So it's safe to say that my body went through alot that day. Once again, induction had brought on fast and furious labor, something that this time I was thankful for.
Matthew came in just in time to see the aftermath and talk to the doctor, and then we were left alone in the room to digest what just happened. We had decided that we did want to see her, hold her, and tell her goodbye. Once she was delivered she was taken away to be cleaned up, dressed and to have her picture taken, just like they do with regular newborns at this hospital. We just sat there, acting like nothing had even happened. We laughed, talked on the phone with friends, I begged and waited for food (I hadn't eaten in what seemed like forever). At about 7:00, the nurse walked in and we just stopped talking. She brought our precious baby to us and at that very moment in unison we sobbed. I never imagined to have that wave of emotion hit. I had never felt so hopeless in my life. I studied everything about her. To me, she looked perfect. She was small, but perfect. And then I noticed her lips, and how they looked just like Ava's. She was cold, and her body was rapidly fading as the minutes passed. We both held her, and kissed her, and I told her how sorry I was that I couldn't protect her, but that it was her job to go to heaven and be with God and her sister.
We called for the nurse to come and get her, this was to be the last time that we would see our baby. Matthew stayed with me for another 30 minutes or so, then they came to move me to my new room. I was moved to a room far from the mother/baby unit to recover. I had no baby to take care of, but my body had still been through hell. It hurt like hell to pee from having the catheter, I could barely sit up because of the pain in my back from the epidural, and my right leg was still numb. I sent Matthew home, and my mom came and sat with me for a while. She desperately wanted to be there for me during the night, but my dad had just gotten home that same day from having heart surgery and she needed to be with him. I was in good hands, and honestly, I just wanted to be alone. I was desperately trying to digest what had just happened, and just like how it was before they brought her to me, I sort of acted as if nothing had happened. I turned on the TV, and tried to rest. I don't know what made this trip to the hospital so different, but I literally was getting woken up ever 30 minutes. Blood pressure check, blood taken, more antibiotics. It was insane. Not to mention the urge to pee every 30 minutes or so due to the massive amounts of fluids that were being pumped through my body. I had to pee in a measured cup, and I had to call the nurse each time I went so she could measure and dump it out. I also got the lovely uterus massage every 2 hours or so to check for bleeding. Some things I definitely had forgotten from Ava's birth, and I WILL NOT forget them next time, if there is a next time.
Morning finally came and I could not wait to see my Dr. so I could get the hell out of there. He came, gave me my marching orders (no sex, tampons) for 2 weeks, and business as usual. By this point, I was feeling much better and really felt as if nothing had even happened. Again, where were my emotions?? Why wasn't I more upset? Was I setting myself up for a delayed reaction? I could tell he was worried that I might fall into depression, but I wasn't worried, I mean I am a strong person right?? We had a brief talk with the bereavement counselor, we were given a bunch of information on websites, we were told how to go about retrieving her body, and then we were given the all clear. And instead of being wheeled out in a wheelchair, we were allowed to walk out. Apparently when you give birth to a dead baby you are allowed to do whatever the hell you want. As I walked out the doors, it hit me. This was really over, we were leaving the hospital without our baby.
Instead of a baby to take home and feed, I was sent home with Ace Bandages to wrap around my chest so my milk wouldn't come in. Instead of a baby to bring home I was sent home with a keepsake box of pictures, a pillow and the blanket where she was laying when she had her pictures taken. Instead of a baby to bring home, I was sent home with a broken heart, an empty belly and a confused soul.
The rest of that day was spent together, trying to laugh, but not trying not to cry. We cried, we hugged and we did what I didn't think I was ready to do. We opened the box and looked at her pictures. I took out the blanket and I smelled it, it smelled like her. I slept with it that night and it has not left my bed. I put everything back in the box, along with all of our ultrasound pictures and sympathy cards, and I closed it. It hasn't been opened since.
Two weeks ago I went for my follow up visit, and was cleared to resume all activities. I was also sent home with 3 sample paks of birth control pills. It's reality and reality sucks. Instead of getting to enjoy, or not enjoy the last three months of pregnancy, I am now back on birth control, trying to let my body and my mind heal in case I want to jump on this roller coaster again.
I really have been trying to have as much faith during this as I can, but it's hard. I'm so mad that they were both taken away from me. Two babies, I lost two babies. I will never get to see their first smiles, hear their first laughs, hear their first words or watch them take their first steps. I'll never send them off on their first day or school, watch them go off to college, dance on their wedding days or become mothers themselves. These are the things that hurt so much.
I dealt with the first one better because there were obvious things wrong. This last one? Makes me sick sometimes to think about it. It still sometimes feels like a dream. She was perfect. And from what we know right now, she died because of what happened to the first one. I keep hearing people say that they were meant to stay together, they weren't meant to be separated...blah blah blah and I know they are probably right but that means nothing to me right now. I just want my baby girls back. And I'm constantly asking myself why/how didn't I realize something was wrong?? Our job as parents are to protect our children and I was the only one who could and I didn't. I know it wasn't my fault and I know there wouldn't have been anything else I could have done. And the scary thing is, that hypothetically if either myself or the Doctors would have noticed my water broke after we lost the first baby, chances are this pregnancy would have ended much sooner, my parents would have taken off for Florida, and then who knows what would have happened with my father and his heart problems.
I could NEVER, ever wish this to happen to anyone, not even my worst enemies. I have such a new found respect for women who have suffered losses and I have found/met some amazing people in the past month. It's absolutely unfair that any woman would have to suffer through something like this. I never thought I would be turning to grief support groups for this, I never thought this would or could happen to be, and I never thought that because of this situation I would become a grim statistic. But I have, it did, and I am. And I will deal with it.
We buried Anna Grace last Tuesday, December 4. It was a small graveside service with our parents, Ava, and our minister. Matthew and I decided we didn't want her buried alone, so we purchased our burial plots, and she is buried where my feet will be. The days are getting better. I'm taking it one at a time, and that's all I can do. I let myself cry when I feel sad, and laugh when I'm happy. I still have a family to take care of, and a love able, high maintenance toddler who needs my undivided attention. The pain is fresh, and I know over time it will ease but it will never go away. They will always be a part of me, and knowing that we have two angels that we will meet again someday makes it easier to move on. In life I have been a very lucky person, and I still feel that way. I just had some unfortunate things happen along the way. And because of these I will come out a stronger person.
Rest in peace baby girl....