Mom to Alexander
Born and died May 13, 2012
Due date, May 11, 2012:
On Friday, May 11th, our first child Alexander still wasn’t ready to come out. I went to my doctor’s appointment on his due date. He was perfect. I was perfect. He just wasn’t ready to meet the world yet. My doctor scheduled another appointment on Monday to do a stress test because she doesn’t like babies to go very long over their due date. It never crossed my mind that anything bad would happen. It didn’t cross her mind to even mention it to me, either. Death was never discussed. Death wasn’t discussed in any of the three books I read during my pregnancy, either. Not one thing was wrong with me or with Alex during the pregnancy. Late Friday night, I started to have contractions. They weren’t as strong as I expected them to be. I envisioned myself screaming, but they weren’t that intense. However, they were coming closer and closer together. This lasted all night.
Finally around 6:30am we went to the hospital, since they were about 4 1/2 minutes apart and had been for several hours. At the hospital I was put into triage and monitored. Alex’s heart rate was perfect, even during the contractions. I was still only dilated about 2 cm. The on call doctor (not my MD) never even came in to check me, only the nurse. According to the strip, everything was fine. The doctor sent me home because I wasn’t progressed enough. They didn’t see any reason for me to stay there. Even though my contractions were close together, they weren’t strong enough. I should come back when the contractions were so intense that I could barely speak, and so we were discharged. The nurse told me that if I were 3 cm, the doctor would probably keep me and have me walk the halls. I never thought to question them or demand I stay there. They are the experts and see thousands of women going through labor. Why would I question them? I didn’t know anything different. The contractions never did get any stronger. When I was going to sleep, I realized I hadn’t felt him kick me for a while. So, I poked him like I always do. He kicked me back and rolled around like he always did. So, I went to sleep.
Mother’s Day, May 13, 2012 (day 2 post term):
I wasn’t feeling him in the morning, so we went to the hospital to get checked. It never occurred to us that anything would be wrong. I walked in to triage and it was the same nurse from yesterday. She was happy to see us again. She hooked me up to the monitor, but she couldn’t find his heartbeat. What? His heartbeat was never hard to find. She left quickly and came back with the doctor. My doctor was on call this time. She looked at me and her eyes became huge. I got scared and started to cry. I was never scared because nothing was ever wrong. She couldn’t find the heartbeat, either. A sense of panic seemed to immediately stir. She got the Doppler machine. There still wasn’t a heartbeat. I knew at that moment. I knew. She had us go into a private delivery room and she ordered an ultrasound STAT. It seemed like it was taking forever. Finally, the tech came up. I couldn’t watch the monitor, so I watched Matt’s face. He started crying and then I lost it. At that moment was when I truly felt the pain that our baby was gone. Our baby was stillborn. Stillborn – a term I never imagined or knew anything about. Why would you research a term that no one talked about? Since then, it’s a term I have come to know quite well. We are part of that club now.
I chose to have a c-section because I couldn’t fathom the thought of having to go through natural labor knowing my baby was already gone. I wanted to see him NOW! I’m glad I didn’t wait. He was a very, beautiful baby. He looked angelic, so quiet, so still…
When my doctor pulled Alex out, his face was covered with meconium. All examinations of the cord, the pathology tests and extra blood work of me came back negative. The only conclusion she could come up with was he died of meconium aspiration. She thinks that because of the labor there was some stress in the uterus, which would cause him to poop and breathe it in. He suffocated. The only way ANYONE would have known he was having stress was for me to have had a monitor checking his heart rate. I would have had to be in the hospital being monitored. This was a tragedy that could only be prevented if we had a crystal ball. Sure, in hindsight, there are so many things we can say should have happened. But, it doesn’t do any good. It doesn’t bring him back. Don’t get me wrong, I think about hindsight every single day. I think about all the things that could’ve been different and I picture him here with me. Even though we move forward, it hurts everyday and always will. The only thing that gets me through my day is to believe that God chose Alex because he didn’t need to be here. He was too beautiful for earth.
You can contact Rosanna at firstname.lastname@example.org.