In the last three months, my life has been shattered and then glued together with the awesomeness of our God. Here is the story of our child that was due in April, but had no heartbeat at 4 months gestation. The cause of death is unknown, though she had a huge knot in her umbilical cord. Anna has changed our lives and will always be part of our hearts. Not a day goes by that I don't think of her.
Tuesday, November 18, 2003
We heard the news today. Dr. said your heart wasn't beating. You were so very quiet. I didn't believe him!! He must be WRONG!! He said we should think of inducing you and giving birth to you! What?!? You are too small!! You would never surv..ive. The realization hits. You are already with our Savior--being cuddled and loved by all. I remember when I felt you move one night. You moved so much!! You were so very quiet after that. I had a bad feeling....
Thursday, November 20, 2003
It has taken me several days to start to accept that it it just your body inside me--which is a pleasure to carry. Thank you, Lord, for the time you gave me to love and enjoy this Baby. Daddy thinks you are a boy, but I think you are a girl. I joke and say that I didn't eat enough chocolate to keep you here with us--you know, it is a girl thing.
So tell me how it is there in Heaven. Do you play and run? Or like Mya says and kick while someone rocks you? I would ask if they are taking good care of you, but I know they are...better care than I could ever offer you.
I am getting "ready" to deliver you. It is hard to do, because it is too early... I wonder what you will look like. T Hey tell me you will be about as tall as the top of my middle finger to the bottom of my palm. SO tiny you will be, but so perfectly formed.
I must go now Baby, But know that I Love You and when I pray, I ask God to give you a kiss and a hug for me.
Love you Baby!!
Tuesday, November 25, 2003
People have been telling me that in order to go into labor, maybe I had to let you go. It took several people to say this before it "sunk" in.
So I started praying and talked to you and to my body. I asked God to let me release you. I told you it was okay for you to leave and be free. I told my body it was time to release you. Contractions started again.
We went to church and I told everyone at prayer meeting. Daddy had to finish telling everyone, because I started crying and couldn't finish. Then three ladies and I prayed that God would help me release you. My womb felt light after that. I was awakened by contractions that night. Every time I was awakened, I thanked God that He was getting my body ready for birth.
I have been going to acupuncture and aromatherapy. Together these things helped start contractions and relax me. They also helped clear my head, so I could do the things I needed to do. I started to bleed a little and kept waiting for labor to start. I wanted labor to start before I had to be induced. I hated the wait and having to rely on anyone.
Today I have peace and no longer feel the need to fight to keep you when it is time to release your tiny body. Thank you Lord!
Thursday, November 27, 2003
Today is Thanksgiving. I do not feel like celebrating. I feel sad. I don't want to cry anymore... seems as if that is all I have been doing. We wrapped presents, and tried to be festive for mom, who is having surgery on December 8. I feel very agitated with the kids today, which is not usual. I have just wanted to hold and touch them ever since we learned that Baby had died.
We learned that my brother and his wife are going to have a baby. Their baby will be born a little over a month after our little baby would have been born. I am very happy for them. I had felt so sad that I no longer had a sweet baby growing inside me, and I wanted to hear that someone in the family did. Then mom handed me a little envelope that said "Beloved Baby". It was time to leave the area for a good cry. So many emotions, so little control over them!!
Saturday, November 29, 2003
I woke up so mad at everything. Induction date was set for Monday, December 1, 2003. I felt the clock was set, and I really wanted to go into labor on my own. We had been trying everything. Nothing seemed to work for long and I felt so desperate. I felt trapped and so timed. Dh sat and watched me most of the day. I felt so aggravated at EVERYTHING! Finally midday, Dh and I had a blow-up. Things were said that have never been said before. I then started crying, the anger was gone and sadness descended on me. I cried hard for a long time. My nose and eyes were sore. After the cry, I felt so relieved and laughed inside at our blow-up. That night I apologized for my words and actions. Dh did the same. We talked and laughed for a long time that night. We held each other close, and knew we were in a hard battle. We also realized that we had been relying on our actions to do this, and not having faith that God would do it in His timing.
That night I had some really hard contractions and I just praised God for his timing and that He was getting my body ready for this delivery.
Sunday, November 30, 2003
This day was better. We went to church and just relaxed and enjoyed the day. Contractions kept going through the day, but they seemed to come on hard at night. When I went to bed, I had every imaginable fear come into my head: Baby was still alive and this was an awful mistake, that another c-section would be be used to deliver the baby, labor would never start, I would have to have a D&C. So many fears chased around in my head. I couldn't sleep. Dh and I went downstairs and read our email. I feel asleep on the couch.
Monday, December 1, 2003
We got up at 5 am. I just kept busy, getting the kids' winter stuff packed up and making sure I had everything. WE were to be at the hospital at 7 am. SO we packed up the truck and took the kids to mom's house. Mom said she knew all was going to go well. I had to quick leave before I started crying. I knew my kids were in good hands.
We arrived at the hospital, Dh and I said a prayer in the truck. Then we headed in. I was surprised at the peace I felt. We signed in at the front desk and ended up to the Women's Floor. There we handed the nurse my birth plan and they showed us to our room. They put us in a back corner, but I still got a birthing room. As we waited for the nurses to change shifts, I put pictures up of the kids and a verse (II Corinthians 5:6-8) on the entertainment center they had in my room. I picked pictures of the kids that were very happy and/or funny. I also called my doula, Beth McAllister and she started her drive to the hospital.
A nurse came in and introduced herself. She weighed me, and asked a bunch of questions, and assured me that she had read my birth plan. She seemed to want to help me in some way, but really not knowing how. Procedures started... I had to take some Tylenol, because a side affect of the induction was a fever. They also had to put in a heplock (IV w/o it being attached to anything). I was so not ready for the IV. I hate them. I thought I would be free of it, because I wouldn't be getting pitocin. The nurse felt really badly about the heplock and went to get some medication to make it not hurt. I found out that it would be another shot, so I bit my cheek and told her to just put the heplock in. I felt light headed after that and a bit nausea--all mental, I am sure. They gave me some anti-nausea medicine in the heplock, because that was another side affect of the induction. At 9 am, the suppository was inserted and I had to lie in bed for 20 minutes. I was very surprised at how hostile I felt when she put the suppository in. I felt like something sacred was being messed with.
While I lay there, Beth showed up. I had never met her face to face before, and was impressed at how pretty she was. She walked in with her hands full. We instantly liked her. We had been joking around all morning and she joined right in. I wanted to get up and move--get the labor going.. the waiting can be so hard!
My 20 minutes were up and we started walking. We did stairs. We walked around and around the Women's Floor. Things just didn't seem to be progressing. I felt bad for making everyone wait...time is so precious. Ten o'clock came and went. I called home to tell them nothing was happening. The kids were happily playing and didn't have time to talk to me.
My legs were so sore, I think because of the pacing and that I tensed when the heplock and suppository were put in. We just kept joking and laughing through all this. Seems like we needed to keep it light, or it would be unbearable. I sat on the birthing ball and dh held me from the back. Then Beth got a chair for me to put my legs on. Beth massaged my legs and dh rubbed my head. I felt so very spoiled, all this fuss and I really wasn't in labor.
I was starting to get a few contractions that really hurt, but they would taper off.
Noon came and I ate some food, nothing really tasted good and I just wasn't really hungry. My dh went out and bought sub sandwiches for Beth and himself.
I was so tired, but couldn't sleep. I lay down in bed; Beth and dh even tried to chew quietly. It was too funny! I really needed them to make more noise, since I am used to a lot of noise. I called home again to tell them that things were very slow. My mom had been pacing in the pool and kept her cell phone by her. She was home now, and waiting ever so patiently for my call. She reassured me that things would be fine.
The Dr. decided that things were just not going like they should, and suggested another suppository. The nurse came in and told us what was suggested. I told her I would think about it, and she left. I looked at dh and then at Beth and said: "I don't want to be here all night, I supposed I should do this." So the nurse inserted another suppository. She took more time in getting it in the right spot. I felt so violated after this. Again, these feelings took me by surprise. The nurse didn't do anything wrong, I just think that all the feelings of our dear baby dying and having to be induced and everything built up.
After my 20 minutes of lying in bed, we got up and walked some more.
Contractions were hitting hard, but didn't last long. I found the birthing ball was awesome. I would lay over it and rock and move my pelvis to the contractions. Beth also had this awesome heat pad that they laid over my lower back. It felt soooo great!! Dh would rub my back, but I always told him to stop when the contractions started-- it was too much. When I labored with my 2nd child, I had whacked my husband when he rubbed my back during a contraction. I was happy to find that I had learned to communicate better in 5 years!
Things really started to roll, and the nurses changed shifts. Our new nurse was very nice and came and chatted and joked with us. She seemed much more at ease with us. From what my body was doing, she said the baby would be coming soon. She asked if I wanted her to check me (dialation). I told her that I had always dreamed of delivering my own child. She was fine with that and started getting things ready for the birth of our tiny baby. I went back to the birthing ball and did my pelvic rocks as the contractions came on. Suddenly I felt a "pop" and knew my baby was coming.
I decided I wanted to be alone with my baby when he/she was born. So I went into the bathroom, and had my hand ready to catch my dear little one. I felt something come and my hand held my baby. She was still in her amniotic bag and she was still warm from being inside me. I could feel her little arms and legs thru the amniotic bag. It was a sweet moment, and I will cherish it forever.
Then I let a little cry out to let dh and Beth know our little baby was here and they could come in. Dh came in first; and then there was a lot of commotion. Soon the nurse was standing in the bathroom with us. She asked me if I wanted to move to the bed, and then something about not wanting to drop baby into the toilet. There was no way that I would have dropped my baby, but I decided to move to the bed.
The amniotic bag was "stuck" and didn't seem to want to come out. Then the Dr. was there.. it was NOT my Dr!!! My Dr. had stepped out for and hour and a half. Of course, that was when our little baby was born. This Dr. was very matter-of-fact and demanding. I was bleeding a lot, so I am sure that worried her and maybe that was why she was so demanding. I was kneeling on the bed. She tried to order me to lie back, but it was not comfortable for me. I continued to kneel and lean forward. She order the nurse to get me a glove. I thought she was crazy! I was holding my baby, like I wanted to. A little blood on my hand did not bother me one bit! Then she ordered the nurse to get my watch off. Her first two orders got her nowhere.. I was not taking off my watch and I didn't need a glove to hold my baby!
Dr. was worried about the amniotic bag being "stuck". Soon she was behind me pulling the amniotic bag as I had a contraction. I whimpered and groaned at this. I wanted to kick her. I was not ready to have this baby taken from my body. I sobbed. Soon babe was free from my body. Dr. looked to see if the placenta had come out with the baby. It had not.
Dr. opened the bag of water that baby was in. She was not very gentle with my wee little one. I wanted to tell her to leave my baby alone... I could do this without her!! Dr. cut the umbilical cord. My baby was no longer part of me.
The nurse and Dr. got baby out of the bag of waters and put her in saline solution, because she would decay so quickly. They asked if I wanted to touch her... but I was afraid, as she looked so fragile. They asked if I wanted baby left in the room with me... but for now I just didn't. I knew that it was just her little body. Her soul was up in Heaven with our Savior.
They gave me some liquid in my IV, some pitocin, and some antibiotics. The Dr. gave me 45 minutes to get the placenta out. Dr. made some orders that I shouldn't eat or drink anything, so I would have an empty stomach for the D&C!!! I was so scared! Oh, how I had prayed that I would not have a D&C. I felt so weak after my baby was born. I felt light headed and exhausted. I didn't want to keep having contractions, my baby was out! But the placenta was still in there, so my body would keep having contractions. The pain of my baby not being alive and not being in me was tough to deal with too.
I felt something move down inside me. I knew it was the placenta, but it didn't come out. My real Dr. came in. It was so awesome to see her. She walked in like a summer breeze. I told her I felt something move down in me. She gently went in and helped the placenta out. She said she had not wanted to add insult to injury with a D&C. I was so glad she came back when she did.
Pretty soon the first Dr. came in and ordered a look to see if the placenta had come out. I calmly (or not so calmly) told her that I had passed the placenta and that my other Dr. had come to see me already. She acted a little put-off and walked out. I lifted my hand and threw a kiss at her. Oh, I was so glad she left!
Diana from IRIS (Infants Remembered In Silence) came in and sat by my hospital bed. She had tears in her eyes and chatted with me for a bit.Then I was asked if I wanted to see them get baby ready. Yes!! I want to see everything. This would be the only time I would ever see my baby. Diana brought in my baby. She asked if I wanted to touch her. I was so afraid that she would be fragile and I would "break" her. Diana assured me that I would not harm my baby.
We named our baby Anna Lily. It means graceful flower. I got to give my sweet Anna a bath. Oh to watch her body in the water. It was so sweet, it was like she would have been inside me. Then I got to put lotion on her and put a little wrap on her. They had a little blanket for her too.
My mom, dad, and two younger sisters came to see Anna. My youngest sister cried and held Anna. My other sister had crocheted a little papoose type thing for Anna. It so perfect, and made Anna feel warm, for her body was so cold. My kids came in. They got to hold their tiny little sister for the first and last time. It was so sweet.
I had my 2 year old nurse for awhile. He was pretty surprised that I offered!! That clamped down my uterus and I didn't have any trouble with it after that.
My family left and took home my kids. Later, my Mom told me that the kids were so crazy and loud on the way to the hospital and on the way home the van was silent... not a word was spoken.
I got myself a cleaned up and it felt so awesome to walk around. No c/s this time!
Diana took a bunch of pictures-- Anna being held by teddy bears, me holding Anna. She took pictures of Anna's perfect little legs and feet on my hand. She got foot prints and hand prints. She made a mold of Anna's little feet. We made some sweet memories that night. Our pastor and his wife, Alice, came. I was so impressed with Alice. She asked about Anna's hands, and I unwrapped Anna and showed off my perfect tiny baby. Alice was very sweet. I was so happy to show off my baby. It is hard to say how I respect and love Alice for coming to see our baby Anna.
Anna's body was getting very tired by this time. You could just see that her body had seen enough. The funeral home director was called. He came in the room and was very sweet. He told me I could keep her overnight, or he could wait a few more hours. I knew that her body was tired and I told him that she was getting "fussy". It was so very hard to hand my baby over to him... a stranger. It was harder than I thought it would be. He held her like a baby though... Pastor put his hand on my shoulder and soon dh had his arms around me.
God filled me with great peace that night. A peace I do not understand, but needed. My arms were so empty when I tried to sleep in that hospital bed. Dh must of felt the same, for he climbed into the bed with me and wrapped his arms around me. Oh it felt so good. I slept with a little stuffed animal and stroked it when I woke up. One time, I woke up and couldn't sleep, until I heard a baby crying down the hallway...and that put me right out.
I went home the next day and held my kids very close. I am so thankful for the kids God has given me, and very sad at the one I will never get to hold again here on earth. I will never get to see her first smile or witness her first steps, but someday I will hold her in Heaven. For now, I will settle for sending her hugs and kisses, and knowing my Savior is caring for her.
Anna Lily, who never breathed outside of mommy.
Born on December 1, 2003.
6 inches long
So sweet, so perfect, so still.