I attended my baby shower on 12/11/1999 and my little one would not stop moving! The next day I got up early so that I could look through all the nice things that I had received. I decorated the Christmas tree, went grocery shopping, cleaned the house and visited with a friend. Before I realized it, it was ten o'clock at night and I had not felt my little one move all day. I called my doctor and he asked the routine questions: any cramping? any bleeding? anything unusual? No, No, No. My doctor stated, "I'm sure everything is fine, but just so you'll be able to sleep better tonight, go on up to the hospital and have them hook you up to the monitor." So at 11PM, I went to the hospital, thinking to myself, I'm over-reacting. I actually thought about waiting until in the morning to go to the hospital, but thought, what if something is wrong and I didn't do anything about it?
I went and got lost at the hospital. I went to the childbirth floor and shared with one of the nurses what I needed to do. She told me to follow her...I did. I had to strip naked and put this stretchy material around my belly, it was tight, considering I was 36 1/2 weeks along. I was embarrassed because I had dirty clothes and socks on from deep cleaning the house. They hooked me up to the monitor and could not find a heartbeat. However, they did not tell me that at first. The nurses called more nurses into the room and everyone was looking at the monitor except me.. I had never had an ultrasound, because my doctor shared with me that I was healthy as could be and that my baby appeared to be healthy according to the heartbeat. With everyone looking at the monitor, I remember repeating what I did that day to everyone, so it would not be so deathly quiet. Then I had the residential doctor, who had to be awakened, check me. He said, "we're not finding a heartbeat." I said, what do you mean you're not finding a heartbeat, thinking to my self, the baby is in an awkward position or sleeping and they could not get to the heart. He said, "it means, your baby is dead."
I had strangers all around me squeezing my hand, telling me they were sorry, etc. One nurse gave me a hug and a kiss on my forehead. I couldn't cry in front of all these people! I asked if I could use the phone and they said, sure, sure and handed me the phone. They finally put the curtain around me to give me some privacy. I remember one nurse asking me if she should tell my older sister, Bridget, on the phone or wait until she got to the hospital. I remember telling the nurse (with a smile), whether you tell my sister over the telephone or not, she will speed when you tell her I'm in the hospital. I called my boyfriend, Robert. I remember telling him, "honey, I'm so sorry. They said that the baby is dead and that I need to be induced." He was so quiet. He said, "do you want me to come to the hospital?" I said, "I don't know." Because unfortunately my older sister did not like Robert at the time. I did not want to cause more stress on everyone. My sister Bridget showed up and gave me a hug while I was still on the phone with Robert, and said, "Jenni, if you want Robert here, don't worry about me, tell him to come." Robert and I were sharing a vehicle at the time and I had driven it to the hospital. Robert said, "honey, if you want me there then I'll call a cab." My doctor arrived and they were needing to move me to another room. I told Robert I would call him back. They asked me if I needed a wheelchair or if I could walk. I told them I could walk. The IV that they attempted to give me in my right arm did not work, so I got it in the left arm. It actually wasn't as painful as I thought is was going to be.
Now labor, that was another thing! (I'm getting ahead of myself) I called my bestfriend, Cassy, and shared with her what was going on. At midnight, I asked her to pick Robert up and bring him to the hospital. My younger sister, Becky, arrived at the hospital at this time. I was in a daze. The nurse that was working with me to begin with, Tisha, stated that another nurse would be taking over. The nurse that was taking over appeared to be shy or something when she spoke to me it was a whisper. Well, I have a hearing problem and could not hear her at all. My sister Bridget said, "you'll need to talk louder she can't hear you." :) I think my sister scared her off, because Tisha came back to work with me. Tisha sat with my and held my hand. I'm glad God has angels everywhere! Tisha cried with me! She didn't sit there and try to make me feel better and she didn't sit there and tell me she knew what I was going through. She just cried with me! Robert showed up and everyone left the room. He was crying too. I know it hurt him to see me so sad and he kept saying, "Jenni, this is not your fault and you can't blame yourself!" But I did. My doctor shared with me that they were going to induce me in the morning and asked if he could pray with me. I said, "yes." My pastor Bobby showed up and gave me the warmest hug. He kept telling me over and over that this is not God's punishment on me and that there was nothing that I did wrong. However, he did not know the ugly thoughts that I had at the beginning of my pregnancy. Nor did he know how far I have strayed away from God, choosing my own lifestyle. No one could understand how I was feeling. My sister Becky stayed with me that night and I sent everyone else home, including Robert. Finally with all the lights out, I could sort through the fog. The nurses asked if I wanted some medication to help me sleep, but I chose not to, because I wanted to be fully awake when I had my baby. Becky slept in the chair and we tried to sleep. Believe it or not, I was able to sleep about two to three hours. Even with the nurses coming in and out. My poor sister ended up sleeping on the floor, because the chair was uncomfortable and she was cold. She didn't have anything but her coat to cover up with. Around 5AM, I felt some movement in my abdominal area, several different times. I asked Becky to go get the nurse and to have them hurry. I was thinking, maybe they didn't show a heartbeat, but maybe the baby was in an awkward position. Or maybe the baby is in trouble and she/he needs to come out now. It took them an hour to get the machine to my floor and they discovered that I must have been having gas bubbles. I was so crushed.
I was induced at 9AM. My doctor came in around noon and shared with me that I was dialed, which was could. I didn't even feel that, so I was thinking, "hey, if this is what it feels like, then I'm going to be okay." WRONG! My doctor accidently broke my water when he was checking me...do they always have to stick their fingers so far up there? Is that really necessary?? Have doctors ever heard of being gently??? Anyway, I was dialated to four/five when I was able to receive the uperdural (sp?). I had to crawl in a ball and lay there for what seemed like an hour, with contractions coming!! My pastor Bobby arrived at the hospital to sit with me. My sister, friend--Cassy, pastor, and the nurse were all chatting about who knows what and I yelled, "can you guys shut up!!" Pastor Bobby said, "I can do that." :) WOW the uperdural (sp)was great, unfornately it doesn't really kick in until twenty-thirty minutes later. I was able to relax and sit back and watch the monitor sky rocket without feeling the contractions. I was ready to deliver. My doctor was there with a big smile for me and my sister Bridget was next to me. Becky was in the background with the camera. Bridget's friend, who had a stillborn the previous year, came to see me before I delivered. I asked her what she wished she could have done differently. She said, I wish I had taken his handprints and I wish I had taken more pictures. She also told me to take pictures right away, because after awhile, the baby's lips turn a dark red and the skin turns bluish/purple. I asked Becky to take lots of pictures and to make sure she got the handprints. I had a boy outfit and a girl outfit since I didn't know what the sex would be. Bridget and my doctor were talking about Taco Bell of all things while I was pushing without them. I delivered a healthy girl, 6lbs, 10.4 oz, and 19 inches long. SHE WAS BEAUTIFUL! She had dark curly hair, her daddy's chin and little ears, ten fingers, ten toes, everything perfect, except she wasn't alive.
I did not see her at first, because they were cleaning her up and I didn't even know if I wanted to hold her. OH, I'm so glad I did. I have my pictures, handprints/footprints, and memories of my daughter. (Robert was at work at this time, because no one was willing to cover for him). He did arrive around nine o'clock. I had my little girl on December 13, 1999 at 6:06PM. Both my sisters stayed with me, held Rachel and took lots of pictures. I remember holding Rachel, thinking, I'm so sorry baby girl for my thoughts. I'm so sorry for not loving you in the beginning. I think what really helped me was Robert holding Rachel, because at the time I didn't know what his response would be. He walked right into the room and picked her up. He cried and held her. I remember the chaplin coming in to baptize Rachel and Robert didn't even want to give Rachel to him. The chaplin sang "Jesus Loves Me" to Rachel and baptized her. Robert and I spent the remainder of the time alone with Rachel. At eleven o'clock, I told Robert we needed to let her go so that they could do an autopsy on her right away, so that we would know the cause of what went wrong. Robert did not want to let her go. When the nurse took her away, I cried and Robert tried to go after her. We held each other and cried. Robert stayed with me part of that night, I could sense that he did not want to leave me alone. My friend Cassy came to the hospital after work and was disappointed that she didn't get to see Rachel. But, I really just wanted it to be between Robert and I. It was our daughter and I wanted both of us to have these memories to get us through the bad days. I left the hospital empty handed and did not cry until I got home. Boy, did I cry! Robert was afraid to leave me at home by myself for the first couple of weeks; therefore, my sisters came and sat with me and then I had several friends come and sit with me. Actually, I slept a lot, so they sat and watched tv or like my sister Bridget did, tried to take the opportunity to sleep as well. :) Here I was, pregnant, and then not pregnant. It was sad, it is sad. I go through emotions of sadness of what could have been, I get angry with people and God sometimes, because I don't understand. I often daydream what she is doing or what she looks like. I miss her! Thank you for letting me share !
my story with you. Believe it or not, I would love to hear your story and offer any encouragement that I can...or better yet, understand and relate with you in how you feel.
Jesus Loves Me.
This page was designed with Love by Linda
from one bereaved Member to Another,
as a volunteer for My Mom Is A Survivor.