other boys behind. I am fearful that something like what happened to Brock will happen to one of my others; and that scared me. I do not want them out of my sight. This is when I turn to God and pray for that strength. As much as I want to be angry at the doctors for allowing him to go home when he was having feeding and stooling issues and as angry I am for them sending us home after the ER and for the surgeons never coming that day to review him...I can not. As much as I do not understand why my little boy was taken away when he worked so hard to stay here; I know that one day I will find my answer. God does not make mistakes. He knew what he was doing when he gave me my four blessings; and he knew what he was doing when he brought Brock back to heaven. All I know is that now his brothers will always have an angel with them. I yearn for my little boy. I do not want to say that final goodbye on Monday; but I just have to seek the strength from Him to get me through. And even though I have only three boys at home...I will always be blessed times four.


  1. I love you, Hallie Paige. You are a great mommy and Brock is most certainly an angel.

  2. Prayers for you all. May God give you strength and comfort.
    Camilla Hudson

  3. Hallie I am so sorry for your loss and we are praying for you! My grandson is 1 month old born on September 29th and not passing stool like a 1 month old should so because of that my sister shared this link with me... I am going to share with my daughter you might be saving a life by posting this and I thank you from the bottom of my heart and I give you a great big hug for sharing your story!

    Kim Ellis-Koceja

  4. I commend your strenth and faith in the Lord. Love to all.

  5. We have been praying for you throughout your pregnancy and our prayers will continue. We lost our son Matthew last year at 29 weeks to Trisomy 18. It has been the most difficult period of our lives, but the Lord saw us through it all. We, and you, were blessed to hold an angel in your arms. Your three here with you will help you through this. It will not be easy, but He is always with you. "I can do ALL things in Him who strengthens me."