Told by: Patricia
I had a miscarriage- still birth at 18 weeks. My pregnancy had been going okay with no complications. A scan showed a healthy active baby. I thought all was going well. In hindsight I noticed I had moments where I just didnt feel pregnant, yet I dismissed it as I never really had strong pregnancy symptoms in the first place. I thought everything was fine. I didn’t feel movement but with my first two it wasn’t until much later on I felt the first movement. I remember at night laying very still trying to concentrate on any movement but with no success. But this really didn’t concern me either- I figured since I was overweight it might be a while longer until I could detect it. I was growing and I definately was showing. On my day off, a Friday- I noticed very light spotting on the toilet tissue after I used the restroom. I had been busy all morning scheduling my next prenatal appointment. Yet when I saw the spotting I knew something might be wrong. I was very upset and decided to go to the ER. I remember the lonliness and emptiness I felt as I waited in the long line to triage. It seemed like I waited forever. Next was the waiting period for the ultrasound. I was so nervous and afraid. I knew right away by the tech’s cold and detached demeanor that it was not good. The screen was turned from my view and she was unusually silent, concentrating. After the ultrasound I went to the restroom and when I wiped I saw bright red blood on the toilet tissue. I knew the worst had happened and was overcome with grief. I felt very alone as I waited to return to the ER. The doctor came in with a grim, yet sympathetic look and shook his head and simply said “I’m sorry”. I could barely believe it. I was told the baby had passed a month early and that I had been carrying my demised baby for a month. Shortly after the obgyn came in to measure me and said I measured at 18 weeks. Apparently my uterus continued to grow. I was told I’d have to be admitted to the labor and delivery unit to deliver. I was induced that afternoon and the next morning I delivered.
I was unprepared to actually be going to the labor and delivery room. It was surreal- as if it were a dream as I was whisked by wheel chair to labor & delivery. I had to pass by the festive baby themed entrance, as I heard the staff nurses softly whisper to themselves “this is the girl from the ER”. Moments later I was in the delivery room and memories from my first two children’s birth flooded back. Only this time I was not delivering a live baby.
It was not long before supportive nurses and staff came to see me and offer comfort and support. I was induced with medication, a nurses frequently came to check on the progress of my dilation. It was eerie- the labor process was so similar to my first two children, and yet longer. There was no physical pain, just the emotional pain of loss, and despair. I refused to have my contractions monitored figuring what is the point if it wasnt to check on the well being of a baby. That first night lasted forever as I waited to deliver. Finally the next morning I expelled a large quantity of blood and my water broke. I was so fearful I had delivered the baby in the restroom. But I hadn’t. Yet I felt something outside of me- delicate, like soft brushes touching my skin down there and I asked the nurse and she told me it was the baby. She gently delivered it and with respect placed the baby in the newborn bassinet. I did not deliver the placenta so the doctor came in to assist. All I could think about was seeing the baby, but I had to wait. I had no pain whatsoever until the procedure to remove the placenta.
I immediately got off the bed to look at the baby. I had a rush of emotions- anger at death in general and sadness of what could have been. The baby was small and perfectly formed- yet incomplete at the same time. I opened the baby’s mouth and saw teeth buds and a tongue. All the limbs were there. The cause of death obvious- the cord was wound tightly and tied in a knot around the baby- its legs, foot and belly. In fact the baby’s body bore the dark scars of the tight cord even after I unknotted the cord. The small strong red cord was dried, it resembled a thick string and it was the cause of death. Apparently the baby had to have done some complicated acrobatics.
I gave the baby a bath and she was placed in a special knitted blanket. I had only a short time with the baby but the baby was given a dedication to acknowledge her life. My faith pulls me through. I have more remorse for myself as I know the baby is in heaven with God.
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