Mom to “Gir” James Joshua Beaver, Jr.
Born at Rest on April 20th, 2010
At the end of the summer of 2009 I had gone to my OB/GYN for a check up and to discuss why I didn’t have a regular cycle. My doctor diagnosed me with PCOS (Poly-Cystic Ovarian Disease) she told me my chances of ever getting pregnant without fertility treatments was slim to none.
My fiance at the time wasn’t open to that as an option so I tried to cope with the fact that as long as I stayed with him I would doubtfully never have a child. My doctor gave me a prescription to try and jumpstart my cycle so I took this medication at the beginning of Oct and had a cycle. Things became very rocky in my relationship with Josh. We were trying to work through things and we were slowly getting there.
Per my doctor’s instructions if I didn’t have a period on my own by Dec 5th I was to come back in for a blood test to confirm I wasn’t pregnant and she would prescribe the same medication to me again. At the time, my work schedule was extremely hectic and my father had just gotten out of the hospital where he nearly died. I didn’t make it back in for the blood test until Dec 17th.
On Dec 21st I called my doctor’s office since they hadn’t called me to find out the results of my blood test. The nurse I spoke with told me she didn’t know I had even come in for a blood test but to go ahead and call my prescription in and she would track down the results. She called back 20 minutes later in a panic telling me not to pick up my prescription because I was pregnant. I was so excited. I sat down in the break room at work and cried. Being a mother has been my dream my entire life. Growing up I could never decide what I wanted to do except be a mom. I was extremely cautious, I stopped drinking caffeine, I took over the counter prenatal vitamins, and I picked the best OB/GYN I could find.
Even Josh was excited, even though he had children from previous relationships and wasn’t really up to the idea of having another one he was extremely supportive. He had lost his job on Dec 22nd due to the company closing i’s doors, so we had decided he would be a stay at home dad and take care of me through my pregnancy. In January, Josh, my mother, my best friend Ame, and I went to my first doctor’s appt where an ultrasound was done. He looked perfect and the doctor said I was doing great, my due date was Aug 19th 2010.
I had normal pregnancy symptoms I was tired all the time and had morning sickness. I went to the doctor every month and every month my doctor did an ultrasound and every month James was doing great he just always seemed to be in the same position but I didn’t really think anything about it because he always kicked and he was always moving. I was very careful through my first trimester because I didn’t want to lose him and when my second trimester hit I felt this wave of relief wash over me that this was really happening that I was really pregnant.
On April 5th I had an appt for my 2nd trimester check up, I went to work that morning and my appt was late that afternoon. Josh came and picked me up from work and we had a long conversation on the way to the doctor about the things we were going to do with our son once he was born. I had an appt with the ultrasound tech first to get his measurements and we were talking about the fact that he had gotten so big so fast. According to the pregnancy book I was reading and how far along I was, he just seem big but then Josh is a big man and his first son was a large baby. During the ultrasound my son was rather wiggly and the tech was having a difficult time getting the measurement of his head because his head was sitting against my cervix like he has every month after his first ultrasound. The tech said she was done and we went back in the waiting room and the doctor called us back.
We sat in the doctor’s office and the doctor comes in and he sits down on his stool and he looks at me and he says I am sorry but it appears that your son has Anencephaly. He explains to us the Anencephaly is a neural tube defect and that it is 100% fatal. He tells us that the best option is to go ahead and induce labor. We had to make an appt to have another ultrasound done to have the diagnosis of Anencephaly confirmed and that one was probably the hardest because while the tech is getting the ultrasound pictures that she needs, she is playing his heartbeat and it is so strong and he is still just as wiggly as ever.
On April 18th I check into the hospital at 8pm. At 4am on April 19th they start inducing labor, and every 4 hours or so someone checks me. My hospital room is filled with people, my parents, Josh’s mother and sister in law, and my 2 best friends, Ame and Ann. My body fought being in labor every step of the way.
On April 20th around 8:30pm the doctor came in and told me it was time to push. When I started pushing my contractions stopped but if I stopped pushing my contractions came back. The doctor broke my water and at 9:37pm James Joshua Beaver Jr or “Gir” as he had been nicknamed by the guys at my work entered the world sleeping. He was 10 and a half inches long and weighed 14.7 ounces. He was beautiful. Once he was finally born I was able to see exactly what the doctor meant in regards to it being 100% fatal, the left side of his skull was completely open. He had my long fingers and his Daddy’s big palms. He had his Daddy’s nose and my ears. I held him til I left the hospital the next day. I cried all the way home. I felt empty and I fell asleep hoping to wake up and find out it had all been a dream.
I buried him on April 24th 2010, his body may be laying under that headstone but I know his soul is safe.
I never got to fully mourn the loss of my son because shortly after burying Gir his Daddy had a nervous breakdown and I had to help him through it, the following month Josh’s father passed away in a car accident, coming home after the funeral we found that the Great Pyrenees puppy, Josh had bought for me died, the following day on Josh’s 32nd birthday he had a heart attack and was in ICU for 3 days, then we lost our house, we almost lost our car, and Josh’s best friend passed away. On Aug 19th, (my original due date) Josh walked out on me.
I have my son’s footprints tattooed on my left shoulder with the date he was born. I wear a teardrop pendent that the hospital gave me. I have a tattoo of the cartoon character Gir on my right forearm. I am now going through my son’s photos and getting them together to have some of them edited and give him the photo album that he deserves. I cry probably once a day for the memory of what should of been. The nightmares come and go. My heart will always ache but I know he is with me and he knows just how much I love him.
Elizabeth can be contacted at email@example.com