Four years ago today our family had a huge loss. I am still at a point where it is easier to just copy and paste the story rather than delving back into it. So if the words are a bit raw still, it is because I typed out the story shortly after the loss and have not been able to read/edit since.
I have been having trouble with coming up with words to put down to
say what happened to us. I need to stop hesitating and just put my
thoughts into words to help myself heal.
May 25th, 2011, I woke up a bit early because I needed to head to a
prenatal appointment in the city. I had switched OB's so I could attempt
a VBAC and University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) is the only hospital
that would allow me to attempt it after 2 c-sections. I had to drop
Hugh off at school early so that I would have time to drive in. As it
was it was raining buckets and I was afraid I would be late. We all know
traffic gets backed up when it rains.
Even with bad
traffic I walked into my appointment at exactly 9:30 am (that was my
appointment time). I had Owen with me and a bag full of toys and snacks
to keep him occupied. I had a standard appointment....pee in a cup, get
weighed, listen to the heartbeat, but she had some trouble finding the
heartbeat with the doppler. So, she sent me to the hospital for an ultra
sound to find it. I was a bit worried but I hoped that the baby was
just being shy and the ultrasound would find the heartbeat right away.
As it was I had had my gender ultrasound the previous Thursday and all
was well at that point.
It was a 10 minute drive to the
hospital and then I had to find parking and head in. My midwife told me
that they were expecting me. I assumed that meant I would be seen right
away for the u/s. I was wrong. I waited, with a hungry and grumpy 2
year old, for 1.5 hours. When I was called in they had cleared the
waiting room and it was their lunch time. I went to the back and had to
strap Owen into his stroller (this made him really mad) so I could have
the u/s. The machine was so old and crappy they could hardly even see
the baby let alone find a heart beat. So, they told me yet again to wait
so they could get approval to use a better machine. Another 20 minutes
have gone by. Owen is just crying at this point and I finally get in the
room. Owen would not be set down at all at this point so there I am
lying on the table with Owen sitting on my chest (they needed my tummy
free for the u/s). At this point they could see that there was no heart
beat but it looked like the baby was still moving. That was all Owen.
Another tech had to come in to hold Owen because he was sobbing so much
that it was shaking my entire body. Then they wanted the OB to come in
to confirm. Again we waited. I'm already crying at this point. I just
wanted to leave. I had Owen to deal with and I didn't want to deal with
the reality of what was happening to me.
I went into
this overly optimistic. I mean it is almost pushed down a pregnant
woman's throat that after the 12 week mark you are "safe" from losing
the baby. I was almost 18 weeks at this point, plus I had just seen the
baby less than a week ago and everything was fine. It really hit me when
I was getting ready to leave and the OB told me that it was my choice
to schedule a D&E or an induction. OMG.....not only did I lose
the baby but I was so far along that I would have to deliver the baby
too (a D&E is a horrific procedure and I would never in a
million years consider it...if you don't know what it is you can look it
up but be forewarned that it is horrific).
I knew at
this point that I would go back to the OB that I had started the
pregnancy with. I have anxiety driving to and from the city as it is. I
am not comfortable at UIC and the only reason I was there was to attempt
the VBAC, which is not happening now.
I had called
Greg a few times during all my visits to keep him updated on the
situation (he could not come to be with me because of transportation
issues), so he knew what was going on. I still had to go pick Hugh up
from school...Greg had informed them that I would be late but not why. I
cried for most of the entire hour drive going to pick up Hugh. I should
have pulled over but I just wanted to be home at this point. Once I got
to get Hugh I ran in and started sobbing again. I had to tell them what
was going on and I got two of the best hugs ever from Hugh's teacher
Ms. Crystal and Miss. Stacie.
I made it home without
getting into any accidents and I just sat there. I didn't know what to
do or to think. I needed Greg. I needed him to hold me and be with me. I
tried to do a little research online but crying kept getting in the way
so I did nothing until Greg finally got home.
May 27th came and we drove to the hospital. My mom had taken off work
to stay at our house with the boys. We arrived and they showed us to our
room in the labor and delivery area. We had to sit and wait a bit. The
OB (same one that delivered Owen) wanted to check my cervix before
anything. I was still closed.
I got an IV and blood
work (18 vials, they were testing me for EVERYTHING) and the first
round of cytotek at about 8:30 am. Bed rest for the first 2 hours with
cramping starting at just about 3 hours. At 1:45 pm I got my second
dose. 2 more hours of bed rest. The cramping became more regular. By
5:00 they were coming every 2-4 minutes. I got the last dose at 6:00 pm
with 2 more hours of bed rest. Cramping/contractions were coming about
every 2 minutes right away. At 7:00 pm my water broke and the intensity
level of the contractions went through the roof. By 8:00 pm the
contractions were coming on top of each other with no break. I started
throwing up at about 8:15 pm with quite a lot of pressure. Right around
8:40 pm the pain increased and I delivered the baby.
never had to be hooked to a monitor except for blood pressure and that
was only while I was on my 2 hours of bed rest after the med dosing.
They allowed me to deliver in any position I wanted so I ended up
delivering on my side (it was the best position to get me through those
The baby was a boy....we
named him Luke Gregory. He weighed 6.88 ounces and was 7.5 inches
long....he was not large enough to qualify for stillbirth status in the
state of Illinois but he was classified that way through the doctor's
office. Luke was perfect, with 10 fingers and 10 toes. It appears that
he died right after my gender u/s the week before. I have since
received chromosome and pathology results and he was a perfect in every
way boy. They could detect nothing wrong and have no reason for his
The placenta never delivered on it's own so I
had to go in for a D&C. They put me under completely saying
that I had emotionally gone through enough at that point. The hospital
staff was wonderful, they contacted the funeral home for us to arrange
for Luke to be picked up so we could cremate him. They also took
pictures and have put together a memory box for us with foot prints
and a bunch of other stuff. The funeral home waived all charges except for the $50 county paperwork fee.
and I got to hold Luke for as long as we wanted, his eyes were both
open and he had a perfect nose and 10 fingers and toes. We took more
pictures and said our goodbyes. Now that Luke is gone I need to deal
with this loss. I didn't just lose a baby, I lost all my hopes and
dreams for another person that will never be.
We had Luke cremated and have since received his ashes from the funeral home.There was not much.
am having them made into a pendant to put on a necklace so I can have
him close to my heart forever. I also had his foot prints and name
tattooed onto my inner wrist. Anytime I think about him I can look down
and remember how little and at the same time how much he touched in this
Last year on Luke's Birthday I bought a white balloon for each boy to release. After their birthday party they each released one balloon for Luke. I did the same this year. It is such a small thing but the boys talk about it all the time.