Monday, July 4, 2011

A Loss

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.

On Wednesday, May 25th, 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.

Friday, 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.

I 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 non-stop contractions).

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 death.

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.

Greg 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.

I 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 world.

I will be uploading pictures of Luke if anyone is interested. He was little but perfect.


Lisa said...

I'm still so desperately sad for you, Cassie. Thank you for sharing your birth story and I hope this will help you heal. Wish I could make it all better, I really do. :(

Angie Bee said...

I am so very sorry Cassie. I am glad that you were able to bring him peacefully into this world if only to say goodbye. Hugs to you and your family and I wish healing for your heart my friend.

I had a MC at 13 weeks. Very different than your experience but you are right that its not just the loss of life but the loss of the hopes and dreams that you already had for this little one. I am so sorry.

Claire said...

Many thoughts and prayers for you and yours. So very sorry Cassie.

Caity McCardell said...

I just found you on the Barefoot Runner's Society Stomp of Approval page, and I can't help respond to this post. I just want to reach out to say my heart ached reading your words. I love the tattoo you designed. Please take care of yourself.

Cassie said...

Thanks for you kind words everyone.