Saturday, May 12, 2012

Isaiah's Story - Part Two

If you are just joining - here is the link to Part One of Isaiah's story...

When I arrived at the Labor and Delivery desk, they were expecting me.  The on-call doctor had let them know I was coming in.  The nurses didn't move very quickly when I gave them my name, etc., but when I started crying as I explained that I hadn't been feeling movement from the baby, they responded quickly to help comfort me.  

They brought me to a room, hooked up the Doppler monitor, and started checking for a heartbeat.  After minutes of navigating the disc over every side of my abdomen many times...pressing in...pushing - they couldn't find anything conclusive.  It was like they would hear a shadow of a heartbeat for a second and lose it.  Looking back, I'm sure they knew or suspected the truth - but wanted to hope for the best.  They were probably hearing shadows of my heartbeat.  Matt kept calling my phone - he couldn't handle just waiting - so we decided to stay on the phone together.  I was still pretty calm at this point.

The nurses called the doctor in to do an ultrasound.  My sweet nurse, T, held my hand, remaining patient and peaceful.  The doctor hooked up the machine and poured on the goop.  As she got the machine started, I gazed up at the ceiling and explained to Matt that they were starting the ultrasound...all along trying to keep the "everything will probably be okay" attitude that I explained previously.  

It was as I slowly dropped my head that I saw a portion of the screen and the doctor shaking her head.  In a disappointed voice she said "I'm so sorry - I don't see any movement - I don't see a heartbeat."  I wasn't prepared for this sudden conclusion, and with no warning, a loud, anguished cry burst forth from my chest.  Matt caught his breath and disbelievingly asked "No?  No?" - wondering for sure whether our baby was alive or not.  I forced myself to echo the words the doctor had just uttered for him to hear - breaking the heart of the man I love. 

My mind whirled in disbelief and blurs over what was said next.  We knew the next step was for Matt to come to the hospital, so we considered our options to get him there the soonest.  We decided to call our sweet friend, S, who had been on call to come at night if we went into labor - knowing she would probably be available and willing to care for and love our children in our absence until we knew how long we would be or if our parents could come.  

The nurses begged us not to let Matt drive after hearing this news, but it was only 2 miles away - and he firmly said he was coming.  We asked the nurses what we needed to have there with us, and not knowing if we would stay overnight or not, Matt said he would grab the bag we had packed to accompany us to the hospital...the bag filled with items to use as we welcomed our child, not said goodbye.  I flatly reminded him to grab the camera, too.  

I called S, and through a crying, panicked voice, I told her that we'd just found out that we lost the baby and asked if she could get to our house as soon as possible so that Matt could get to the hospital.  I felt guilt for having to "hurt" another with our news.  This was the first of many times I would have this feeling over the next few days.

As I waited for Matt to arrive, I contemplated calling my parents - knowing my mom would kill me if she knew that I hadn't even called to tell her I was going in to the hospital to be checked, much less this...but I knew that Matt and I needed to call our parents together.  

Yet - I couldn't bear to be there alone - so I called the next person that came to my mind - my best friend, K.  When she answered the phone in a groggy voice, I knew she was expecting me to tell her some joyful news - that we were in labor or had already had the baby.  Instead, all I could do was cry out the only phrase I'd come to grips with saying - we'd lost the baby.  I don't remember the call very well, but I know she comforted and cried with me until I knew Matt was near.  Thank you for your love, dear friend...I am so thankful for you.

Matt arrived at the hospital around 4:45am - exactly an hour after I had.  When he got to my room, we embraced and cried...numb and in shock.  He hugged me and then he prayed.  He asked that amidst this unthinkable tragedy, that God would have his hand on us and somehow get us through the events to come.  I am so very thankful for my sweet man - and for that prayer.  I know that God gave him the strength and words - and it was exactly what I needed.  I will never forget that moment.

Soon our nurse, T, came in and took a couple of photos of my pregnant belly for us - the last pregnant photos we would have taken.  

As we cradled that baby bump - the love for our baby was palpable.  It is amazing how much love we could have for our child - even before we'd met.

 T then explained that I would have to go to another part of the hospital to have an official ultrasound done.  They would take measurements of the baby, etc. - the first of several attempts to figure out what had happened - and it would act as a second confirmation of death.   

She led us through an employee elevator to basement for the ultrasound.  The hallways felt as hollow as my heart.  The technician was so nonchalant - like this scan was just like any other on her shift.  I couldn't imagine how her world could still be moving - while ours had come to a screeching halt and crumbled in mere minutes.  Again, this was the first of MANY feelings I would have like this over the next few weeks.

I layed on the ultrasound table feeling heavy and lifeless, much like my sweet baby.  T held my hand and Matt stroked my shoulder.  At this point we still didn't know the gender of the baby and we asked the technician not to tell us...we still wanted that surprise at delivery.  

Right away as the scan began, T noticed that the baby wasn't head down, but was transverse, or sideways (in my case, the head was on the left side of my abdomen, and the feet on the right).  She wondered aloud if the doctor had noticed that in my ultrasound upstairs, but neither of us could recall.  The baby had been head down at my appointment just a few days before.  I didn't realize at this point that this would be a hindrance to a natural delivery.

I chose to look away for most of the ultrasound, not able to watch the motionless screen of my child - who had been so vibrant and active just a day ago.  The technician took measurements of the baby and took pictures of the beautiful, but very still, heart. She said the body measured 36.5 weeks and the head 39 weeks (large heads run on my side).  This reminded us of what the OB's had questioned throughout my pregnancy - my due date.  From the measurements of the five previous ultrasounds we had done, they thought the baby may have been due closer to April 15.  This would make the baby more like 38 weeks instead of 36.5 weeks gestation.  We will never know for sure, but due to the height and weight at birth (6lb. 12 oz and 20 in), we do wonder if this was the case.

After the ultrasound ended around 5:30 am, and we headed back upstairs to discuss and start the induction, but decided to call our families first.  How could we say this out loud?  How could we find the strength to utter the words that we'd lost our sweet baby...that we had no idea how or why?  How could we ever break this news to those we loved those who already loved our baby, too?

These questions were just a symptom of the hurt overtaking our hearts, minds, bodies, and souls.  All I could think was "Lord - what do we say?  Lord - how can we deal with this?  Lord - we can't do this."

To be continued...

1 comment:

  1. OH what a difficult day, I agree that lifeless body on the ultrasound screen is unbearable. We had a 3d ultrasound the week before Jonathan died and I just could not imagine how his heart was not beating and he was not moving. My heart hurts for you my friend. I am saying a prayer for you now, I know this will be a difficult mothers day. It is so hard to think we should be cuddling sweet newborns.(((HUGS)))