Corrie

mother of Bailey Marie

Lost and born on May 3rd, 2005

Toms River, NJ

Stillbirth at 37 weeks

 

So really, I’ll start with May 1st. I was 18 years old and just about 37 weeks pregnant (36 weeks and 5 days I believe). I wasn’t with the father of my daughter, he was very unstable. I had the full support of my amazing family though, and that’s all I needed. This was a big day because it was the day of my baby shower, which my sister and I had together. She was due a week after me. We are 15 years apart and never dreamed of having babies together. In fact, I never wanted to have babies.  That was not how my life is supposed to go, though.

So I spent all of May 2nd going through tiny clothes, taking off tags, washing, folding, and hanging. She had dropped a little, so I was feeling kind of uncomfortable but nothing painful. I went to bed with baby things all over my room. I woke up at about 1am bleeding. It wasn’t a whole lot; I thought it might be my mucus plug. I had some cramps, but I wasn’t sure they were contractions. I asked my mom what I should do and she suggested I call the hospital. I was bleeding a little more at this point so I called labor and delivery. The nurse said that if it was enough that I felt I needed a pad, I should come in. I woke up my mom and off we went. I started timing my “cramps” and they were somewhat regular. I don’t remember exactly how far apart though. They triaged me, gave me the urine cup that I was quite used to at that point in pregnancy. Eventually one of the nurses examined me and realized I was bleeding quite a bit at this point. This is where things get a little blurry.

I wound up with an IV and they were looking for a heartbeat… for way too long. She couldn’t find it. She said she couldn’t say anything until she got a doctor, but I already knew. I started crying. He came in and was also unable to find it. He asked why I was crying, and I said I knew. I don’t remember him telling me exactly, but I had stopped crying and he told me I was going to get an ultrasound. I remember going down but I can’t even remember if it was a man or a woman who did it. There was no heartbeat though. I went back to L&D and the doctor explained that I was indeed in labor, and that I’d deliver that day. He said they’d give me Pitocin to speed it up, and that I should get an epidural. I had planned on going as natural as possible, but since there would be no danger of a long labor compromising the baby, why not.  I was in labor naturally for a while, though I’m not sure if I had already gotten Pitocin at that point. Thing really weren’t so bad, I was at about 7 or 8 centimeters when they decided to give me an epidural. Once the anesthesiologist came in I started throwing up. They gave me something to stop that (how convenient), and the icy woman told me it was “going to feel like an electric shock, but don’t move.” She had also told me that it wouldn’t do anything for me once I started to push. My nurse, an angel (really), whispered that the anesthesiologist hadn’t had any children so she really wouldn’t know. The epidural was fairly terrible, I’d like to avoid that in the future. Eventually I felt the need to push. The sweet stirrups swooped around and half the bed disappeared. My nurse was getting everything set and trying to keep me calm. I don’t think I had to push for very long, but they did give me oxygen. The worst part was when she crowned. Her cord was tangled around her neck pretty tightly. All I wanted to do was push but the doctor had instructed me not to, it wasn’t easy. Once he had that settled I delivered the rest of her.  She was born at 10:30 am. They confirmed that she was not alive while I delivered the placenta.

The doctor came over, kissed my forehead and told me he was so sorry. The nurse suggested I hold her and they take a picture. Honestly, I didn’t know if I wanted to but she told me I’d regret it later if I didn’t.  I held her, unwrapped her from her blanket a bit to see her fingers. I don’t think I held her for a very long time, it was hard. She was 6 lbs 5 oz. She had a head of dark hair; they saved a piece of it for me. I also got a footprint, and her blanket. One of the nurses gave me a packet on grief and told me how this was the worst day of my life. That sounds terrible, but the way she said it made it just sound understanding.

I was moved to a room in the maternity unit, and they were very thoughtful and had all the babies moved out of the hallway and doors shut. They did this for me when I left as well. A chaplain came by to pray with me, but I’ve really never prayed and didn’t know what to do. She asked if I’d like her to baptize the baby, I said yes. They had the baby in the morgue but could bring her to me if I asked. I never did though, and I regret that a bit. My mother is amazing and realized how excruciating it’d be to go back to a room full of baby things. She had asked my brother and his girlfriend to go and pack up everything. It all stayed in my basement for a long time, and was recently donated to a charity that gives baby things to mothers in need. Quite a few of my family members came to visit me, and my best friend. I was mostly in shock all day and kind of just tried to talk to them like everything was normal. It was certainly awkward. The next day I was handed a death certificate and asked to fill it out, and then left alone. This was the only less than kind person I had experienced. Eventually I was released and arrived home. The next few days were full of lots of beautiful flowers and support. People’s kindness and love really overwhelmed it. It was harder a few weeks later. I was supposed to adjust to reality, why was the Earth still spinning? How could I go out into the world and talk to people? Didn’t they know my daughter was dead?

Why did it happen? They had tested my urine and blood for any possible causes of the stillbirth, and inspected the baby as well.  All of my tests came back fine. They assumed the issue was her cord, the way it wrapped around her neck. She was gone before labor, so I didn’t quite understand how that killed her. As long as the cord was working she’d be able to get her oxygen through that, right? A year or so later a nurse was able to explain that it could have been when she dropped; the cord might have been compressed between the baby and my pubic/pelvic bones. I could have had an autopsy done but the thought of them cutting into her was too much. Maybe it could have eliminated the “why” of it, but I just couldn’t let them do it. They didn’t seem to think it’d give much of an answer anyway. I didn’t have a funeral, she was cremated though. The funeral home covered the expenses and I put her ashes in a little engraved box. I hate the thought of her being burned up though.

My amazing nephew Anthony was born on her due date May 27th. I was afraid to go near my sister right after Bailey’s stillbirth. I was so convinced I was bad luck and something bad would happen to her. She cried and made me give her a big hug, she knew it wasn’t true. She had a rough pregnancy (compared to my breezy healthy one), and was induced due to low amniotic fluid. I was there for his birth and cried harder than I think I ever have. I stayed with him while they put him in the warmer, and have a special bond with him. He’s helped me so much. He is absolutely the bright golden light in the dark. If his birth date isn’t a sign, then I don’t know what is. I feel like it’s her saying “hey, it’ll be okay!”

The next September I went back to high school. I had dropped out when I found out I was pregnant and intended on getting my GED and then starting college in the fall. I figured I might as well just get a diploma since I didn’t have a baby. It was a rough year and I only knew a few people but I was still too deep in a fog to really have socialized anyway. I got straight A’s and graduated. It felt really strange to graduate with a different class.  It was also hard to talk to people and not tell them why I was a year behind; I told a lot of people my story that year. Most of them probably didn’t really want to hear it. As time has gone on I’ve stopped telling people who don’t know. Even a lot of the people I consider close friends now don’t know. It’s just hard to tell new people, there’s no good response. Some people cry and some people don’t get it at all (until they have their own children, then they do). We both wind up feeling awkward.

I know that another baby will never replace her, or make that not have happened. I can reason out her death though. She wasn’t in pain (I don’t think she was, anyway). There’s a theory that her soul is still there, since she wasn’t born. So that, in a way, I’ll get her back. I also know that life would be difficult dealing with Jimmy (the father). I’d always be worried about him being around her, he was not a stable person at all. He’d been mentally and borderline physically abuse with me, and it was only a matter of time before that escalated. I have no idea what he could have done to me or her. I know that I got a “second chance” to be in a better position when I do have a baby. I can do the things I want to do first, and have a husband there.  It’s just so difficult being a mother without a child. I can’t go backwards, there was no way to go back to being a teenager. I spent nine months thinking of what my life would be like with her, what her life would be like. I was so ready to be a mother, even if it had been unexpected.  I know that I SHOULD take advantage of the time I do have without kids, that I should do all the things I realized I wouldn’t be able to do when I got pregnant. I can’t help but feel that missing piece though, I’m always aware of it. It hurts so bad to not be able to talk about pregnancy when people I know get pregnant. I can’t exactly say “oh well when I was pregnant…” without explaining why I don’t have a child. I don’t want to tell an expecting mother my horror story, they are worried enough. I can’t help but be jealous of everyone with beautiful healthy baby girls. I know (well, hope) I’ll get my chance and it’ll be wonderful, it’s just so difficult to be patient.

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Comments

  1. I’m so very sorry dear. Don’t feel like you can’t talk about it, although you may not want to talk to pregnant women about it, you can certainly talk to us. We understand and we hurt with you. And keep writing all your feelings down, that will help. Hugs and prayers to you.

  2. Jessica, I am so sorry for the loss of your precious Corrie. My son was stillborn on 9/12/00 at 33 weeks. I have said a prayer for you that God would bring you comfort and joy and that you would hold your baby again in heaven.

  3. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your story. I know it will help others not feel alone.

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