Wednesday, July 18, 2012

David's Birth Story

David's birth story begins on Thursday May 3rd, even though I didn't realize it at the time. Alexis had double class week at dance, so the girls and I had been to Rolla that evening. I did some Walmart shopping while we were out, nothing out of the ordinary. That evening after we got home, I had a terrible lower backache. Usually, with a little rest it would've been fine, but nothing was relieving my discomfort. I tried a heating pad, was taking Tylenol and nothing was working. I went to bed with my aching back and hoped to have some relief in the morning.

No change when I woke up Friday morning. The day proceeded as normal, nothing different than any other day, just a horrible backache. Friday evening I noticed a pinkish, light brownness in my discharge. I wasn't too concerned at first, I knew this was common sometimes.

Saturday morning came and I still had a backache and discoloration in my discharge. Sunday came and it was still the same. I was starting to get concerned. I texted my sister, Jaimee, and asked her opinion. She asked the usual question, any intercourse, that can cause a pink discharge, the answer was no. By Sunday evening, my discharge was heavier and redder, more like the spotting of a period. I made the decision that night before bed that I was going to the doctor first thing Monday morning. I didn't have an appointment, but I knew I needed some answers.

As I laid in bed that night, I might have slept for an hour or two. My mind was racing and going over the possibilities of what could be happening. "Miscarriage" was flashing in my mind like a bright neon sign. I was 14 weeks and 6 days pregnant so I had hopes that wasn't the case. I prayed a lot and asked God to give me peace and prepare me for whatever could be happening.

I finally couldn't sleep anymore, I got up, showered and got myself ready. We were in Rolla before 8am. I called the OB's office to see if someone besides Dr. Cunningham (it was her day off) could see me. Thankfully, Dr. Ratchford fit me in at 9:15.

The first thing he did after I explained what was happening was an ultrasound. I had never heard a more beautiful sound than when I heard my babies heart beating. I was so relieved, but still concerned about the bleeding. Next, he did a cervical exam, everything appeared normal, my cervix was thick and closed. He then consulted with Dr. Jim McCaul and they decided to ultrasound my cervix vaginally as well to check for any problems.

My cervix measured normal, my placenta was still attached. He pressed on my uterus and couldn't find any opening in the cervix. While he rambling all this stuff he also said, "It's still a boy." I was completely flabbergasted! We didn't want to know the sex. At first I thought I heard him wrong so I said, "What do you mean it's still a boy?" He then realized that we didn't want to know. Once I was over the shock, I had him show me what he saw, I was so floored, we had been hoping for a boy even though we would have been happy with any baby so long as it was healthy. I started crying and then blabbering on about if I would tell Ross or keep it to myself. He and the girls had stayed in the waiting room for this part since it was a vaginal ultrasound, didn't know how the girls would respond to that.

So, the doctors orders were, pelvic rest, no heavy lifting and no intercourse for two weeks once the bleeding stopped. I went out of there a bundle of emotions. Confused, because I was so excited we were having a boy, but a little disappointed about finding out before the birth. Concerned that I was still bleeding, but happy to have heard his heartbeat. I barely made it out to the waiting room before I blurted it out to Ross that we were having a boy. He was the same way I was, a little upset that we didn't get that surprise at delivery, but still excited. In hindsight, I'm glad we knew beforehand. It would have been even more painful to be told he was a boy after losing him.

We headed home and I made the calls to work, I was supposed to return from my 5 weeks off on Tuesday. With everything that was going on, I didn't feel comfortable bouncing around on my fork lift yet. My bosses were understanding, they told me to take as much time as I needed. I pretty much just laid on the couch the rest of Monday.

Tuesday came and I did the same, rested, still spotting. By the time I went to bed Tuesday night, my bleeding had increased in brightness and heaviness. It was starting to feel like a period. My backache had also not let up at all. I was sitting on a heating pad a lot.

I woke up around 5am Wednesday morning to pee. The pantyliner I was wearing was full and I had leaked through my panties and pajama pants onto the sheet. I went downstairs and cleaned myself up. Every time I stood up I could feel the pantyliner filling and I was passing clots. After changing it two more times I dug out one of the jumbo pads from the hospital that I had leftover from Isabel. I got a bag of ice for my back and was going to try and go back to sleep. It wasn't working. I woke Ross up and told him that the bleeding was heavier and I wanted to go to the ER. I wanted him to call his dad and have him come up to stay with the girls. He argued that he didn't want to bother his dad, people that didn't have family close would have no choice but to take their kids with them. I pleaded with him again, he didn't realize how serious it was until I got out of bed and he saw the sheet. He immediately called his dad and we got dressed and headed for PCRMC in Rolla. I texted my sister again so she could pass it along to Dr. C that we were going in. I was hoping if Dr. C had rounds that morning she could come and check on me.

We arrived at the hospital around 6:20am. It took them a little while to get me into a room. They drew blood and got a urine sample. The nurse came in and talked for awhile and then found his heartbeat with the thing (can't remember what it's called) they listen with. A relief, but I knew something was terribly wrong. The ER doctor came in and we talked some more. She was going to consult with Dr. C and see what her next step should be. While we were waiting on her, I became very uncomfortable and was trying to ignore the fact that I was having contractions. They were pretty intense and coming quickly. Ross pushed the call button and told the tech we needed to see the doctor right away.

The ER doctor came in and did a cervical exam, I was still extremely uncomfortable. She used the tool first and then her hand. When she removed her hand I felt a rush of fluids come out of me. I looked up and asked want just happened? The look on her face was panic. She immediately put her hand back in and said, "I'm so sorry, but I think the baby is at the opening of your cervix right now."

At that point I knew there was nothing that could fix this, I was having a miscarriage. I immediately started sobbing and Ross tried to be strong, but soon was crying as hard as I was. We held one another and cried while the ER doc held him inside me. Dr. C arrived and took over, we could tell the ER doctor was unsure of what to do. Dr. Cunningham delivered David at 8:50am Wednesday May 9th, the whole time I was crying and shaking uncontrollably. I kept hearing them say, "We need another chuck pad." I could feel that I was bleeding heavily. Dr. C kept rubbing my knee and telling me how sorry she was. It was such a relief in the midst of all the commotion and grief to have her there. She gave me some medicine to try and get the placenta to deliver, but it wasn't. My bleeding hadn't slowed yet, so they took me to surgery for a D&C.

While all this was happening, I did hold my baby boy and look at him. He was perfect in every way possible and very tiny. Stephanie and another nurse from OB had come down as well, it was obvious the ER staff was in over their head a little. It was good to have all those knowledgable hands taking care of me.

We had made a few calls before all this happened to let family know that we were at the hospital. Ross tried to call my parents and tell them, but had to give the phone to Dr. C and she told them for us. They immediately got in their van to come down. Ross' mom also left the city and came down to Steelville as well.

That, in a not so small nutshell are how the events of my last few days of pregnancy played out. After I got out of surgery and into a room my parents came in and we all grieved together. They brought our son to us and let us spend some time holding him. Many tears were shed by us all. It took us awhile to decide if we were even going to name him. David came to me and Ross liked it too.

The girls came up with Ross' parents a little later in the day. That was tough to try and explain to them what happened. We spent the rest of the day and evening trying to make the necessary decisions about how to proceed with a funeral and burial and so forth. We did not let the girls see him. For those of you who have seen the pictures, I'm sure you understand. It's not how it was supposed to be and we didn't want them to remember him that way.

I had lost a lot of blood, my number was 13 when I checked in and 8 after surgery. 7 is when they would have transfused. I had to stay overnight because of that. My number was back up to 9 1/2 by the next morning and we got to go home.

Both of our parents and my sister indulged my every whim for food and drinks and I had comfort food that night at the hospital.

I received a ton of texts that day from family offering condolences and prayers, it was a small comfort in the midst of the sorrow. I also had an outpouring of love once I shared it on Facebook as well. You will never know how touched I was by all the kind words and prayers offered.

I took full advantage of the pain meds the doctor offered and spent about a week numbing myself before I decided to deal with any physical discomfort I might still have. It wasn't fair that I had experienced the pain of labor and delivery and had no new baby to show for it.

This is all I can say for now, it's been a little emotional to relive this while writing it. I do feel that we are healing. We have even decided when we will try for another baby, still quite a ways off though.


Bethany Haid said...

You should share your story in the - I think you will help so many women and families by sharing what happened.

What a tough, tough day.
I am so sorry for your loss.

Shelley O said...

I think you were thinking of a Doppler to find the heart beat.
I bled hard after wesley and my # went to a 6 or 7, but thankful no transfusion and i can understand that part of it, but the rest of it, wow.. thank you again for sharing your story. Emotional pain in of it itself would seem overwhelming, .. physical pain in of itself would seem equally overwhelming and put them together I cannot even begin to fathom your pain and discomfort and grief and loss.

Kelli Smith said...

Jessica, thank you for sharing your story. I'm sure it helps you in the grieving process and it helps give other an understanding of the emotional pain you and Ross have been forced to endure. While reading this, I was putting myself in your place and feeling some of the hurt and sadness you experienced. Thank you again for sharing... Love you Jessica. :)