Mom to Stevie Ann KaeLaine
July 16, 2012, 40 weeks old
Park City, Utah
The third week of November 2011, I found out I was pregnant with my fourth child. I was over the moon excited, it had been nine years since I had my last baby. My due date was July 29, 2012, but I suspected I was a couple of weeks further along than that. I had a ton of morning sickness, which was very normal for me. Everything went well as the months went on, always a good strong heartbeat, great ultrasounds. I was going to have a healthy baby girl. Later in the pregnancy I found out had gestational diabetes. I was able to keep it under control with diet and close monitoring of my blood sugar levels. I had NST’s every Tuesday and Friday, she always moved around like crazy and her heart rate was always really good.
Friday, July 13, 2012, I had a NST (Non Stress Test) appointment and then a doctor’s appointment after that. That morning I woke up with contractions, as the day progressed they got worse, I knew labor had began. By the time I got to my doctor’s office, which is in the hospital, the contractions were so bad that I had to ride in a wheelchair. I had my NST, everything was good like always. At my doctor’s appointment she checked me, I was dilated to a 4 and 70% effaced. My doctor stripped my membranes to help speed things along. My contractions at this point were so strong I was crying, so she wheeled me over to labor and delivery triage and told me and the midwife NOT TO SEND ME HOME UNLESS THEY CALL HER FIRST, this was at 4:00pm. I was there for quite a few hours and my cervix wasn’t changing, I was still only dilated to a 4 every time the midwife checked me, however my contractions were getting harder and closer together. From the beginning we noticed that the monitor was not picking up my contractions, we told the midwife, and she said, “Oh, sometimes it doesn’t, we just take the mothers word for it anyways.”
Around 9:00pm she came in with a syringe full of morphine and said the doctor on call wanted me to take it. I asked why I would take morphine, I am in labor. I told her I had never taken it before and my body doesn’t handle pain pills well anyways and I did not want it. She told me I would have to go walk for an hour then to see if that would help me dilate. She told me I would not be moved out of triage and into labor and delivery unless I had some cervical change. We went and walked and my contractions were coming 4 minutes apart and very hard. We went back in around 10:00pm and the midwife checked me again, I was dilated to almost a 5. I was relieved because I knew at that point I would be moved to labor and delivery and I would be giving birth to my baby girl soon. It was another couple hours that I lay in triage, and my contractions were about 3 minutes apart. Finally the midwife said she was going to talk to labor and delivery to see if they would take me. She came back and said, “Well, I told them that your contractions are 10 minutes apart and that you have gone from a 4 to almost a 5, and they don’t want to take you yet.” Eventually the doctor on call came in and said, “You have two options; you can take some morphine, or you can go walk for two more hours.” I asked her what taking morphine had to do with it, I asked if they were just going to give me morphine and send me home, her exact words were, “Well, pretty much, your cervix is not changing fast enough.” I told her fine I would go walk some more and that this was my fourth pregnancy and I was in full blown labor. We went and walked for an hour and came back in, the midwife checked me, still almost a 5, still in very hard labor and bleeding. At 5:00 am the nurse came in with my discharge papers. After being there for 15 hours, in hard labor, contractions 3 minutes apart, dilated to almost a 5, and bleeding, they were sending me home. I begged them to keep me, I knew I needed to deliver. They once again offered me morphine, I told them NO because I didn’t want to be high on morphine when I was delivering my baby myself on my living room floor.
I got home around 6:00am on Saturday, July 14th. I went to bed and tried to get some sleep between contractions. When I got up my contractions had slowed, something was not right, I could feel it. Around 10:00pm that night I went to a different hospital. They hooked me to the monitors and my baby was having dips in her heart rate. They gave me an IV with fluids in it and by 1:30am on Sunday, July 15th, her heart rate had stabilized and I was sent home because my labor seemed to have stopped. Around 11:00am on July 15th, I felt my baby girl move slowly, the last time I would ever feel her move. Around 4:00pm I realized I hadn’t felt her move in a few hours. I tried moving her with my hands, putting loud music on my belly, nothing happened. I had felt really bad all day, like a truck hit me, and I was still bleeding, but I figured the blood was from being checked so many times over the past 48 hours. I went back to the hospital I had been at just hours before. I figured as soon as I walked in my baby would start moving, she didn’t. I lay down on the bed and they started moving the monitor around my belly to find her heartbeat…nothing. I began to panic as they searched for signs of life from my baby girl. I began to beg God out loud to please let them find her heart beat. They put the ultrasound on me and there she was on the screen, my full term baby girl, with no beating heart. I began to scream to the top of my lungs so loud my aunt heard me all the way down the hallway. “They killed my baby,” “Why wouldn’t they deliver my baby?” I felt like if I screamed loud enough, someone would make my baby be alive, the doctors, nurses, God.
Eventually a calm came over me as I waited for my sister to arrive at the hospital. I pushed a chair up to the window in the delivery room and looked out and the sun setting. The nurse came in and explained that I would have to be induced and give birth to my sleeping baby. I couldn’t grasp that, couldn’t they just give me a c-section? How could God make me go through giving birth to a baby I would have to immediately say goodbye to? My sister came in and sat in the chair next to me at the window, and explained to me that I would have to find the strength to get through this delivery. I sat in that chair for hours looking out the window, I felt like I could have sat there for the rest of my life. I finally gained a little bit of strength and told the nurse I was ready. I went into the bathroom to put my hospital gown on and felt my baby move. Her whole body shifted to the right side, her favorite position. I froze, I walked out of the bathroom and stared at the nurse, wanting to tell her that I think my baby is alive, but the words wouldn’t come out of my mouth. She asked if I needed help, I finally told her that my baby had moved. She told me that happens because she is in water and her little body would still move around. My heart sunk as that tiny glimmer of hope faded.
Around 10:00pm I got an epidural, the nurse broke my water and started the pitocin. Around 1:45am on Monday, July 16th, I felt like I was ready to push. I cried as I knew I would not hear my baby cry, there would be no reward for the past nine months. I pushed a few times and at 2:00am, Monday, July 16, 2012, I gave birth to my 7lb 10oz, 20″, baby girl, Stevie Ann KaeLaine. She was beautiful and peaceful. I held her and kissed her for a couple hours, then I knew it was time to say goodbye. I gave her to my sister and fell apart as she walked out of the room with her.
My heart is broken as it is all sinking in. The autopsy showed everything was normal, although little Stevie Ann was 40 weeks old just like I had suspected, not 38 weeks. My doctor told me that the midwife at the first hospital had called her four hours after I got there and told her that I was no longer in labor and wanted to go home, an outright lie! When my doctor asked the midwife why then I was not sent home from the hospital until 9 hours after that, the midwife did not have an answer. If only she would have done her job my little girl would be here. I got some of the medical records back and the notes said, “Patient said she knows she is in labor because this is her fourth pregnancy and refuses to leave the hospital.” It also showed that I went from being dilated to a 4, 80% effaced, and baby’s head floating, to being dilated to almost a 5, 80% effaced, and -2 station, she was ready to be born, she just needed help.
My life is forever changed, I miss my girl every day.