My husband Dan and I were married for ten years when we moved across the country for job opportunities. For years we were told it wasn’t likely I could get pregnant due to severe endometriosis. Shortly after our move in August of 2018, we were surprised and thrilled to learn we were pregnant with our first son, Carter. The first trimester was filled with nerves because we knew about the chances of miscarriage. Aside from some nausea, it was a picturesque pregnancy. We thought we were “out of the woods” once the second trimester began.
On January 18th, 2019 at 23 weeks and 6 days, our world was turned upside down. I decided to go to the doctor because of increased fluid. Our physician did an ultrasound immediately after the exam, I was so thrilled to see our boy on the screen. But I'll never forget the look on my doctor's face. She put her head down, looked me in the eyes and said "Justina, everything is going to be okay, we need to get you to the hospital immediately. You're 3 centimeters dilated". Chaos ensued as Dan walked in the door and we were rushed to the hospital. I ruptured and was having a slow leak - our son could be born at any moment. The Neonatologist prepared us for the low likelihood of survival if he was born over the next few days and we had to face the possibility of losing our son. Three and a half days went by of labor, magnesium, IVs, antibiotics, watching the monitor every second, all while my health was deteriorating - it was an incredibly emotional experience.
On January 21st, 2019 at 9:06pm, Carter Moore Oldehoff was born a micro-preemie at 24 weeks and 2 days, weighing 1 pound 8 ounces and 12 ¼ inches long. Carter was born fighting for his life. He developed NEC, an intestinal disease, which was not repairable. After the most challenging, indescribable 74 hours of life, Carter took his last breath in his dad’s arms on January 24th, 2019 at 11:22pm.