The phone call.
Six years ago my only nephew went to be with God. It was a complete shock to us when God took him to be at his side. Here's what happened, and how it has changed me forever.
My family was thrilled with excitement when we learned my brother and his wife were expecting. This baby was to be the first grandchild on both sides! He was my first nephew. They had the picture perfect, textbook pregnancy. She felt great, baby was growing and perfect. There were two wonderful baby showers held for this blessing to be. The room was ready, the clothes were washed, and the carseat in the car. All that was missing was Asa. She started having early labor around 38 weeks, everyone was thrilled. My mom went to be there with them and was to stay there for two weeks after the baby was born. She continued having early labor symptoms for another week. The decision was made to induce at 39 weeks due to her small size (my SIL is literall 4'11"). That day on the way to the hospital they called and told her to go back home that it was unsafe to deliver her that day due to someone else being in labor. (Red Flag #1). They were crushed but wanted everything to go smoothly, so they headed home. Just two days later, her water broke. She went to the doctor to be checked, confirmed it was broke and headed to the hospital around 1pm. They started Pitocin to help the contractions along after she got there (Red Flag #2). Somewhere around 9pm they put oxygen on her and told them it was because the baby's heart rate was showing some signs of distress (Red Flag #3). My mom called and told me this, and I begged my husband to let me get in the car and drive the 4 1/2 drive to them right then. He told me to go to bed and I could leave in the morning. I had a bad feeling inside me. I knew something wasn't right.
Around 3 in the morning, the time had come to start pushing! It was so exciting for them all. They were about to meet Asa! From what my brother has told me, she pushed and pushed but he just wasn't moving down enough. They tried the vacuum a few times and each time it popped off and the doctor would say, "I think we're going to need to call Dr. XYZ". After the third time she said this my brother sternly said to her, "If you think you're going to need to call him, then DO IT! This is my family we're talking about!" My brother could hear his son's heart beat slowing down with every push. In a whirlwind of activity, they called a STAT C-section. They flipped my SIL over on all fours and ran her down the hallway to the OR. My brother never stepped foot in the OR with her. They put her under and the on call surgeon came in to do the C-section (HUGE red flag!). The nurses station blinds closed to the level 2 nursery. My mom and brother asked "how are they?" at the nurses station and the only reply was, "S is fine, absolutely fine." "What about my baby?" to which they replied "They're working on him." By the time they did the C-section, my nephew was gone. He never took a breath on his own outside his mother, he never had a heartbeat outside her either.
At 4:40 am on Wednesday, July 18, 2007, my phone rang. I answered expecting to hear "He's Here!" Instead I will NEVER forget what my mom said. Through her tears I heard "He's gone. They lost him." I clearly remember saying, "Oh my God. I'm on my way!" My husband awoke to this, I told him as I ran down the stairs, packed a bag, and got ready to go. My dad called, came to get me, and we were on our way by 5:30 am. We made record time and got there in around 3.5 hours. That was the WORST. CAR RIDE. EVER.
We got there in time to hold him and say goodbye before the took him off to donate his organs. A week later, we buried Asa on a beautiful summer day. He rests just 4 blocks from our childhood home. Just across the creek from where we would (and still do) sled every winter.
He didn't have to die. In fact, he NEVER should've died. My nephew died because a DOCTOR who didn't feel the need to tell my brother and his wife the she couldn't do a C-section. She had had her surgical rights taken away due to past incidents!
Since his death I have made it my goal to make sure everyone I know asks their doctor if they can do a C-section before choosing them for their OB. I'm on a mission to make sure this doesn't happen to another unexpecting couple. ALWAYS ASK QUESTIONS! If your OB won't give you an answer, find a new one! Please let my nephew's death be the trigger to ask your doctor if he/she can do a C-section if an emergency arises.
In Loving Memory of Asa Johnpatrick
July 18, 2007
Fly high my little man. Watch over our family until we can hold you again! Auntie Becky misses you!