Everyone said the baby had dropped and that she was coming. My c-section was scheduled for April 24. I went to the doctor on April 16th. The doctor said I had done so good. My first daughter was born at 34 weeks. We had made it with pregnancy #2. She ordered an ultrasound to make sure Charlotte had enough room.
The ultrasound went well. I begged the technician to tell the doctors I should deliver sooner than the 24th. I was so big. We were so ready. I was so tired. She said that everything looked great.
I couldn’t sleep on the 19th. I was up at 3:30 am with back pain. I thought that it was the start! We dropped our daughter off at daycare and went to the doctor. The midwife examined me and said that I wasn’t dilated. She said to watch for signs…that maybe labor was near. She checked the heartbeat and sent us on our way.
The pain was unbearable. I cried. We had breakfast. We had lunch. I went to Macy’s to buy an outfit for Charlotte. She was a big baby and I worried that the newborn clothes wouldn’t fit. I picked my daughter up at daycare and talked to her teachers. Maybe Grandma & Grandpa would drop her off on Monday. Maybe her sister would be here. We went home and played outside. I was hurting. My neighbors played with E, my husband made dinner, I cried in pain. I helped with E’s bath. I put her to sleep. We went immediately to the hospital. If I wasn’t in labor, I would need something for the pain. I hoped they didn’t send me home.
I answered all the questions. I explained why I was there. They strapped the fetal heart monitor on my tummy. There was no heartbeat. They got the dobbler. There was no heartbeat. They got the ultrasound machine. That confirmed what we all knew was true. Charlotte was dead. I was in shock. How did this happen? Why did this happen? How would I ever face my friends and family. I told the nurses and doctor that I didn’t want to see her. I didn’t want to name her. I didn’t want to hold her.
I’m glad I changed my mind. I held Charlotte, sang to her, rocked her. The nurse dimmed the light so I didn’t realize she was blue. She was beautiful. She was perfect. She was dead. I made my husband take a picture of me with Charlotte.
He can’t bare to look at those pictures. I look at them every day.
Charlotte’s memorial service is tomorrow. It’s been one week. I keep telling my story. Hoping that somebody will have an answer. Hoping that I will find peace. Or maybe I’m just hoping to become numb. Yeah, I think that’s why.