Saturday, December 12, 2009

a birth story

So this probably isn't a normal story you will get. I have 5 children in my house today and so I have a lot of birth stories. There was my first, how empowered I was that I did an all natural birth (all mine were) through an induction. My second, birthed her with back labor and pushed out a 10 lber born "sunny side up" not easy to push out. My third, where I went from 6 cm to complete in about 10 seconds, seriously. The crazy story of my big baby. On the day I ened up induced they did an ultrasound to check fluid levels etc and end up telling me he could be born with a number of complications and conditions due to having fluid under his skin and might even die at birth or shortly thereafter. Having the hospital refuse to deliver him since their neonatal unit was not equiped for problems he might be born with. Rushing off to another hospital only to have a perfectly healthy 11 lb baby that had no fluid under his skin...that was just a lot of big baby fat they saw on ultrasound. Then this last one. Nearly born in the car on the way. Good thing I don't have small babies, she would have fallen out!

No, I want to tell you about one that's not with me today. 4 years ago I was pregnant. I was so excited. This would be my 4th child. I loved being pregnant, I loved having babies. Of course, you get those moments during pregnancy where you worry if everything is ok with the baby. From the start of this pregnancy I was overcome with these strong feelings that something was wrong. I dismissed them the best I could. I had wonderful pregnancies in the past. There was no indication there was a thing wrong. Months passed and I was going through my normal extreme morning sickness. My belly was growing. I heard my baby's little heart pumping away at my dr's visits. At times those fears of something being wrong though would near overtake me. A couple times I ended up sobbing in fear. My husband told me I was crazy. My midwife told me everything was obviously fine. But why was there no movement? I always felt movement so soon. Then I felt it once. But usually once I felt the first it would start to happen quite regularly. This time I never felt it again.

It was February. I was nearly 1/2 done with this pregnancy. My ultrasound was coming. One evening I got those nagging fears again. I was playing with my children and kept trying to get it off my mind. I went into the bathroom to discover a small amount of spotting. Light and pink. Nearly passing out from the fear I ran and called my midwife. She was unalarmed. She did say I could make an appointment for my ultrasound the following day instead of waiting a few days as I was scheduled.

The next day I kept reaffirming to myself that everything was fine. I was going to find out if I would have a boy or a girl! I could finally totally dismiss all my worries.

I had to have my ultrasound done by the hospital. They are very clinical like there. You go in alone without a spouse etc. At the very end they will invite your spouse to come in and take a quick look. You also are not allowed to see the screen in the beginning as they do their measurements etc. So I laid there alone. A tech came in and introduced me to her assistant in training. I chatted to them about my other children etc as they scanned my belly. They were quiet but I was used to this sort of treatment as I had another ultrasound done with another pregnancy at this hospital. The techs began whispering back and forth and then announced they would be back in a bit.

This is when I started to panic. Why weren't they showing me anything. SHouldn't they be sharing with me now? One came in and asked who I had brought with me today. She left again. She came back a couple minutes later and told me my midwife was coming to talk to me. She was on her way to the hospital. I looked at the tech and said "something's wrong. What's going on? Whats wrong" the tech calmly said "you need to wait for your midwife" I started to get hysterical now. I was crying and pleading "somethings wrong, you need to tell me what's wrong. PLEASE tell me" the tech said "listen, you need to settle down and wait for your midwife" and she left the room. I laid there naked but a gown, shivering cold, sobbing all alone. Probably 20 minutes later my midwife walked in. She looked at me and I could tell. I cried and sobbed and wailed. She told me my baby was dead. They were guessing it had happened about a week earlier. She sent someone to get my husband from the waiting room (yes he was out there oblivious to all this while I was forced to wait alone) and began to tell me what would have to happen.

I would need to check into the labor and delivery unit sometime in the next couple days. They would induce my labor and I would deliver the baby. I told my husband on the way home I wouldn't do it. I wouldn't give up my baby. I wouldn't go to Labor and Delivery and leave without a child. I laid in bed for 2 days and did nothing but cry. My husband came in one morning and said he had called my midwifes adn I had to go to the hospital that day. I couldn't put it off any longer. On the way to the hospital I considered jumping out of the car and just running away each time we stopped (the hospital is over an hour away). I cried and cried. I walked up to L&D and then went nearly in hysterics. This was it. My pregnancy would end. I would be handed a dead baby and then they would take it away forever.

The procedure went horrible. I had been told it would take up to a couple hours. I was not induced with pictocin but rather given a drug internally that would begin opening my cervix. Many hours passed. Many more. They repeated the drug a couple times. Then suddenly the cramping started. I was told once the cramping started you usually delivered shortly thereafter. My midwife came in and waited. Still nothing. She left again. My pain was getting very intense. I refused meds. I a not sure why really. I think mostly I wanted to punish myself for letting my baby die. For having to go through this at all. Suddenly I could hear blood pouring from my body. My midwife came in. She had me push a few times and my lifeless baby was born. They wrapped the tiny body in a blanket and handed it to me. I stared at it in a blur. It was just like a regular baby only really small. The body was blue nearly black from sitting inside me without life. I remember just staring at the ear. It was the tiniest ear I had ever seen. I thought maybe suddenly the baby would spring alive. Perhaps they'd been wrong. I was almost unaware that blood continued to pour out of me. The placenta would not deliver. My bloodpressue was falling and suddenly I felt that I was dying and I wanted to say I wanted the baby buried with me, right next to my heart but I couldn't because I was sort of drifing off. Then I was jolted with the pain of a doctor actually reaching up inside my womb pulling the placenta out. Some tore off and remained inside. I was whisked off the recieve a D and C. I awoke all alone. My husband had left. I was handed a box that I opened to find things like a tape measure that they had measured the body with. A little paper said "baby boy" with all the statistics. Suddenly knowing the baby was a boy hit me. It made everything so much more real. I didn't lose this lifeless body I stared at earlier. I lost a son. I sobbed and sobbed with such pain I didn't even know what to do. I had lost so much blood that I had to remain in the hospital a few days to recover. They moved me off the maternity floor to a post surgery floor. The treatment I go there was awful. No one knew what had happen and why I was there when they came into the room. Nurses would ask what I was there for and I would have to tell them. I didn't want to be there yet I didn't want to leave and have to live my life.

The next months were awful. I could barely function day to day. Against my wishes my husband sent the baby to be autopsied. I fretted over what they might find. I worried about what sort of terrible deformity they would announce to me. IN the end they found absolutely nothing. Its still a mystery what exactly happened. Since the baby was fine I will always wonder what I did. Maybe it was what I didn't do. How did I cause it.

You might be wondering what sort of inspirational story that is. Well, here it is. I got pregnant immediately after waiting a few months for my body to heal. I had a perfect pregnancy, although quite worry filled for no real reason but fear. I had an amazing baby who is an incredible toddler today. I have had another baby recently that was another great pregnancy and birth. I made it through my worst fear ever, losing a baby. I was able to start living my life again after weeks of being able to do nothing.

I would never say that I am ok with what happened but I will say that looking at my children born since then I am would not want to change things. Its a confusing thing because had that baby lived I would not have my Evan today since I would still have been pregnant when I conceived Evan. I wish I had not lost my baby but I would not want to be without the child I have. I still mourn in an immense way for that baby yet I have accepted that it happened and I can't change that. i cry almost daily for that tiny lifeless body I held yet I can control my outbreaks and cry alone in silence when no one knows. I have learned to go on. i learned that no matter how terrible things are you will laugh again. Sometimes people say things like "time heals all" or "it gets easier over time" Or "in time the pain goes away". I have leanred that its not true. Time didn't heal me. Its still like an open wound. Its not any easier. Its still the most horrible toughest thing I have ever gone through. Just not breaking apart each day can be tough still. The pain is not gone. Its still here. BUT I learned how to get along and live with that pain. I learned how to limp along so that the pain didn't overtake me. I've learned how to accept.

I hope one day that God sees that I have my baby back. Not in the lifeless form I held that brief time but as the baby he never became. I hope I get to experience the time with him that I was robbed of. But for now i will treasure the lifes I do have. The little hands to hold and the little cheeks resting on my shoulder, the little voices calling me mama.

1 comment:

Jennifer Leigh said...

OMG That is horrible. I had to read through my tears. I'm so sorry you had to go through that.