Shawna
Mommy to Austin Liam
January 2nd, 2008
Adams, New York
On April 28th, 2007, I found out I was pregnant for my firstborn son, Austin. I was 17 at the time and scared to death but I was happily going through with the pregnancy. I went to the doctor that my boyfriend’s mom recommended because she had him with her last son…and I wish that I had gone with my first instincts about him because he turned out to be the last person who should have taken care of us. He was very opinionated even going as far as to tell me that I was too young to be having a baby. That may have been, but I believe that it was completely unprofessional to say that to me.

We found out that I was O-Negative meaning I would have to have rhogam shots. Fine. I never had a problem throughout my whole pregnancy until December 27th, my due date. I was having severe back pain and went in to my doctors office. He checked the babies heartbeat and it was ALOT lower than normal. I knew what his heartrate was from every single appointment because it seemed important to know. Then, the doctor told me that I was fine and sent me home saying he’d see me at my next appointment. I didn’t feel the baby move really for a few days and I didn’t even really think about it because everyone tells you that the baby doesn’t move as much when you get near the end of your pregnancy. So, I just assumed it was normal. On December 31st, I started having some back contractions but nothing timeable so I didn’t think much of it. The next morning I was having contractions that timed at 7 minutes apart. I called the doctor and he told me that once they got to 5 minutes apart to call him back. As soon as I was able to call him back he told me to go ahead and meet him at the hospital.
 

I went to the hospital with my mom, boyfriend, and my mom’s friend and her 3 kids that we had babysat the night before. We met up with my boyfriend’s mom at the hospital. When we got there and got registered, me and my boyfriend went into the L&D room to get me put on the monitor and sent my mom and them to the waiting room until I was settled in. They started looking for his heartbeat and I remember them asking where the doctor usually finds him. I pointed to the other side of my stomach and said “Right there.” The nurse continued looking for his heartbeat and wasn’t finding anything. At that point, I knew something was wrong and asked Dustin (my boyfriend) to go get my mom… 

The nurse left the room and came back in with an ultrasound. They looked and weren’t able to find anything. The doctor said to me ” We’re going to go ahead and break your water then induce with pitocin. Your baby might be dead, we can’t find a heartbeat.” Just like that. I was in shock, absolute shock. I remember him breaking my water and saying that the baby had made his first meconium. The doctor then left the room for awhile….stopped back in long enough to tell me that he was going home and he was sorry. Then he walked out of the room WHISTLING.
 
At some point, they switched me into a seperate room, however, I don’t remember this part at all. I was scared, worried about my baby (at this point, I still believed that there was a hope, since the doctor seemed to think so…) There were soo many people there… my family, Dustin’s mom and his mom’s best friend…and her two kids stopped in for a bit. I don’t remember all the little details at that point….such as what time they started me on pitocin…I just remember being mentally numb and the nurses kept asking me if I wanted an epidural. I refused it as long as possible…wanting to feel each contraction; wanting to feel something at all.
 
Eventually, a nurse came in with a packet about funeral services…She told me that I needed to be ready to start planning it. I looked at her and go “Why? The doctor said that the baby might be fine.” She looked really upset and said that she would be back. A little while later, she came back in and said that the doctor would be calling me. When the doctor called me our conversation went exactly like this:

Me: “Hello?”
Doctor: “Your baby is dead. Can I please speak to the nurse now?”
 
The nurse got on the phone with him and he basically told her that he wasn’t coming back that night for anything. She was pissed at him and when my family started complaining about him she said that he ALWAYS puts his family first and he’s obviously in the wrong profession. She also told us that we could fire him and have the oncall doctor deliver my baby. So thats what we did… The oncall doctor was actually a midwife who was absolutely amazing. I loved her the moment I met her.

She told me that when my boy was born she was going to place him on my chest, even against my protests. She said that I need to start the grieving process and I would regret it if I never held him… I was terrified. I didn’t know what to do. She told my mother that I have to pack up the baby stuff for closure. Nobody else was to do it for me. I was sure that she was just doing it to make me feel worse.
 
Eventually, I had to push…Like I said, I don’t remember much of anything else. I remember having the baby and holding him. I don’t remember any of the events that happened between meeting the MW and having Austin. I was too numb.
 
At 12:59AM, January 2nd, 2008, my sleeping angel was born. I was so grateful that the MW had me hold him. I cherish those moments with all of my heart. He had beautiful brown hair…and he was so little. He weighed 5 pounds and 15 ounces. He held my broken heart in every fiber of his being. I loved him even more the moment I looked at him. I slept a broken sleep that night, waking up every hour crying my eyes out. My boyfriend at the time wasn’t very supportive and told me to quit crying. Which, obviously, only made it worse.
 
We spent the next day with Austin while my grandmother (Thank God for her) planned the funeral arrangements. My best friend and her sister showed up and took pictures for me. We all cried and held onto the whole reason my heart was shattered into a million pieces. Walking out of that room, leaving my baby behind in a bassinet, ruined me. I didn’t know how I was ever going to get through it and it hurt so bad.
 
When we left, we went up to the flower shop to make flower arrangements for the funeral. There was this little green octopus there that just seemed to call out to me… I HAD to have him for Austins grave. My grandmother bought him for me and I spent the night cuddled with it, getting my scent and love all over it until we had to drop it off at the funeral home the next day along with everything else we wanted to put into the casket…which included a picture of me and my boyfriend, a squeaky toy teddy bear that I had when I was a baby and I’m not sure what else….its been way too long. To this day, I believe that Austin sent me to that octopus to tell me that he’ll be there for me when I need a hug or 8 of them. For days that I’m so sad, I can’t get out of bed. We had an octopus engraved on his headstone and now I collect them as reminders that my boy will always be there no matter what.
 
The calling hours and funeral were so hard to get through. I don’t remember much about them at all. I was just surprised that I managed to not die of a broken heart. I started smoking again right after the funeral and I remember laying awake at night wishing that I would die too or have my boy brought back to me. Every morning I’d wake up and remember what happened and just fall into a depression all over again. I didn’t think I’d ever get through it. I think the only thing that healed me was getting pregnant for my son that is here now. …
 

We eventually found out that it was a placental abruption and I still believe to this day that had the doctor done a more thorough check when I went in on December 27th, this could have been prevented.
 
There are days when the grief still threatens to engulf me and I have to remind myself that I’m needed. But, I know that I have a guardian angel looking out for me and my family. And, I love him all the more. Thank you Austin Liam, for teaching me that true love is love between a mother and her child. Thank you, for showing me just how strong I am. Thank you, for being born and for being our angel. I love you with all of my heart, no matter what. You may have been born silent, but you’ve made such a loud difference in my life.
 
Thank you, for being here as long as you were. You’ve completely changed me.
 
I love you. 
You can contact Shawna at emochicx@hotmail.com
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Comments

  1. emer says:

    hi i am so sorry for your loss the way you tell your story & explain your grief brings it all back i lost my daughter at 39 weeks gestation in november 2006, thank you for sharing xxx

  2. shah says:

    Isn't it funny how when someone hears a story like this, the first thing said is "I'm sorry for your loss?" And, really, the only people who can actually mean it is the people who've been through it…

    We are all angel mommies on here. And, while its a tough road to go down, only the best are chosen. It makes us stronger in the long run, more cautious and we're able to see clearer than a person who hasn't gone through this.

    That being said, I'm sorry you're in the same boat as I am. I'm sorry that we have to wait longer to meet and hold our babies. But, someday we will. :) We must have hope and faith.

    Good luck :) God Bless.

  3. Jill says:

    I am so terribly sorry for the loss of your baby boy. And I cannot believe your doctor talked to you the way he did when all of this was going on. Its not an easy road, please take care of yourself, if you ever want to talk I am here. We all are.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Your second son must be such a joy to your heart.
    Is your boyfriend the new daddy too?
    I hope is has grown up some, and is more supportive of you.

  5. Allison says:

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I also suffered a placenta abruption. My son was born still, but was revived. He died 2 days later. To be expecting life and then have to deal with death instead is a horrible feeling. I am happy to hear you have another healthy baby. I am worried about getting pregnant again. Many belssings.

    Allison

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