I never “wanted” to be a mother.
I don’t ever remember playing with dolls as a kid; pretending they were babies. And then my oldest sister had a baby at 16 (I was 10 almost 11) so that put me off of the idea even more. And as the years passed and I got older and more selfish and set in my ways I thought I would make a horrible mother and said I didn’t want kids.
Then, two months before my 30th birthday, I got married. He knew I didn’t want to have kids but he did so we started discussing it more and more. I said “If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t then it doesn’t. However, I knew it wouldn’t unless we made a conscience effort to MAKE it happen due to our laziness and my irregular cycle.
Sometime between my 31st and 32nd birthday I started to feel my biological clock ticking (I didn’t want to be an old mother). So, after talking about it more with my husband, I decided to start tracking my periods to see if I could get an idea as to when I would be ovulating. I also did a bit of research and found that if you are trying to conceive women should take prenatal vitamins and men should take zinc.
My 32nd birthday came and went and in February or March of 2013 I told my husband that I would be OK to try but that it would take a conscience effort from both of us. I also told him about the prenatal vitamins and zinc. So we went out and bought some and we both started taking them.
We didn’t try to conceive in April because I got a major cold. But in May we tried — and succeeded. We both were so surprised that it happened so quickly. It scared me so bad. Yes I was willing to try but I thought I had a few months to think about it some more as I thought for sure it would not happen that fast.
The first trimester was horrible — not physically but emotionally. We almost broke up because I was convinced that he tricked me in to thinking I wanted to have a baby. I remember laying in bed a couple of times sobbing my eyes out all the while thinking that I made a huge mistake and feeling trapped.
Then at 16 weeks I started spotting. We went to the ER and they did an ultrasound and found that there was some bleeding between the placenta and my uterus. It was’t a lot, but to be cautious the ER cancelled my first ultrasound (which would have been done by a regular technician in the radiology department) and told me that they wanted the ultrasound done by a specialist. That of course post-poned it a bit.
I can’t remember exactly but I think the spotting stopped by the time I went to the specialist for the first time, but maybe not. However, the spotting scared me a bit because while in the ER they said that I could possibly have a miscarriage and I realized that even though I was scared out of mind to be a mother I certainly did not want to have a miscarriage. That also got me thinking that maybe I would be an OK mother.
Even though the spotting cleared up, the specialist continued to monitor me through ultrasounds every 4-6 weeks. Suffice to say I got more ultrasounds than most women. We also found out that we were having a girl. And at around 28 weeks (I think, maybe it was sooner because of the spotting) I started seeing an OBGYN instead of my family doctor.
The pregnancy progressed and everything was perfect. My 33rd birthday, Christmas, and New Years came and went and sometime after Christmas I started getting excited to meet my baby. I couldn’t wait to hold her and kiss her. My last ultrasound was on January 6th, 2014 and again everything was perfect and since my due date was only a month away, February 6th, there was no need for any more ultrasounds.
My appointments with my OBGYN became more frequent, every week as per normal, and at 38 weeks he checked to see if I was dilated at all — nope. The next week the same thing — still no dilation.
My next appointment happened to be my due date, February 6th, which was a Thursday. He again checked for dilation but I still wasn’t which he said was fine. We then discussed induction and I said, “The sooner the better” as I was, “Soooo done with being pregnant”. So, he told me what was involved and called the hospital to set it up.
I was told to go to the hospital Tuesday, February 11th, at 8:00 am to start the process.
Saturday, February 8th, was a lazy day spent at my sister’s house while my husband and her’s went out fishing. Sunday, February 9th, was a busy day. I had gotten in to the habit of sleeping late (’till at least noon or longer) so after waking up the husband and I went out to run some errands. After getting home we did some house work and before I knew it it was 11:00pm. I decided to go soak in the bath.
Now something I forgot to mention is that the baby always seemed to move around as soon as I started to relax, especially at night. So after sitting in the bath for a bit I realized that the baby hadn’t moved yet and come to think of it she hadn’t moved in a while.I called my husband in to the bathroom to tell him. He said not to worry about it. The entire time I was in the bath there was no movement and I did start to worry.
By the time I got out of the bathroom it was 12:30 am (Monday, February 10th technically). I mentioned the no movement again and he asked if I wanted to go to the hospital. I said not yet and suggested we relax on the couch for a bit and see if she moved. We sat for about a half hour and still no movement. I thought that was really odd so he asked about going to the hospital again. I said sure but that we were probably just being paranoid.We went to the ER but as soon as I said that I was 40 and half weeks they said to go up to the Labour and Delivery department. So we did.
We got there around 1:30 am I think. A nurse hooked me up to the fetal monitor and could not find the baby’s heartbeat. She even moved the sensor around but could’t find anything. She said she was going to get the on-call Doctor, who happened to be my OBGYN, to come and do a bed side ultra-sound to see if he could find it. He was obviously busy cause it took some time for him to get there. He searched and searched and at around 2:30am (I think) we were told that there was no fetal heartbeat.
I have never cried so hard in my life. It was a heart wrenching cry that came straight from my soul. It was so surreal. So unbelievable and inconceivable.
How could she be gone? Everything had been perfect!!!
After I calmed down a bit he said that they would call the specialist and have him come in to do a more thorough ultrasound to confirm and to see if he could find anything wrong that could have possibly caused this to happen. We then called our closest family members right away. My sister and her husband were the first to arrive, then my husband’s parents, and then mine…”It’s not good news mommy. She’s gone.”
I don’t remember how much time passed but sometime before the specialist arrived the on-call doctor came to discuss what I wanted to do. He asked if I wanted a few days to think and process or did I want to get the induction process started?
I was floored. Induction? “You mean I still have to go through labour and delivery? Why can’t we do a C-section?” He said a C-section would be too risky and could cause unneccessary complications for future pregnancies. I told him there wouldn’t be any future pregnancies and pleaded with him but he refused. So I said again “The sooner the better” and that I just wanted it to be over and done with.
The specialist finally arrived and he confirmed that my sweet baby girl was in fact gone. He also noticed that there was no amniotic fluid around her and asked if my waters had broke or if I had any leaking or anything, which I had not. He asked if it would be ok to do a more thorough exam. I said yes, but I could not watch as he did. I just laid there with my eyes closed thinking that it was all just a dream. When he was finally done but before they took us back to our family I again begged the on-call doctor, my OBGYN, to do a C-section. I said that I would not be doing this again and so if there is no danger to me or my life to please please please do a C-section. He again refused and said that it would put my life in danger. They took us back to our family.
By this time it was probably around 4 am on Monday, February 10th. Just one day before my induction was to begin. That meant I was 40 weeks and 4 days. They took some blood to do some testing (to see if they could find out what went wrong) and gave me a dose of pitocin gel to try and get labour started. We went home but was told to come back at 10:00 am.
When we left our house to go back to the hospital we had every intention of going back home but after getting a second dose of pitocin gel my cramps were so bad I did not want to leave. They gave me morphine for the pain and so from then until 6:03 am on Tuesday, February 11th it is a big giant blur.
That is when my sweet baby girl was delivered stillborn. Of course by this time the on-call doctor had changed but I knew my OBGYN was still at the hospital doing surgeries.
A few hours after she was delivered he popped in to see me. I asked him why there was no amniotic fluid. His best guess at that time was that the placenta had stopped working (Placental Insufficiency) but he could not tell me why that would happen. He hoped that the ultrasound the specialist did, the blood work, or the autopsy could help explain but he was not optimistic.
At my follow up appointment he did not have any answers. The blood work was all normal and he didn’t even mention the ultrasound. He then said that the MFM specialist would be receiving the autopsy report and that he would be calling me.
About a week later, on April 10th, I had an appointment with the specialist and he said the final autopsy report was still not available but that the preliminary report said that the placenta showed signs of inflammation but he said that delivery could have caused that. He also ordered more blood work to test for blood clotting disorders. I have not heard from the MFM specialist since then so I have to assume the new blood tests were all negative and that the final autopsy report is still not ready.
Not a day goes by that I do not think of my sweet baby girl, who we named Olivia Catherine! I will love and miss her forever and always!
Photo credit: adapted from Pulpolux !!! | Flickr