Meet Merrick

The following post is from our original Facebook post letting our friends and family know what happened to our sweet baby boy.

Monday, November 28, 2016

To those of you who have expressed concern about the birth of our second son, we would like to share with you a timeline of events. Before telling you his story, let us first introduce you to him. Our son, Merrick Carl Space, was born on Friday, November 25th, 2016 at 5:08 p.m. weighing 8 lb. 15 oz. and measuring 21 ¼ inches and he was beautiful and perfect in every way.

During delivery there was an unforeseen complication that placed Merrick’s umbilical cord in a dangerous position as he traveled through the birth canal. In an attempt to move it out of the way, the cord snapped. The rush was then on to get him out as fast as possible and his shoulders became stuck in the birth canal. As a result, it caused him to lose vital amounts of blood and oxygen. By the time they got him out, he was not breathing and did not have a heart beat. The hospital staff worked diligently for twenty long minutes to bring him back to us, but could not perform the miracle we so desperately hoped for. He was pronounced dead and was placed in our arms to grieve. The next hour and a half of our lives was spent holding our son, letting our family hold him and beginning the long process of repairing the damage to mom that had been done to free Merrick from the birth canal.

Sixty or so minutes after his pronouncement, the “natural exhales” that occur in a baby that died after so many attempts to resuscitate became more pronounced until a pattern begin to emerge that alerted all in the room that something was wrong, something was happening and it wasn’t normal. Merrick started to open his eyes. The nurses rushed to check Merrick for vitals and found his tiny heart beating strongly at a rate of 100 and he was struggling to breathe on his own. Our little angel had come back to us. Breathing support was given right away and the NICU arrived minutes later to whisk him away for further treatment. We could hardly believe what was happening and the word miracle was definitely repeated many times that night. Shortly afterward, Merrick was transferred to Detroit Children’s Hospital downtown for specialized NICU care.

As soon as he arrived in the NICU of the DMC on Friday night, they began cooling his body temperature to prevent any further injury to his brain and vital organs from the loss of oxygen he endured. He was stabilized and we were told the tests would begin in the morning. Our first meeting with the staff in the morning validated our fears of how sick he really was. Merrick was officially the sickest child in the NICU with a significant chance of severe damage to most, if not all, of his vital organs, most importantly his brain. Only further testing would provide us with the evidence we needed. And so we waited.

Saturday was spent by Merrick’s bedside, taking turns holding his sweet hands and kissing his chubby cheeks. His system, although severely depressed, was still fighting to show signs of life. At the merest words from his mama, he would work so hard to open his eyes and usually succeed in opening one if not both to look into her eyes and grip her finger in his hand. Those precious moments will be ones neither of us will forget for the rest of our lives. Our brave, strong son had come back from death to give us this gift of time with him.

On Sunday, we met with his team of doctors, including the Neurologist, who confirmed our worst fear, that Merrick’s system was so severely damaged by the lack of oxygen that his poor body could not sustain life on its own. We knew in our hearts, even from Friday night, that this moment might come…the moment when we had to make the most heart wrenching decision of our lives. Surrounded by family and in the arms of his mother, who held his hand until his last breath, Merrick peacefully fell asleep forever.

The valves of Merrick’s miracle heart were lovingly given to Gift of Life so that his miracle can go on in the life of another baby somewhere out there. We are both so grateful for the two days that Merrick fought so hard to give back to us. While it’s impossible to fit a lifetime of memories into two days, those two days of memories will last our entire lives. The lessons we learned and the strength we found in ourselves and in each other were another gift he gave us that will last for eternity. May your spirit journey peacefully and safely our dear son. We both love you immensely.

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