In December 2006 my husband and I found out we were going to have a baby. We were thrilled because this would be our first baby together. I already had two girls and he had two girls and a boy. At first, everything was going great with the pregnancy, this was the easiest pregnancy out of the three I had. I had no complications at all. Then around the 35th week, I went to have an ultrasound and they couldn’t find the fourth chamber of her heart. The OB doctor sent me to a children’s hospital which was where I first heard about Trisomy 18 and Trisomy 13. The children’s hospital doctor said I needed to get an amniocentesis to see if our daughter had any chromosome defects. As I went home I was in complete shock.
A week went by and all my husband and I could think was please let it just be a heart defect or Trisomy 21. I went back to the doctor during the 36th week and I got the worse news possible. The doctor said; “I’m sorry, but your little girl has Trisomy 18 and that makes her incompatible with life.” They asked me if I needed someone to pick me up and I said no, against my better judgment. I drove about three miles with my girls in the back seat, but it honestly seemed like 1,000 miles by the time I got to where Jeremy worked. I was strong until I saw Jeremy, then I broke down and you could tell by his face he felt like he was in a nightmare as well. He had his brother Bobby drive us home.
The next morning I still took my prenatal vitamin with tears rolling down my face. Later that day I went and did my own research on Trisomy 18 and tried to learn as much as I could. All we wanted to do was give our daughter the best life we could give her. For the rest of week 36 and 37 they had me at the hospital doing stress tests. At 38 weeks the doctor told me he couldn’t tell me what to expect because our daughter had passed all her stress tests with flying colors!
Kenna Mae Paugh was born on June 15, 2007. She weighed 4 pounds and 2 ounces and 17 inches long. I learned everything I could learn from the NICU nurses, they were a Godsend. Kenna had a lot of health problems and we almost lost her at around two months old. Kenna had a diaphragmatic hernia and had to have surgery where she spent about two and half weeks in the hospital. We had our up’s and downs with her health, but she was a fighter! We got to keep her until she was 5 months and 5 days old. Kenna had a hole in her heart the size of a nickel and she ended up getting pneumonia. I took her to every doctor appointment but it just snuck up on us.
Sadly on November 20, 2007 my little angel lost her life. She may have only been here for 5 months and 5 days but she touched many lives in that short amount of time. I will always miss her, but she was the best baby I could of ever wished for. Kenna was such a fighter and taught me more in her short life than I could have ever hoped for.