Hello again! We have three precious babies with Angel wings. After a mild collision with infertility, we learned we were expecting on August 31, 2000. I was SO happy, I couldn't contain myself. We didn't have very long with the adorable baby we later named Hunter. My first child, Frederick Hunter (first name after my maternal grandfather), was born sleeping on November 22, 2000 due to Cord Entanglement following a fall at work on Nov. 20. I called my OB that day and explained what had taken place. He asked if I was bleeding or gushing fluid. I told him I wasn't so he told me to take some Tylenol for the discomfort, to go home and rest. The next morning, a Tuesday, when I got to work, I couldn't walk from my office to my supervisor's office. I called my OB again. He told me "Pain let's us know we are alive. Go home, rest."
At around 3:30pm, I went to the nearest E.R. against my OB's advice. I was made to sit in the waiting room for four hours, in pain, following a fall, while my baby boy, Hunter, died. They took me to ultrasound, tested urine and put me in a semi-private room in the E.R. with a curtain separating me and another patient. When I was wheeled to ultrasound, I could see that something wasn't right in the technician's eyes...he wouldn't look me in the face. He left the room and came back with a larger transducer, he said, to make it easier to see my baby. I kept trying to see the reflection of the ultrasound screen in his eyeglasses but couldn't get a clear picture. After taking several images, he wheeled me into the hall, touched my shoulder and told me "Good Luck." I was finally taken back to my E.R. room, where my husband had now arrived and was seated. I told him to call my mother, that I thought something might be a little wrong and maybe I would have to be on bed rest or some other minor issue. He called my mother and she arrived within just a few minutes before the doctor came in. The E.R. doctor came in with a nurse, laughing and smiling. He said they were waiting on the results of my urine and when they got the results back, they'd know a little more. He took two steps closer, looked me dead in the eyes and said "Oh, and your baby died.". I looked at him, stunned. I giggled then said "WHAT??". I dont think it hit me right away. I tried to explain to him that seconds before I went to ultrasound, a nurse had been in and found my baby's heart rate at 146 beats per minute. I remember her searching with the doppler, then moving it a bit, then saying, "143, 144, 146 beats a minute" as she smiled and wiped the jelly off the doppler. The doctor just kept saying the same thing over and over but it made NO sense. I didn't come in to the E.R. with my dead baby in my belly. I came in with a happy, healthy baby who was just fine on the Thursday before. I vaguely remember rocking back and just repeating the word 'no' over and over and over. I think I thought that if I said no enough, I could make this horrible nightmare go away. I could wake up back in my warm, safe bed at home with my precious, happy baby growing like a weed in my belly. Except I wasn't at home....and this wasn't a nightmare. This was real and no matter how much a bargained with God, He wasn't going to bring my baby back.
The E.R. doctor said I needed to go home and let "nature take it's course" when asked by my husband what the plan was. My husband instantly responded, a response that seemed more like a knee jerk reaction than a carefully planned thought. He said, "You can't let her go home like this and expect her to deliver our baby at home!! She won't make it! She can't take this, she WILL take her own life!" I remember sitting there, I remember everyone in the room, I remember the smells. I know I was in that room and everyone was talking about me as if I weren't there, right beside them, trying to make sense of all of this but my body wasn't connected to my brain any more. It literally felt like I was floating above my body, just watching all of this as if it were a movie. I knew it wasn't a movie but I was no longer attached to anything happening in that room. I was jerked back to my sense when I saw several security guards coming toward my now private hospital room. The E.R. doctor had called my OB and my OB said there was no need for him to come to hospital. Apparently, that really pissed my husband off, he got a little loud and sooo....my room had I don't even know how many guards outside. After a short time, the guards spread out until they were gone altogether...or maybe they were still there and they had faded into the background....just like my hopes, my dreams, my plans for my baby. My baby, who I would later have to pick out a casket for and commit his body to the ground. My baby, who I knew I couldn't live without.
At about 10pm, I was wheeled up to the Labor and Delivery unit. I was given Pitocin to induce labor/contractions and told to rest if I could. In this dark, solemn room there was a baby incubator for newborn babies. After a short time, I could hear the other Mom's babies crying. I could hear them crying to be fed, crying to be held. I would give ANYTHING to hear my baby cry. In room L&D 11, Iit was quiet...other than the sounds of the other babies crying. No one came to bring flowers or congratulate us on the arrival of our new baby. Instead, the room remained still and swallowed me in the depth of it's sorrow. Around 5am, I felt something I had never felt before. I called my mother over, she looked underneath my blanket, then ran to get a nurse. No doctor showed up and I had delivered Hunter before my mother returned with the nurse. Amidst the sweet cooing and crying of over newborn babies, I begged God. "PLEASE, PLEASE PLEASE, just let my baby cry! I'll do anything you want. PLEASE just let my baby cry!" There was no sound. There was no coo. There was no cry. Just dark, empty, enveloping silence. Silence that felt like it would swallow you whole, that lasted a lifetime.
When the doctor arrived, he delivered the placenta, told the nurse not to show my baby to me and left the room. He told me that my doctor couldn't come back now, not at 5:15am so he would deliver my baby. My baby was already here. The doctor left the room with few words, the nurse was right behind him with my baby Hunter. I was not allowed to see Hunter for almost three hours. No one told me what to expect. No one told me there was nothing physically wrong with my baby. I was terrified to look at him when they brought him into the room, wrapped in a hospital blanket from head to toe and laid him on the incubator table. They left Hunter there and said to look at him when I was ready. After having my mother and husband look at Hunter so they could prepare me, I walked slowly, over to the incubator. There lay the most beautiful creature my eyes had ever seen. Lying in the incubator was my cherished baby boy, Hunter. He was 9 inches long and weighed just over 9 ounces. He was absolutely perfect with ten fingers, ten toes, long little legs and great big strong thighs. His tiny lips pursed as if he was begging for a kiss. Hunter was an Angel who had been living in my belly for 24 short weeks and was now back in God's garden playing with the other Angels.
On Nov. 28, we laid Hunter to rest. We had a small memorial service followed by interment at a cemetery just moments from our home. I spent the next few months during my work break lunches eating at the cemetery, reading, talking to Hunter, begging Hunter to come back. I would stare at the sky from Hunter's burial plot and try to bargain with God to bring my baby home. About the beginning of February, I was at the cemetery, as I had been every other day before, many times, on one of the multiple visits per day. I didn't have work that day so I was in a t-shirt and sweet pants. I was there, talking to Hunter, thinking of things to tell him so I wouldn't have to leave when the grounds caretaker drove by and stopped his truck with a horrified look on his face. This man knew me very well. I had met him when we were choosing a cemetery to place Hunter in, this man had prepared my baby's final resting place, he even put sod down, in November, when I asked if the grass would still be green after Hunter's funeral. You see, it didn't register that the grass wasn't green. I wanted my baby to have green grass. I didn't consider that the ground was frozen solid and there was snow covering the now brown, wilted, sleeping grass. This is the same man who told one of the funeral coordinators to call me a day or two after Hunter's funeral because I looked like I "wanted to climb in that grave with him", he told her. Steve was his name. Steve stared at me for a moment with eyes wide in shock. I stood, looked down at myself and realized I was soaking wet and covered in snow. Steve's face painted with bewilderment and sorrow was caused by his discovery of me, laying in five inches of snow in a t-shirt and sweat pants with no coat in February. Steve politely asked if I was ok, smiled, tipped his baseball hat and drove on. I can't describe the look on Steve's face but it was enough to make me realize I needed help. It was what I needed to finally see that I couldn't handle losing my baby on my own. I needed help to realize it wasn't my fault that Hunter died, to realize that my careless behavior with my health, well-being and sanity had to end. I realized that if I didn't change things drastically and quickly, I wouldn't survive.