Mom to Tossie Adaline
Stillborn on September 10, 2012
Around noon on September 9, 2012, I started having contractions before I went to the family Sunday dinner at my mother’s house. I was 36 weeks pregnant and had just been given the good news that my preeclampsia was under control on September 7th. The contractions were between 15- 30 minutes apart. Around 3:00 p.m., they switched to every 7- 15 minutes apart. At 5:00 p.m., they were 5-7 minutes apart and I was starting to have back pain. My Bumble Bee (3 1/2-year-old daughter) was being amazing by bringing me cool glasses of water and chocolate covered nuts. My hubby was still far, as he was coming home from drill. To help relax and pass the time while waiting for him, I got in the shower and my mother watched Bubby (my 1 1/2-year-old son). Bee kept bringing the snacks and cool glasses of water the whole time. She also started giving me updates on Daddy’s whereabouts. I was glad to finally be able to labor at home and not be confined to a bed with an IV.
At 6:00 p.m., Hubby arrived at my mother’s house to find me still in the shower. The contractions were every 3- 5 minutes at this time. I told him it was probably time to head to the hospital as it was located 45- 60 minutes away. We headed home to pack and my parents kept the kids. Once home, the contractions got stronger; strong enough I could hardly talk through them. That was at 7 p.m. We drove to the town our hospital was in and stopped for hubby to get a bite to eat and for me to use the restroom.
At :00p.m., we arrived at Labor and Delivery and signed in (I had managed to pre-register 2 days earlier). They took us to a room and took my blood pressure. It was high. It hurt to lay on my back, but they insisted on trying to hook me up to the monitors. The nurse said she couldn’t find her heartbeat and let the other nurse try. The first nurse came back with another nurse. Three nurses tried to find her heartbeat, but couldn’t. They sent for the doctor on-call and the ultrasound machine. My heart sank. He looked at her heart and then looked at me. “I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the baby no longer has a heartbeat,” he said.
I felt numb. I closed my eyes and then opened them. I looked at my hubby; he looked numb. I looked at the nurse standing next to me; she looked like she was going to cry. She herded the others out of the room so we could have some time alone. Hubby came over and placed his forehead on mine. I told him to call our family and friends again; just the ones who knew we were there, so they knew. During one of the calls, he was asked, “What do you mean no heartbeat?” He tried not to cry. I took the phone and said, “There is no heartbeat. She is dead and we have to go.” I hung up the phone. Saying those words hurt so badly. I started crying uncontrollably. We held each other and cried until the nurse came back in.
She said we needed to change rooms. She took us to room 6. It was larger and sealed, so it was quieter and we were then farther from the other mother delivering her healthy baby. I told her I wanted to take a shower and then we could get started. I wasn’t ready or strong enough just then. I got in the shower and cried and prayed. I thought Hubby had left to get the bags, but he hadn’t. He was sitting just on the other side of the curtain listening to me pray and cry.
The nurse came in and said we had to start. They put in the IV, started the mag drip, gave me morphine for the pain (I was only at a 0, so it was the only pain medication I could have) and I was soon out. I awoke to them putting in another IV. They stuck me 8 different times trying. I spat at them to leave me alone. I passed out before they finished placing it. I awoke again to them trying to put in a catheter. I kicked the nurse and told them they didn’t know what they were doing. I thrashed around trying to make the pain stop and passed out again before they finished. I was awoken yet again to being checked and found to be still at 0 centimeters. I told the doctor that I did not dilate until it would be time to push, but he didn’t believe me and ordered the Pitocin. I refused, but was told I wasn’t allowed to make that decision. He proceeded to tell Hubby all the worse things that could happen and that I would die if they didn’t get the baby out of me soon. Hubby agreed to the Pitocin and I punched him, hissing that I hated him for it. Again, I fell into a fitful sleep.
On Sept 10, 2012, I awoke to the most horrible thrashing pain. I said I needed to push and was told not to. I was told I was not dilated. I told them they were wrong and to take out the catheter. The doctor said that I had to deliver with the catheter in because taking it out would lead to a chance of infection. They tried to get me to lay still, but I was screaming in agony and thrashing in pain. They had called for an epidural but he couldn’t place it because I couldn’t lay still. He asked that the doctor give me a small dose of pain medications just to help take the edge off so he could help. My delivering doctor finally agreed.
By this time, I had made it to my knees screaming in pain. The nurses told me to lay down as I was at risk of falling, but I couldn’t. The pain eased slightly when I was on my knees. The bed was moved away from the wall so Hubby could stand behind it and hold me so I wouldn’t fall. They were finally able to give me something for the pain, but by then I had started to push. The nurses told me to stop pushing, as I wasn’t dilated. I yelled, “She is coming now!” They argued and said they wanted to check. She was crowning. They couldn’t believe I had gone from a 0 to 10 in less than an hour. They asked me to lay down, but again I refused and the doctor agreed with me this time. He said it would be better for me to deliver on my knees than in greater pain laying on my back.
She was born at 2:13 am and she was perfect, but sleeping. She was 6 pounds and 19 1/2 inches long. I turned around and sat down. The nurse handed her to me. She looked just like her siblings did and just like their daddy. I then delivered the placenta; it was covered in clots and showed a small tear. I was told the tear probably caused a clot to pass to her and cut off her oxygen. I never felt the tear. I remembering holding her and then feeling the darkness come over me again. I awoke a few hours later to one of my nurses bringing Tossie back into the room. Hubby had given them the onesie I had made for her. They had bathed her and clothed her in her special outfit for me. She said that they had taken photos of her while I slept and the photos were being placed on a DVD for us. She asked if she could take a few more with my camera and to show us the memory box. I told her that would be good. While she was taking some photos, the other nurses who had helped during the delivery came in and asked to do a blessing. They prayed a beautiful prayer over her. I apologized for the way I had acted during labor and the hateful things I said. I was told there was nothing to apologize for and that I had done something extremely painful that they couldn’t imagine going through. They then asked if we wanted a lock of her hair. They tied it with a pretty purple string and lovingly cut it, placing it in the box they gave us. We were then showed the ring they had placed on her finger, her hand and footprints and the blessing card.
Our families and friends came later to say goodbye. I mostly remember my kiddies goodbyes; Bee lovingly held her and said how beautiful she was, and Bubby poked her on the head, followed by a bop on the head. My hubby’s goodbye was harder to watch. He held her until the funeral home came to get her. I watched him place her in the basket and try not to cry as he let go.
The next morning I was to be discharged, but the delivering doctor came in and said to me, “It is not my place to judge you, but what you took is most likely what killed her.” I asked him what he was talking about and he said the drug test he ran on me came back positive. I told him the only thing I had taken were the blood pressure medications that my doctor had prescribed for my preeclampsia. He said that blood pressure medications don’t show up as drugs in tests. We had the test rerun and it came back positive again. We asked that it be sent out for further testing and the hospital agreed. A person with the hospital came in to express their sympathies and apologized for the doctor’s actions and accusations. He then sent in a social worker and a counselor to help us deal with the doctor calling the state on us. We were told to prepare for an investigation in case the state acted before the test was finished. A few days later, we were told by the counselor that the state saw no case for concern and a week later I was cleared of the drug accusations. It was my blood pressure medications that caused the positive reading, but the words of that doctor accusing me of killing my beautiful daughter still echo in my mind. I fight daily to not blame myself for her death. The “what ifs” are hard to deal with, but those words make it so much harder. I love my daughter and did everything I could to keep her safe.
I will love you always!
Your Momma, Kyla