*This was written on Feb 17, 2012*
I have never shared this on Couponers United because it was too difficult. But this year, although the pain is still there, I have come to a point where I realize my story helps other parents that go through the same situation that my family endured in 2005. When I share our story, I connect with so many other parents that have gone through this and have made life long friends through our loss. And I’d like you all to know that I’m a real person back here typing everyday. I’m not a computer, but a real mom like many of you! With kids, crazy schedules, ups and downs, struggles, family drama, money issues, etc.
On Feb 14, 2005, Valentine’s Day, my husband, Jack, and I lost our daughter Emma Grace. I was 38 weeks pregnant when we lost her. I was just two short weeks shy of my due date. I woke up and Emma wasn’t kicking or moving like normal. She had been quite active every day prior. I headed into work and figured she was just sleeping in. Still no movement at all. I had some orange juice and tried to jostle her a bit. Nothing seemed to worked. I attempted to eat a little more sugar and nothing. I called the doctor with my concerns and they told me to come on in. So, we headed to the doctor just to be sure, never thinking for a moment that anything serious was wrong. In fact, I was thinking that maybe this meant I would be delivering her early or at least maybe they would set an induction that week. I was in no way prepared for what was to come.
We sat in the waiting room and again, it never crossed my mind that something was so wrong. I thought that she was just sleeping or maybe she was getting so big that there was no room for her to move. They called me back and performed a stress test. They put some electrodes on my stomach and gave me a hand held button to press when I felt movements. When they hooked me up to the electrodes, we still had no idea anything was wrong. The nurse found the heartbeat right away, or so we thought. We found out later that she must have been picking up MY heartbeat and not Emma’s. The test lasted about 15 minutes or so. I DID feel movement. Not a kick or a punch like usual, but more like a very light flutter… maybe twice during the test. I was told later that was probably just her body floating in the fluid. The doctor then took a look at the paper that had printed out from the test. He grabbed a doppler to listen to her heartbeat and was having trouble so he sent me into the ultrasound.
At this point, I still didn’t know anything was wrong. The nurse had found the heartbeat…or so I thought…. so I figured he was sending me to the ultrasound because the heartbeat was too slow or too fast. The tech did not let on at all that something was wrong. It seemed like a typical ultrasound until I asked “is everything ok”? And she responded with… “Let me get the doctor for you”. That seemed strange. Why isn’t she showing me the screen? Why don’t I hear anything? The doctor came in and watched the ultrasound tech to be sure, then let me know that yes, Emma had passed.
My husband and I were in shock I think. We cried. The doctor gave us a few minutes. We cried and I kept asking why and saying I didn’t understand. The doctor came back in and my husband asked “what now?”. We were given the option to go be induced right away, or wait to go into labor on my own. That seemed awful and cruel. So, we headed to the hospital. I still remember walking through the lobby to leave and everyone staring. All the pregnant women watching me, 9+ months pregnant crying and shaking as I walked by them all.
Off to the hospital I went to be induced. THREE DAYS of labor. Just horrible. They would not do a c-section because any surgery is risky. The worst part- there was no special wing for us. I could hear women in “real labor” having “live babies” for 3 full days. We arrived February 14 and she was born February 17. I don’t remember much during that time besides crying. I know my sisters took turns sitting with me if Jack had to run off. I remember my sister telling me they gave me a drug test. I was mortified! Did they really think I was using drugs? They said it’s procedure.I remember dozens and dozens of questions…like “do you remember falling. Are you sure? Does your husband abuse you?” All of this made me mad and sadder. I remember my husband bringing in movies, but I couldn’t focus.
Our pastor Joel Hunter came and visited with his wife Becky. He was speechless. “I have no words and I can’t tell you why these things happen” – that was his statement. But the prayers flowed. They seemed to come directly from above. I believe God was speaking through him. There was some comfort.
Emma was born and she was gorgeous. FULL head of hair. 10 fingers, 10 toes. When I was delivering her I kept thinking the doctors were wrong and she would be born just fine. This was all just a huge mistake on their part. I pictured her coming out crying and everyone in disbelief. I was convinced….they MUST BE WRONG. I believed this up until I held her. When she was born it was surreal. At my two previous births, there was such joy….anxious to meet our new baby. There was commotion and crying-us and the baby. Photos, joy, happy tears, daddy not leaving the baby’s side. But, not this day. This day, there was quiet sobbing. Not joyful tears, but sad, angry, heartbroken tears. And there were no beautiful baby wails. No pictures. Just two parents with broken hearts and two nurses fighting back their tears.
We were able to hold her and stay with her as long as we wanted. I’m SO glad I did. I remember my husband getting angry once and I thought they were going to ask him to leave. It happened when they told us that the only rooms they had available for post-labor were shared rooms. This meant I would be in a room with another mom and her baby. This was unacceptable and he was irate. Thankfully, they found a shared room that had no one in it. I told them if someone was brought in the other bed, I would walk out… in my gown and everything.
The next days are a blur. All I remember is crying. And more crying. I found it hard to move, eat, sleep, breathe. I didn’t understand how life could go on like normal for everyone else, my baby just died! Thank God for family and friends. I forgot to do daily things…but they remembered. Everything seemed unimportant. The dishes, the lawn, lunch, vacuuming, you name it, I forgot about it. And family & friends swooped in to take care of all those things. I had help with the funeral and setting up the burial. I had people working on setting up the autopsy. I wanted to know what went wrong.
I can NOW say …. and this took a VERY long time. God truly does have a reason for everything. He has a plan. I don’t understand why this happend to us exactly. But, afterwards, I found out that TWO of our very good friends, came back to church after we lost her. Their family was repaired because of her loss and the support, strength, faith that they witnessed at her funeral. Also, her loss has taught me how important our faith is. It strengthened omy relationships. It put so many things into perspective. And I’m now able to help quite a few that have gone through the same situation. Some are currently going through the same situation.
It took months, but I did find out that there was a clot in the cord. I had MTHFR, which is a clotting disorder and only affects you when pregnant.
I hope this post will help another. I have been blessed with 2 more children after her loss. We now have a total of 5 babies. 4 earth angels and 1 angel born straight to heaven. We also had one miscarriage after Emma.