Pregnancy and Infant loss awareness day, week, month is here. It was something I honestly never knew about until we lost Harper, and as much as a painful reminder as it really is, I feel a sense of peace about it. It really was one of my motivators to start this blog, that and the fact that there really isn’t much out there about loss. I should rephrase that as when it came to my loss. Our daughter was perfectly healthy, there was no reason as to why she died, no cause as to what created three blood clots in her umbilical cord. But our perfectly healthy baby was stillborn. I think this is one of the posts I knew I would be making, but I was scared. So I’m going to rip the proverbial bandaid off and get on with it. The third trimester and delivery blog post.
My third trimester was uncomfortable, I felt huge and gross. My husband was incredibly sweet and told me how I was glowing and looked beautiful, but I felt enormous, bloated, and gross. There was no way around it, for me the final stage of my pregnancy wasn’t beautiful, my clothes were uncomfortable, I couldn’t sleep through the night, I couldn’t get comfortable and I always had to pee. Plus at this point I was drinking milk all the time, I hated tacos and I was just ready to meet my baby, I just felt over it all and ready to be a mom. I had a picture perfect pregnancy as my Dr put it, all of my tests came back negative, I didn’t have gestational diabetes, my weight gain was healthy, I wasn’t overloading on sweets and I even spent the extra money on organic chicken without antibiotics. I had put a deposit down to have my placenta encapsulated, as disgusting as it is the pros outweighed the cons and I was willing to do anything to benefit my daughter.
In March I flew back to Phoenix for my baby shower, my best friend was throwing it for me and I couldn’t be more excited, my Husband was flying in the morning of the shower, his Mother and Grandmother had driven out from California for it, our families were finally going to meet and I couldn’t be more excited to see everyone. The details my best friend had put into making the shower perfect brought tears to my eyes, everything was calm and laid back just as I had hoped for, it was just perfect. I will say, I am the most awkward person ever when it comes to opening gifts, I’ve always been the person that enjoys giving and seeing the persons reaction, and I’ve always felt awkward being on the receiving end, but I was overwhelmed with the thoughtful gifts our friends and family had brought for us. My Husbands Grandmother made us a stunning quilt for Harper, an extremely close almost second mother figure made a bunch of beautiful blankets for us, and my parents got us a silver Tiffany & Co. baby spoon which was so meaningful because of my relationship with my Dad. The entire day was perfect and I couldn’t have hoped for anything else.
After I flew home from Phoenix I was ready, her nursery was coming together beautifully, her clothes were washed and hung up, we had the diaper bag packed and my hospital bag was ready. We were so excited to become parents, I had boiled all of her bottles, everything was in place, all we needed was our baby girl to make our lives complete.
On the morning of May 16th I felt a little uneasy, I had a home doppler that I got in my second trimester to hear her heartbeat, I pushed it against my belly and I was worried I couldn’t find her heartbeat, I called my Mom and she reminded me that at my Dr’s appointment on Monday, she too had trouble finding her heartbeat but she told me towards the end of pregnancy some babies move around just enough to not find it. I went about my day and tried not to be too worried. Around 11 that night I started feeling nauseous and a bit of cramping, I assumed I’d eaten something that didn’t agree with my body so I tried to not freak out and just get some rest. Around 11:45 the pain was still coming in waves, so I started pacing back and forth calling my Mom asking her advice, around 12:15 I woke my Husband up and told him it was time to go. Watching him half awake, stumble around getting dressed and grabbing the car seat was the cutest thing. We were both calm and ready, although my pain was getting a bit worse. We got to the hospital and I wasn’t too panicked so I had him drop me off at the entrance while he parked the car.
As I walked up to Labor & Delivery holding my belly, I was trying not to freak out or yell but as I got towards the door the contractions started even worse. They put us in a room, gave me a very flattering hospital gown to put on and began to finish my registration paperwork. The first Nurse placed the straps around my belly with the heart monitor and kept shifting them, then she said that monitor must not be working so she grabbed another. Same problem, so she grabbed another, and another Nurse to help her. Naturally by this point we were starting to freak out. They ordered an Ultrasound and thats when I started praying. I just held my husbands hand and kept crying, just silently praying. As the Ultrasound technician came in and started looking for her heartbeat I just kept hoping. Then we knew it once he turned the monitor away from me, he turned it away so I couldn’t see it and thats when my Husband said to the Nurse “Theres no heartbeat is there”. And she replied no, as she walked out of the room crying. At this point I went into complete and total shock, all I kept asking was why. I was crying and told my Husband to call my Mom. At this point the nurse told me they would be moving me to a more isolated room, so she loaded me into a wheelchair and began pushing me down the hall and around the corner away from all of the other expectant and new moms, away from the crying babies and sound of deliveries.
I was in complete and total shock and panic, I didn’t know what to do, all I could keep thinking was if they got her out now maybe they could save her. Which I obviously asked the Doctor and she replied no. She pointed to the screen and showed me my baby, and pointed to the area where we used to see the most incredible flicker, which was her heartbeat. Now it was all just still. My heart was completely broken. She asked me what she could do for me, and I said just make me fucking numb, I don’t want to feel a thing. At this point they started an IV and ordered my epidural. My Mom had a flight out later that day, and I was told to rest until the morning when my Doctor could come in. All we could do was cry, I kept thinking they were wrong, someone had to be wrong. How could this happen, why did this happen to our baby. This was the absolute nightmare every expectant Mother fears. My whole world was fucking crashing and burning. How the hell was I supposed to survive this?