Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mom to Marcus Sammuel Dwight
Born Still on August 31, 2010
Centreville, Virginia
"Why are you drinking that coffee drink?" asked my friend Janice, as I was sitting down at my desk for work. "Oh, because I haven't felt Marcus move this morning so I am trying to give him a jump start. It's decaf, I just want the cold and sweet to hopefully get him moving!" was my response. After that came the question of when was the last time I felt him move and that is when it hit me. At first I did not panic or think too much about it. I just thought to myself and tried to remember the answer. As I thought really hard, I realized that I had last felt him move the the afternoon of the day before. Again, I did not panic but continued talking to Janice. She came over to me and started poking at my belly to see if she could get Marcus to move. Five minutes go by and nothing. That is when I actually started to worry. Janice gives me a look and says that I should call my doctor.

I pick up the phone and wait for the receptionist to finish her greeting. "Yes, I need to make an appointment because I haven't felt my baby move since yesterday afternoon". She puts me through to the advice nurse where I have to leave a message. I go into my bosses office to let her know what is going on and that I may need to leave to go to the doctor. Janice tells her that she will drive me, just in case I have to go to the hospital and deliver or something. Not even five minutes later, my phone rings and it's the nurse asking me to come in as quickly as possible. They want to do some stress tests to check his heartbeat. I hang up the phone and the tears start because I am just now starting to realize how serious this may be. I think to myself, worse case scenario, I will be delivering Marcus today instead of three days later as planned by my induction.
I enter the doctors office and sit with Janice as we wait for them to call my name. A few minutes go by and I hear it. I leave Janice sitting there flipping through an outdated People magazine. They do the normal procedure of having me pee in the cup, check my weight and my blood pressure.

They take me in the room where the nurse starts trying to hook the heartbeat monitor to my huge belly. She fumbles around for a good ten minutes before excusing herself to go get the doctor. I didn't think too much of it other than maybe she just couldn't locate it because of Marcus being in some sort of weird position. In walks the doctor, with a smile, and she tries to locate a heartbeat with her Doppler. She searches for a few minutes and says that she "thinks" she hears the heartbeat, but that it was really low. Because of that, she has me schedule an u/s as soon as possible. The earliest one available was at 1:30, it was only 10:00 at that point. I go out to Janice and tell her what they say and we head back to the office. On the way there, I call my husband and give him the update. He says that he is getting off now and will meet me at the house. Once there, I tell everyone what's going on and everyone seems a little concerned. My boss tells me to just go for the day and not sit there waiting.
I head home to my husband where we get ready to go have the u/s. Neither one of us is really grasping the seriousness of the situation and talk as if everything is fine. We head over to the u/s office where we sit in the waiting room for about thirty minutes before getting called back. At this point I am starting to feel anxious and just want them to hurry up and tell me that my baby is okay. We head back and get ready for the u/s. Once in the room, the technician tells me the usual about how they can not tell me anything and that the doctor will come explain it all. We sit there for twenty minutes, in silence, waiting for some indication. The technician finishes up and let's us know she will go get the doctor now. We wait by ourselves for a while, when the doctor comes in and asks if he can take another look. It was at this point that I knew, something was really wrong. He spends another twenty minutes looking around before he gives us the news..."I'm sorry, but there is no heartbeat". I just lost it at this point, tears rolling, gasping for air, telling the doctor that he is wrong and that he needs to check it again. They get the doctor on the phone that I had seen that morning and she apologizes before advising me to go home and get my bag to go to the hospital.
Once we leave, I call my stepmother, also my rock throughout this whole ordeal, and can barely get the words out, "Mom, there is no heartbeat. My baby is dead.". She says she is on her way and immediately hangs up the phone. My husband and I decide to forget the bag and head straight for the hospital. In our minds we are thinking that if there is any chance at all that Marcus may still be alive, we want to get there as soon as possible. We arrive at the hospital and head up to the Maternity ward. When we open the doors, there is a nurse waiting by the front desk who calls my name. She guides us to our room and begins explaining what is going to happen next. "We will wait for Dr. Gopal to get here and then we will start the induction. Now..." My head shot up, "Wait, inductions. You mean I have to still give birth? They can't do a C-section?" The nurse starts telling me that I don't want a c-section because of the scar and the recovery. "No, you don't understand. How am I supposed to push out my dead baby?" She tries to calm me down and says she will be right back.
A few minutes pass and another nurse walks in with her. I learn that her name is Renee and she will be my nurse. A few minutes later, in walks my mom and step mom. They rush to my bed and hold me as we are all sobbing at this point. The nurse starts explaining to them what she was explaining to me and I again start protesting an induction. She tells me that if I want, I can discuss it with Dr. Gopal but for now need to get changed. I change into the gown, get in the bed and wait. Once Dr. Gopal gets there, she does an u/s to actually show me, since the doctor at the u/s place did not show me anything. She explains that there is no heartbeat and shows me on the monitor. I ask her if I HAVE to deliver the baby and she says that I do not want a C-section. As much as I don't want to do this and I think the C-section would be easier, I do not want the scar reminding me of this day. I finally give in and decide to be induced.
The next few hours were filled with your typical labor procedures. I got an IV which was feeding me the pitocin. I got an epidural to help relieve the pain and they broke my water. I sat and talked with various family members as we waited for things to happen. Once my dad arrives, my step mom leaves to go pick up our four year old daughter from daycare and take her back to their house. Two movies, five checks and a lot of pressure later, Marcus makes his arrival.
Marcus Sammuel Dwight Hines was born at 12:30 am on August 31, 2010. He weighed 7lbs 6oz, was 22 inches long and had a full head of black curly hair. He had all ten fingers and toes, and came out looking perfect. I got to hold him and was advised that his looks would start to change because he was dead. Even still, we held him and took pictures with him for as long as we wanted. They took him away and I laid down to try and sleep.
The days after were definitely some of the hardest days of my life. Just leaving the hospital the next day was unbearable because I knew I was leaving my baby boy behind. I had tons of questions floating through my mind. Why now? Could I have done anything to prevent it? He was 39 weeks and three days away from being born, why? Why did that one doctor give me false hope by saying she "thinks" she heard something when she probably knew she didn't? Did I do something wrong? How could I not notice he hadn't moved?

 It has been five months since the loss of our son and there are times when it feels like it has been years. There are many that are so surprised at how well we are doing. They say that they don't think they would even be able to get out of bed. I even get asked if I am angry at God. The answer to that is no because I know he took my Marcus for a reason. The one question that I do get asked is how in the world did I deliver Marcus knowing he was dead. I know it seems hard but at the end of everything, I still got to give birth to Marcus instead of letting the doctors take him via C-section. I tell them that it is hard, but each day it gets a little easier. I will never be over the loss of Marcus, but I am learning to live with it. And each night I pray and thank God for my angel Marcus, who I know is in heaven watching down on me.
Tiffany can be contacted at:


Erin said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I lost my daughter at 30 w 5 days, very unexpectedly. Like you, I became alarmed after not feeling movement. I will never forget that horrifying ultrasound.

I am glad that time is helping your wound heal.

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