Mom to Adrienne Rose
November 10, 2013 – November 11, 2013
If I had to describe child loss using a word, my word would be painful.
And not like I broke my arm and it was painful or my pet passed away and it was painful; this pain is actually quite indescribable. You know when people describe their sadness and say they are “heartbroken,” well let me tell you, the moment I lost my sweet Adrienne, I literally felt my heart break. I felt as if my heart was ripped out of my chest. I felt like I couldn’t breath and I remember asking myself, how am I supposed to live the rest of my life without my child? I questioned my faith, I remember crying to my husband and telling him how sorry I was, and how unfair it was because I wanted her so bad. I loved her. She had been apart of me, of us for 26 weeks and the only time I ever got to hold her in my arms, was to say goodbye.
Adrienne would be 3 this year on November 10th and I can still think back to that day, remember everything that happened and remember exactly how I felt in those final moments. When I went into triage the night of November 9th, I knew something wasn’t right but I didn’t think it would have went where it did, so quickly. I had the worst pains on my sides. Everyone told me it was probably gas, or the baby pushing up against my rib cage, so I waited a couple hours and finally told my husband at dinner that I needed to go into the hospital , so we went and my mom of course came along. After a couple hours they were ready to send me home with no reason as to why I was in pain, and by that time the pain had subsided so I thought it probably was something a little like gas. The nurse at the time said, we just want to do an ultrasound before we send you on your way. At that time I had sent my husband home to rest because he had work the next morning and since the nurse said after the ultrasound I’d get to go home, I didn’t see the harm in it. We had gotten there around 9 and at this time it was probably 11:30 when they finally got me back into the ultrasound room. That was the quietest ultrasound I had ever had. We weren’t allowed to see the screen, all the ultrasound tech had me do was go to restroom, because she thought my bladder was too full to see the fluid, so I went and I laid back down on the table, she finally said “oh okay now I see some of the fluid.” She also made to sure to make a point to tell us that they weren’t allowed to show us the screen and that the nurse would go over it with me back in my room. I wasn’t nervous at that time, but I could tell my mom was. I quietly asked her back in the room if she saw Adrienne moving and if she saw any amniotic fluid. Her response was, “I couldn’t tell, but I didn’t see much fluid.” Still not worried, we waited for the nurse.
I can’t for some reason remember my nurse’s name, but I remember she walked in and told me I wouldn’t be going home. She said she wasn’t sure what was wrong, but the baby had little amniotic fluid and I would probably be in the hospital for awhile. I was shocked to hear that but I texted my husband and told him I’d be spending the night and for him to not go into work, but to come back to the hospital in the morning. I don’t remember the nurses name that was in triage that night but I remember when she got the IV ready and I was already in tears because I absolutely hate being poked, but she did it so gently I didn’t even feel it. When I was finally in a room, a doctor came in. This doctor was probably the worst lady ever. She walked into my room, food on her shirt, hair everywhere and she looks at me and my mom and says, “I don’t know what’s wrong with you or your baby; she has no fluid and I’m wondering if you’ve been leaking and haven’t noticed.” But the way she said it, it wasn’t calm. we could clearly see she was freaking out so that made me and my mom freak out and mind you, this was probably at about 2 a.m. At that point I texted my husband and without telling him how severe this could be; I just said I missed him and I couldn’t wait until he got there in the morning. I don’t think I got much sleep at that time, I was so worried. My mom told me to rest and I just couldn’t because in that moment I already knew something was wrong. So I got onto my phone and Googled everything I possibly could about low amniotic fluid. Still not knowing how it happened or why, I felt like I didn’t get much out of everything I researched in those hours. I saw a lot of things it could have been but it didn’t prepare me for what I was about to hear next.
My husband arrived at the hospital about 5:30 a.m. I remember getting a phone call from my little brother who asked if I was okay and if he needed to be there. I said no (he came anyways, my whole family did). I called my work and said I needed the day off, I talked to our cook that was there that day and I was worried she’d be mad but she said, “I hope everything is okay and I’ll be thinking of you,” which was a huge surprise because she was definitely someone that didn’t show emotion. My sisters then arrived, along with my in-laws and this all happened within an hour. A doctor then came in to talk to us, my family standing in the room as well, and he said, “You have a severe case of Pre-Eclampsia, Your baby has no amniotic fluid and your kidneys are shutting down; we need to get you in for an emergency C-Section or you both will die.” Even after hearing the possibility of death, I still asked to have another ultrasound so within an hour they bought the ultrasound machine up and the tech along with the doctor and took a look at my baby. I remember the ultrasound tech saying, “I don’t see much movement. She’s trying to move but there isn’t enough fluid.” So there it was, my second opinion. My oldest sister asked questions that I couldn’t think of because I was so upset. 1. My baby was too damn early to be delivered and 2. I had never gone through any surgery before, so I was terrified. My doctor came in and said we needed to take me back now. I cried and as they were rolling me down the hall, my brother hands me the phone to talk to my dad. I couldn’t say anything. I just cried on the phone and my dad, who is a tough guy and always positive, stays quiet and says “It’s going to be okay.”
I was finally back in Pre-Op and they were telling me everything that was going to happen, They are giving me Nausea medication and they had Their NICU team in there to explain they didn’t know what was going to happen but they needed to be fast so I probably wouldn’t be able to see her and I wouldn’t hear her cry. At that time I was just trying to process everything that was happening. At one point I remember my husband saying “Why are you crying? We are about to meet our baby, You are about to be a mom” and bless him for being so positive but I just couldn’t be, I was to scared, I was terrified, I just knew my baby was not ready to be here, she was to small. A million things were just running thru my mind and tears just kept streaming down my face as they rolled me into Operation room and gave me the Spinal tap, my husband was finally back at my side holding my hand and I just sat there and listened and prayed. Finally, they said “We are going to pull your baby out, you are going to feel a lot of pressure” and I did and we heard the sweetest little noise, our baby girl let out one tiny little cry as they scrambled her into her Incubator they rolled her next to me and all I could see was tiny little hands and feet in the air. My husband at that moment left to be with her and I was getting finished up and headed into recovery. I don’t know what happened while I was in recovery and to be honest I was so groggy I don’t remember anything except asking to see my baby and finally after waiting 3 long hours they rolled me into NICU to see my Beautiful 15oz Baby Girl, she was kicking and punching and the nurses called her things like “Mighty Mouse” and said she was so Feisty that she was pulling on her tubes and wouldn’t calm down. As any mother would feel, I felt sad. I was sad that I couldn’t hold her or touch her. I just had to stare at her and pray. After my quick visit I went back to my room and they told me I could go see her again after a few hours so I did. I called my nurse and told her I wanted to walk down to NICU and see my baby, the nurses laughed and said I couldn’t walk due to having surgery but they would wheel me down In a wheel chair. I went and saw my baby and my mom went with me. I was sad when I saw her. It was just sad to see her crying and not being able to do anything for her. I just had to stand and watch, the doctors met with me and told me they expect all NICU babies to thrive within the first 24 hours but after that they see what they are facing after all my hormones have left her. I cried through that meeting and The doctors told me, it wasn’t my fault, and there was absolutely nothing I could have done to change what had happened, they already thought it was a miracle that she was still alive, because she had only measured 20 weeks at birth which meant she was struggling for a while. I believe she made it to meet us. For 26 weeks I had bonded with her, I carried her, but she came out fighting so that her daddy would also get that chance and he did, he stuck with her after her birth, as she was sent into NICU to be worked on, he was there. He got to touch her and take pictures of her, he watched her be born and cut her cord. I am truly thankful for that.
The next day I woke up and my family came in to make rounds, everyone wanted to meet her and see her. I was able to see her one more time before everything started to go bad. A nurse came into my room and said she needed me, my husband and my mom in NICU. She said it very calmly but I knew, I just knew in my heart that something was wrong. My mommy instinct hit me. I couldn’t say anything I just agreed. Once we were in NICU I remember the nurses sitting at the nurses station and a bunch of doctors in my babys room. A lady came out, she must have been a doctor and she looked me into my eyes, with her eyes already red and watery and said “We are doing everything we can to save your baby, but we have no idea what kind of long term effect this could have on her” I didn’t say anything I just nodded She explained that her lungs were collapsing and they were trying to get a tube into them but her lungs were so small and under developed that they couldn’t. They were ressusitating my 1 day old 15 oz baby. In that moment I said, God “if you are going to take her, take her now so she isn’t sitting thru this pain.” After a few moments I was being rolled into her room and the doctor looks at me and says “I’m so sorry but there is nothing else we can do for her, would you like to hold your baby as her heart stops” I said no, in that second I said no my mom held her, somehow my mother in law was there and she held her and I just put my head against my husband and cried, saying that it wasn’t fair, and I wanted her so bad. I finally did hold Adrienne as she passed and then the doctor listened to her chest while I held her and called it, she said “Im sorry but her heart has stopped now”
I always mention this when I tell anyone this story, Adrienne was my baby, my daughter but I felt the loss of everyone in that room with me. I cried for my husband because we had just lost our first baby, I will never forget the cries my mother in law let out in that room because she had just lost her first grandbaby. I felt my moms sadness, my siblings sadness because they had just lost their niece, My nieces and nephews sadness because they just lost their cousin. We all suffered this loss together and I felt sad for everyone not just myself. We were all sitting in a NICU room on a new journey that none of us had experienced before, but somehow my family managed, with great grief they rolled with the punches, they made sure that they did what they had to do without upsetting anyone, especially me. There isn’t no right words or right way to go thru this, but we did it together and we managed to do it the most peaceful way that we could and im so grateful for that. I knew in that moment I was truly blessed, and Adrienne came into this world and went to heaven so fast but she taught us all a lesson, she showed us how short life can be and she made us all closer in that moment and after.
So now we have tons of visitors, my Godmother, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends they were all there waiting and praying with us. We were able to dress and bathe Adrienne before we baptized her. A social worker came in and started asking us the hard stuff like cremation or burial? If it was up to me in that moment I would have just taken her home as is. It sounds morbid, but I just wanted to lie down and hold my baby. I just wanted her to be home with me. Eventually we decided on a formal burial, my mom and sisters made arrangements and I’m glad I didn’t have too. They asked my opinion on small things but were able to keep me out of as much as they could. I spent 4 days in the hospital. I can honestly say the next morning after she passed was hard for me. We woke up at 5 am, my dad came before work and bought us donuts and then left, when he left I just cried, I bawled my eyes out to Anthony because I couldn’t believe it was real, I had woke up and it wasn’t a dream, my baby was gone and she wasn’t coming back. My doctor walked in on my break down and he just gave me the best advice that anyone ever gave me on this journey, After praying with me and telling me how sorry he was he said “people are ignorant to this situation, so don’t be angry when they make hurtful comments, just remember its ignorance” and boy was he right, I didn’t think anything of it then but in the following weeks I would understand what he meant by that, even till this day I get things like “at least your young and you can have another” or “you have plenty of time to try again, give yourself a break” or the absolute worst comments, the ones I hate the most are “at least you didn’t become attached to her” or “It’s not the same as losing an older child because you didn’t know her.” Let me just correct you, I did know her and I was all she knew, it didn’t hurt any less because she was only here for 24 hours and if you think that, then you must have never lost a child and your comment doesn’t count. I didn’t go on to have another baby to replace Adrienne she could never be replaced and I sure as hell don’t miss her any less just because I have a healthy toddler.
I was able to bring Adrienne to my room the remaining days that I was at the hospital, we just held her and stared at her, we took pictures of her and talked about whose nose she had and who we thought she looked like. On the last day we stayed till 8 pm because I just wasn’t ready to leave my baby, my husband packed up his car and took everything home and my mom stayed to drive me. When my mom went into the hallway to talk to the nurse I picked up Adrienne and I kissed her. I told her I loved her and that I will miss her every single day. I asked her to send me a sibling for her. I was so sad to leave her but I had to, I will never forget what it felt like to be wheeled out of that hospital that day, empty handed, I had come in pregnant, I delivered a baby and yet, my arms were empty. I had no baby to take home with me and it killed me. It made me feel much sadness and grief, I was numb but I wasn’t. I do still think of her daily and I miss her all the time. Sometimes I cry and If I get a moment I go to the cemetery and just sit and talk to her.
I will say I don’t remember much of the funeral I just felt like I was watching from another world, because I just couldn’t believe I was there. I could not believe that I was at the funeral for my first baby. I was depressed and angry for a long time I still get sad and emotional talking about it and Time does not heal all wounds, I will forever feel a little empty because I don’t have my baby girl here with me. I remember in the months after her passing a couple of my family members had become pregnant and I was so bitter, I wasn’t happy to hear of it because I was so angry, I couldn’t be around anyone with babies because it made me sad. It felt unfair that my baby was not there especially during the holidays. A lot has changed since then I dealt with it on my own because I didn’t think anyone would understand me or how I felt But I continued moving forward and telling my story to my friends and family so that they know, if they are ever in the same position I am in, on the same journey I am in, that they can talk to me, because I understand. I know exactly the pain you are feeling and I’ll be here to listen and not judge, because even though you feel like you’re crazy, you aren’t. You are just grieving the loss of your baby, your child, your toddler, your teenager, your adult child. Child loss is painful. It is the greatest of all losses no matter how young, or how old.
You can email Theresa at Thernandez0691@gmail.com.