Rosanna

Mom to Alexander

Born and died May 13, 2012

Fresno, California

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 rosefrog72@yahoo.com.

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Comments

  1. Kirsten Reed says:

    Love you Rosie. You are so brave to write your story. xxoo Kirsten

  2. Nicole says:

    So sorry for your loss.

    We lost our first child in the 39th week. She wasn’t kicking, so I went in and she was gone. I didn’t think stillbirths were even a thing anymore! I figured modern medicine had pretty well taken care of that…little did I know.

    Sorry you’re part of this “club” now. Thankfully though, there are a lot of amazing people who offer tons of love and support.

    Thinking of you and lifting you up in prayer!

  3. Hannah says:

    Oh heavens. I am in tears reading about poor sweet Alex. It is our worst nightmares that our children go through these things unknowingly to us. I’m so sorry.

    My son was stillborn at 37 weeks due to a placental abruption. I had no idea.

    It is hard to play the “what if” game – to make our outcomes change.

    hugs to you.

    Hannah

    • Rosanna says:

      Thank you Hannah. Yes…at first there was a lot of ‘what ifs’ but soon realized it wasn’t doing any of us good to keep thinking that way. I blamed myself right after it happened. I am a first time mom and blamed myself for not protecting him. I soon stopped blaming myself as well. I think we all go through those stages. I’m sorry for you loss as well. It is very sad that we have to go through these things.

      Hugs back,

      Rosanna

  4. Rosanna, I am so sorry for your loss. My first son was stillborn on 9/12/00. I have said a prayer for you that God would give you comfort and peace, and that you would hold your son someday in heaven.

  5. Rosanna says:

    Thank you Jamie. These ‘first’ holidays are harder than I thought.

  6. Amy says:

    Rosanna,
    Reading your story brought tears to my eyes and hit right at home…

    My second child, Ava Elizabeth, was stillborn on September 18, 2012.
    I had an uneventful pregnancy (just like my first) with only minor nausea in the beginning and a few normal pregnancy aches and growing pains along the way. I actually gained less weight and was much more active this second go round since I have a very active almost 3 year old son to chase after. We scheduled our repeat c-section for 9-18-12 at 39 weeks 3 days so that we could work around my husband’s work schedule as best we could. I felt fine leading up to that day until about 1 1/2 weeks before. I started feeling just blah, to put it simply. Extra crampy, pains in my stomach, more discharge(sorry tmi), but I assumed it was normal (I’d never been that pregnant before, I had my son at 37 weeks), but every visit went well so I just pushed through everything and kept counting down until the 18th. I went the day before my csection for my pre op appointment. Bloodwork and exam were fine, her heartbeat was great, we were set for bright and early the next morning. My best friend had come in from out of state to be here for Ava’s arrival, so after my appointment we had lunch and went shopping for a few last minute baby items. That night was normal, we ate dinner, played with our son, my husband painted my toenails, we finished packing our bags… Just a normal exciting night before “the big day”. I remember sitting in my recliner and feeling Ava kick and roll around at about 11:30, and I just rubbed my belly and told her I knew she was ready to be out, and that she would be in just a few hours. I had no clue that was probably her last movements.
    We woke up bright and early the next morning, so excited that we were finally going to meet our baby girl! Made it to the hospital right on time, got checked in, and changed into my gown. My sweet nurse came in and asked the usual questions as she began hooking up all of the monitors. I noticed it was taking longer than normal for her to find Ava’s heartbeat, but the nurse and I both just kind of laughed it off and joked about her being bashful on her big day. We soon realized something wasn’t right. She brought in the little ultrasound machine, and after just a few seconds it confirmed what deep down I already knew. My husband was upset and asking me what was going on, but I couldn’t bring myself to say it. I just shook my head and stared at our sweet baby girl motionless on the monitor. I was in utter disbelief and in a major state of denial. Everything after that gets really blurry… Nurses and doctors in and out, heartbroken family members in and out, answering questions I’d never even thought of before (like which funeral home would you like to use for your daughter?) It was like a horrible nightmare, and I just knew I would wake up any minute… But I never did.
    C-Section time finally came, and I remember trying to prepare myself to not listen for her cry. That thought alone was heartwrenching. They had her out very quickly, and cleaned her face just a bit then swaddled her and handed her to my husband. She was beautiful! 7 lbs 6 ounces 19 inches long. Perfect. She looked like she was sleeping, and I prayed so hard for her to open her eyes… But of course that never happened. We spent the next several hours with her. Family and friends came to visit, and everyone was able to hold her and go on and on about how beautiful she was. It was hard explaining things to our son. He didn’t fully understand the realness and details of everything that went on, and he still doesn’t. All he knows is that Ava went to sleep and went straight from Mommy’s belly to heaven. He doesn’t bring her up much anymore, and only really talks about her when he hears us saying something. I think God has given him a sort of peace and understanding that only He can provide.
    The coroner concluded that she passed away from meconium aspiration, which I think is why I connected to your story so much. He said she was perfect physically and blood work came back normal, but the amount of meconium was just overwhelming and there was a lot in her lungs and throat. Just like you, we were not familiar with stillbirth. That’s something that used to happen in the old days before all of the new technology we have now! Such a horribly wrong assumption. I have since done tons of research, and learned how often it really does happen, but also learned how rare stillbirth cause by meconium aspiration is.
    We are approaching the two month mark, and it’s gotten easier and harder at the same time. We have good days and bad days, and a lot of in between days. Halloween was tough, so I’m definitely not looking forward to Thanksgiving or Christmas. I had made her an orange and black tutu and a matching bow, but instead of her getting to wear it, it’s hanging in her closet in her fully furnished and decorated room. We have yet to go in there, and I’m not sure when we will. We still get angry, and ask why or what if occasionally, but we know nothing would have made a difference. Obviously, it was her time, and God wanted her in heaven with him. It’s been hard, but we have put our trust and faith in God that this is all going according to His plan. I know HE is the only reason we have not completely lost our minds. HE has blessed us with a wonderful support system in our friends and family, and our son, Owen. He keeps us going and on our toes constantly! I’m praying for you and your family, that God continues to give you peace. I haven’t told my story publicly like this yet, outside of my support group, and I’m sorry for writing a book on your post, but for some reason I just felt the need to do so. Many prayers and hugs to you and your family!

    Amy

    • Rosanna says:

      Amy- I’m sorry for not getting back sooner, I am not aware when comments are left. I only saw this because I went back to look. First…I am so sorry for your loss. I really am. At two months…I remember too well what you are feeling. We are going on 6 months on the 13th. I don’t know what else to say except it just really sucks. I’m so heartbroken, but I know it was all part of God’s plan. Everyday is still hard but we get through. Somedays are really bad and that’s ok too. I’m glad you have a great support system, that’s important. Please feel free to email me at rosefrog72@yahoo.com if you ever want to talk…I’m serious. There might be days that you’ll just need to vent. I will say a prayer for you and your family tonight. I’m sorry that we are connecting in this way, but know that you are not alone on this journey.

  7. Nicki says:

    Dear Rosanna,

    I know there is never a good time to lose a baby, but it is the women who went full term as I did who I feel most connected to. The expectation that all of the hurdles were crossed and any minute now you were going to have your (live) baby there to hold. I worried about so many things but never did I think that he might just die, in my case, for no reason they could identify. I also went in to the hospital around the time that he was most at risk, we now know in hindsight, and was sent home. I hadn’t started to go into labour yet but they suspected that I had pre-eclampsia. They sent me home at the end of the day and told me to come back in the morning. By the time we got back in he had already gone. We named him Tristan de la Coeur, as Tristan is a name I loved but was unsure whether to use it as it is associated with sadness. So his name meas Sorrow of the heart. He was born six months ago today at 40 weeks. I wanted to have a c- section when I first found out but I got talked out of it. For the most part I am happy that they did, but his skin was torn during the birth so I understand the benefit of meeting your son in his full beauty. Tristan was also my first child. As I sit here at his 6 month anniversary, I can see that you are not far away from Alexander’s first birthday, and from what I can imagine and understand, that is always a very difficult time. Have you thought about what you will do to commemorate him? Another mother who I have met who lost her son at full term baked him a cake which I think was sweet. I also like the idea of writing messages on a helium balloon and releasing it/them. Tristan and I send our love to you and your husband and your angel Alexander with our heartfelt appreciation for you sharing your story with us. We will also say a prayer for you all on his birthday. God bless you all X

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