I decided the best thing for me to do is to just start typing in order to get everything out. I have so many thoughts running through my head over everything that has happened…it’s hard to sort through them all on a daily basis. I won’t bore you with details of the pregnancy…simply because there isn’t much to tell. My pregnancy was perfect; no morning sickness, heartburn, indigestion and no extreme weight gain. Honestly…I LOVED it and I miss it. Not sure if the only reason I miss it is because I know that was the last time DJ was alive…just me and him. I would talk to him daily, tell him all the things I was going to do with him and most of all just tell him that I loved him. He was a mover and a kicker and that always made Doug and I laugh, we enjoyed those moments. Had I known what our outcome would be, we would have relished those moments a little more often.
The day we found out that DJ’s heart was no longer beating was a day that is so vividly stuck in my mind; I know I will never forget it. We were 38 weeks and 2 days…how could this happen?! The night before, Doug and I had prepared for a baby. I had been having some stomach pain the whole week before and for some reason we just knew that this appointment may be different than all the others. We went over our “worst case” scenario, which now seems like the best case scenario. We had planned the whole time for a natural non-medicated birth. We took Bradley classes, did our research and were ready. Our “worst case” was a c-section or being induced that day, never did it enter our mind that the worst case could be that baby DJ’s heart was no longer beating.
I will never forget the ultrasound tech placing the wand on my stomach and vigorously shaking. She looked at me and asked when the last time I felt him move was, I quickly replied that it was that morning maybe around 6 am. She immediately left the room and my heart hit the floor. I looked at Doug and told him that I was scared; he hugged me and reassured me that everything was fine. At this point, it still did not cross my mind that DJ was dead. She was gone from the room what seemed like an hour but was probably only 15 minutes and came back in with the doctor on the phone. I’m not even sure what his exact words were but I got the gist of it…that my baby was dead.
The next 24 hours are a complete blur. To be honest, I’m not sure how we even made it home. Doug will tell you that driving us from the doctor’s office that day was probably the most dangerous thing he has ever done…he has hardly any memory of it either. I just remember holding hands and both of us crying in disbelief. We later met with the doctor and were given our options. I immediately told him that I wanted a C-Section which he quickly talked me out of. He explained that I am young and if I could have a vaginal birth that’s what he would want me to try for. He wanted to induce me but told me that I could be completely comfortable with an epidural. At this point, a natural birth was the last thing I wanted. I agreed and we were told to be at the hospital to be induced at 430pm.
We were quickly ushered to our room when we arrived. A nurse came in and immediately hugged me and then got right to business. She explained the process and quickly started getting me prepped. She took my blood pressure which was pretty high, she said not to worry though, I did just find out my baby had died, and she said they would watch it. This is when things got very blurry. I remember her coming back in sometime later and telling us that she had some bad news. She told us that my platelets were really low, confused I asked what that meant and she informed me that I would not be able to get an epidural because they were afraid since my platelets were so low I would be at risk for paralysis. I asked what my pain options were and they said just general pain meds. I had no clue that these “general pain meds” do absolutely nothing for the pain, only make you drowsy. Bad news again, my blood pressure was continuing to rise and now they were concerned about that, they wanted to put a blood pressure cuff on me to monitor it every 10 minutes. Every 10 minutes, BEEP BEEP BEEP. Doug and I would both look over at the monitor. 150/100…155/102…160/105 It was not dropping at all. I remember this part very vividly…the nurse came in again and said she had more bad news. Doug and I sighed and asked what now. She said that my liver enzymes were off the charts and they believed that I had something called HELLP. I had no clue what that was at the time, and that’s a good thing. She went on to explain that it is a very rare condition associated with preeclampsia and rattled off some small percentage of women that get it. I was scared but at that moment I did not grasp the severity of the situation. I did ask if I was going to die. I remember the anesthesiologist saying “well that would be extremely rare” while my nurse reassured me that she was going to make sure that didn’t happen. For the next 12 hours, I fought for my life and labored to bring my beautiful baby boy into this world.
I told Doug 2 times during all of this what I wanted to happen if I died. Yes…I really wasn’t sure if I was going to make it that night. I was scared and was trying to face the reality that I may not live. All I could think about was my husband, who is the most compassionate, loving, caring man you will meet, not only burying his son but also his wife. I needed him to know that I would want him to go on without me although that was the last thing he wanted to hear me say. He was by me the entire time, he did not leave my side. He labored with me, reassured me and gave me the strength to get through that awful ordeal. He was A.MAZ.ING. I can’t imagine what it was like for him watching all this unfold. How helpless he must have felt. But he got through it and more importantly got me through it.
To Be Conitnued…