(Originally posted on 3/9/13)
The second method used to get Casey dilated worked much better than the first. The doctor came in at 7:00 p.m. to check and she was dilated to a 3.5. At that time they went ahead and broke Casey’s water. The doctor recommended that Casey get her epidural at that point, which was a good idea because she started having some pretty major contractions as soon as her water broke. It took them about 30 minutes to get it in, but once it was Casey was much happier.
Another doctor came in at 9:00 p.m. to check and Casey was at a 4. He went ahead and ordered Pitocin. He predicted that it would still take a few hours before it would be time to bring Elliot into the world.
He was wrong…
At 11:00 p.m. the nurse came in and checked Casey and told us it was time. It took her a few minutes to get the doctor to come in and check her himself. He had her do a practice push and said that it wasn’t going to take long and had the nurse round up the cavalry (neonatologists, nurses and techs). It took about 10 minutes to get everyone present and ready.
The next contraction after that they had Casey start pushing. It took about 15 minutes for Elliot to arrive. At 11:46 p.m. Elliot Robert Brough made his entrance into this world. I cut his umbilical cord and the doctor handed him off to the neonatal team. I went over to watch as they started working on him.
When Elliot got to them his heart rate was 20. After they decompressed his stomach and started ventilations it rose to 60, well short of the 120 they need to get it to in order to move him to the NICU. They were having problems keeping the tubes in because Elliot had a cleft palate. The neonatologist (who was also named Dr. Patel but not the same one we talked to earlier) kept working hard to get Elliot’s heart rate up. I held his tiny hand and watched them work. The tube that was decompressing his stomach came out again and he started to get ready to put it back in. I stopped him and asked him to explain to me the situation.
He told me he could try to get it in and they would keep trying different pressures and techniques. At that moment a sense of peace rushed over me and I knew that the best thing we could do for Elliot would be to provide comfort care. I don’t know that I have ever had a moment of clarity quite like that ever before in my life.
I went over and told Casey the situation and what I felt we should do and she agreed. I asked Dr. Patel how long Elliot would have once they stopped the breathing ventilations and he said less than 15 minutes. I asked him to continue the ventilations until I could get the rest of the family from the waiting room.
I walked out and got the family and walked them back into the delivery room. Many of the doctors and nurses had cleared out. They took Elliot over to Casey and she held him while I gave him a name and a blessing with my Dad, Casey’s Dad and my brother Landon.
Dr. Patel continued the ventilations for a few more minutes as Casey held him. I then held him while Dr. Patel stopped the ventilations and removed the tube from his trachea.
Everyone in the family that was there took turns holding him and then we handed him back to Casey. We took lots of pictures with him. There were many smiles and many tears over the next little while.
At about 1:00 a.m. my brothers Landon and Caleb left to go home. We decided to take advantage of modern technology and Skyped with our siblings who live in Utah so they would get a chance to see Elliot.
During our Skype with Casey’s sister Kelly and her husband Taylor, Dr. Patel came in and pronounced Elliot dead at 1:22 a.m. He had passed much earlier than that but they wanted to give us space before making the official pronouncement.
We finished our Skype sessions right about the time that Tami Webb arrived to take some professional photographs of us with Elliot. She works with an organization called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, which provides free photography to people in our situation.
Tami spent about an hour taking photographs of Elliot, of us with Elliot and of Elliot with the grandparents. It is so nice knowing we have those forever to remember our little guy.
After Tami left my parents held Elliot one last time and then headed home followed shortly by Casey’s parents. It was about 3:00 a.m and the nurse came in and took Elliot to get his foot and handprints made into a little plaster of paris sculpture and to take some more pictures of him.
While we were waiting for them to bring Elliot back, I called our close friends Kenny and Hillary Bellus to see if they wanted to come and see Elliot. Hillary was still up because she had been worried about us so they came over to the hospital. (We needed to show him off to someone outside the family :-)!!) They each held Elliot and spent some time with us before leaving at a little after 5:00 a.m.
At that point the exhaustion had hit both Casey and I so we went to sleep with Elliot next to us.
They woke Casey up at 7:00 a.m. to check her out and give her breakfast. She went back to sleep and we both woke up at about 10:00 a.m. We spent some time with Elliot and then talked to our new nurse.
Our new nurse, Sandy, was amazing. She is actually in Casey’s parent’s stake. Not only that, but she too had lost a baby to CDH. As a matter of fact her CDH baby was named Casey and was born just a few days before Casey in 1985. She took amazing care of us all morning.
Casey took a shower and got cleaned up and I packed up the room. I took everything out to the car and then went back to the room. I called the mortuary and the hospital security to make sure everything was in order for Elliot to be taken from the hospital by the mortuary.
Casey and I then took turns holding Elliot for the last time. At about 2:00 p.m. Sandy took Elliot out of the room and came back with a wheelchair for Casey. She wheeled her right our to the car and hugged us both goodbye.
Even though Elliot didn’t get to spend much time on this Earth, Casey and I are so grateful that we were chosen to be the parents of such a choice spirit. This has been the toughest experience we have had in our lives, but at the same time it has been very rewarding. The faith we have in our savior Jesus Christ and his atonement and our knowledge of Heavenly Father’s plan of Salvation made it possible for us to smile as we held our beautiful baby boy even though his time had come.
We might not have had the opportunity to raise our son, but we know he is waiting for us on the other side of the veil and we look forward to the joyous reunion we will have once we eventually join him there.
We want to thank everyone who has been there for us over the last few months and everyone who sent thoughts and prayers our way over the past few days. We truly felt them lift us up in our time of need. There is no way to repay you for the support we received!
We will be having a funeral for Elliot this coming Saturday morning. We will announce the precise time and location early next week. We would be so honored and grateful to have anyone who wishes to attend be there. The funeral will be open to all but after that we will hold a private family ceremony at Elliot’s graveside.
Once again thank you all so much.
Jordan, Casey and Elliot