Mom to Sofia Rose
October 12th, 2010
We found out on February 3, 2010 that we were expecting with a due date of 10-10-10. It was such an exciting day. We waited for the "safe" months to pass before telling family & friends our great news. At approximately 12 weeks we spilled the beans and everyone was surprised & excited.
My pregnancy was uneventful. My blood pressure was outstanding at every visit, I ate healthy and gained only about 25 pounds total. I constantly heard how "cute" I was, since it looked like I had a basketball hidden inside my shirt. Aside from the normal aches & pains, I was a happy pregnant girl! We chose not to find out the gender of the baby until birth so we were full of anticipation for the big day. Baby moved all the time in my belly! Tim was certain to become a soccer coach to him/her some day.
At 40 weeks (on 10-10-10), we went for a nice long walk with the dogs in the morning. I remember mentioning to my husband how I hadn't felt the baby move a whole lot that weekend but I wasn't overly concerned. We continued on our walk and I felt a kick, so my worries were cast aside. The rest of the day was spent cleaning out the garage, moving slowly and getting things done around the house. I remember feeling uncomfortable and some possible mild contractions but otherwise just tired.
On Monday, 10-11-10, we went in to work as normal and went about our day. We had a 2:30 pm Dr. appt. so we met there. On my way there I had this awful feeling/thought... I wondered what I would do if something bad happened... how would I tell people, how would I handle it... Then I literally shook my head and in my mind yelled at myself for thinking such a thought. I normally would never think such a thought and it struck me as odd but shrugged it off and continued driving.
Here's where our lives were changed FOREVER...
In the Dr. office she tried finding the heartbeat as usual. This time it was taking her longer. I mentioned that the last time we were in the baby was on my right side. She tried and had no luck. She then checked me and I was dilated to 3 cm. I looked at Tim nervously as he looked at me. Dr. said she would get me into an ultrasound room to check on the baby right away.
She started the ultrasound and I reminded Tim to not look or he might find out the gender. We just stared at each other. After what felt like an eternity, I turned to the Dr. & the sonogram monitor and as I looked at my baby's rib cage on the screen not moving said something like "it's not there is it?"... She had another Dr. come in to look but really it was just to confirm what she already knew. Our baby was gone.
I cannot even put into words what we felt at that instant. I could barely breathe. We were in shock. We were devastated. Much of it is a blur in my mind. I recall asking/shouting/crying over the fact that I was going to now have to deliver my deceased baby. I asked Tim if he wanted to know the gender instead of waiting. He said yes and the Dr. showed us on the monitor, it was a girl.
They gave us some time alone and we decided to go home & gather some things and drive back to the hospital for an induced labor. They have a back door at the Dr. office so we left that way and headed home. In the car I called my mom then Tim's mom to inform them of the horrible news. I made a few other calls/texts and once home we started taking all the baby stuff out of my packed hospital bag. I had Tim put away all my pregnancy books so I wouldn't have to look at them when we came home. I remember running around like a woman on a mission, yet it was like my mind was gone. I felt like a robot just doing what needed to be done... But then in my closet I stood there and just stared at my clothes. Tim had to help me figure out what to wear. Tim was especially upset and cried in the baby's room. I think I was trying to be strong for him. It broke my heart that he was so sad. I remember him calling his sister. My friend Carrie stopped by on her way home from work and cried & hugged us.
On the car ride to the hospital we both cried. A lot. I remember Tim saying how he is only 34 and shouldn't have to bury his child. We arrived at Lakeside Hospital some time after 5:00 pm and tried to hurry past the nice ladies who like to greet people. She insisted on walking us up to L&D even though I told her we knew where we were going. I'm sure she was confused as we were both in tears trying to get away from her and it was clear I was checking in to have a baby.
Our parents and my sister were in the waiting room when we arrived. We hugged & cried then were given a room. I remember after changing into my hospital gown sitting on the couch and asked my sister-in-law, Sarah, to contact someone from NILMDTS (Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep) http://www.
nowilaymedowntosleep.org/ . Last year I became familiar with the non-profit org. and had actually considered participating since I've been doing newborn photography part time. They volunteer to take photos of babies who don't live, so parents have some memories. Little did I know I would eventually need their services for our own personal needs.
I spoke with one of my nurses, Mary, as to what the plan would be and the rest of that day is a blur. My bag of water was broke and there was a LOT of fluid. Sadly, it was filled with thick meconium (baby had a bowel movement while inside me). They started the pitocin to regulate & increase my contractions and at some point I received the epidural. That didn't hurt-it hurt more when they removed the tape from my back. It felt like I was being waxed. Not pleasant. I do remember the feeling as the needle went in my back and I jolted a bit and was nervous and apologetic for that. Otherwise it was OK. From then on I didn't feel much pain. I had one "hot spot" in my lower left abdomen region where I could feel contractions so some adjustments were made to the epidural and I was fine after that.
It was kind of strange-surreal-to have our immediate families in the room for such an event. I was pretty tired and we just all watched the monitor and the contractions go up & down. The nurses checked me a few times and I was progressing. I think I was up to around 7 cm by the end of the night. Everyone went home for a short while since the nurses thought it wouldn't be until morning. I think I was worried they would miss something because around 1:00 am I had Tim call my parents to have them come back by 2:00 am. I was drained emotionally and I was sleepy...very out of it.
The nurses were great. Lori was there while the epidural was administered and until Linda arrived to help me with the pushing. I think I started pushing a little after 7:00 am. I could feel when the contractions were coming but no pain. Being numb made it difficult to feel where to push but Linda & Tim were great coaches. They kept me going for almost 4 hours. Tuesdays are my Dr.'s day off but she made sure to be there. She was there for a great deal of my pushing as well. Oddly, we were able to joke a little bit and I teased Tim for almost drowning me with the straw in my water cup. I also remember joking about my bad breath & stinky feet. My Dr. suggested we try a tug-of-war method of pushing where she twisted up a sheet & knotted both ends. She pulled one end & I pulled the other. This really got things moving. (And I made note for future to start this right away!) I was completely exhausted. Tim was unbelievable. He was really there for me.
At 11:10 am on 10-12-10, Sofia Rose was delivered. She weighed 6 lb, 15.6 oz, 20 inches long.
I actually felt her coming out which I didn't expect. Tim cut the cord and the instant she was separated from me is when I lost it. I don't know how the entire hospital didn't hear my cries. Our cries. It was supposed to be the best day of our lives together. Instead it was the most painful. My Dr. and nurses had tears. It was horrible.
There were no knots in the cord and the placenta looked healthy. No explanation for her death. We said we didn't want an autopsy done. We couldn't handle the idea of them cutting up our little girl. Besides, I've read that an autopsy likely won't find anything anyhow in situations like this.
When Sofia was cleaned up they handed her to Tim and he brought her to me. We were amazed by her beauty and all of her thick dark hair. We cried but we also spent some time just looking her over, like most new parents do.
We decided to have our families come in the room to find out what we had and to see her. It was very emotional but everyone there got to hold her. We were happy they were there to see how cute she was. It was very rough on everyone. It is so hard to see a baby that way. She should have been crying, not us...
We had Father John Michael Voithofer from St. Robert Bellarmine Church come to the hospital to give her a blessing (in lieu of a baptism, since she was already deceased). It was very much like a baptism though.
We had more time with our baby girl and had some photos taken by the NILMDTS photographer. Eventually we said good-bye. It was so hard.
Less than two weeks after losing our baby I created a blog in memory of Sofia Rose so that friends & family and others suffering a similar loss could read and understand what we were and would be going through. So far it is just as difficult as it was the day we said good-bye to her in the hospital. There are good days and bad days. Fortunately we’ve found support locally and online and have friends and family who allow us to grieve on our own terms. We miss her greatly but we know we have a heavenly angel watching over us and that brings us some comfort through the pain.
Lia blogs at www.
You can contact her at email@example.com