Yes, I know it has been ages since I have posted and I'm sorry for not updating. The last I wrote, I told you all how the morning sickness was really bad and I got a prescription for it, but I never did take it because I found out that it may not be safe while nursing(and I am still nursing my youngest). So I just dealt with the sickness as best I could and thankfully I have a wonderful husband who took over most of the cooking and grocery shopping without complaint.
I'm writing this post to help myself heal and also as a way to remember, so please read with caution and maybe with a box of tissues close by. It has taken me many hours to write this as I can only get down short bits before I need to stop and regroup.
At my first official Dr appt, I was 12weeks 4 days along, but my uterus was measuring 20 weeks. My Dr thought for sure it was twins, but I figured after 6 kids, my body just knows what to do and does it faster. I had an ultrasound the next day and found just one healthy baby measuring right on target. I got to see the baby wake up from a "nap" and yawn and stretch and then become very active. It was so neat to see.
Because of my early miscarriage in November, I was still a bit skiddish about everything, so I rented a doppler from a website online to check the heart beat every once in awhile. I actually was able to hear it before the Dr.
Everything was going fine and my stomach continued to grow and the morning sickness persisted. I had told my hubby that I thought it was odd of myself for not buying anything for the baby yet, as by this time with my other pregnancies I had at least bought a neutral sleeper or onesie or something.
On Monday, May 5th, I heard the heart beat nice and strong in the 170's, I was 15weeks 1day along. I didn't try on Tuesday, but tried all day on Wednesday and again on Thursday but could not find the heart beat. I had a late afternoon Dr appt on Thursday and told him that I was a little concerned. He tried for 20 minutes but could not find the heart beat either. He scheduled an ultrasound appt for the next day(he doesn't have a machine in his office).
At this point, I knew in my heart something was wrong. I had had a dream on Tuesday that I thought was odd but kind of brushed it off. The jist of the dream was about a itty bitty baby dressed in white and blue with a head full of dark hair who was crying, I picked him up and gave him a kiss, he looked at me and them gave me a kiss. My cat, Muffins, who I had for 13 years and who has been dead for 12 years(her ashes are up on a cupboard in my family room) then appeared and seemed to take the baby away. In retrospect, I now feel/know this was my baby saying goodbye to me and my cat was escorting him to Heaven.
On Friday, I had the ultrasound and luckily my hubby was able to meet me there. The second I saw the baby on the screen, I knew he was gone, there was no movement, no heartbeat, just a curled up baby laying there. They called my Dr from the office and I spoke with him, we decided to set up a consult with another OB on the following Tuesday and they would do a D+C on Wednesday.
However, I just knew that a d+c was not right for me. For me, it was still my baby, although tiny, I knew he was fully formed and I just did not want him tossed away with the hospital trash. Friday night our 10yr old daughter was starring in her school musical and I did not want to wreck her night so we did not tell the kids anything. I sucked up all my emotions and enjoyed her play, which was wonderful and she did such an awesome job, acting really is "her thing".
All weekend I processed things in my head and prayed to God that things would just happen naturally at home so that I wouldn't have to deal with any of the hospital stuff. I also realized that I wanted and needed to see and hold the baby, to have foot prints, to just so up all the time I could from that little person who I had loved for the past 15 weeks. And the selfish side of me just wanted something substantial to hold on too(like the footprints) after having gone through 11 weeks of sickness.
I started to make a memory quilt for the baby over the weekend, I'm hand stitching the whole thing, so it will take awhile. I also made a small blanket to wrap the baby in and got some other things together so that I was prepared. After talking to a few people, I first thought I was crazy for doing the things I was doing and wanting to see and hold the baby. Some people even said that it really wasn't a baby.
On Tuesday we went for the consult. The Dr remembered us because he had done the emergency csection with our 5th child and basically saved both of our lives. He was set on the d+c at first, but when I told him that I didn't want it, he asked me why. I blunty told him that I didn't want my baby mutilated and then thrown away. He got my point and left the room to make a phone call. He came back saying that induction was another option and we ended up scheduling it for next morning. I think he was mostly afraid of my reaction of seeing a baby that had been gone for almost a week. But I knew what it could realistically look like and I prepared myself as best I could. He kept saying that I was right on the border line as to what to do, a few weeks earlier and it would definately be a d+c and a few weeks later and it would definately be induction. So this was really my call.
Wednesday, May 14th, we get to the birthing center at Maine Med. I had never been there before as my other kids were born at other hospitals. Right from the get go, the nurses were wonderful, I really can't say enough about how well they handled things and treated us.
We did the paper work stuff and then one of the nurses asked what we wanted. At that point I broke down in tears and told her that I wanted to hold my baby and I wanted footprints and I even brought my camera. I was expecting them to say something about the pics, but was surprised when she told me that they do hospital pictures for me. They also provide a memory box, footprints, height and weight measurements, and sometimes a lock of hair(he was too early for that).
I guess around 10am they finally got an IV started after a few attempts, my veins were pretty skinny because I was dehydrated. We then waited for the attending intern to come in an exam me and explain everything. At around noon I finally got my first dose of Misoprostol, which is a small pill that they insert at the cervix to dilate it and cause contractions. They had to do half doses with me because of my prior two csections, they didn't want my uterus to get too worked up. They said it usually take 3 to 6 doses at 4 hours apart before it works. I was not looking forward to it taking that long.
The first 2 hours after getting the medication, you have to lay flat, then you can move around after that. The first dose only caused mild cramping, nothing major. At 4pm, the grief counselor came in and talked to us. At 4:30pm the Dr. came in and checked and found no change in my cervix, which I hated to hear. She then gave me the second dose of Misoprostol. Within 15 minutes or so, the cramping got pretty intense. After about 15 minutes of that it turned into back to back contractions for 20 minutes. Hubby kept asking if I wanted to get pain meds and I said No, because I was afraid it would slow things down and at that point I just wanted it all over with. But I did finally give in and told him to get the nurse. As soon as he walked out the door I was in the midst of a horrible contraction and felt a tiny POP, and that second the pain completely stopped. I was dumbfounded. The nurse and hubby walked in and I told them what happened and how I was now kind of freaking because here I was in this horrible pain and it all just went away. She gave me an ibiprofin and while she was taking my blood pressure, I felt a small gush of fluid. She checked and said my water must have broken, but there wasn't much.
She then left and about 10 minutes later I had another painful contraction and then a huge gush of fluid. I told hubby to run and get the nurse. She comes in and checks and says that Now my water has definately broken. The pain once again stopped but I told her she better get the Dr because I could feel something down there. She listened to me(which was great, because you know how sometimes nurses don't believe that you know what is going on with your own body) and got the Dr(which was a different intern because they had changed shifts). She checked me and I thought she was just checking to see how far dilated I was, but she told me to give a little push, then two more, and then I felt the baby come out without any pain. And at that point I couldn't hold back the tears. My baby was born but I would never get to hear him cry. They checked him over and clamped the cord and told me he was a boy(which I had known from the beginning, mommy instinct). I asked if he looked OK, and they said he was just a tiny baby. I told hubby to get the blanket I made for him and the nurse wrapped him up and handed him to me.
I held him for about 10 minutes before I dared to look at him. But when I did, I didn't find anything horrific, I just found my perfect baby boy who was just so very tiny and fragile. He was fully developed as a recognizable human baby, right down to his tiny fingernails. He was 6" long and 1.6 oz and born at 6:02 pm. Hubby picked his name, Nathan Greene(Greene being a family name). There was nothing visibly wrong with him and even for having died a week ago, he looked good. We sent the placenta for genetic testing, to see if we can find a cause, but we may never know what happened. Nathan will be cremated and his ashes returned to us. I took some pics of Nathan, just of his hands and feet, the hospital did the actuall baby pics(which I have yet to see).
We then had to wait for the placenta to come out. They gave me some pitocin in my IV. About an hour later I had a few small contractions and then coughed and felt something come out. Hubby got the nurse and the Dr, only to find out that it was a large blood clot, not the placenta. At that point the Dr kept saying she was going to do everything in her power for me not to have to have a d+c to remove it. She tried to manually remove it by tugging at it. Which luckily it didn't hurt at all. Of course when I told her that it didn't hurt she then said, well let's try this and stuck her whole hand up me and try to get it out, which that I did feel but I sucked up the pain because I did not want surgery. The placenta still wouldn't budge. She then said she had to talk to the head Dr because they normally don't like to wait too long for fear of hemoraging and infection.
Luckily, the head Dr was willing to give my body more time. They gave me a bit more pitocin and then we waited. I didn't feel any more contractions, which was scaring me because I figured that nothing was happening. So I started to rub my stomache like they do after you give birth to make your uterus contract and shrink back to normal. I guess it worked because at a little over the 2 hour mark of giving birth, I coughed again and felt something come out. I told hubby to look and he said he was sure it was the placenta. The Dr came back in and she kept saying, yes, yes, yes, and thank you because she was so happy it came out on it's own. She also said it was a good thing that I had such a good head Dr on call that night that was willing to let things go a little longer.
We then waited for the chaplain to come and Bless the baby. She came in around 9:30pm. Of course I cried the whole time. And you could tell she hadn't very much experience with this because the whole thing was very awkward and you could sense how uncomfortable she was. Like hubby said, we knew the spiritual part of this had already been taken care of and our baby was in Heaven, this was just a final closure on things and maybe God was providing us with some obsurd comic relief because after she left all we could do was look at each other in disbelief.
I then held the baby for another 2 hours and we went home around midnight. Hubby thought I would have a hard time leaving Nathan behind, but I knew I couldn't take him home and I had said my goodbyes to his body, while his spirit will always be with me.
Walking out of that hospital with just a box of tokens of my baby was very hard but I'm so greatfull and thankfull I got the time that I did with him and didn't go with the original d+c route.
Thursday it hit me hard that I just didn't lose a baby, that I did give birth to our son and he isn't here with us.
Today, Saturday, I realized that I have been dealing with the immediate loss, but now I'm starting to have to deal with the long term loss, the loss of anticipation of a new baby arriving, the loss of preparing for the baby, and the loss of waiting for that joy to arrive in October.
And yes, I know I am very blessed to have 6 wonderful children, but it doesn't make this loss hurt any less. And yes, I have heard already that I should be thankfull it happened at this stage and not further on and how it must have been meant to be or there was probably something wrong. I know all this, but it still doesn't take away the pain of losing a child, and he was my child and forever will be, no matter how small or young. I'm sad, I'm hurt, I'm confused, and I'm angry. Why did this happen, it's not fair, this baby was so very much loved and wanted.
I came across this in one of the grief pamphlets I was given at the hospital and thought is was so fitting, it was written by a child for her stillborn sister...
"Everything that lives- plants, animals, and people- has a beginning and an end. Some living things have a long time between their beginning and end. Some are alive only a short time. How long, or how short, doesn't really matter. It is still that plant's, or animal's, or person's lifetime. And each lifetime is special."
My baby's lifetime just happened to be lived within me, which I guess is a nice safe place where he never had to experience fear, hate, or pain, but hopefully only felt the great love that I had/have for him.
My hubby has been my rock through all of this, and although I know he is suffering too, he stays strong for me. I love you dear.
I love you my sweet perfect little baby boy. Please know that mommy and daddy will always love you Nathan.
Don't take anything for granted, life it too short.