Alex Aiden Gulbis | 16 October 2014 – 25 October 2014 | 2lb 10 oz (1.2 kg) | 33 cm | Born at 28 weeks | South Africa

Written By Louise Gulbis

Baby’s Name: Alex Aiden

Date of Birth: 16 – 10 – 2014

Sadly passed away on 25 October 2014

Original Due date: 1 January

Weeks Pregnant: 28 weeks

Baby’s Weight: 1.2 kg

Baby’s Height: 33cm

20141028_132920 edit 2 with name

On the 14th of May 2014 We found out we were expecting again.
Went for a sonar soon after the positive pregnancy test and found out we were already 7 weeks along. But the morning sickness was intense. Everything was great with baby and pregnancy. At 19 weeks I had a little bit of spotting and went to Dr and was told I had infection and was given something to treat it. Then at 23 weeks I had light bleeding and went to the Dr and we found out that I had placenta abruption. My Dr explained that it could cause problems and that I must be placed on bed rest till our next appointment. But every few days I had bleeding.

By 26 weeks the abruption got bigger and I was told that we might deliver Baby early and I was given celestesone shots in case something happens. I was kept on strict bed rest. On my 28 weeks appointment everything seemed fine. Two days later on a Sunday morning I had more intense watery bleeding and went to emergency where we noticed my water has broken and I was admitted to hospital with premature rapture of membranes. They did blood test and there was signs of infection and was put on antibiotics and daily blood test to see the infection count. We did a sonar gram and there was no water left at all. But my Dr wanted to keep baby in as long as needed only if the infection climbs would we remove my baby boy. They did ctg every 3h to keep an eye in baby.

Thursday morning everyone rushed into my room to prep me for theatre we were going to have an emergency c section. Cause the infection count has sky rocketed. I was scared cause I now he was early and he still needed a long time in the womb, but I was also confident cause our medical technology is so great that the Nicu Staff was not even worried about a 28 weeker being born. But I was still so scared. I still had morning sickness that same morning . I was crying so much as they took me to theatre. Was hoping they completely put me out cause I could not grab hold of my emotions. But at least one of the assistants managed to calm me down before the operation. I got a spinal c section.

I hated the feeling of the pressure in my back. I jumped every time so my dr came to help hold me over my shoulders to get the needle in my back. I was told to immediately lie down before my legs went dead. My legs started to feel like pins and needles. As they placed the catheter in It just felt like pins and needles as it was placed in. Same with them cutting me felt like pins and needles. The operation room was sooo full I had two NICU nurses there, My baby’s Pediatrician, my doctor, he had his assistant and students. The anesthesiologist and two other nurses that stayed with me to keep me calm, wish I knew her name she was so amazing to me. Same as the dr that did my spinal he was also great in helping me stay calm, and my husband but he was in just as much shock as me. I wanted him to take a photo of my baby’s birth but he could not he was to traumatized about the whole ordeal and the bucket of blood by his feet from me. Was just lying there taking deep breaths trying to stay calm. Felt the the pins and needles as my dr did the c section felt the dr tugging And I heard my Dr say, Wow But you are such a tiny baby, and then I heard him cry.

He cried almost just as loud as a full term baby, The sweetest cry I ever heard in my life. It was such a relieving sound. I saw him from a distance as they were busy working on him. And As they were taking him to the nicu The pediatrician quickly brought him over so I can get a good look at him and give him a kiss. I was hesitant at first and just touched his tiny face. And His pediatricians said give him a kiss gave him a tiny kiss on his cheek/ Face Was so nice. My husband followed baby Alex out to NICU. I Never got to see him again until the next day but he was doing really good. He had perfect vitals and his APGR scores were great. He was 1.2 kg

He was only on cpap. And doing really good for his age.
I waited for them to remove my placenta.  They were tugging at it a lot and struggled to get it out or at least felt like it. As they moved me to recovery part of theatre I felt like I could not breathe. Was so frustrating as I was on my back and could not really move myself up. But could move quite a lot and started getting a lot of feeling back. Poor nurses had to move me from side to side till I felt a bit better. I lost a lot of blood in operation. I was not allowed to get anything for pain as my blood pressure was super low. When I got back to my room hubby was waiting for me and got to see photos of my little baby boy. I was in so much pain I just wanted to sleep. Took me a while to get comfortable but finally managed to turn on my tummy and fall asleep like that for 3 h till I got some pain medication. It made me so high was not sure what was going on around me to much.
Next day my angel was in a bit of distress and showing signs of infection, It made him a bit tired so he was placed onto the ventilator. He was doing good despite the infection. He was drinking 1 ml of milk every 3h. On the 19th of October All Alex tests came back great. His brain was good his hart was good. His infection count was dropping really well went from 27 to 12. He did have some jaundice but was suspected to happen to all preemie babies. On the 20th October Alex was doing even better. His ventilator got weaned down from 60% to 32%. They tried to push up his milk intake but he could not tolerate it and was back on 1 ml. 22st October Alex was doing even better looking like he was going to win the battle. His infection count dropped some more all the way to 8.6 from 12. Future looked so bright.

The next day I could not get to hospital the usual morning time I normally did and only went a bit later. Nurses was happy I skipped cause they struggled to get Alex stable the whole morning. He was supposed to be taken off the ventilator, and then he was back to 60% when I got there. Was really scary but figured that my baby’s recovery was going to have his ups and downs. But They said his left lung looks really bad. 23 October. It is going a bit better with Alex he looks much better than the day before. But it is confirmed that he has eczema that formed on his left lung and it is making a puss that needs to be drained every now and then. His infection count went up again. But his kidneys are stronger to be able to have stronger antibiotics. But despite all we are all proud of our baby boy exceeding the expectations of everyone.

24 October. This is where it gets a bit blurry to me.  I know that My husband got a phone call from Alex’s dr and he was in tears. And my heart nearly stopped I thought that something happened to him and all I could think of is no please don’t take him away from me please don’t. Dr just called to say that he is not doing too good and we went straight to hospital to spend some time with him. It was really hard to see him feeling so bad and cried a lot that day but was certain that he would be ok I did not want to give up on him I did not want to lose him. 25 October. My strong little fire made it through the night but he has worsened a lot overnight. The dr called us in to ask if we would consider taking him of life support as everything was starting to fail. We said that we could not we don’t want to give up on Alex and nor should they that they should do everything in their power to save him. We organised for family to meet Alex and he was quite busy that morning – was awake to meet his family members looked every single one of them deep in the eyes.

After everyone met Alex we got some alone time with him again and everything just kept getting worse his heart rate was dropping more and more. We called for someone to baptize him in case he does not make it. I fought against it I did not want to believe I was losing him. But they injected adrenalin into Alex to prevent his heart from failing but it did not work he was slowly slipping away. I remember asking nurse Lynette sometime in all this if she had ever seen a baby this sick recover. And she replied sadly.. NO. And that is when I knew I have to let go that we are losing our son today. !!!!She asked our permission to give him something for the pain, warning us that it might speed things up. We could not watch him be in pain and agreed for pain medication to be administered. And stood by his bed and watched his heart dropping more and more as we were talking to our son.

Then Nurse Lynette told us that he is going to die soon and asked if we would like to hold him. This was the first time we got to hold our son. My husband got to hold him for a while and then he was given to me and I held him and kissed him and tried really hard not to cry all over his face. And held his hand in mine while saying goodbye to him soothing him into death. Then having to feel his body jerking as life leaves him it’s like a move that gets repeated in my head a lot. How he took his last breath and seemed like he suffocated as he jerks a bit in my arms and then having to feel everything just stop and that his lifeless and gone it is the worst moment of my life. Then I got to pick him up cover him with a blankie and taken to a private room. As we opened the NICU door I looked straight into my mother’s eyes and the horrifying look of sadness on her face as she saw me holding Alex in my arms. She walked with us to the room and was there with us when they removed the last bit of tubes and IVs from him.

Then me, my mom and husband dressed Alex up and wrapped him in a blankie. Then my mom held him for a bit and then she left to drive a long route home. Me and my husband sat with him for a few hours taking turns to hold him and tell him how much we love him. And to just to look at that gorgeous baby that we will never see again to remember everything about him. Held him ran my hands through his hair and held his tiny hand till we felt his warm body go cold. That was another horrifying moment to me.  The nurse Lynette brought me a warm blanket from the stuff we got him and we wrapped him in that to make him warmer or to not feel the cold. Then eventually we gave the go ahead to come get Alex. The undertaker took him gently from us as though he was still there placed him in a carry cot and walked out the door placed him in the front seat of his car and drove off. So many times as he was walking I wanted to stop him and just grab Alex and run away with him. But I walked calmly behind him holding my husband’s hand. I felt so dead at that moment.

As I watched the car drive away all I wanted to do was fall to the ground and cry and scream but I just stood there . We turned around and walked back to the room and packed up all his belongings in silence and drove home updating people that Alex is gone….

Photo with pen is his first photo ever taken
Green hat is his photo when he was recovering and doing his best
Black and white photo was last photo ever taken of Alex


Alex Aiden  Born 16 October


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