Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Pieces: Alpha to Omega

I have been thinking of doing this for a long time. When your child dies, you pretty much have to express yourself, or you lose your mind. I tried a handwritten journal for a while, but picking up the pen is a terrible chore. This I can handle.

The Moment the World Shattered

We discovered that I was pregnant in May 2005, after a year of "trying" through wacko cycles. I ate right. I tried to exercise. I was healthy. My husband came to every prenatal appointment. I loved every moment of my pregnancy, even enjoying the back pain and hip troubles. Those little aches were special because my pregnancy was special. We made plans, filled the nursery, and prepared for arrival.

At 37 weeks, I went for a routine prenatal appointment and the doctor measured the baby just a little short. To be safe, I went for a bio-physical profile and non-stress test. The ultrasound tech quickly found that everything was as it should be, but the baby wasn't exhibiting the practice breathing motions. The doctor didn't think it was much to worry about, but we did 2 more BPPs and NSTs to make sure he was okay. Everyone felt that things were going okay and the breathing movements were no big deal.

A week later, I went into labour in the middle of the night. I had been to the doctor earlier that day and everything was looking good. I had my first internal exam since my initial visit, and wasn't even a fingertip dilated. I remember feeling confident that I would have at least another week to wait for my baby and I felt a little impatient. As this was my first pregnancy, I didn't really recognize the onset of labour - I got out my "what to expect" book and checked the signs. I decided to let my husband get some sleep, as contractions were 45 min apart.

In the morning, he got up, got ready for work. I kissed him goodbye and he took the cell phone to work so I could call him as soon as I felt I needed to go to the hospital. He only worked until noon, so it seemed silly for him to take the day off. We didn't want to waste his two paternity days.

I called him home and he took me to the hospital a few hours later. When I arrived, they attached the fetal heart rate monitor to me. I knew the drill, since I had done the 3 NSTs in the last week, related to the BPP ultrasound. I thought the nurse was such an idiot - she couldn't find his heart rate. She went to get another nurse. I wasn't even really nervous. The other nurse couldn't find one either - what was going on? They called up the portable u/s and I was so confused. If there was something wrong, why weren't they doing an emergency c-section so that he would be okay? Then my doctor came in and said "I'm so sorry". I honestly didn't know what she was talking about. Sorry for what?

Obviously, we soon came to realize what had happened. I asked the nurse what was coming next. I didn't know I would still have to deliver naturally. They used drugs to speed up the labour, I was given Demerol and nitrous oxide and an epidural, and 12 hours later my son was born. We can only assume that his death was caused by the umbilical chord that was around his neck. Our doctor feels that this is the most likely explanation, despite the fact that it was only one loop and rather loose upon delivery. We choose to accept this explanation. We named him. His grandparents and my brother and sister were there to hold him after he was born. They left, and my husband and I held him until we could no longer stay awake. We held his funeral five days later.

We started trying again May of 2005. Eternity passes, 32 days at a time.


m said...

i went through this at the side of my best friend. there are no words that help. and yet, every word - spoken and written - helps. i hope you keep blogging. i will check back often.

Julie said...

Thank you for sharing your son's story. It sounds so much like the story of my first son too. I am so sorry he isnt here with you. No one should ever have to bury their child.

NervousKitty said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your son. I hope you're finding the blogging helpful - I know I have.