Friday, September 17, 2010

Mom to Chloe
August 7th, 2010
Whitby, Ontario

In November 2009, when Lily was only 8 months old I discovered that I was pregnant again, my husband and I were thrilled.  Life was going to get very busy, but we were so excited to be expecting again.    On March 1, 2010 at 18 weeks we found out Lily was going to have a baby sister.  If it was even possible, we were even more excited than before, we were going to have 2 little girls only 16 months apart in age.  Life was good!

My whole pregnancy was 100% textbook; at every appointment I was healthy and so was Chloe, she was active and always had a nice strong heartbeat.  My due date of August 1 came and went with no signs of me going into labour.  I was getting impatient to meet our little girl but I expected I would be late since Lily was 11 days overdue.  I had been having tons of Braxton Hicks contractions for weeks and I started to wonder if I would remember what the real ones felt like or not, turns out I did.  Finally, on August 6 at about 8pm I started having real contractions, they weren't painful at that point, but they were different, I knew I was in labour. The contractions were mild and I probably could have slept through them but I was just too excited that I was finally in labour, sleeping was out of the question, so I watched a movie.

By 4am the contractions were about 4 minutes apart and starting to get uncomfortable.  I took a shower and by the time I was out the contractions were getting a lot stronger, I blowdried and straightened my hair between contractions.  Once I was showered and tidied up I woke up my husband to call his parents to come over to our house. I had no idea how long or short my labour would be so I wanted them to be here to watch Lily in case we had to go to the hospital quickly. I called my mom to let her know things were happening just so she would have the heads up. I called the midwives about 5:30am to let them know I was in labour.  The midwife let me know that the hospital they deliver at was full and I would either have to deliver at another hospital with my midwife present, but she could not actually deliver Chloe, or I could have a homebirth. I was a perfect candidate for a homebirth because I had had 1 natural and problem free delivery and this was a 100% textbook pregnancy.  I talked to my husband about our options and we decided on a homebirth.  I called my mom back to let her know that we would be having Chloe at home so to come on over. 

The midwife came over at about 6:00am  and assessed me, I was already 5cm dilated.  I was so happy; I was getting so close to having my baby girl in my arms.  Lily woke up just before 7am and we decided that we would send her to my parents house with my dad and in laws until Chloe was here because my contractions were freaking her out a bit.  I continued labouring at home, I liked walking during contractions and then when they got worse it felt good to lean over my exercise ball or on the half wall with my husband squeezing my hips together to relieve the back labour.  At one point my husband was complaining how much work it was to squeeze my hips so tightly for so long, the midwife told him to shut it.  Everything was going so smoothly, so perfectly I was doing well and Chloe was doing well. I even updateed my Facebook Status shortly after 8am to let everyone know I was having Chloe at home.  

Shortly after my status update on Facebook, the midwife said we should move upstairs as my contractions were only about 2 minutes apart at that point, we were getting really close.  Once upstairs I was quite comfortable on my knees leaning over the edge of the bathtub.  I went through a few contractions in that position and everything was still great, including Chloe, her heartbeat was still nice and strong.  They were checking her heartbeat every ten minutes at that point and the next check is when everything started to go wrong.  The midwife had trouble finding Chloe’s heartbeat and when she did it was very slow.  She had her assistant call 911 and moved me to the bed right away.  I was only 8cm dilated at that point so she quickly stretched me to 10cm and I pushed Chloe out in less than 2 minutes.  She whisked Chloe away and started working on her right away, within 2 minutes of Chloe coming out my bedroom was filled with EMS workers, all working to save my little Chloe.  No one was telling me what was happening and I was so scared, but never, ever in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine she wouldn’t make it.  They worked on Chloe for a while, I have no idea how long but no one was saying anything and I was terrified.  Eventually they moved us to the ambulances, my husband and I in one and Chloe in another.  I don’t know how much time had passed at this point but I was still so sure they were going to be able to save her.  Chloe was born alive, but I’m not exactly sure how long she “lived” for.  Her heart was beating very slowly when she was born, but she never took a breath on her own, the paramedics did all the breathing for her. 

We were at the hospital in under 10 minutes and very shortly after arriving they brought us our baby girl, all wrapped in a pink blanket.  She was perfect, so beautiful, she looked so much like her big sister, it was like they were twins born 16 months apart.  She looked so peaceful, like she was sleeping.  I kept waiting for her to open her eyes and for someone to say it was all just a mistake.  But it never happened.  We cried and cried and cried, then I ran out of tears and then I cried some more. 

Our nurse was absolutely amazing.  She had suffered a very similar loss 10 years ago and she helped us so much while we were there.   She took pictures of Chloe and of us holding her.  We were able to hold Chloe for a couple of hours before we had to say goodbye.  I was so emotionally exhausted at that point I couldn’t even cry tears anymore.  Having to say good bye to my baby girl was the worst kind of pain I could ever imagine, knowing I would never get to hold her again or kiss her again was a pain so deep there are no words to describe and nothing to compare it to. 

The hospital put together a memory box filled with Chloe’s hand and foot prints, a lock of her hair, the blankets she was wrapped in and a few other things.  At first I told them I didn’t want the box but my mom took it and told me when and if I ever wanted it she would give it to me.  I am so very thankful to have it now because that is all I will ever have of my baby girl. 

My husband spoke with the coroner who told us that they were not able to find a thing wrong with Chloe.  Her brain was healthy, her heart was healthy, all her organs were perfectly healthy, everything was perfectly healthy.  We will never have an answer as to why we lost our baby girl.  No amount of testing, screening & ultrasounds while I was pregnant would have ever shown anything wrong with her.  Apparently there was just something in her that needed me to survive and as she came close to being born her body started to shut down. 

I asked the OB at the hospital and the coroner if I had delivered at the hospital if Chloe would have had a chance, they both told me no.  There is nothing they could have done differently to save her.  The OB told me that the only difference is that they likely would have rushed me in for an emergency c-section, but because the midwife worked so fast stretching me and I pushed Chloe out so quickly not even that would have made a difference, in all likely hood the c-section would have taken longer.  This somehow made me feel a little bit better and now looking at the situation as it is I am so thankful I had her at home, in our bed.  For the few brief moments she was alive, she was in her home.  I know she didn’t know that, but we did and that brings me some comfort.  On the other hand, lying in our bed at night I can sometime close my eyes and relive it all in such detail I can hardly breathe for the tears, anger and sadness. 

Everything was so close to being perfect.  I miss my baby girl so much it hurts.  I am so sad and so angry each and everyday it exhausts me.  Sometimes I have moments of “peace” with losing her, but at this point they are fleeting and far between.  I have the most wonderful family and friends who have all been so supportive and without them I simply wouldn’t be able to function.  

You can contact Liana at


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