Paul has hosted the PK Classic Golf Tournament in Winona, MN since 2002, and has supported different charities over the years. But, in 2007, we had decided to support the March of Dimes. Because of research done by the March of Dimes, we have our beautiful son and nephews. We also personally know the heartache that is caused by the loss of a baby, so if the money raised helps just one family not to experience our pain and sorrow, we have achieved our goal. But, we hope for every baby to be born healthy and full term!
Here is our story.
In February 2005, we found out we were pregnant with our first child. It was a very uneventful pregnancy until the following August.
On Monday, August 8, at 26 weeks, I began having contractions. We went to the hospital to get monitored, try to find out why, and to get them to stop. The first thing they did when I got there was check for the baby’s heart beat. The nurse believed she had it. My doctor was able to get the contractions to stop, but she still wanted to know why they had started. My little sister had previously lost two babies due to an incompetent cervix, so my doctor ordered an ultrasound to check and make sure mine was fine. We went down to the radiology department and were actually excited. We had not been able to find out the gender on our first ultrasound because the little one kept one hand between her legs and her knees locked together the whole time. So, we were hoping we would get to find out this time. I remember also with the first ultrasound, I was concerned about a couple of things. So when we arrived at home I spoke with a friend who was a labor/delivery nurse and she had told me the only time I ever needed to worry is when the technician leaves and brings back the doctor. Well, the technician left, and a few minutes later, came back with the doctor. I immediately remembered what my friend had told me, and started crying. I knew something was wrong. The radiologist then told us that our baby had passed. We were in complete shock. We went back to meet with my doctor. The nurse apologized because she really believed she had gotten a heartbeat. My doctor told me that they could start the contractions again and deliver the baby at that time. But, I wanted to go home. We scheduled the induction for Thursday, and went home. I am thankful that I did that, because I was able to hold her a little longer. I went into labor on my own on Wednesday night. We went to the hospital, and at 3:00 am on Thursday August 11, 2005 I delivered my baby girl. We named her Ella Randall, after my great-grandmother and uncle, because they were the ones that would be taking care of her.
The pathologist believed she had died due to amniotic bands. She was missing all of her toes and some fingers. He consulted with another pathologist that stated that her passing was due to the bands. We accepted that as an explanation.
The following November, we became pregnant with our son, Tate. We had no problem finding out the gender of this little guy. It was the first thing he showed us on the ultrasound at 14 weeks. He was growing very well. His ultrasounds always dated his due date a few weeks earlier than should be. He was also a very active little guy.
This pregnancy was also very uneventful, until week 24. I began to have contractions. They were very light, however, as they were barely showing up on the monitor. They were more annoying than painful. My doctor tried to stop them. They just wouldn’t stop. After consulting with other obstetricians, she decided that I must just have an irritated uterus. So I would just have to deal with them for the next 16 weeks. Tate was perfectly fine. He hated the monitors on my belly. He kept kicking at them. I was eventually allowed to go home. As soon as we gotten home, I had a contraction so hard I almost fell to the floor. We turned around and went back to the hospital. By the time we had gotten back, my cervix was fully dilated. They would have to deliver my little guy. We waited for the helicopter to come to take Tate to the children’s hospital in Marshfield, WI. Then, they took me in for a cesarean. I remember asking my doctor if I would get to hear him cry, and she looked at me and said, “I hope so.” At 5:37 pm, April 25, 2005, Tate Jeffrey was born at 2lbs 1 oz. And, he cried! All the doctors and nurses were very optimistic about him. One nurse told me his APGAR scores were better than some full term newborns. And, he was a big boy! At 24 weeks, he was the size of an average 28 weeker. This gave us a glimmer of hope.
Although he did so well when he was first born, he did still need that additional 16 weeks with his mom. After 9 hours, we let him go. He died in his daddy’s arms.
We saw a specialist in Marshfield, WI. He had told us that he believed two things could have been a problem. The first being the uterine septum that our doctor removed, and the other could be that I may have one of a few blood clotting disorders. He told us that our daughter had probably actually passed due to intrauterine growth restriction due to the septum. At 26 weeks, she was only the size of a 20 1/2 weeker. She was affected by the amniotic bands, but that is not why we lost her. In addition, because I had gotten pregnant so quickly after, my uterus was stretched. That is why there were no problems with Tate’s growth. All the blood tests came back negative for any sort of problem. So, our doctor believed that the septum was the culprit, or quite possibly, just bad luck.
We went back and forth on whether to try again or just adopt. We didn’t know if we would be able to handle another loss. But, we kept thinking, what if it was the septum? What if we can have ten children and we don’t? We took a leap of faith. We knew we would have the tremendous support of friends and family, and two very special little angels watching over us. In May 2007, we found out we were pregnant once again.
This pregnancy was uneventful, but lasted a full nine months. On January 17, 2008 at 10:47 pm, we welcomed Chayce Jeffrey Klinger. He weighed 8lbs 9oz, and measured 21 ¼ inches. He is the most amazing little guy! We truly cannot imagine our life without him.
We have been blessed with three beautiful angels.
Our family has been deeply affected by preterm labor. The weekend that Chayce was born, Heather’s younger sister found out she was pregnant. But, she was only able to carry to 31 weeks. Her son, Aiden, spent a little over 12 weeks in the NICU in Sioux Falls, SD. He will turn 6 years old this coming July. Then in June 2011, his little brother, Jakob, came into the world 9 weeks early, too. But, that little rock star only spent about 5 weeks in NICU, and he will celebrate his 3rd birthday this summer.