I am Nancy Titus, Roman’s mommy. My husband Steven and I decided we wanted to give our oldest son, Axel, a sibling. We both agreed to start trying once Axel turned 2. We tried for 9 months, then finally, God blessed us with a pregnancy in October of 2018. The moment I saw the positive pregnancy test, I was more than excited. This was it, we were going to have the family we always wanted. Two kids, just as we planned. We went to our first ultrasound in November when I had thought I was 10 weeks, but the Dr confirmed I was 13 weeks. I was surprised, but even more excited that I had already gotten the first trimester over with without even knowing. We then scheduled our big gender reveal ultrasound for the 20th of January. We were so excited, with planning a reveal party, baby shower ideas, and even planning the rest of our lives together. Steven and I were just preparing normally for a normal pregnancy, and a normal life with our 2 kids. We were getting so close to our gender reveal ultrasound, So excited as we prepared, we also had tickets to a Metallica concert on January 18th, 2019 in Tulsa, Ok. Two days before the big ultrasound.
On January 17th, I was working late, I was doing more than I should have. After work, I started cramping. I thought nothing of it, Maybe just stomach cramps. I was very wrong. At 3 am, on January 18th (the day of the Metallica concert) my water broke. I never knew it was possible for your water to break before your full term. I thought nothing of it until I saw blood. I woke Axel up, dressed him, and we were off to the hospital. It was 7am when they transferred me to Tulsa hospital. Roman was okay, he had a great heartbeat, he was still inside me, we were okay. The Dr came in and told me I had PPROM. (Preterm Premature Rupture Membranes) A term when your water breaks too early and causes you to go into early labor. If you have a baby before 25 weeks, it’s hard to save them because their lungs are so underdeveloped, it’s basically impossible. So there we were, in Tulsa hospital 10 minutes away from the Metallica concert, we had to give our tickets away. I never saw any of this coming. The next day, we got to go home.
I was home until Monday when I went to see my Dr. She had wanted to admit me into the hospital for 2 weeks until I was 23 weeks so I could be transferred to a hospital with a NICU. I stayed on bed rest for 2 weeks. It felt so long, lonely, and boring.. I knew I was doing this for him, but it was so hard being away from Axel and Steven. I was just trying to make it to 23 weeks!! On February 1st, Friday morning, I woke up at 4am. I had a dream it was time, in the dream I was telling my mom “he’s coming, it’s time” she says “no, it’s too early.” Then, I woke up cramping. I knew it wasn’t good. I told my Dr’s helper, and he let her know. The cramping grew stronger and was 3 minutes apart. I was in labor, and I knew it, they did nothing for me, my Dr took forever, the nurses pissed me off by saying “if he comes now we can’t do anything” I asked to be sent to Mercy and they waited and waited.. This was it, I was going to have my baby, I knew deep down that if he was born now, he wouldn’t make it. I really wanted him to make it, I really did. They did an ultrasound, worst thing ever when your in labor. He still had an amazing heartbeat, he was okay, we were okay. My Dr finally came in and I told her I wanted to go to Mercy hospital. They were the best, that’s where I had Axel. It felt like they took their sweet time, but finally we were on our way to Mercy. I thought, were okay, we’re leaving, we’re going to go where they can help us, where they can save you!!!
We arrived to Mercy an hour later, the doctors there knew what would happen. They told me I was obviously in labor, but if he was born that day, he would have a 3% chance of life, with a 1% chance of being able to talk, walk… Stuff like that. Me, being his mom, I said do what you have to do, I trusted God that he would be okay. He would live. They prepped me for C-SECTION, I sat in the same room I had Axel in. The same scary memories of “is he going to make it”. There was music when I had Axel, but none when I had Roman. It was quiet, all I could hear was the doctors. They knew my baby wasn’t going to make it. They all told me in their own ways, but I wouldn’t listen. I wanted to think I still had hope. There I was, sitting on that table again, getting the epidural again, worried again. Will my baby make it this time? At 5:59 pm, Roman Don Titus was born, 1lb 5oz and 11.5 inches long. They tried everything they could to help his heart beat stay up, nothing worked. She told us exactly what we did not want to hear. Those words stick in my head to this day. “I’m sorry, but we can’t seem to keep his heartbeat up, I think it’s best he’s with you till he goes” my heart shattered into pieces. I’m still trying to find those pieces. We sat there and took in his beautiful features. He looked just like his daddy, with Axel’s nose. The hardest part of my life is laying there, watching my son gasp for air and there was nothing I could do but to sit and watch him die. All I could think after is, what did I do to deserve this? Who deserves to sit and watch their child die? I still don’t understand that.
Since a family donated a cradle cot in memory of their angel baby, we got to spend 3 days with Roman. The third day was scheduling his cremation, and picking a funeral home. Not picking a Dr, and scheduling his 1st month appointment.. Not for us, not this time.. We then came home, to a empty house, with a box. Axel didn’t understand, he thought Roman was still in my tummy. It’s so difficult raising a child, while grieving another. You still do it tho, you have to. You have to have hope to see your angel again. I do. I have been trying to seek God more, and try to find the light in this darkness. Roman would be 4 months old on the 1st. June 6th is his due date, to honor him and get his story out more, I am donating comfort boxes I made to the hospital he was born in. They are comfort boxes for the next families who lose a baby. I am sharing his story with the world. I feel like I need to do things to honor his life. He had a short life, and only I can give it purpose. I will. Roman Titus was a warrior, he lived for a moment and he’s already made a huge difference in me. He lived and died for a reason, I will find that reason. It may be to help others, comfort them. Nobody knows this is possible till it happens to you. I want to bring more awareness to premature births and PPROM. I love and miss my boy so much! I’ll keep doing anything and everything to get his story heard, and honor his little life. I wanna thank you for reading our story and I pray nobody has to go through what I did. God bless each and every one of us. We love you.💖
Love, Roman’s Mommy.