Jeremiah's Boxes

Jeremiah's Boxes was started in memory of Jeremiah Calderon. Our sole purpose is to provide memory boxes to grieving families after the loss of a child. Our hope is they find comfort in knowing that this is not a journey they are walking alone.

Jeremiah's Story

 My husband Jose and I met in 1999, while we were working at a CVS-back then it was called Eckerds. After a few months later we started dating. In August 2002, we got married. Since we were both in college at the time we decided we would wait to start a family. In 2005, we decided it was time. After two years and failed cycles of clomid (drug that is suppose to help with ovulation) a baby did not seem to be in our horizon. I was diagnosed with PCOS which stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. (More info here) I decided since I had gained lots of weight, that it was a better idea if I focused on losing weight and getting my body ready if one day we decided to go through the IVF process. Plus, I wanted to avoid diabetes while pregnant. (Years later I know that is the least of my worries) I began working out and following a PCOS diet I found on the Internet. I also began taking herbal supplements and stopped taking anything that was considered synthetic medicine. I quickly lost 70 pounds and my periods became more regular within the first month and six months later we found out I was expecting a baby.

My first pregnancy in 2008 was very uneventful at the beginning. Besides being scared and worried about the health of the baby everything was going well until I began swelling up at 32 weeks. At my 32 week check up, they found protein in my urine, I gained 20 pounds in a month, and my blood pressure was ridiculously high.I had developed pre-eclampsia. I was able to stay pregnant with a very viable baby for another 3 weeks. My son M was born at 35 weeks weighing 4lbs 7 oz. He had a 6 day stay in the NICU and he came home with us.

In March of 2010, I was not feeling right. My body was feeling very awkward. Plus I was 3 months late, but since I always had issues with my periods I did not think much of it. Boy was I wrong. I took a pregnancy test and to my surprise it was positive. I was pregnant again. I quickly called my OB office, whom I was reluctant to go back to because I always felt like a number there and I did not necessarily like how they handled M's delivery. Regardless of how I felt I went back. At my first appointment I was told that my chances of getting pre-e again was10%. I also asked if anything extra would be done in this pregnancy to try to avoid it or at least monitor it. I was told that since the percentage was so low that it would not happen again. I asked again- something told me to ask again. She finally put me on a mild risk plan which included getting an EKG, vision test, urine tests every trimester, and monthly ultrasounds starting at 20 weeks. I also found out I was 12 weeks along in this pregnancy. I missed the whole first trimester! A week later, I was at work early in the morning. I began to feel very dizzy and was incoherent. I could not remember my own name. I was not answering to it and kept asking who is that. I was taken to the school nurse and the ambulance was called. My blood pressure was dangerously high 160/90. My husband came and picked me up and immediately took me to the doctors office. The doctor put me on blood pressure medicine. Things were ok for some weeks. At 18 weeks, I began to swell. I would wake up swollen. My blood pressure was in the normal range but I was on medicine and it was still in the 130/80's but the doctors did not seem concerned. In May 2010, we found out we were having another boy. I was happy. During this time, I noticed the swelling was still evident, plus my bp was still high especially on medication. At 22 weeks I got sick. I couldn't move. I felt horrible. I was sick and called my OB's office. I was told to call my primary care....but I was pregnant??? I did what I was told. I had a sinus infection. I was put on antibiotics and was sent home. At 23 weeks the swelling was still not going down and my bp's were still high. My sneakers did not fit at this point and I felt horrible. I began to notice that the swelling was more evident on my right side than any other part of my body. After my ultrasound at my 24 week appointment, where my little boy was moving and alive, I asked the doctor about the swelling. Her answer "Oh the baby just likes to hang out on that side." At that point I did not know any better. I was also concerned with how horrible I felt and why my bp was "high" even on bp medicine.
A couple of days later, I started to have pain in my arms. My arms and hands would fall asleep and it felt like even the bone was hurting. At 25 weeks, I was still feeling the baby move. We had not decided on a name for him yet, I heard this voice say "Mommy my name is Jeremiah." My husband did not like it so we were not set on a name for him yet. A few days later, I started to feel pain in my back and sides. I also had very obvious kankles. I don't remember feeling him move after that point. I just remember chasing after a 1 year old and feeling horrible. We had a baby shower at 26 weeks around the same time I had a job interview and I was planning M's second birthday. I noticed every now and then that he was not moving but I thought I've been so busy that I just missed it. I also thought about calling the OB office because I felt awful but kept second guessing myself because of what happened when I was sick earlier in the pregnancy. On July 13- I had my 28 week appointment. I had a sono scheduled first. The tech asked if I had been feeling the baby move, I said no but I have been running around after a baby all summer so I could have missed it. She got me ready for the ultrasound, after 5 minutes she says "I have really bad news." My husband and I looked at her and said "What is it?" She said I can't find a heartbeat and the growth has appeared to stop 2 weeks ago. Then she asked me if she should get the doctor. Seriously?!!?

The doctor came in and the first words out of her mouth were "Did you fall?" I answered NO!! She then kind of stood there without saying anything so I said "What's next?" She checked my cervix and said I was at 0. I then asked how old the ultrasound machine was. We were the first ones in that morning and  I was told it was state of the art. I asked for another ultrasound to confirm. She said that they could do that at the hospital and the doctor on call there, who happened to deliver M would take care of everything. I called a friend to come get M, and my husband and I headed to the hospital.The ride to the hospital was silent. I remember just praying that they were wrong. At this point no one knew what happened. As I walked into the hospital and to the check in desk I remember just praying.,....over and over again. How could this happen? At the hospital, the guard kept insisting that we tell him why we were there. Finally, I yelled they said my baby was dead! He had no more questions. I was quickly taken into the labor and delivery unit. I met the nurse and sat in the chair in the room. I refused to lay in the bed. In my mind, I wasn't staying long. Then walked in the doctor with a ultrasound machine. The nurse began drawing blood, the doctor finally talked me into laying on then bed, then they turned on the machine and there was my baby dead. His heartbeat was gone. My heart sank and in a moment of shock said "Do what you have to do" They started me on pitosin and had me sign every paper under the sun. An hour later the doctor came back and said- "You have HELLP." I remember asking what is that. It is a severe form of pre-eclampsia. She then went on to say that since M was pre-term my chances for getting pre-eclampsia again was 40%. I had been showing signs early on and since it wasn't treated, it developed into a more severe form of it. My liver and kidneys were shutting down-that was the side pain and I was in bad shape. I had to have an emergency c-section. I asked the nurse what do I do...what's going to happen? She said they would bring the baby in the room and that after that it was my choice what I wanted to do. The social worker would come it. I remember asking her what he would look like. She said- It doesn't matter. Hold your baby! That was the best piece of advice I got during that whole pregnancy. I held my son. I kissed his cheeks. We got him blessed by the chapelan. Then they asked his name. I remember that little voice I heard a few weeks back. I immediately answered Jeremiah. I later found out that it means- God will raise you up! He sure has. I had fallen so hard but slowly I am picking up the pieces.

I hope this story helps someone who has gone through pre-eclampsia and lost their baby know they are not alone. For those that haven't had pre-e but loss their baby as well you are not alone either. No matter how we have lost our sweet little babies we have all loss something irreplaceable. We are on this journey together. You are not alone!