He Had Ten Perfect Fingers

Seventeen years ago, I was rushed into a crash c-section to deliver our second son,Quinton. Our first son was delivered via c-section for failure to progress.

With this pregnancy we were attempting to deliver vaginally: he looked good on the monitor, seemed to tolerate our attempts at induction well, he just did not want to come out. I went to sleep that Tuesday night in my labor bed with Pitocin infusing — hoping I would wake in labor. At 2:45 am, I awoke with a horrible pain in my lower right pelvic area, I thought “wow, that was a hard kick little one!“.

My water broke.  I was so excited.

I called my husband who was at home with our two year old and told him the news. By the time he got to the hospital, I was hurting pretty bad and felt like I was having one contraction on top of another. I just could figure out what was going on. My nurse and the doctor checked me and the next thing I knew the doctor was asking for the surgery crew to be called in and asking the nurse if she would be prepared to assist with c-section in the room.

You see, we live in a very rural area with a hospital, but no surgery crew in house at night. By this time, the pain was so bad I could not move and barely breathe. My husband was there holding my hand through all this.

The rest I know mostly through his report — I remember asking the anesthesiologist to put me to sleep, the doctors coming to the table with the scalpels in hand, then waking in the recovery room hoping against hope the rapid heartbeat I was hearing was my baby because the last I heard his it was very slow.

I cried as the nurse told me that no, it was not his, but mine and that she would get my husband for me.

Once in my room, I asked where my baby was and they brought in my beautifully perfect son. He was 8 pounds even and 19 inches long. His coloring exactly opposite of my oldest son, brown hair, he actually had hair you could see!  He had ten perfect fingers and ten perfect toes, a perfectly round head and looked like he was sleeping so peacefully.

My heart broke knowing he would never wake.

While he was never ‘officially’ alive, but stillborn, as he never took a breath or had a heartbeat outside of my womb, he was alive and oh so real and he did and does count in every way.  My husband chose not to hold him, he felt like that was too hard. My parents were out of town and never got to see him. My in-laws chose not to see him. I kept him with me for as long as I could and I think if I could have easily gotten out of bed they may have had to tear him out of my arms.

When I left the hospital without my baby, I died some more. God has been good to us since then. We were able to have another son via scheduled c-section – healthy and happy – as well we adopted a daughter.

Hopefully no one ever has to go through this kind of experience, if you should please keep in mind that you ARE a mother, the baby does count, and while it doesn’t go away it does become a little dull.

— Susan

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