Mom to Dylan Jazmel Sanchez
Stillborn on August 24th, 2010 at 27 weeks, 3 days
Rockaway, NJ

After a few unsuccessful attempts at IUI and IVF, and one ectopic pregnancy, my husband and I decided to slow down and try on our own for a while.  We were tired of all the visits and the probing and the needles.  We figured a little break would do my body good.  We changed doctors and were put on Clomid but decided to go at it the old fashioned way.

After three years of trying to get pregnant, my husband and I found out we were expecting!  Most people can not pinpoint the exact date their baby was conceived but being as obsessive as I was with the TTC process, I knew we had conceived our miracle baby on February 27, 2010.  There was a snowstorm that night so we were stuck inside with not much else to do.

When my period was late by a day (I know, we were pretty excited) my husband had a feeling that this was it so he ran out and got a test.  That was one of the happiest moments of our lives.  We could not believe that it turned out positive!  A few weeks later at our first doctor appointment, she confirmed that we were in fact pregnant and our due date was November 20, 2010.

We waited the obligatory 12 weeks before we told everyone, but once we started we could not stop.  Everyone knew how hard this process has been for us so everyone was so excited for us.  That didn’t mean we were any less nervous though.  Because we had already been on this rollercoaster ride once, we knew not to get too excited because we were afraid of what could happen.  But with each doctor appointment we went to, our fears eased up a little bit. 

At our 20 week ultrasound on Friday July 2nd, we found out we were having a boy.  To say we were over the moon would be an understatement.  The ultrasound tech told us that right off the bat and then she methodically went over his entire body, making sure all fingers and toes were accounted for as well as making sure all of his organs were functioning properly.  The only thing they found that wasn’t optimal was the umbilical cord only had one artery.  In a normal umbilical cord there are two arteries.  The tech called in the doctor to see it and he confirmed that it would not be an issue.  He said babies are born healthy with this all the time.  He made sure to check all of his organs again and again assured us there was no issue.  Everything was moving along great.

After our appointment we went down the hall to the cafeteria in the doctor’s office building where we ran into the doctor again.  He was getting his morning coffee.  My husband started bombarding the doctor with questions.  He needed more reassurance that this umbilical issue wouldn’t be a problem.  The doctor again reassured us that it was pretty common and not much of an issue as long as all organs were functioning properly (which they were).

So we left that appointment content.  We were ecstatic that we were having a boy.  My husband talked about nothing else for the next few days.  We finally felt comfortable enough to start making purchases for our son.  In the next few weeks we started to get the nursery ready

I started to have severe back pain.  I was 27 weeks at this point.  I had always had some back issues so I figured they were just aggravated by the extra weight my body was carrying with the baby.  I did not sleep at all that night but I went to work on Monday morning anyway.  I took a lot of Tylenol and was able to make it through the day ok.  That night the pain came back full force.  I was in so much pain but honestly did not make the connection that the back pain had anything to do with my baby.  I didn’t want to wake up my husband for something so stupid.  I took more Tylenol and tried to tough it out until the morning when I would call the doctor’s office and ask if they could give me something stronger.

I could not take it any longer.  I had my doctor paged and the on call doctor was another doctor in the practice whom I had only met once before.  I told him about the symptoms I was experiencing with my back and he said that they didn’t sound pregnancy related but that I should come into the office to get it looked at.  He didn’t sound too concerned though so that made me feel better.  As long as it wasn’t affecting my baby, I could deal with the pain.  He then asked if everything else was ok.  I asked him what he meant and he clarified, “how’s the baby, he’s kicking like normal?”

That’s when it hit me.  No.  I sat there and could not remember for the life of me when the last time I felt him kick was.  It had to be the day before during work, which I told him.  He said well you’ve probably been too preoccupied with the back pain and haven’t been paying attention but just in case go right away to labor and delivery so we can check it out. 

I keep thinking back to how stupid I was.  I did not want to go to the hospital so I lay back in bed and turned off the tv and tried to feel the baby move.  I was like, if I feel him move then we don’t need to go to the hospital.  But no matter where I poked him, I could not feel a thing.  I was like, ok, now I’m just freaking out a little bit so maybe I’m too paranoid to feel him.  So we got dressed and headed to the hospital.  All the while I truly believed in my heart that everything would be ok.  I thought I was overreacting and we would get there and they would find the heartbeat, send us home and I would just be a little embarrassed for freaking out like that.

Well that did not happen.  We were sent to a different hospital where the doctor was on call that day so we weren’t sure where we were going.  We asked someone on the first floor where labor and delivery was.  She asked if I was in labor.  My husband remarked in a joking manner “I hope not, that would be very bad”.  She directed us to the right floor and we signed in at the front desk.  They put us in an examination room and a nurse came in with the heartbeat monitor and started looking.  She picked up a heartbeat immediately and my husband let out the biggest sigh of relief I have ever heard.  He sounded like he had been holding his breath from the moment we spoke to the doctor on the phone.  Then she lost the beat.  She kept moving the probe all over my belly and had me change positions this way and that way until she finally gave up.  She said she had to get a more experienced nurse to look for me.  She came back with another nurse who again tried unsuccessfully for another 10 minutes.

That is when they got the doctor and brought in the ultrasound machine.  The doctor came in and set up to my left and was standing in front of the monitor, blocking my view.  My husband was sitting to my right and had a clear view of the monitor so I kept looking at his face for some indication as to what was happening on that screen.  He just looked really confused.  He didn’t understand what he was looking at.  After another 5 minutes of searching in complete silence (the longest 5 minutes of my life) the doctor turned to me and uttered the words no parent should ever have to hear “I’m so sorry, there is no heartbeat”.  The doctor and nurses all left the room so my husband and I could absorb what we were just told.

It was the most devastating moment of my whole life.  Everything that we had been planning for the last seven months came crashing down in that instant.  Our life would never be the same again.  He was holding me and crying and I just kept saying “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry”.  I felt completely responsible.  It was my job to keep him safe and bring him into this world and I could not do it.  I had failed at the one thing women were perfectly designed to do. 

After a few minutes alone, the nurses came back in and moved us to another room.  I was still in shock so I just did as I was told but I had not yet registered what was happening.  I thought they were moving us so we would be more comfortable until they told me to get undressed and into a hospital gown.  The nurse started going over the process and that’s when it hit me.  I still had to deliver my baby.  Because I had lost another pregnancy I assumed it would be the same way.  I would take a pill and the pregnancy would be expunged…That was not the case here.  Because my baby was 27 weeks and 3 days old, I had to deliver vaginally.  At the time, I thought this was a very cruel thing to do to a person who just found out their baby had died.  Why couldn’t they just sedate me and take him from me via cesarean?  Wouldn’t that be the most humane way?  The doctor assured me that a c-section was major surgery and was not necessary in my case.  He assured me this was the best way.

So they gave me something to induce labor and so started my journey of the worst day of my life.  Little did I know when I woke up that morning that I would be delivering my son who still had 13 weeks to go before he was due to enter this world.  The rest of the day is kind of a blur.  We called family and close friends to let them know what was happening.  My sister was first to arrive and was devastated.  Then my mother came.  She lost her 16 year old son and still grieved for him everyday so she was just worried that I would never recover from this just as she has never recovered from her loss.  th.  He was less than 2 lbs.  They took him from our room to weigh him and clean him up.  I felt numb after that, like I was in a fog.  And empty.  That’s probably the best way to describe the feeling.  I could not handle the emptiness.  It was worse than the contraction pains, worse than pushing him out, just WORSE.  After a little while I asked them to bring him back.  I thought I didn’t want to see him.  I thought I wanted to push this experience out of my memory and move on like it had never happened but once they took him from me I realized I could never do that.  He had forever changed our lives.  They brought him back dressed in a tiny yellow and blue gown and hat and wrapped in a bunch of blankets to give him some heft because he was such a tiny little guy.  But he was perfect. 

He had all his fingers and toes and looked like a perfect little combination of my husband and myself.  We held him and kissed him and talked to him.  I wanted to make sure he knew just how loved he was.  From the moment we found out we were having him he changed our whole lives.  He was incorporated into every decision every everything.  We thought about him every second of every day and he just made us so happy.  I wanted him to know just how much he meant to us.  He may not have ever taken a breath outside my womb but he was with us for almost 7 months and they were the best 7 months of my life, without a doubt. 

We buried our son on Friday, August 27th.  No parent should ever have to utter that sentence.  We may have buried him on that day but we think about him constantly.  He will live on forever in our hearts.

The doctor explained that they didn’t know what had happened but our son had not been developing properly.  For some reason he was growing at a much slower rate than he should have been.  They are doing some chromosome testing to see if it will offer any insight as to what happened. 

It has been almost 3 weeks since we lost our little boy.  I miss him so deeply that its a physical pain.  I still have residual pain in my uterus.  The doctor says its because of the delivery but I think it’s because he’s no longer there.  I miss my son so much that my body literally aches for him.  I feel empty.

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  1. Your story was heartbreaking in so many ways, I can’t even begin to explain. I am so sorry you had to endure this, I too lost a baby, not as far along as you did but the pain and the emptiness it leaves you with is something I wouldn’t wish on anybody. I pray that God gives you the strength to get thru this, and although it might sound cliche, just know that your baby is with Him; he’s a little angel watching over you. I hope that one day you get to be a mother, there is no greater blessing in life & some little guy deserves all that love you have bottled up inside. I wish you the best, God bless you & your husband!!!

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