Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mom to Alexandra Elizabeth Monique
Born sleeping on April 29th, 2010
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

I complained, a lot, throughout my pregnancy. I had sciatica, round ligament pain, I gained more weight than I wanted, I couldn’t sleep, and I was sick the entire time. It sucked. And I would take it all back, a million times over, if I could only have my daughter.

 In September 2009 I started feeling ill. I told my fiance (Steve), either I have the swine flu, or I am pregnant. We were both excited. We felt that this was the perfect time to have another child. Our son had just turned 4, we felt he was ready for a sibling and would make the best big brother.
I had an ultrasound to determine my dates and we were told our baby would be born in mid May. At my 18 week ultrasound we were told we were having a little girl. Our first daughter. I cannot really put into words how excited I was. I was expecting another boy and I was ok with that, but I secretly hoped for a little girl, to round off our family. And here I was, getting my wish.

On Tuesday April 27th, I was just over 37 weeks pregnant. I woke up and did my usual daily things, I got my son ready for school, made breakfast for him, checked my email, pondered if I should eat pizza for my breakfast. At some point I realized I hadn’t felt Alexandra move yet. I remembered, vaguely, waking up in the night and feeling her kick. I thought everything was fine.
I ate my pizza, thinking about the lack of kicks. I drank a bottle of water, thinking about the lack of kicks. I laid down in bed, on my side, hoping to feel a kick. I asked on a parenting website I frequented, "How can I make the baby move?" The answers were always the same when someone asked that. Drink something cold. Eat something. Drink something sugary. (I grabbed a Pepsi). Lay on your left side. I did everything on the list and still nothing.
I told Steve. He had taken me to labor and delivery twice already. He had listened to me complain and fret over a million things already. I thought for sure he would dismiss this as another paranoid moment. He did not. His face became worried, he asked when had I last felt her, I couldn't really remember. Not since last night at least. He pushed on my belly, shook my belly, tried to move the baby, wake her up. At this time, I was more calm than he was. It was around noon and he wanted me to call the doctor. My appointment was at 1:15, why not wait, I said. He urged me to call, so I did. They were on lunch, no answer. He told me to call healthlink to ask if we should head in to labor and delivery or stick with the appointment. The nurse on healthlink commended me for my good instincts. If only she knew, the instincts were not mine, they were Steve's. I had second guessed myself so many times I thought I MUST be over reacting. She told us to head straight in, so we went.
At the hospital they did not bring us in to triage. They brought us in to a private room. I thought it was because of a lack of beds. Steve felt it was in case something was wrong. Steve was right. A nurse practitioner came in. She checked for the baby's heart beat and couldn't find it. I looked at Steve, terrified, and when I saw his face, I knew he was terrified too. When no heart beat could be found, the nurse practitioner wheeled in an ultrasound machine. She looked for the heart beat, again she couldn't find it. She got two more doctors to look for it. No one could find my baby's heart beat. Where had it gone?
The doctor told us, at that time, that there was nothing more they could do for the baby. She was gone. I can't tell you how my heart broke. It shattered into a million pieces. And when I looked to Steve, I could see that his heart was also broken. We cried there, for a very long time. Steve asked what would happen now, how would the baby be born? And I told him the thing that was terrifying me. I would have to deliver her.

We were allowed to go home for the night. To tell our son what had happened. To tell him that his baby sister would never be coming home. We did a lot of crying and prepared ourselves for the next day. What would prove to be one of the hardest days of our lives.

We arrived at the hospital at 8am. I don't know the proper terms for everything that was done. I know that at 9:20am they inserted something that looked like a string, behind my cervix. This was supposed to get the ball rolling. I expected things to start happening, but instead we sat there waiting. At 6pm my contractions finally started. They came every 10 minutes. The nurse asked if I wanted anything for the pain. I didn't. Contractions don't bother me, what was to come was what bothered me.
At 9:30pm, Steve commented that someone should be coming to do SOMETHING. No one came until after 10. They removed the weird little string that did nothing and instead inserted a pill. They said it would speed things up. Within 40 minutes my contractions were pretty much on top of each other. I decided at that time that I wanted the epidural.

I slept then, until 4am on Thursday, when everything we'd been waiting all day and night for happened. We got to see our daughter, the most bittersweet moment of our lives, Alexandra was born. It was such a strange moment for me. It wasn't a happy moment, but to be able to hold my angel gave me a sense of peace that I hadn't had since finding out the news.

Little Alexandra Elizabeth Monique was born shortly before 6am on Thursday, April 29, 2010. She was nearly 21 inches long, 6lbs 8ozs. She had wavy black hair, the most perfect nose I have ever seen and her daddy's lips. She was absolutely beautiful. We spent the morning with her. We held her, sang to her, talked to her, bathed her and cried over her. We took pictures, got her hand and foot prints and a lock of her hair. It was a time I doubt I will ever find words to properly describe.
Deciding when to say goodbye was the hardest part. Steve asked "When to you want to say goodbye?" and I answered "Never" to which he replied "Me neither." When we were finally able to let her go they took her away and we cried. It was the hardest goodbye.

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Jenn said...

((Hugs)) to you, I'm so sorry for your loss.

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