Saturday, April 28, 2007

Our Story - Let Go and Let God

Let go and let God - some of the best advise we have ever been given. God is in control and we are desperately looking to Him now for hope. We know that this is one of those situations in which one is curious about the details - but afraid to ask. We cherish the precious birth of our baby and want to share the details just as we would had he survived. The following is an account of the events of AJ's birth and the day God called him home.

March 29th
The day was just as any other to this point...Al and Eli went off to work and school and I went off to the office to start the day with a staff meeting. I wish I could tell you anything that was discussed, but by the time I got to the office I was more focused on could today be the day? I had gone home not feeling "great" the previous day and continuing to have minor contractions. About half way through the staff meeting, I got a waive of nausea and hot flash. I quickly got a cool rag and laid down in the hall trying to be tough and not alarm anyone. I asked one of the nurses to take my blood pressure - it was good. Went to the bathroom and was spotting a little so I called the doctor and made an appointment to go in at 11:15. I made all final arrangements at the office - I was certain that I wasn't coming back - it was time!

I went in to see the doctor and was dilated to a 2 and the cervix was "changing". The heartbeat we heard was strong (of course we know now it was my heartbeat) so I went home to rest some more. Ate a sandwich, watched soaps and took a nap. Around 4:30 I woke up with contractions coming about every 15-18 minutes. Said a prayer that they wouldn't stop - I was ready for AJ to come. Al & Eli got home around 6:00 and we ate some cereal (I wasn't very hungry) but needed to eat a little something. Contractions continued to get closer and stronger - yea this is it. Al took Eli to mom's house and I finished packing the bags. It was raining. The contractions got to be about every 6 minutes around 11:00 so we decided to load and go.

March 30 (12:47am)
We got to the hospital with contractions about every 3-4 minutes. Got off of the elevator to see the nursery right in front of us. One of the nurses was holding up a baby as she wrapped him up...holding Al's hand - I said, "Oh my gosh - we are having another baby". Reality hit at that moment for some reason. We walked around to the nurses station and told the group of nurses that we were ready to have a baby...and I want a good room this time - last time I had the smallest room on the floor (laughing and teasing of course). They admitted me and put us in a nice big room and asked me to put the gown on and they would hook me up to the monitor. I did as they asked and got in the bed. Heidi was our nurse and she began looking for AJ's heartbeat with the monitor. After several minutes she said she was going to go get a different monitor. The batteries were dead in that monitor. She went for another. Again after listening for a few minutes, she said let me go get another nurse - maybe I'm just in the wrong place. Angela came in and began listening. Small talk was going on - I kept saying the heartbeat was good in her office at 11:15 this morning. Maybe he is just laying in an odd spot. Then Angela said the first of what would be thousands of "I'm so sorries". It took me a minute for what she said to register and I replied, "What do you mean you are sorry - you think the baby is dead?" she looked back at me with elephant tears and said, "I'm afraid so".

I began shaking - Al and I holding hands as tightly as we could hold - he looked at me and trying to keep me calm - said, "wait until they get the sono up here - wait until Dr B gets here." I looked at Heidi and said get Dr B here now - she assured me she was on her way. This can't be happening - 30 minutes ago we were having a baby - Eli is expecting a brother...This can't be happening...

Numbness set in quickly as the sono tech arrived and began setting up her machine - she said it would take 4 minutes and I think those 4 minutes were the longest - confirmation that our baby is gone before we even had a chance to look into his eyes. The tech, Heidi and Al could see the sono screen and they all stood there in silence. I broke the silence and said, "someone has to say something". The tech said she didn't know what the protocols were in L&D - I looked at Heidi and said Heidi - "tell me". She asked the tech if there was any movement - her reply was "no movement - no heartbeat - no fluid." He was gone...I laid my head on the pillow and said, "God - you are in control - deal with this". I can't imagine ever forgetting that moment in time...I pray I never do. We had 38 weeks (almost a full 39) with AJ. His little life has and will continue to change the world around us.

Dr B arrived trying to be strong with elephant tears being held back as best as she could. She held my hand and cried with us - she said she thinks the heartbeat we heard at noon was mine - not his. The questions began - do I want to be awake? - sedated/fuzzy? - out? - do we want an autopsy? - do we want to hold him? - do we want they to take him away to give him his bath or do it in the room? - do we want to see the chaplain before we deliver? - do we want them to take pictures?

We answered the questions without the slightest comprehension of what we were answering. NO - I don't want to miss a minute of this - don't give me anything that might compromise my memory. Do we need an autopsy? (Wait to see if there are any obvious causes.) Of course we want to hold him - (I remember thinking are you crazy?) he's our baby. Keep him in the room with us - I don't want him out of my sight. Yes we want to see the chaplain. Yes please take pictures.

They started my epidural. I was shaking so badly - they gave me some Demerol. Then they left us alone in a dim room with our tears. God's plan - we don't understand how this could be part of God's plan...but it is. We talked about what to tell Eli - we were both very focused on Eli and our do we tell our families? Mostly we cried and held each other. I called work around 3:00 so the phone wouldn't start ringing when I didn't show up at 8:00. Al called and tried to reach his boss as well. We had no idea what to expect in the hours ahead.

At 3:30 the chaplain came in and spoke with us - prayed with us and for us.

At 4:28 they came in and started the ptosin. With a deep breath I realized I still had to deliver the child I would never know. They checked me and I was at about a 5. I asked for a bolus in the epidural and more Demerol as I had begun shaking again. Dr B said she wanted me to labor the baby down as low as possible so I wouldn't have to push for a long time. At 4:55 I told Heidi I thought it was time. Just as she was about to check me, she was called out of the room. Heidi and Dr B came in about 5:10 and it was time. I pushed 2 times (with several breaths to each "bear down") and he was here. As AJ came out I could see a perfect knot in the cord in the reflection of Dr B's glasses. At about that time, she said, "it was the cord - it's around his neck and there is a knot." 5:28 am - She looked up at me and asked me if I wanted him on my stomach. I said yes...and there he was...our perfect - 10 finger (hands just like daddy's) - 10 toes (feet just like Eli) - brown hair (just like mine) - 6 lbs 6 oz - 19 1/2" long - ANGEL.


Carla Burlando said...

Truly heartbreaking. I'm so sorry you went home with empty arms, there is nothing worse. We lost our first son at birth, different cicumstances but the same outcome.

Laura said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I too had a son born still.