“My son’s life matters”: Carin Martin’s Story

Carin Martin

Our journey began when I was 27 ½ weeks pregnant and went to the hospital with complications.  The doctor gave me steroid shots to “quick develop” the baby’s lungs and I was sent home after a few days on best rest, medicines and with monitoring.  Two nights later I had severe abdominal pain and we went back to the hospital.   After several doctors and tests, the high-risk obstetrician came into my room and told me, “We know what’s wrong and we know what to do and we have to do an emergency c-section now”.  I had a condition called HELLP syndrome (which is a life-threatening complication considered a variant of pre-eclampsia) and the only treatment was to deliver the baby.

Rex Bauer Martin was born at 28 weeks and was 1 lb. 7 ounces.  As soon as he came out Rex peed and the doctor gave my husband John a “thumbs up”.  They rushed Rex up to the NICU and I could not see him for 2 days.  John brought me a picture and gave me one of his tiny preemie diapers which I kept with me until he came home (and still have).  

On day 3 Rex was transferred to CHOC at Orange for a PDA ligation where they performed a heart operation to close the duct that connects the aorta and the pulmonary artery.  Up to that point, the medicines they had been giving him had not stabilized his blood pressure and oxygenation levels, and we were told that that this was his best chance of survival.