Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mom to Angel
Stillborn on May 18th, 2009
Elon, NC

My story starts in January 2009. That is when we found out we were pregnant. Our due date was October 8, 2009.  Friday, April 3, 2009 the day after my 4-year wedding anniversary. The day before I had my first trimester ultrasound screening. The ultrasound tech was really rough with my stomach. She pressed my belly really hard to try and make the baby move. Since I have Rheumatiod Arthritis, I was in a lot of pain and I called my doctors office to see if ther was anything that I could take that was stronger than Tylenol. My doctor called in Darvocet for me. I took it the day of April 3. That night I woke up at midnight to a puddle of blood in the bed, I was 13 weeks and 1 day pregnant. I was terrified because I knew that I had lost my little baby. I called the on call doctor and she said to report to the hospital as soon as possible because I was probably having a miscarriage. When we arrived at the hospital, because of my tipped uterus, they could not use the Doppler, they had to do an ultrasound and we found out that our little girl was okay. I remember thinking what a relief. The doctors told me that sometimes people just bleed when they are pregnant. (I still don't believe that) I left the hospital with the diagnosis of "Everything is fine, everything is good, everything is normal, don't worry."

I continued to bleed over the weekend but it did get lighter. I had a doctors appt that following Monday. I went in and saw the Doctor for a brief 5 mins. Long enough for him to come in and say that “Well you have made it past the first trimester you are good.  Don’t worry!” On Wednesday, April 8, 2009 I was at work and was not feeling well and decided to go home early. I was at home for about an hour when I started to cramp really bad and blood came gushing out. I called to doctor once again and he said to go the hospital. I arrived at the hospital and they found her heartbeat with the doppler, I immediately started to cry because I thought that we had lost her again. They monitored me for a little while and said, once again "Everything is ok, go home and don't worry."
I continued to bleed from April 3 until I delivered, (which was about six weeks) I would call my doctor's office about once a week to let them know about how heavy I was bleeding, per them telling me to. My husband accompanied me to every doctor visit that I went to. My next appt was on April 21. At this appt the doctor acted like a complete jerk. He told me "not  to call unless the bleeding gets worse or I have pain with the bleeding."  Basically don't bother him unless it was absolutely necessary. I will never forget walking out of that doctors office feeling like a complete idiot and that I was bothering him for worrying about bleeding while pregnant. I can not put into words how I felt at this point, all I could do is cry.
At all the appointments that I had to go to, when I would question the bleeding and what could be done, the doctor would tell me every time that "everything is fine, everything is good, everything is normal, don't worry, this isn't unusual." Well at this point I tried not to worry, and tried not to call the office unless it was absolutely necessary so I wouldn't bother anyone.
I continued to bleed the entire time. My bleeding wasn’t real heavy kind of like the lighter days of my period. My next doctor appt was on Wednesday, May 13, 2009. I could not sleep the night before because we were going to find out what we were having. I remember being so shocked when they told me that it was a little girl. I was certain I was having a boy. I could not have been more excited, I would have been happy with either a boy or a girl. I was just happy that I was pregnant and going to have a happy healthy baby girl.
Even the ultrasound tech remembered that I had been bleeding and asked if the doctor had told me anything about why I was bleeding. I now find that odd. She said she would pray for me and the baby.
The doctor once again said everything is fine, everything is good, don't worry. I left there on cloud nine, I could not stop smiling.
Sunday, May 17, 2009. The day my life changed forever.

I woke up feeling like I had ate something that did not agree with me and that I had to go to the bathroom, like my stomach was upset. It wasn't until about 5:30 that night that I started feeling cramps ( I now know that they were contractions) My husband had just left for work that night, he works 6pm to 6am every two weeks. Even though I wasn't feeling right, I went to church. I was in church when it dawned on me what was happening. I convinced myself that it was braxton hicks contractions (I know to early to have that happening). I went home and laid down for about an hour thinking that the "cramps" would stop if I rested. I called the on call doctor (this was about 8 pm)and she said that I could be dehydrated and to drink some water.  I drank some water and immediately started throwing up. I called her back after about 45 mins, she said to get to the hospital now. We live 45 mins from the hospital. I called my husband at work and he managed to get home in 15 mins, he is 30 mins from work. We got to the hospital in record time, 25 mins.

When we arrived at the hospital at 9 :45 pm, I somehow managed to walk in. I was in so much pain, I couldn't keep my eyes open. When I walked up to the front desk another contraction hit and I just fell over the counter, meanwhile the desk lady says "Can you fill out this paper ma'am?" Somehow or another I managed to fill out the paper and she asks me "Are you pregnant? Do you need a wheelchair?" I told her that I was 19 weeks 5 days  pregnant and I need some kind of help. They put me in a wheelchair, and I go straight back to the er dept. They then ask me get undressed and I couldn't even do that on my own, my husband had to help. I felt like I had to pee, so I went to the bathroom and only managed  to squeak out a little bit. I get on the table and I was shaking uncontrollably. I don't know why but I could not stop. I am in pain the entire time, pain that I have never experienced before.  There are a flurry on nurses coming in and out and I remember a nurse screaming “get the doctor NOW!” She then places the doppler on my stomach and I hear my daughters heartbeat for the last time. The on call doctor comes in to examine me and tells me " Honey your completely dilated, you are in active labor, you’re going to have to deliver her tonight". I had no warning of what was happening, just a blunt statement with no compassion. I just started screaming, I couldn't control myself. A nurse was holding me down on the table. All I could say was "NO!! This can't be! I want her so bad! I will be a good parent, I promise!!! NOOOO!" I look at my husband and tears are just streaming down his face and he just holds my hand and says " I'm sorry". We just looked at each other and cried.
After it sunk in(if you can call it that), I went into shock. I couldn't believe what was going on. It felt like a dream. I wanted so bad to just wake up. They broke my water (I think this is when my daughter died) and there was such a relief that the pain eased up a lot. That was at 11:30. They then proceeded to wheel me up to ICU to deliver my baby.( I question myself now, why I was not placed on Labor and Delivery. I mean I was still in active full blown labor.)  I was completely numb. I didn't have any emotions. I didn't know what to feel, what to say, how to act, nothing.
My nurses were great. They told me a little about what was going to happen. They told me that when she was born that she would not be alive and that her eyes would more than likely not me open. They told me to expect her to be tiny and her skin to be fragile. My Angel came into the world with wings at 3:05am on Monday, May 18, 2009. My husband was by my side, crying the entire time. He said she didn't move or even take a breath, but he was waiting on her to. He later told me that he was staring at her praying "Please move, do something!" I never seen my husband so upset. I did not see her until they brought her back to me after they cleaned her up.

I held my baby girl at 5:30, and that is when every emotion hit all at once.  I started crying and haven't stopped since. She was and still is absolutely beautiful to her Daddy and I! She has my long legs and arms, my lips and nose. She has her daddy's ears and long torso and his head. Her skin was so fragile and I could almost see through it. She had the most perfect form. I now know what an “Angel” in heaven looks like. She was and still is so gorgeous to me and him. I get upset just thinking about when I had to give her back. She was about 10 inches long and weighed about half a pound unofficially. I never received anything stating her exact measurements or weight.
The nurses at the hospital were so great, they gave me a little keepsake box with a pin and a little pillow, a card with her feet prints, and a little dress for her to wear. They even took pictures for me. I treasure those 13 pictures I have. They are the only physical memories  I have. I have one family photo of my husband, my daughter, and I. I can’t imagine not having those pictures now. I was unaware when I went to the hospital that night that I would need a camera, I now carry one with me everywhere. I can still remember how she felt in my arms and how fragile she looked. I never want to forget that moment, I would like to not cry every time I think about her though. I took another hour for the placenta to be delivered. The nurses delivered me, my doctor wasn't even there. I passed quite a few blood clots the size of oranges and a lot of smaller ones. I was unaware that much blood could come out of one person and they still be alive. They told me that was normal to. Her head was pressed into a blood clot, so her head is really dark in all the pictures that I have. After I gave my baby back, I have continued to have this empty feeling that will not go away. It hurts so bad.
My doctor finally makes an appearance at 9:30am, six and half hours after I deliver. He never checked me, nothing. He comes in and proceeds to tell my husband and I, "I thought something like this might happen" I could not believe what I was hearing. All along he told us everything was fine and not to worry and then he had the nerve to tell me that.
The nurses came in and told me that because of her length we would have to have a funeral. I was mad at first when they told me that but I am SO glad that we did. I have some place to go when I am upset.  Soon after I delivered, the hospital Chaplin came in and the first thing she asks was "well have you thought about what funeral home you are going to use?" I told the Chaplin " No we don't because when I came to the hospital yesterday, I didn't even know anything was wrong. I haven't planned out everything nor am I going to do that today. I am going to wait till tomorrow when I have time to let everything sink in and understand what is going on." She didn't come back.

It was so hard to leave that hospital without my baby. It just didn't seem fair. A part of me died that day along with my baby girl. That had to be the longest and loneliest ride home that I have ever had.  No mother should ever have to experience that kind of lonely.

My follow up appt was June 11, 2009. This was supposed to be my 5-month check up. When I made this appointment I never thought it would be a postpartum checkup. I arrive at the doctor’s office  and am in near shambles. I don’t want to be at the doctor’s office for a postpartum checkup, I don’t want to see the jerk I had for a doctor, I don’t want to be the person that everyone is whispering about.  I have never felt like I didn’t belong somewhere more in my life.  I know the receptionist and everyone in the office knew what had happened. I could just tell. I still had to sit in the waiting area with all those happy, bubbly pregnant women. I wanted to scream that “babies can die!!” No one ever told me that before. No one told me that you can still loose you baby in the second trimester. I have always been told that once you make it past the first 12 weeks you are in the clear. I have never been given any information that  your baby can die. That you will have to have a funeral  and suffer a broken heart the rest of your life.
The doctor comes into the room after what seems like forever and asks “How are you doing?” I mean how does he want to answer this question, so I just respond with “ not so good” One thing that really started our appt off wrong was he came in and referred to me having a miscarriage. I tried explain that I gave birth, I went through labor and DELIVERY of my daughter, I don’t consider that a miscarriage. He kept saying “well in medical terminology it is classified as a miscarriage.” He wouldn’t even just let me have that one thing. I asked him “do women that have a miscarriage give birth, name their child, hold their child, love their child, kiss their child, and then have to bury their child??” he really couldn’t respond other than “it is classified as a miscarriage” I mean REALLY!!!!  I did have a few questions that I wanted answered. My husband is in the room with my as usual. I ask him “why did you tell  me that everything was fine, everything is good, everything is normal, and then you come into my room 6 ½ hours after I deliver my daughter and say I thought something like this might happen???” He response was and I quote “I am not going to tell Anxiety Girl Amanda that something might be wrong just to make you worry more. I would tell someone laid back like Steve here (as he places his hand on my husbands shoulder) but I am not going to tell somebody that gets upset at every little thing”  (I will always remember this comment)  I was so blown away by this comment that I didn’t know what to say to it.
I will say that I did get loud with him and told him that no matter how  he “thought” a person would react, he still needed to tell every expectant mother, (if he thinks something is wrong) what the outcome could be. I am not saying to scare every pregnant woman that comes in by saying “your baby can die!” I just think that women need to be more informed of the outcomes. I told him that I was still bleeding pretty heavily and still passing clots the size of a 50-cent piece. He said that was “normal” and if I was still bleeding at six weeks that he would “look in to it”. Well I was still bleeding and he had to call in the prescription Methergine. He said that my uterus never shrank all the way back to normal and that it probably should have been caught sooner.  I left the office that day disappointed. Disappointed that the doctor had the “I don’t care attitude” He seemed thoroughly annoyed that I actually came back to talk to him.

I wouldn’t give back the 19 ½ weeks that I shared with my beautiful baby girl because sometimes love is so great that saying hello and goodbye in the same moment is worth it. I am still a mother, Steve is still a father, even though our child is in heaven making it more beautiful to view, we are still parents. I don’t know of many people that can say that they have seen and held their guardian Angel, but I have and feel blessed to be her mother. Mommy and Daddy love you baby girl. We miss you everyday but we always carry you in our hearts. Keep those stars shining baby, I love you!!!!

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Jill said...

Oh, I am so so sorry about the loss of your sweet baby girl. I CANNOT believe the words from your Doctor. That just made me so mad and upset. I would have attacked my doctor if she said something like that. I have so many feelings and thoughts like you have mentioned above. About the wanting to scream about babys dieing. I automatically thought that when pregnant, you go through a wonderful pregnancy and have a baby in the end. Boy did I find that out the hard way that I was wrong, very wrong. Again I am so terrbily sorry, my heart aches for you and your husband.

Lulee19 said...

I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. As if that is not enough to go through, you had to have that idiot of a Dr. My jaw literally dropped when I read what he said to you, but I am so glad you were able to stand up for yourself. I think I would have been shocked to silence. But again, I am so sorry for your loss, I was in tears reading your story.

Franchesca said...

First of all your story drew me because we lost our little girls on the same exact day. Jenna was born at 29 weeks and lived for 13 days. She died though on May 18, 2009.

As I read your story it just brought so much back. I am so sorry first of all for your jerk of a doctor. I wish too so much that they would change the label of miscarriage for babies like your Angel. And also, I remember that feeling of *I really don't belong here* at my postpartum check up. My heart just breaks for you.

Thank you for sharing your story. It has touched me and I know it will make a difference for other women sufferering a loss.


Laura *MrsShrek1028* said...

((hugs)) i am so sorry for your loss. My daughter was born still at 32w 6d just 3days before your angel was born.

Andrea said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Your dates are so close to mine, except my loss happened this year. I found out I was pregnant with Oliver at the end of January with a due date of October 4, 2010 and I lost him on May 12. I so related to your comment about miscarriage vs. stillbirth. Especially when you go through delivery. So shocked to hear your doctor's comments. Thank you for sharing your story.

Mercy said...

I'm sorry for your loss. I am more than appalled by your Dr's words! I remember my Dr referring to my baby girl as "the product of conception" too many times to count. She was vaginally delivered stillborn at 21 weeks.

Anonymous said...

Your doctor (hopefully former) has no compassion in his bitter soul. I'm so sorry for you tragic loss of your sweet baby girl. When I lost my baby girls, we planted a pink rosebush each time. Oh how I love tending to those roses as if I am tending to my sweet babes. Somehow watching them thrive and grow gives me some peace and joy.
Be blessed!!♥

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