Mom to Lucas Alexander
Born Still on October 18th, 2010
Old Fields, West Virginia
I found out very “late” that I was an expecting Mommy…I conceived while on birth control pills, and my partner & I used condoms as well…..so needless to say, “surprised” didn’t quite cover the emotion I felt when I discovered I was pregnant! I was already almost six months into my pregnancy, with only 8 pounds of weight gain, no skipped periods, no nausea, NO signs what-so-ever. At any rate, once I recovered from the shock of “Wow, how did this happen?!?!”, I was elated! I couldn’t wait to see my Little Man, hold him in my arms, and watch him grow. All of my neonatal appointments went smoothly, his heartbeat was always strong. Clockwork.
I had an appointment on Tuesday, the 12th of October, and my cervix was beginning to thin; I was so excited, because this meant my delivery would be here before I knew it! My “Due Date” was only 15 days away, but I was hoping that Little Man would come sooner. Lucas’ heartbeat was strong, as usual. Then, on Sunday morning, at about 1am, the 17th of October, I realized that I hadn’t felt my baby move for a while. I didn’t think much of it; he usually had his “special times” to go crazy in mommy’s belly. I drank some ice water, ate a popsicle, and lay down to wait for the inevitable squirming and jabbing. After a half an hour, I had not felt any movement, and, becoming concerned, I called the hospital that I would be delivering at. The nurse I spoke to told me to come in “just to make sure” that everything was alright. Feeling a bit better (surely I was just being paranoid–I had had an appointment with my Doctor on the previous Tuesday, and my boy’s heartbeat was strong, and everything was fine.), I headed for the door. On the way out, something made me grab my “hospital bag”, in which I had already packed Lucas’ outfit for his first picture, and his coming home outfit.
I checked in at the hospital and was taken to Labor & Delivery. Two nurses came in and tried to find Lucas’ heartbeat with a Doppler. At this point, it was roughly 3am. Neither of the nurses could find the heartbeat, and at that point, I still hadn’t really reconciled myself to the fact that my baby was gone. I was in denial. I cradled my belly, saying, “Come on, Lucas baby, you are ok, come on baby”, just rocking back and forth. At 4am my Doctor showed up, brought in an ultrasound machine, and confirmed my nightmare: my baby boy was gone. I will never forget his words to me after I frantically asked, “Where is his heartbeat?”: “Sara, there isn’t one, alright?” And my world collapsed.
I began crying uncontrollably, sobbing and wailing. I just couldn’t believe that in a matter of minutes, my life was irrevocably changed. And so began the worst day that I will ever experience.
My Doctor said that I should deliver vaginally as opposed to having a C-section, to speed my healing time and reduce the risks to subsequent pregnancies. To me, this just seemed cruel, as though I was needlessly prolonging my pain, both emotionally and physically. Why should I go through something that should be an amazing and incredible experience, when I knew the outcome? I fought at first, but after an hour or so, relented. I just wanted to be DOING SOMETHING, anything…..labor induction began at 5am. The following 22 hours were the longest, hardest, most horrifying of my life. I was given an epidural when the contractions became increasingly painful, which served only to completely numb my left leg, and make me itch uncontrollably.
After hours of physical pain and incredible emotional agony, I delivered my precious boy at 3:09am on the 18th of October. Perfectly formed, he was 19 inches long, and weighed 6.68 pounds. He had long fingers and big feet like his mommy. Wavy dark hair, also like mine.
After delivering Lucas, my Doctor told me that his umbilical cord was shorter than normal, and somehow it had become severely twisted on itself. There were no knots, false or otherwise…just tight twists. My baby’s blood supply was cut off by the very lifeline that had supported him for nine months.
My biggest regret is not having the emotional strength to hold my baby after he was born. I simply could not bring myself to do it. The nurses brought him into my room in a bassinet, dressed in his “first picture” outfit, and wrapped in a blanket. All I could do was sit on the bed and cry. I wouldn’t let anyone else hold him. I felt that if I couldn’t, I didn’t want anyone else to be holding MY baby, either. Amidst the emotions I was going through, that irrational thought seemed to me a reasonable request. I will forever regret not holding Lucas, kissing him, touching his little fingers, and telling him how much his mommy loved him.
You can visit Lucas’ memorial website at
Sara can be contacted at email@example.com