Reflective Meandering

Thoughts on faith, people, politics, travel, and transition.

Our Baby Entered the Arms of Jesus

on April 23, 2017

I bought my first two maternity outfits on Monday and wore the professional one for the first time to work Thursday. Thursday night, on my first day in my maternity wear, my water broke. I was admitted to the hospital because of the high risk of infection in the first 24 hrs after the water breaks. We had gone straight to the hospital from our friends’ house so we didn’t have any of the necessities.

After tucking me into our hospital room, the hubs went home to grab a change of clothes and some other things. He came straight back and didn’t leave my side, sleeping on that awful couch that even the nurse complained was uncomfortable.

Just before we left the hospital Friday morning, the perinatologist did a sonogram. Our baby’s heart was still beating at 165bpm, even though there was no amniotic fluid around him. The perinatologist said he was surprised the baby was still alive, but he doesn’t know us, he didn’t know our baby would be a fighter. He recommended we go ahead and have a surgical procedure to end the baby’s life and remove him from my womb. I told the perinatologist we would not take our baby’s life. He said that the baby cannot survive without the amniotic fluid, he would not develop, it was only a matter of time, that if we were closer to 18 weeks there may be something they could do, but at this stage, there was nothing. My husband stepped in to defend my wishes and work out the particulars. I was exhausted and had had it with my perinatology group’s unwillingness to recognize the humanity of my little one. I couldn’t even look the doctor in the face anymore.

We went back to the hospital room and agreed to come back to the hospital after we miscarried, after the baby had died a natural death and my body had delivered my little one, as things should be. If we didn’t miscarry by Monday, we would go back to the hospital for another sonogram. If the baby had passed away at that point, we would have a D&C then. We left the hospital Friday morning at around 10am.

Friday was such a long day I hardly remember the timeline. At some point we grabbed Taco Bell and took it home to eat, but my glucose numbers had gone crazy and I had to wait hours for them to come down. In the meantime I prepared a couple of outfits for our inevitable return to the hospital and took a shower. My glucose had dropped by the time I was done, the hubs had been carefully watching my levels drop from my continuous glucose monitor app and finally announced that I needed to eat. He heated my lunch and I scarfed it down. The hubs entertained me with a few rounds of connect four and the Ellen game on his iPad when my pump began to alarm because it was out of insulin. I went down stairs to change it and a few steps into the process, I suddenly had to pee. I went to use the bathroom and felt something abnormal come out. I asked my husband to check if it was the baby. It was. I did nothing.

The hubs retrieved our little one from the toilet and put him in a cup to take him to the hospital for genetic testing. I’ve never been a fan of seeing the dead at viewings. I like to remember people full of life. Knowing this, the hubs asked me not to look at our baby’s body, but told me he didn’t want me to regret that either, so it was up to me. We wept some more and I agreed that it was probably best for me not to see. But, the hubs saw, he held our little one in the palm of his hand. Our baby had come out whole, and I don’t even think the hubs understands the strength that it took to do what he did. I’m not sure what I would’ve done without him.

We called the hospital and the doctor said to come in for an evaluation, but that everything would take about 20 minutes. We went in and took our baby with us, the hubs dutifully carrying him every step of the way. The doctor confirmed that our baby was a boy and said he was beautiful.

Not having passed the placenta yet, the doctor gave me a prescription for medication that would help and sent us on our way. Our pharmacy closes at 9 so we decided to try one close to the hospital. I got out of the car and took a few steps toward the pharmacy and it felt like my water broke again. I went straight to the bathroom thinking I was passing the placenta and wouldn’t need the medication. I felt relieved-the medication would make me cramp and very uncomfortable.

When I pulled my pants down I was shocked. There was so much blood and it wasn’t slowing down. The hubs bought me new panties and some pads and I let him in the single stall bathroom to help me. Again, he was amazing. I just continued to bleed. He went back to buy me leggings because my pants were also soiled with blood. Then, he came back to help me change, politely redirecting another woman in line for the bathroom and a pharmacy employee in the process. We called the hospital to let them know we were coming back.

I felt faint on my way out of the store and he held me up. He got me into our car. He ran two red lights getting me back to the hospital and he helped me back into triage at the Women’s Hospital. I wouldn’t have been able to manage any step of the way in that process without him. He was amazing and I was awestruck at the blessing God had provided me in this amazing man, who stepped up every step of the way.

The doctor did another sonogram and informed me my placenta was still inside. I tried to explain how much I bled but it had slowed a bit and I’m not sure she really understood. She gave me a medication to help me contract and expel the placenta, since we didn’t actually make it to the pharmacist, and she checked us back into the hospital for another overnight stay.

They put what they called a hat into the toilet so they could evaluate how much blood I passed. The hubs got me settled and went home for the change of clothes we’d packed, but didn’t think we would need. By that time it was after midnight.

When he got back to the hospital, I asked him to help me in the bathroom. Every time I went I got light-headed and when I told the nurse that before going into the bathroom the last time, I came out to an empty room. I didn’t go back to the bathroom until the hubs returned, and I’m so glad I waited because I passed out sitting on the toilet, right after pulling the string for help. Had the hubs not been there I would’ve ended up falling on the floor. When I woke up the nurse and charge nurse were there helping and shortly after that the doctor came in. I had lost too much blood to continue waiting for me to pass the placenta on my own, so the doctor booked an operating room, and they wheeled me down on a stretcher. I told the hubs I loved him and asked the nurse to check on him while I was in surgery. I transferred myself to the OR table, remember them stretching my arms out on both sides and thinking about Christ, and then I was out. The next thing I saw was the ceiling of the recovery room. Then I saw the hubs, my super hero.

We weren’t in recovery long before they took me back to my room, and the hubs and I finally got some sleep. I think we slept from around 4:30am until 9:30 or so. The doctor came in around 10 and said that even if I had passed the placenta I likely would’ve needed a D&C anyways because of the uterine bleed. She said the bleed is what ultimately caused my water to break. I feel like my body failed us, all three of us.

We were told at one point we might have to stay another night because my iron count was low, and just after we both showered, we were told we’d get to go home. We had one set of visitors during all of this, a couple from our church. It was precious to have them come out of their way to offer us company and love. They’ve also said they’ll be bringing us dinner.

We are blessed by many people who’ve offered condolences and told us to let them know what we needed, but this couple was there, committing to bring what they know we need. The hubs and I both hope to grow to be like them as our friends and fellow believers face difficult situations.

At any rate, we left the hospital with that couple, and we are on the road to recovery. Physically, everything is downhill from here. But, we still have to work through how and where we will bury our little one’s body, as the doctor said he will be disposed of as medical waste if we don’t figure it out ourselves. And, we have to work through the emotional turmoil of a hope deferred.

The last few days were so busy that I mostly feel numb right now. I know the loss I’ve not completely dealt with yet will hit me like a ton of bricks when I least expect it. When I drive by a park or walk by the room in our house that was meant to be our baby boy’s nursery, I know the grief will buckle me. In those moments, may I remember to lean on Christ and the man that helped carry me through this painful situation instead of pushing both of them away.


One response to “Our Baby Entered the Arms of Jesus

  1. Crystal S says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. I am a loss Mom myself and know that pain all to well. Sending you so much love xx

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