Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Gone With The Wind
Yesterday morning I was pregnant and full of fear and anxiety about going into surgery...I was afraid of losing the baby due to complications of the procedure and I was afraid of the surgery itself, but mostly scared that I would lose the baby.
As I was getting prepped for surgery, had my IV in and everything, the nurse did I routine check for fetal heart tones. She couldn't find any. The doctor came in and couldn't find any with the doppler either. A third nurse tried unsuccessfully to find the heartbeat while the doctor sat on the bedside waiting for the portable ultrasound machine to warm up.
And then we saw her...tiny little baby on the screen and I kept hoping for movement, holding my breath looking for a kick or a wiggle like last week when I had an ultrasound and the doctor and the tech and I rejoiced because everything looked perfect.
But there was no movement, and there was no heartbeat.
I remember saying "Shit! Oh Shit not again!"
I was induced right away with an oral medicine and vaginal suppository since at 15 and a half weeks, according to the doctor "the pitocin receptors aren't developed yet" so I had that dose, which didn't do too much but cause a tiny bit of fullness feeling down there. The second dose, four hours later worked rather quickly. I didn't have contractions like I would in a full-term delivery, it was just a constant pain with no breaks in between. But I welcomed the pain...I didn't even want tylenol. The only thing in my IV was that saline solution stuff.
When the pain and pressure became excruciating, I had the nurse go get the doctor...he didn't come for 20 minutes and in the meantime I asked if it was too late for an epidural, even though I knew it was. I didn't really want an epidural, I wanted to deliver the baby but I was tired of waiting on the doctor and the pain was becoming unbearable. I didn't cry and I didn't yell, I just gripped the side of the bed and told my husband that it hurt. I knew what my body was doing and I totally cooperated.
The doctor finally came in and I was ready to push. He reached in, told me to push, I cried out and then it was over.
It was over.
My body was instantly free of pain and I was in shock. I managed to snap a photo of the doctor holding my tiny little baby, still attached to the placenta. He showed me part of her umbilical cord, which looked as thin as a string in that section, and told me it looked like a cord compression. He told me there wasn't anything I could have done, and that other than the cord, she looked perfectly formed for her gestational age. He left and the nurse took the baby and brought her back.
She didn't look anything like Jimmy or Becca. She had perfect hands and feet and I could even see her tiny little fingernails! But she was all red, shiny, and squishy. She wasn't fully cooked...she was a "raw" baby. I saw all of the parts of her that had formed and saw that she had a long ways to go...she had one eye half open, bless her little heart, and her little ears were perfectly formed but just so tiny on her head...her skin had not formed yet. I saw the red veins in her little legs, and when I opened her mouth with my finger, I saw the beginnings of the tiniest lips and teeth I had ever seen in my life. And then I cried.
We took pictures, but we didn't have a real camera, just iPhones, so I don't know how well they came out...part of me is ok with that, because she just wasn't formed yet and I want to protect her...I don't want anyone to see the photos but me and my husband...she was our baby, no matter what she looked like.
In the photo in this post, I am holding me sweet little angel, I just have her covered up and protected.
I'm so confused and lost in this...I don't feel the deep, deep despair that I felt with Jimmy, and I don't feel quite the grief that I did with Becca either. I know part of it is shock, but another part knows that God will get us through this, just like he has every other time.
I'm really sad and hurt. Not just for losing this baby, but because I'm not quite sure how to grieve this baby...I have different feelings since it was so early and I wasn't as attached and she didn't look as much like a baby as Jimmy and Becca...I hadn't gotten to bond with her yet. I don't know how to feel. Just sad and confused.
The hardest part is this was our last attempt....there is no way that 4 baby deaths in 2 years can be a coincidence...there has got to be something wrong with either me or my husband or our compatibility. We do not have the resources either financially or emotionally to try and figure it out...he is almost 40, I'm 31, he is struggling to maintain a relationship with his 10 and 14 year old who just moved 8 hours away with their mother, and I have a 9 year old son who needs me to be fully present. As hard as my husband and I have had it, our children have struggled through a blended family and the loss of several of their siblings. They hurt too, and we can't do this to them again.
Somehow, we have to say goodbye to the idea of us ever having a baby, because it is just not going to happen and that breaks our hearts...we both wanted to give each other the gift of a living baby so badly....it hurts us both that we cannot give that to each other.
We have to focus on our family as it is, and our marriage....Monday will be our 2 year anniversary...I was pregnant with Jimmy on our wedding day, I was pregnant with Becca on our 1 year anniversary...and now....now.
God grant us peace and strength please.
I have to go to the funeral home now and make arrangements...we want her buried in between Jimmy and Becca, but we don't want a funeral. Rusty and I have just kept this so private this time, we didn't have anyone in the hospital and didn't tell anyone until Scarlett was born. (Well, we called and told the kids first.) I think its good for our marriage to keep this so close to our hearts.