Sunday, July 18, 2010

Mother of Charlotte Ray
Stillborn at 36 weeks
June 11th, 2010
Oklahoma City, OK

My story begins on the morning of June 10th 2010. I was 36 weeks pregnant. I woke up very early around 5:30 noticing that Charlotte was not moving around, she was always an early mover. Once I started thinking about it, she didn't wake me up over night either. I got up, ate a muffin and drank some orange juice and still no movement. I woke David, my husband up and told him we needed to go to Labor and Delivery because Charlotte was not moving and we needed to hurry.

Once we got to the Hospital the nurse came in and hooked me up to the monitors and she couldn't find the heartbeat. She said she would check on the ultra sound machine just in case the baby was in a weird position; there was no heartbeat on the monitor. She went to get someone from radiology because their equipment is better. When she was out of the room I started sobbing. I told David, Charlotte was dead. He was hopeful and said "let's just wait until she brings the other machine in' I said 'she doesn't have to, I know she is dead. I know!" the nurse came back in the room and after looking for the heartbeat one last time she looked at me and said "I am sorry but your baby has died". Those words will never leave me, I think about that moment at least 20 times a day.

David called his parents and hearing him on the phone was heartbreaking. I overheard him talking; he told them he had some bad news and then said " Charlotte has died". He didn't say much else. They called my my sister and David's sister and brother-in-law. Everyone was on there way.

My doctor got there shortly after that. She came in with tears rolling down her face. I had just seen her 3 days before and everything seemed perfect. I told her that I wanted to have a c-section just to get it over with. She said she would respect my wishes but would not recommend it. She said the c-section is a major surgery and there is a risk of infection, all of my future children will have to be delivered by c-section and the recovery time is much longer. After some discussion with my husband we decided that I would deliver Charlotte the way I would want to if she were alive. So it was decided, I would be induced in the next couple of hours. They took me down to the room at the very end of the hall. I know now this was so I wouldn't be around any other women in labor or any crying babies.

They were going to start the induction with cytotec but realized I was already 2 centimeters dilated. They hooked me up to fluids and pitosin. They also took 20 vials of blood for testing. It took a few hours to get to 6 centimeters but only 45 minutes after that to get to 10. I had a couple of practice pushes and then the doctor came in. At this point my epidural was wearing off and I could feel a lot. I could feel the contractions. Charlotte was born about 45 minutes later at 12:05 am on the 11th of June. There were four of us in the room not including Charlotte. We were all in tears and my doctor kept telling me, this will not happen again. Our nurse took Charlotte to the warmer and wrapped her up. I took her and my world changed in that instant for the good and the bad. I have never felt love so intense and so fast. This was by far the proudest moment of my life. I held her and stared at her, I kissed her and told her how beautiful she was. David held her for a while and then our family came in and held her. She was 6 lbs. 6 oz. and 20 in. long with a head full of dark curly hair.

I was holding Charlotte and my blood pressure starting to drop. I was shaking my head back and forth. David's mom took Charlotte. David was asking me to say something and I tried but I couldn't, I was in shock. I remember at one point trying to say that I was scared. I honestly thought I was going to die. If it weren't for David I really don't know if I would have cared at that point what happened to me. The nurses gave me something in my IV and things started getting more clear and I could talk again. She was baptized shortly after that.

The first week we were home, David's parents and my sister were there. They did everything for us. The only place we went was the funeral home. If they weren't here I am not sure we would have eaten. David helped me so much that week. He didn't leave my side. I couldn't do anything by myself. He got me out of bed in the morning, stood right by the shower when I took one, he even had to help me in the bathroom. If it weren't for him I would have just given up that first week.

I know that as time passes this will get easier, but that a part of my heart is already in heaven waiting for me. Charlotte will always be missed and remembered in everything we do. That moment has forever changed me. There are so many things that I thought were important before but are so insignificant now. Charlotte's future siblings will always know they were not first and that their big sister is in Heaven. We love you Charlotte!

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Hannah Rose said...

Tiki, thank you for sharing your story. I am so sorry for the loss of your precious Charlotte. What a beautiful name and a beautiful baby girl. I found out my baby was dead the same way you did. The nurses were checking her vital signs when I got to the hospital to deliver and was waiting for my epidural and they couldn't find anything so they got my doctor to come in to do an ultrasound. I didn't really think anything of it because you never think something like this will happen to you and I was in so much physical pain. So, he looked at me and said, "I'm so sorry...her heart is no longer beating." I was in such shock. Then, the tears started coming. I also asked for a c-section. The doctor told me he thought I should deliver normally. So, I did. Now, I'm so glad I did. It was beautiful. Holding my first born baby was so surreal. It was awful never to hold her or see her with life in her or be able to gaze into each other's eyes. That's something that haunts me every day. I can't imagine what it will be like to hold my own baby with life. I long for that day. That's a beautiful way to put it...that part of your heart is already in heaven waiting for you. You are a beautiful woman, inside and out! Blessing! :)

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