Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mom to Andrew John
Born Sleeping on May 14th, 2009
and 2 Miscarriages
February 26th, 2010 and November 19th, 2010
Ann Arbor, Michigan

On October 30, 2008, we found out that we were expecting our second child. We were beyond thrilled. We didn't share the news with many people in the beginning. With the holidays coming up, we thought it would be the perfect time to tell our families. I went out and bought a Big Brother shirt for Matthew so we could tell our families by having him wear it. I actually bought it to tell my husband but it kinda backfired on me. We had planned on telling my family on Thanksgiving but some unexpected doctor appointments came up so I finally had to tell my mom so she could help watch our son while I went to my doctors appointments. They were so happy that we were having another baby. We had planned on telling my husbands parents at Christmas time since they live out of state and this was our year to be there for Christmas but the weather changed all of that. My husband ended up telling them over the phone. They were also very excited. 
So the months started to pass and we quickly came upon the big ultrasound. There was no question in our minds that we were finding out the sex of our baby. If you know us, we are planners so the more we know, the better we can be prepared.  On February 23, 2009, we found out that we were having another boy! We were so excited. I think some people, including my husband, thought I would be disappointed because it wasn't a girl but there's no way I could be disappointed. The thought of having two sons thrilled me. 

On May 9th, my mom threw a small shower for me. My family and close friends attended. I received so many wonderful gifts for our baby boy. This was also the weekend of Mother's Day. I had been by myself the whole weekend because my husband and son flew out to visit his family. We hadn't been there since Easter of last year so he wanted to go out for a visit. I opted not to go because I doubt my doctor would have let me fly anyways since I was 31 weeks. 

On May 10th, I went to church that morning. As I was sitting in church, the baby was moving like crazy. The pastor preached about Mother's. It was a great service and all of the mother's received a beautiful rose. Later that day, my husband and son flew back from NY. I was so happy to see them, I had missed them so much. That was the longest time I was away from our son and it wasn't easy. After I picked them up, we headed to my parents house for dinner. It was a great Mother's Day!

The Tuesday after Mother's Day, I was home with our son. We played outside for most of the day. It was a beautiful day. Later I started to realize that I hadn't felt the baby move. While our son was napping, I decided to lay down for a little while to see if I could feel the baby. I felt nothing but I didn't panic. He usually didn't move much during the day, he moved more in the evenings so I figured I would try to lay down again later to feel him moving. Later came and I still felt nothing. I was hoping that maybe he just moved positions and that was the reason I couldn't feel him. So the next morning, when my husband was leaving for work, I mentioned that I was going to call the doctor to ask them if I should come in since I hadn't felt him. So we said our goodbyes and our son and I proceeded to get ready for our day. Never in my wildest dreams would I expect that day to go the way that it did.

I dropped our son off at daycare. As I was driving to work, I called my doctors office. I told them that I hadn't felt the baby move the previous day so they wanted me to come in for a non-stress test. I called my husband to tell him that I was going in. He wanted to know if he should come too but I told him no, that I'm sure everything was fine plus by the time he got to the doctors office, I would probably be done and on my way to work. 

When I arrived at the doctors office, they took me back to the room. I sat down in the chair and the nurse proceeded to hook me up to the machine that monitored the baby's heartbeat and to see if I was having an contractions. When the nurse tried to hook up the monitor for the baby's heartbeat, she couldn't find it. I asked her if that was normal and she said no. I started to tear up. She said that they were going to have the doctor do an ultrasound. They took me to a room and I sat there for what felt like forever. Finally the doctor came in but there was no ultrasound machine in the room so we had to move to a different room. Great, all I was thinking is "can we get this over with. Just show me that my baby's heart is still beating and everything will be fine." 

The doctor started the ultrasound. He showed me the baby's head then he moved down to the heart. This is when my nightmare began. There was no heartbeat. I can't even begin to describe to you how I felt at that moment. I guess shocked would be the correct word. He looked again just to double check and sure enough, there was no heartbeat. I immediately started to cry. He had to leave the room to get another doctor for a second opinion. She came in and confirmed it, said she was so sorry and left. The doctor started to tell me what needed to be done. I was given the option to go in that day or the next morning to deliver our son. Originally I had decided to go that afternoon but I changed my mind when I found out that my primary doctor was on call at the hospital the next morning. He asked if I wanted to stay there and call my husband or if I wanted to leave. I wanted to leave. I wanted out of that office.

When I got in the car, I called my husband. I was crying so hard that I could hardly make out the words that our baby died. But somehow he understood exactly what I said and immediately left work. I couldn't believe that this was happening to us. How could this happen? Our baby was perfectly healthy, why did he have to die?

We arrived at the hospital at 7am on Thursday, May 14th. We were immediately taken back to our room. The doctor came in and explained what was going to happen. Unfortunately I already had an idea of what the procedure was going to be. (I have a very close friend that went through this horrible experience almost 2 years ago. She came to visit me the day I found out our baby was gone. We sat and cried for a few hours. She has been more help to me than she'll ever know. I'm so thankful God has put her in my life.) It was a long day. It was filled with some laughs and a lot of crying. 

At 8:11pm, Andrew John was born. He weighed 4lbs, 11.5oz and he was 18.5" long. He was perfect. He looked just like his older brother, just like him. His skin was so soft. His tiny hands and feet were beautiful. He had a head full of hair like his brother did when he was born. Our family was there with us so they were able to see him and hold him. Our son was also there. He met his baby brother and we took some pictures together. 

I stayed overnight at the hospital. My mom stayed with me while my husband went home to stay with Matthew. Andrew stayed in the room with us. I just couldn't bare to send him away yet. The next morning I was discharged. My husband came to pick me up and we said our final goodbyes to Andrew. I didn't want to let him go. I wanted to take him home with us and keep him forever. This was our child. We weren't suppose to be mourning over him, we were suppose to be celebrating his life and taking him home to start our life as a family of four. But God had a plan. I don't know what it is or was but he had a plan. I firmly believe that. Sure, I'm upset that God would allow us to go through this painful journey but I also believe there are reasons far more than I can comprehend. 

After leaving the hospital, we went to the funeral home to pick out a casket, something we never in our lives would imagine we would have to do. We picked out a beautiful white casket that was perfect for our son. We had a small, private funeral at the cemetery on Monday, May 18th. It was a beautiful, sunny day. There wasn't a cloud in the sky. 

I miss Andrew so much. I miss feeling him move around in my belly. I miss that I wasn't able to decorate a room for him. I miss that I'm not going to feel that joy of holding my newborn baby boy. I'm devastated that we didn't get the chance to know him, know his little quirks, his little expressions. I hate that I will not get the chance to watch him grow up with his brother.

Our angel is in heaven now, looking down on us. I believe one day we'll see him again. I also believe and hope that he will be looking out for our son and will be with him during his journey in life. He will be forever in our hearts and we will never, ever forget him.

On January 20, 2010, we found out we were pregnant again but our happiness quickly ended on February 26, 2010 when we found out that the baby had no heartbeat. We were absolutely heartbroken.

On October 6, 2010, once again, I found out I was pregnant and once again, on November 19, 2010 we found out there was no heartbeat.

I'm not sure if I want to try to get pregnant again. I don't know how many more losses I can deal with. It breaks my heart that I cannot give my son a (living) sibling to grow up with. I don't look forward to the day that he asks why he doesn't have a brother or sister, that will truly break my heart.

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