Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Long overdue - The story part 1

First of all I wanted to say that, again, I was BLOWN away at the response and the support that I have received. You all are truly my bright spot through all of this, and I can honestly say that each and every one of your comments brought tears to my eyes, and each one of them was exactly what I needed.

I've been trying for over a week to get this post out, but we were all sick last week, Ava wasn't sleeping, and then Saturday I strained all of my lower back muscles bringing Christmas decorations up and was flat on my back in bed on muscle relaxers for 2 days. It's just been one thing after another. I'm breaking this into two parts, because let's be honest, I have alot on my mind, I have alot to say and I don't want to forget a single moment of that day.

It all started on November 13. I started having some more bleeding, and had been having light contractions for a few days. I paged my doctor and he told me that he wanted to see me the next day. I didn't sleep that night. Somehow I just knew that this was the end, and I wanted to cherish every last minute that I had with my baby. Wednesday rolls around and when I get into his office he does an exam, and realizes that YES I am indeed leaking fluid. This was both good and bad news. The good news was that they now had a reason to admit me to the hospital to induce labor, the bad news was that even though I thought I had prepared myself for this, I would be losing my baby the next day. I still look back and wonder how I didn't know this was happening. I was NOT ready, at all. We did everything that we could. This baby just would not make it without the fluid, and as much as we wanted this baby, this pregnancy, we didn't want for her to suffer. If we would have made it to 26 weeks they would have considered it a viable pregnancy and the baby would have been born and would have struggled to breathe without the lung development. I was not willing to let my baby suffer and at this point the Doctor told me I had no other choice. They diagnosed me with fetal demise, sent me home with a prescription of Cyto.tec and told me to report to the hospital at 6:00 AM that next morning. I should also mention that this same day (Wednesday) my father was in the same hospital have 3 more stints put in. Who would have guessed that my dad and I would be patients at the same hospital at the very same time.

Walking into labor and delivery brought me back to the day when Ava was born, but this time we knew we were not going to have a happy ending. We knew we would not be bringing a baby home with us, yet I still had to put my body through the whole labor process. I got to my room, looked at baby warmer and all of it's surroundings, looked at the heart monitor that wouldn't get used, and realized this was going to be even harder than I had imagined. My nurse came in at that point and right away she put me at ease. She answered alot of questions we had, and she had some tough ones for us. Did we want to see the baby, did we want to hold the baby, were we going to name the baby, were we going to bury the baby or did we want the hospital to take care of it for us. Alot of questions that up until then we really hadn't thought much about. She also mentioned to us that she put a sign on our door with a purple heart, an indication for all staff that this was a dead pregnancy. As horrible as it was, it saved alot of grief we could have encountered if someone came in and tried to congratulate us. We continued through the 8000 questions and then at about 8:00 came my first cervical check, and another round of Cyto.tec. At this point I had dilated enough for her to determine that the cord was actually pushing through my cervix. She told me that if this was a full term pregnancy I would been rushed straight to the operating room for a C-section.

My doctor came in about 8:30 and I could just see the sadness in his eyes. He did another check to see how I was progressing, gave me a hug and told me he would be back around lunch time. From here we just sort of hung out. I had been having contractions since the night before, but they weren't anything to write home about. I assumed this is sort of what it felt like to naturally go into labor. Contractions spaced out, not lasting very long, etc. My labor with Ava was induced and it was fast, hard and furious. Another story, another post. Things started to get a wee bit uncomfortable at about 11, and my nurse all but shoved the Sta.tol in my IV. I didn't think much of it because I had it with Ava and I actually kind of enjoyed. This time IT WAS AWFUL. I felt it immediately, and within 3 minutes I was shaking, sweating and on the edge of throwing up all over the place. I wanted it to go away so badly I started crying. I was miserable. I managed to get them to give me some Reg.lan for the nausea which helped, but then as I started to get more lightheaded my blood pressure machine was going crazy and the next thing I knew she was giving me Ephed.rine as my blood pressure was dropping pretty low. When I finally realized who I was again, I found out it had dropped to 86/50.

It was about this time that she also was convincing me to get an epidural. I went in there telling myself that there was no need for me to have one, I could handle the contractions and it wasn't like I was going to be pushing out a 7 lb. baby. I mean how bad could it be right??? Well what they forgot to tell me was that more than likely after all of this I would be wheeled to the OR for a D&C. Apparently when you deliver this early the placenta does not often detach and that procedure is necessary to get it all out, so I was advised to get the epidural then so that they would be able to do the procedure promptly after the birth while my cervix was still dilated. All I kept thinking to myself was "what now!" The epidural lady came in and it was much worse this time than my last time. I wasn't in a whole lot of pain and I could feel everything she was doing, not to mention it seemed to take forever. I had only had the Sta.tol for about 30 minutes when I got the epidural so at this point I could barely keep my eyes open. I tried and tried to sleep, and every time I would close my eyes I felt like the room was spinning. And it's not like I could use the old school drunk trick of putting my foot on the floor. I was numb (at least my right half was). Once my leg did fall of the side of the bed and it wasn't pleasant. I think my doctor might have come in at some point during all this, but I was beyond out of it by this point.

I managed to sleep for a little while and then woke up when they shift changed for nurses. The doctor had said he would be back at about 5 so I thought we had plenty of time and I sent Matthew off to lunch. I had a nice little chat with my new nurse and after hearing about her pregnancy nightmare, I promised myself never to complain again. She had such severe hyper.emesis that she puked at least 30 times a day. She said she was hospitalized 4 times for dehydration, had to give herself IV fluids on all of her breaks, and literally could not keep food or water down. She lost 14 pounds, had placenta previa early on, and then ended up having to deliver 8 weeks early. Her little boy spent 4 weeks in the NICU but is okay now. She went on and on, I could not believe this poor girl went through that. We kept chatting and it was about this time I noticed I could feel each contraction on my left side, and they were getting stronger and coming closer together. (Something about my left side does not take too well to the epidurals. That happened with Ava too) So I asked her for some more medicine, she went to check and of course the anesthesiologist was in an emergency C-section so I was going to have to wait. No biggie. This was about 3:30. At about this time my doctor happened to peek his head in, and I asked him to check because of all the pressure. He did his thing and at that point he just pulled the baby out. All I could see was a precious, tiny little baby who looked perfect to me, even though I knew it was dead. I knew the exact moment that it died, just something I felt.

It wasn't until about 3 minutes later that they told me it was a little girl. I was crushed, yet somehow I knew it was a girl long before this happened. We had decided that we did want to see her, so they took her for a while to get her cleaned up and pictures taken. He decided at this point he wanted to try and get the placenta out, to alleviate the need for me to have a complete D&C. Lord I had no idea what I was about to see, and feel. I was still numb and I don't want to get into the gory details of it all, but I felt like I was a pumpkin being carved. There was blood and yucky stuff everywhere. Matthew was still not there, he missed the whole thing and as much as I needed him, part of me is glad he didn't have to see me like that. My doctor and I had plenty of time to chat, and I learned some pretty personal things about him that he apparently doesn't talk about too often. I know I've talked about how much I love my Doctor, but hearing his stories about his own heartache brought it to a whole new level. He understands, he's been there and he really was sorry about what we were going through. He went and cleaned up, came gave me another hug and he was on his way.

Matthew got back right before the doctor left, the procedure was complete, yet we still hadn't gone through the hardest part of it all.

25 comments:

Deanna said...

It is a tradgedy that we have to go through these life stories. I am sad that you had to go through this, but what I do see is that you have a spirit that shines, even when life has handed you an awful blow.

jenhen said...

God, Becca. I just do not know what to say. I am in tears reading this.

Thanks for sharing such a private and personal part of your life with us...

Jesser said...

I am crying for you as I read this. I am so so so so sorry. No one should have to go through this.

Poopie said...

I am so so sorry, I have been a lurker for a few months and I am so sorry for your loss. You are so brave to be sharing this with us all. You are very brave.

Devoted Mama said...

I'm so sorry you & Matthew had to go thru this experience. It brings back so many memories of when me & Bobby went thru it. NO ONE should have to go thru this pain & disappointment. Still keeping you in my thoughts & prayers. (((hugs)))

Ashleigh said...

I am so sorry. Even though the details are different I hear so much of myself in your story. I wish you didn't know this pain. You are in my thoughts and prayers

TEACHBROECK said...

Thank you for your bravery and ability to share this with others who have or haven't been through their own loss...to connect with someone else about such a private thing is moving. I won't forget your baby girl.

Chas said...

That post really got to me...I am so so sorry. If you need anything, you let me know.

meg said...

Becca, this is a beautiful and heartbreaking post. I, too, think it takes incredible strength and bravery to post this. I struggle all the time with this--just knowing what to write, too much, not enough? And just letting out the feelings is so hard, when you hurt so much.

I think your post was amazing and thank you for sharing it with us all. Take good care of yourself and of each other.

AM said...

Oh Becca, I dont even know you but I am so deeply sorry for all you have been thru. You are a wonderful writer and I hope this helps you.

Wendy said...

I am so sorry and I hope that sharing this with us all helps you in some way. You have moved so many people with your strength.

beebop ~ http://fantasticvoyage.wordpress.com/ said...

i can understand that writing it out to remember it all must be terribly painful, but you put it all so well & with such feeling. just wow. i am so sorry.

HLHArts said...

Oh, this is almost EXACTLY my story. I didn't get an epidural though, and when they went in afterward for the placenta it was tremendously painful. They took me in for a D&C and right before they gave me painkillers, I passed out.

Your story is a beautiful one and I am glad you got the chance to meet your sweet girl, even if not the way you would have liked.

I'll be thinking of you in the coming weeks. Please feel free to email me if you need to talk.

AnGlOpHiLe FoOtBaLl FaNaTiC said...

I hope you know both of these girls are looking down at you. You continue to inspire me with your strength.

Midwest Texan said...

Becca - thank you for sharing this, I am praying for you and your family for healing and comfort.

Lisanne said...

The part about the "purple heart" just got to me. I'm sitting here crying. No one should have to go through what you did, and I just can't *fathom* what you must have been feeling emotionally and physically. I wish that I could come see you right now and give you a great big hug. I know that won't help much, but I just wish that I could do something for you. I'm sure that your little girl was precious and beautiful beyond words.

Emmakirst said...

You are sooo strong, I'm sitting here trying to type through tears. I am so sorry that you and your family had to go through this. I don't know what else I can say, you are in my prayers.

Erin said...

You are such a strong and brave woman. This brought tears to my eyes. I'm so sorry your family had to go through this.

Carolyn from Canada said...

Your story has really touched me and nothing I can say can help. No one should ever have to go though anything like this. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

foodiechickie said...

Again I am so sorry you & your loved ones had to go through with is. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

Anth said...

Oh Becca. I'm so sorry this happened. You are in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Becca, I'm also a lurker. Your post brought tears to my eyes, too. I think that your posting the details now will help someone else someday to not feel so alone. Thank you for sharing.

Catwoman said...

Your bravery in writing this is making me cry all over again. I can't even begin to imagine the horrible pain and sadness that you felt that day. And when I got to the end of your post, all I could think is nothing could be worse than this. Then I read the last line. And I cried all over again.

I am so, so very sorry. I don't know why this happened to you. There just seems to be no rhyme or reason when we go through horrible trauma like you did. The fact that you felt bad for the nurse with the bad pregnancy? When you were going through what you went through just shows what an amazing, kind woman you are. We are all so lucky to know you, even if it is through the Internet.

Hopefully talking about, writing about it helps you mend your broken heart just a little bit. Just know that we are all grieving for you. We were rooting for you so much.

Becky said...

Oh, Becca, I am so sorry that you had to go through this. When I tell you that I am not an emotional person, you won't believe it by the way I am crying right now. I'm afraid that my keyboard is going to short out.

I am so sorry. I wish I could give you a gigantic hug right now, darlin'.

Ann said...

Becca, I found your blog through Afterward, and I have to say that much of your story sounded very, very familiar (I had low amniotic fluid because my baby had no kidneys or bladder). I am so sorry that you had to go through this, but it seems like you had wonderful care, which makes all the difference, doesn't it?