Mom to David Allen
Stillborn January 11th, 2010
My name is Amber Watts and I am the mother to a beautiful Angel Baby named David Allen. My Husband, Bill and I have been together for 13 wonderful years. When we met, I was 18 and he was 32. Even with the age difference, we knew we were meant to be together. He had been married before and had 3 kids with his first wife. After their third child, he had a vasectomy. So when we met 6 years later, I knew he couldn't have kids. At 18 I didn't care. Back then I thought I would never want kids! After a few years of being together the ol' maternal clock started ticking and there was nothing I wanted more than to be a mom! So we started searching for doctors that did vas-reversals.
We soon discovered that we couldn't afford to have it done! Well, after years of hoping and praying for an answer, in 2008 we finally found a doctor that was willing to do it at his Christian-based clinic in New Braunfels, TX for only $1000. Three months later we had it done. We were both so excited! I was finally going to have the chance to be a mom!
It took us 10 months to get pregnant. June 2, 2009 was the happiest day of my life! I woke up early that morning and took a pregnancy test..it was POSITIVE!! I couldn't believe it! I woke Bill up and showed it to him. I've never seen him jump out of bed so fast! He ran around to me and threw his arms around me. We were both shaking! That day we told EVERYONE! We just couldn't keep it to ourselves!
The pregnancy was a breeze! I didn't have any morning sickness or any other unpleasant symptoms, but I was so happy, I would've welcomed them! The only problems I had was my blood pressure started going up a little around 30 weeks. It wasn't even enough to worry my doctor. But just to be safe he had me cut down on sodium as much as I could and take my blood pressure twice a day. Everything seemed to be under control, only it wasn't.
I guess I should start with Saturday, Jan. 9th. Because if that day hadn't happened the way it did, things could have turned out much different! Bill and I got up as usual at 4:45am for him to be at work by 6. He normally works a 12 hour shift and I assumed that's what he'd be working that day. Well, he called me later that evening to tell me that he was gonna be working late because he had to stay on the job he was at until it was done. Normally, he would've been relieved by one of the night drivers, but that night all but two of them had called in sick. I was mad! That was one of the nights when it was in the teens and the heater in his truck had stopped working! I wanted him to come home!! He ended up getting home from work at 4 AM Sunday morning! Just 45 min before he should have been getting up to go to work!! So of course, because he worked 22 hours straight, he told his boss he was going to take Sunday off. Thank God he did!
We went to bed that morning at around 8:45am. I felt fine when we went to bed. At 11:12am I woke up with a horrible pain in my stomach and it was hard as a rock. My first thought was maybe it was a contraction. I didn't know what they felt like but I'd been told my stomach would get hard. I thought about waking Bill up, but I wanted to wait and see what was going to happen. I knew he needed his sleep. Then I felt like I really needed to go to the bathroom. So I got out of bed and slowly made my way to the bathroom. The pain was bad enough I couldn't stand up completely straight. (This might sound kinda personal, but it was part of my story!) While I was sitting on the toilet..the pain wasn't getting any better. I remember yelling for Bill. Then the next thing I knew I was on my hands and knees on the floor in front of the toilet. I remember thinking "What am I doing? Why am I on the floor?" I thought maybe the pain was just so bad that I was doubled over trying to make it stop. It never occurred to me that I might have blacked out. I got back on the toilet and yelled for Bill again. Then the next thing I remember was being on the floor again against the bath tub. That time I realized I had blacked out. The room was spinning and everything I was looking at looked like it had a bright light coming from it. I started REALLY yelling for Bill then. He came running into the bathroom asking me what was going on. All I could tell him was something was wrong. I've never had a baby before so had no idea what labor was like, but I knew it wasn't supposed to be like that!! Bill got me to my feet and he definitely knew something was wrong when he looked at my face. He said I had no color what so ever in my lips. He said I looked like a ghost. He helped me back to the bedroom and while we were getting me dressed he called to talked to the doctor on call that day. This part is why I say I Thank GOD Bill was home that morning. I was SO weak and tired that all I wanted to do was lay down and go back to sleep. And if I had done that, I wouldn't have woke up! But Bill wouldn't let me. He made me get out of bed and get into the car. We got to Good Shepherd in record time! (But it still felt like it took forever!!) It was on the way to the hospital that I had first realized that since all of this had started, I hadn't felt David move.
After the registration part..Bill took me up to Labor & Delivery where they immediately started checking for my baby's heartbeat. They kept searching and searching. I remember one of the nurses saying that he might just be turned around and it would be harder to find the heartbeat. They finally had a doctor bring a sonogram machine and he told me he was looking right at the baby's heart and it wasn't beating. I think I was in shock and in so much pain that I didn't cry at that point. Bill, my mom, dad, aunt, uncle and grandparents were all crying. I was the only one not crying. After that, the rest of the day was mostly a blur. I remember bits and pieces. I remember people kept telling me I was really sick. I also remember the doctor telling me that I had a placental abruption. My placenta completely tore away from my uterus, which took David's blood supply away. They said it was nothing I did and there was nothing that could have been done.
I assume my blood pressure must have been high because they had me on magnesium to keep it under control so I wouldn't have a stroke. It felt like I had been in that room for hours but Bill said it was only 30 minutes to an hour before the guy came in to give me an epidural. I remember him coming in and talking to me. He told me I had to roll over on my back then set up on the side of the bed. I remember thinking it was cruel of them to expect me to move at all because I was in so much pain. Laying on my back was the worst!! But I did it. I remember sitting up on the side of the bed and the next thing I know, I wake up laying back in the bed all crooked and very uncomfortable. I had blacked out again. The only thing that kept me from falling out of the bed backwards was the nurse held my legs as I fell back. And I think the epidural guy was behind me and caught me the best he could. They said I went down fast. Bill said I was just laying there and twitching a little. But I came to pretty quick. I don't know exactly how long it was after that but, the next thing they had to do was give me a blood transfusion. I remember having 6 or 7 people working frantically trying to get an iv started to give me the transfusion. They were having a really hard time finding a vein. I couldn't tell you how many times they stuck me!! They were just about to try in my neck when they finally got one started on my left hand. My blood type is O positive, but because that is such a common blood type, they didn't have any ready!! So they had to use O negative. Which freaked my mom and Bill out, but they explained that they did something to it to make it safe to use on me. I don't remember the details on that. I just know they said it was such an urgent situation that I didn't have time for them to get more O positive or to have any of my family give blood. My mom said it was like something she'd seem on TLC..she said they got one bag hooked up and the guy started squeezing it like a tube of tooth paste trying to get it into me as quickly as possible. Then as soon as that one was empty he did the same thing with the next one. I think I fell asleep after the transfusion. I remember opening my eyes and for the first time since I'd been at the hospital, I could actually keep them open and focus on things. The transfusion made a HUGE difference. The nurses were telling me that I looked so much better..I actually had some color in my face! They said my face had been as white as my pillow case and I had given them all a good scare. After that, while I was waiting for my doctor to come check on me, is when I started thinking back through everything that had happened that day. That's when it finally hit me that my baby was gone and I finally cried. I also realized it was getting close to midnight and after midnight, it would be my mom's birthday. I know it wasn't anybody's fault, but I felt so bad that my mom was going to have to deal with her grandson being stillborn on her birthday! Well, after awhile my doctor came in..checked my cervix and I was still only at like 1 cm, then he looked at the print out of my contractions and realized my uterus was not contracting the way it should. He said he had to take the baby now!! My uterus was so full of blood that it had stopped working. So they got me ready for surgery. I was scared to death. Because I remember someone saying earlier in the day that it wouldn't be safe for me to have a c-section because of all the blood I lost. Now here they were telling me I had to have one!!! I told Bill I loved him and looked up at the clock as they wheeled me out of the room. It was 10 mins after midnight. I thought they would give me a second to tell my mom & sisters I loved them when they got me out of the room, but they didn't even slow down. All I could do was grab my mom's hand and tell her "Happy Birthday" as they wheeled me past her. I don't know why, I just felt like I had to let her know that I knew it was her birthday.
My doctor told me that after my c-section, they had to give me another transfusion. He said there was tons of blood in my uterus. He said there was so much that if it had come out, he didn't think they would've been able to save me. But something blocked it from coming out. Bill and I like to think that David was blocking it and that he saved my life.
After I woke up, it was time for us to see little David. I wasn't sure at first if I could handle it. But I'm so glad I did. He was a beautiful little boy!! PERFECT! He weighed 6 lbs 7 oz and had plenty of dark black hair! We didn't get to see what color his eyes were but I'm sure they were brown like mine and Bill's. Me, Bill, my mom and my sisters all held him and took plenty of pictures. (I don't ever want to forget what his little face looked like!) He looked like he was just sleeping so peacefully. I guess in a way he was. I take comfort in knowing that he is in a much better place now. He has the best of everything. Better than anything we could have ever given him. Our little boy will live forever in our hearts!
Going home was so hard. I never imagined that I would be leaving the hospital without my baby boy in my arms. On the ride home I kept looking beside me thinking there should be a car seat with our son in it, but there wasn't..and I would start crying all over again. I pretty much lost it when we got home. There was baby stuff everywhere! However, that wasn't the hardest thing we had to face that day. That same evening was David's viewing. David looked so cute in his sweater vest with his teddy bear and blanket. My parents handled all of the funeral arrangements for us and they picked out the most beautiful blue casket for our angel. So many people showed up for his viewing and funeral, some that we didn't even know.
My husband took 3 weeks of vacation to stay home with me. If he hadn't, I don't know if I would've made it. I spent most of that time either sleeping or crying. When it came time for him to go back to work I felt so scared and alone. I know I could have reached out to my family, but I didn't want to see or talk to anyone but my husband. Our house was so quiet. Seconds seemed like hours. I would sit on the couch in complete silence for hours, just thinking about everything that had happened and how unfair it was for this to have happened to us. What did we do to deserve this? I was mad at the world! How could everyone else be living their lives like nothing was wrong when our lives had come crashing down all around us! I thought so many times about ending my pain for good, but I couldn't. I didn't want to hurt my husband and the rest of my family like that. I don't even know how to describe the pain. How could my heart hurt SO much when such a huge part of it is gone forever? I lost interest in everything, fell into a deep dark depression.
Every holiday has been torture for me, especially Mother's Day.
As days slowly went by, life became just a little more tolerable. The pain has never gone away and I'm sure never will. 10 months later we decided to try to have another baby. On December 2, 2010 we found out I was pregnant. I was so excited when we found out, but not long after that was Christmas, then a few weeks later was David's 1st anniversary. I fell right back into that deep depression. Then to make things worse, I felt guilty for being so upset over David and not being as excited as I should be about the baby I'm pregnant with now! My husband and I think that maybe we should have at least waited until after David's 1st anniversary before trying to get pregnant again. But we had no way of knowing how upsetting and confusing it would all be for me, we're new at all this!
On February 7, 2011 (mine and Bill's anniversary) all of the confusion and guilt was replaced with excitement and happiness. I felt our tiny baby move for the first time. It was the first time in almost 13 months that I remembered what having hope felt like! I couldn't stop smiling! I smiled so much my face hurt! I knew it was early for me to be feeling the baby move, but you never forget that feeling and I had no doubts! I even went to Webmd and it said that for second and third times moms it is pissible to feel your baby move as early as 13 weeks! That confirmed it for me! I wasn't crazy and it wasn't wishful thinking! I believe that God made it possible for me to feel my baby move so early because He knew how much I was hurting. I believe He did it to bring me comfort and some hope, that one day, my husband and I will have our perfect little family..me, my husband, our angel baby David and his little brother or sister that will be here August 2011.
You can contact Amber at email@example.com