Thursday, August 5, 2010

Mom to Anna Kiara
Stillborn on August 28th, 1999
South East PA

I am sharing my story this month which is Anna's 11th angel birthday. Even after 11 years I think of her daily, miss her like crazy & love her more than words. 
It all started when I was 18. My newfound love (Now My Husband) and I found out we were pregnant around Christmas of 1998. We were scared and excited to be parents even though we had just barely had started our life together. I had "normal" prenatal care and a very uneventful pregnancy. Because I was 18 and this was my first pregnancy I was labeled "Normal."
Around 22 weeks we found out that we were having a girl. We threw many names around but when a very loved family friend died 2 weeks later we decided to carry on her name, Anna, in her honour. 
Fast Forward 8 months. That day, August 27 started out as a normal day. It was sunny and hot. We ran some errands in the morning and that afternoon we visited some friends at their house. That evening when we got home I had noticed that Anna wasn't moving very much. So Tim (new love, now husband) & I laid down in bed with all our hands on my belly to wait for her to move or kick. Not to much longer we both felt it. I was relieved but still felt uneasy.
We soon feel asleep, tired from our busy day. I woke up at 2 am on August 28th with contractions. I was 39 weeks 5 days pregnant. The contractions progressed in intensity and around 5am we were off to the hospital. I was in the back seat laying breathing through contractions and worried that maybe something could be wrong.
When we got to the hospital and settled into the triage room on Labor and delivery floor the nurse hooked up my belly to monitor my contractions and find our baby's heartbeat. The nurse looked and looked but couldn't find a heartbeat. She reassuringly said "Maybe she is behind the placenta and we just can't hear her." She told us she was going to get an ultrasound machine. When she found a machine and brought it back to our room, it had to be plugged in and warmed up for about 10 minutes.

We were oblivious that anything might be wrong with Anna. I thought I was feeling her move and really didn't think anything at that point. Ten minutes passed and the lovely nurse came back and got all ready for the ultrasound. After the warm gel was applied she looked for a few minutes standing in front of the monitor not saying a word. I asked her if everything was alright? As did my Mother in law and Tim. She said she had to talk to my doctor and she would be right back. The doctor came in a few minutes later and also ultra sounded my belly, turned to me and said "I'm sorry your baby has died." She doesn't have a heartbeat".
They told me later the movements I thought I felt were contractions not baby movements. At that point we were all hysterical. She left for a few moments and felt it was appropriate to bring in a Resident doctor. She was so very rude to us and had no bedside manner or any compassion to speak of. I will just say that what she said to us will forever be burned into my heart and mind. The OB came back in and asked me ridiculous questions like"Had I taken any drugs or drank any alcohol? Because apparently she thought that is what killed my baby. I was furious for her to assume and just told her "Absolutely not".  She continues on telling me that I had to deliver naturally and that they would make sure that the delivery was pain free. I was moved into another room. Later found out it was the midwife suite because it was the furthest from the nursery.  I was given an epidural and pitocin to speed up my labour. We had a lovely Nurse named Deb who was fantastic. She told me everything to expect, encouraged me to hold Anna, and stayed with us the entire day.
My epidural was great all day and I stayed pain free until around 5:00 that evening. My Dr. (not the same one from that morning- thank goodness) came in to check me and break my water.  They had to catheter me at this point cause I didn't pee all day and I was hooked up to an IV. I don't know why they waited for so long but they did. At this point I knew my epidural  had started to wear off. I told them I felt pressure and that I was uncomfortable. The Dr. said that  the pressure was from my bladder being so full and that he would call for an anaesthesiologist to come check my epidural. I don't know where s/he was because the anaesthesiologist never came. 
After the catheter was in everything moved really fast. I was 9 cm and the Dr. wanted everything to go smoothly. He asks me if I wanted a vacuum assisted birth and had to explain to me what that was. Of course he made it sound easy until they got out the vacuum and lets just say that it wasn't an easy peasy delivery like he told me it would be. I felt pain, it hurt & I was scared.
Anna was delivered at 6:03 pm. She weighted 6 pounds 4 ounces and was 18 inches long.   Her umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck 4 times and she had a loose knot in her cord.  They never understood or figured out why but Anna's cord was over double the length of an average normal newborn umbilical cord. She was beautiful and perfect in every way. She looked as though she was sleeping. We held her for about 6 hours. Our nurse Deb (She stayed with us from 5 am till past 10 pm that day)  helped us get her dressed and we all gave her a bath.  We were blessed that this amazing nurse took 2 rolls of pictures of Anna which we never knew until about 6 weeks later. A cherished gift that is priceless to a mother who had to bury her baby. 
Anna changed me in so many ways and taught me more in her 9 months in my womb than anyone here on earth could possibly ever teach anyone. I love her more than words and think about her daily. I tell everyone I can her story and how beautiful she was. After 11 years she is still on my mind. I will never forget or ever be over her death. Happy 11th Angel Birthday My Sweet Anna!! I Love You & Miss You So Much!!
**Children Mentioned**
Tim and I have been married 10 years this years.  After Anna's death we TTC as soon as we got the go ahead. We got pregnant 6 months later. I was labeled high risk because of losing Anna and had many more tests, numerous ultrasounds Level 1 & 2 and many, many non-stress tests. I was terribly sad to find out that our baby girl had to die for the Doctors to allow us the technology that could of saved Anna. I am convinced she would of lived if she were also given the chance with all these "High Risk" tests. 
We saw Zackary's umbilical cord when he was my belly. The non-stress tests tell the Doctors if the baby is stressed.  In December of 2000 we gave birth to 8 pound 8 ounce baby boy. He was crying, perfect in every way & a very healthy baby.  Zackary is our rainbow baby. He is smart, sensitive and witty. In December 2003 we had another baby boy, Logan. He is handsome boy, sweet and can light up a room with his smile.  
Then in April of 2007 at just 35 weeks our second daughter Kaitlyn Annabelle was born. She was the same birth length and birth weight as Anna. I knew she was our gift from heaven.  After an Emergancy Ambulance ride to the CHildren's Hospital NICU for  respiratory distress, being put on a ventilator for 8 days, failure to thrive, feeding tubes, a Milk Soy Protein Allergy diagnosis & 31 day in the NICU our sweet baby girl Kate came home and completed our precious family. 
Many people ask me when we meet a simple but tough question for Mama's who has had a baby die "How many kids do you have?"  To this day I tell people that "I have 4 children, 3 with me and 1 in heaven."  Thank You for reading My Story! 

You can contact Heidi at


Debbie said...

Wow Heidi. What a story. Thank you for sharing.

Heather said...

Hey Heidi - funny that we would share our stories on the exact same day, considering our angels share a birthday! Thank you for sharing this. (((hugs)))

Anonymous said...

I cry every time I read about this. We think of you often, especially every time Kelsey hits a new milestone because we know you would have been experiencing it at the same time. Hugs to all! --- Margaret

brigette said...

Thank you for sharing so sorry for your loss

beth said...

What a terrible thing you struggled through and still do to this day!! Hugs to you and your family...she was a beautiful girl! Happy Birthday Anna.
Love, Bethany

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