Eyman Family's Story
These past couple years have been challenging for me, my husband Scott, our two girls Berkley and Lainey and everyone who loves us. We are so lucky to say that our first two pregnancies with our girls went off without a hitch, minus the fact that Lainey was almost born on the West Dodge Expressway on Halloween night! We suffered a miscarriage with our third, so when we became pregnant with our son Archer, we were obviously ecstatic. Our initial ultrasound showed that there were two implants. One was our beautiful boy to be named Archer, and the other implant showed to be unviable. My body would deal with this loss on its own with no medical interference.
At 27 weeks gestation, I woke up in discomfort. After being told to hydrate and rest by my doctor, I called the office again. They sent me to check for preterm labor. I was informed that I had placental abruption and that I had already lost a lot of blood, pointing out a very large blood clot in my lower abdomen. I was taken for an emergency c-section with my 3-year-old looking on, just as brave as could be. Archer was delivered in his bag of waters, which I was told is very rare and also an omen of good luck.
That evening, I saw my son in the NICU. He was so tiny, weighing 2 lbs, 8 oz. and breathtakingly beautiful. The NICU is a place of fear, hope, love, broken hearts and miracles. Many of you know that it’s not uncommon to cry and laugh within the same moment.
Archer was in the NICU for 99 days. During his stay, he was given several doses of surfactant, a treatment developed though March of Dimes funding. There were a couple doses of ibuprofen administered to assist in closing a heart valve and a brain scan to check for bleeding on his brain that came back negative. That was a miracle, and we were beside ourselves with happiness and hope. Through several infections and treatments for those infections, Archer continued to fight. Everyone was determined to send him home without any respiratory support and without a feeding tube. On a warm April evening, we got the word that we were in fact going home with our son! The feeling was overwhelming, exciting and scary. But we were all ready for this moment. A moment we had been dreaming about for almost 100 days.
Over the next couple of months we lived an amazing life with our son. We snuggled . . . I never put him down. We all lived life as a family of five. Life was good. On Aug. 6, Archer and I played, sang songs and giggled together. Little did I know that that would be the last time I would hold him so full of life. On Aug. 7, we woke up to our worst nightmare. Our son had gone back to God while we slept. We are forever devastated. There were so many unanswered questions for our broken hearts.
Right before Christmas of 2016, we found out that our son had multifocal neuronal heterotopia, a rare disorder where gray matter was deposited on his brain where it wasn’t supposed to be. This was actually the cause of his death. We were told that this was not a genetic issue, and we had no reason to worry about our little girls or the baby boy we will welcome soon. Apparently, it all began when I lost Archer's twin around 5 to 7 weeks gestation. My body didn’t know what to do with the loss and failed to give Archer the blood and oxygen he needed, which caused the heterotopia. This may also have been the cause of my placental abruption.
Our time as family of five was a gift. I owe this time with my family to my doctors, the imaging office, March of Dimes and most importantly the NICU staff - Archer’s amazing nurses and doctors that gifted us nearly seven months with our Angel Baby. We are forever grateful.
We do not want anyone to go through the pain that we have, and that’s why we support the March of Dimes. Someday, we hope that all babies will be born healthy and will not have to fight for their lives like our boy did.