Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Our Story

Here is the story of Brynlee's birth. It's a sad story, but it has a happy ending. We will see Brynlee again!

Sunday, February 17th: My ankles began to swell, and I figured it was because I had eaten Mexican food. I wasn't too concerned because I know most women start swelling in their feet when they become pregnant.

Monday, February 18th: My feet became a constant source of amusement to me. I thought they looked so different, but I still wasn't very concerned. That night, we had to take Lilianna to the doctor because she had a virus. The nurse walked in and was concerned I was going to go into labor because I was breathing heavily, which I just thought was my new norm. I had been doing that for the last two weeks.

Later that night, I did become more concerned because I knew if something was wrong I needed to be in Little Rock because I knew they would provide the best care for Brynlee. I went to the ER, and they monitored me and sent me home.

Wednesday, February 20th: I went back to my OBGYN clinic to take the three hour sugar test because I had failed the one hour test the week before. While I was there, I asked to see my doctor, Dr. G., because Jamie told me not to come home without seeing a doctor. He was concerned because I was really hurting from all the fluid.  Dr. P. agreed to see me since Dr. G. was at another clinic, and she sent me to the ER again to be monitored and have an ultrasound. While there, she sent Dr. C., a high risk pregnancy doctor, to see me. As soon as he saw me, he wondered out loud then if I had mirror syndrome. After the ultrasound, he truly believed I needed an amniotic reduction. That's when they took away two liters of fluid. I finally felt a little better because I could breathe easier. Before I left, Dr. C. told me he would discuss my condition further with Dr. W. in Little Rock. Dr. W. is a highly respected high risk pregnancy doctor at UAMS who had met me once via a streaming feed. I have a huge amount of respect for him because Dr. G. has so much respect for him.

Thursday, February 21st: I still wasn't feeling well. I felt very achy. I was concerned I might have the flu , so I called Dr. G. and asked if I could go to a walk in clinic to be tested for the flu. He suggested I go ahead and come into the clinic for further testing. I checked into the ER again, and they ran more blood tests. It was determined that my platelets were low, but they, Dr. C. and Dr. G., figured it was because I had some sort of virus, yet they still decided to keep Dr. W. informed about my condition. I was still uncomfortable due to the stretching and growth of my belly, having shortness of breath, and continued swelling in my feet.

That night, I asked Jamie to call his parents and see if they could go ahead and drive up to Fayetteville from Texarkana. I'm glad I did that because the next morning I had to go to back to the clinic for even more testing, and I needed someone to watch Lilianna since she had to stay home from preschool with her virus that just wouldn't go away.

Friday, February 22nd: My nurse called me and asked me to come back to the clinic to test my platelets again. My numbers had gone from 87,000 to 86,000. Once Dr. W., the high risk pregnancy doctor in Little Rock, heard about my numbers, he ordered that I take the ambulance to UAMS.

At this point, my ONLY concern was for Brynlee. I felt I could be a big girl and deal with some discomfort for a few weeks if it meant she would live.

Upon arriving at UAMS, eight people including doctors, nurses, and residents immediately came into my room to do an ultrasound of Brynlee. My heart was full of hope, and I gleamed with joy that I was there where I knew they could make a difference.

However, it was hard to watch their faces during the ultrasound, and there came a point when they quit looking at me. I felt like I was standing on the other side of a wall alone begging someone to save my baby.

After the ultrasound, the neonatal doctor told me that there was no way Brynlee would make it because she hardly had any lungs due to the size of her heart and all the fluid that had taken up space in her chest.

This was a complete shock to me! I had always thought her heart looked good, and the blood flow in her brain looked good. Therefore, I believed with my whole heart she would be my miracle even though I had been told for weeks her chances for survival were slim before 28 weeks. I just didn't know her lungs were in such poor condition. When the doctor told me she would not make it, I discredited her in my mind. I really just wanted the neonatal doctor to leave the room because this was not my reasoning for happily coming to UAMS full of hope. When they told me I had mirror syndrome, fluid in my lungs, and I had to go ahead and deliver Brynlee to save my life, I was just mad. I didn't feel I was that sick. I did feel they were killing my baby unnecessarily, and it was hard getting this information from people I didn't know. After asking many times if this was absolutely necessary, they began doing what they had to do to put me in labor. I didn't ever agree with any of it, and my heart broke....broke. Of course, I was never rude. I'm just telling you about all the feelings I had inside during this time.

At one point, Jamie and I were alone, and we decided Brynlee's middle name would be Sharon after my mom. He had mentioned it about a month earlier, and it just stayed with me. Her first name had actually come to me in a dream a few months ago. I had wanted to name my girl Eliza Louise because I felt it was a true southern belle name, but I believe Brynlee knew she wanted to be named Brynlee. In the dream, her name was spelled out for me, Brynlee S. Green.

Once they put me on pitocin and broke my water, they said it would be 12-18 hours before I delivered Brynlee. I spent some time telling Brynlee I loved her, and then I went to sleep at 2:30 a.m. after I sent my
in-laws and aunt off to get some sleep.

WARNING: This next part is full of graphic details and emotional responses.

Saturday, February 23rd: I woke up at 4:30 a.m., and I immediately knew something was wrong. It was the second time in my life where I absolutely knew something to be 100% true. I called the nurse and told her there was a problem. After she checked some things, I knew she knew there was a problem too. I woke up my mom and Jamie and told them there was a problem as well. I later found out that the problem was that I was hemorrhaging and losing lots of blood due to huge blood clots. The doctor came in and checked my cervix. He looked at the nurse with worry in his eyes and said, "There is no cervix." I curiously said, "I have no cervix." He swung his head back towards me and professionally stated, "You are now dilated to a ten." Therefore, I knew it was time to say goodbye. We told Brynlee how much we loved her, and I rubbed her head that was against my ribs one last time before labor and delivery began, which I had been doing for weeks. It seemed like she loved to feel my fingers on her head as she pushed her head towards my ribs. The doctor scurried back into the room with the labor and delivery table, and it was time to push. I pushed for about 45 minutes. It was hard because I was delivering Brynlee breech and with fluid in my lungs, which made it hard to breathe. During the pushing time, I had to stop looking at my mom and Jamie because their eyes were too full of concern. I just focused on the nurse. As soon as Brynlee was born, she was given to me. I think the doctors thought I would finally understand that she had been sick, but that was the farthest thing from the truth. She was absolutely beautiful to me in every single way. She was my baby with ten fingers and ten toes, cute lips, and her daddy's ears. I held her for awhile, then they listened to her heart and said she was no longer with us. Officially, she was stillborn. However, I like to believe that maybe in that first moment that I held her she heard me say I love you and felt the warmth of my arms around her. Brynlee was born at 5:43 a.m., weighing four pounds, twelve ounces, and was thirteen inches long.

Soon after labor and delivery, I began shaking uncontrollably. I tried mentally to stop shaking, but I couldn't. I was cold and weak. That's because I had begun hemorrhaging again after Brynlee was born, and I had delivered the placenta, which was twice as large as a normal placenta and had ruptured into two pieces. I was told that the placenta was that large because it had developed its own form of mirror syndrome as well, which accounts for me looking like I was 42 weeks pregnant at 25 weeks.

There came a point, when I was shaking too much to hold Brynlee. Looking back, I deeply regret not holding her longer that morning. I so wish I had held her more, and I still get emotional when I think about not doing so at the time.

Also, my mom and Jamie were very concerned about me due to my pale coloring.

Due to the blood loss, they started giving me a blood transfusion. After the second bag, I developed a fever, which caused us to be concerned that I could have an infection. Then, the doctors or nurses realized it was due to my body reacting to the blood transfusion. They put me on an antibiotic, and my fever did go away.

Midmorning, after the antibiotics and transfusions, I did hold her while the sweet nurse took pictures of us together. I was thankful I had bought a preemie dress and my mom's coworker, Renae, had made her a beautiful blanket.

I was even starting to feel better physically. At this point, my aunt told me that the night before, before I had called her to drive to Little Rock, she had a dream as clear as day. She dreamed that she saw God's huge outstretched hands, and behind God's hands were my dad and grandma. Grandma's sweet, rosy red cheekbones were high up like they always were when she was excited, and she was saying, "She's coming. She's coming." That dream brings me so much peace to know that Brynlee was cheerfully welcomed into Heaven and surrounded by family.

By lunchtime, I had to say goodbye for a final time. I was full of emotions, and I told her how much I loved her.

Then, she was gone.

I don't think I realized it at the time, but I do now, and it's very hard for me. It was the hardest part about saying goodbye to my daddy, and it's the hardest part to relive now. Yes, I know she is in Heaven, and I will see her again, but my heart still breaks. Even now, I want to hold her for just two more seconds, just two more seconds.

That afternoon, I started to feel much better. By the end of the night, the nurses moved me to another room and gave me a third blood transfusion.

Sunday, Februrary 24th: I was feeling better, and I had many visitors. My hometown pastor and his wife came by and prayed for us, and church members who I hadn't seen in a long time dropped by to see me.

That night, I asked if one of the nurses who had helped deliver Brynlee was working, and to my surprise she was working. She came to my room, and retold the story to me because I didn't want to exaggerate my story. I mean could I have really died? Yes. According to her my life was very much in danger. It's a miracle I got there when I did before my placenta had ruptured because it could have done that at any moment. She said she had never seen ruptured placenta like mine. Also, my life was further in danger due to all the blood loss, which caused all my horrific shaking.

Monday, February 25th: My blood pressure began to go back up, and I was told I might not be able to go home. After more prayer, it did go down.

I spent the entire morning praising and thanking all the doctors who had been a part of my case while they came in one after another into my room that morning to check on me. The last doctor to walk in was Dr. W.

I finally had a chance to see him face to face and thank him for all that he had done to save my life. He told me that if I had not gone back to the clinic on Thursday to be tested for the flu, I would have been down in ICU on a ventilator bleeding from my gums.

The one doctor I didn't get to say anything to was the neonatal doctor. Dr. K., another well-respected neonatal doctor, stopped by on Saturday and told me that she and her partner who had talked to me Friday night had talked about my case and were both in agreement that Brynlee would not make it. I feel bad for the doctor I saw Friday night because she had to deliver that news to me. I know it was hard for her, and it couldn't have been made easier by my repulsed attitude. To clarify now, I have great respect for what they do, and I'm glad we have them to help bring health to all the babies they have helped and will continue to help.

Once I got home, I was greeted with a pantry full of groceries from my school, which helped a lot. I can't thank them enough for all they have done for me and Jamie.

Tuesday, Februrary 26th: I spent this day resting mostly. I was blessed to receive flowers from family and students. It helped brighten my home at the time.

Wednesday, February 27th: I got new news. My genetic counselor from UAMS in NWA called and told me that they had an answer for what had caused this to happen to Brynlee. She said it was the best news in terms of having more children in the future, which had and still weighs heavily on my heart. She said she was so happy for us that she was screaming as the report was coming in for her to read. So, here it is.

Brynlee had Costello Syndrome. It's extremely rare. There are 300 cases in the world, and 125 cases in America. It mostly occurs spontaneously when the egg and sperm meet. The geneticist she talked to who has worked closely with Costello Syndrome said there is absolutely no reason for us to be tested for this because it WILL come back negative. He said this just occurs spontaneously and is completely random. Furthermore, Brynlee had a severe case, which was even the rarest of the rare. 90% of the people who have Costello Syndrome have the G12D gene. Brynlee had a G13D gene. The chances of this happening to us again are way less than 1%, but we are leaving this decision in God's hands.

Yes. I have to admit. I absolutely want another child. It's the desire of my heart, but Jamie and I need to have peace about this decision. I also want our families to have perfect peace about this decision as well. That's very important to me. Please pray God will bless us with peace regarding this situation. Pray that I'm not anxious and that Jamie hears God's voice regarding this decision. I choose to be submissive to my husband when it comes to these decisions because I do recognize him as the spiritual leader of our family.

As of today, I'm doing much better physically. I'm still doing my best to rest because I still have shortness of breath. I was told it will just take awhile for my numbers to go back to normal. Besides that, I'm just having normal labor and delivery pains, but I know those will go away soon enough.

Emotionally, I have my moments. I have moments when I know I'm crying because I miss Brynlee, and I have moments when I know I'm crying just because of my hormones.

Overall, I know who comes before me, and I know who stands behind. The God of angel armies is always by my side.

I will never lose my praise for all that God has done and will do. I know all things work together for good to those who love Him, and I love Him.

Again, I know I will see her again in Heaven. In my mind, she will be tall with long brown, curly hair, and she will have her paternal grandmother's beautiful sea green eyes. 

I have said from the beginning that Brynlee's life has a purpose. I pray I continue to complete it all to the glory of God until I see them again. 

For here we have no lasting city, 
but we seek the city that is to come.
Hebrews 13:14

If you would like to honor Brynlee with a donation, you may contribute to Loving Choices at www.supportlc.org. Please note that your donation is in honor of Brynlee Green. 

Colossians 1:4-6

New International Version (NIV)
because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace.


  1. Beautiful and heart wrenching. A true testimony of the impact each and every life has. Brynlee will forever be in our hearts and one sweet day in our arms!

  2. I think of you often. Take care of yourself. Hugs to all of you.

  3. Kim, you are such an inspiration. I can't tell you how proud I am of you and your strength. Praise God for using you, Jamie and Brynlee to increase my own faith as well as many others. Praying for your anxiety as well as Jamie's guidance that he WILL get from our God.
    love you "Twin" :-)
    cassie mills booth

  4. Nice and Impressive blog. Thanks for sharing such an excellent blog. high risk pregnancy doctor in Gurgaon.