I've decided that maybe it's time to write about and share my grief, anger, sadness and everything else I've been feeling since loosing my sweet baby Lily. I've been told it helps - it helps to share your story.. so far I don't believe that but I couldn't feel much worse so I guess I'll give it a try. This post is about what happend my last couple days of pregnancy, my labour & delivery and the aftermath...
Friday, Novemeber 12th I was as happy as can be but I was one week and 2 days past my due date. The past couple of days I had been having a bit of cramping and light spotting, which I was told my likley my "bloody show". I was a bit freaked out and didn't know what "normal" was but when I called Labour and Delivery at the HSC, they said to wait it out and come in when either my water breaks or my contractions start. I was so increadibly anxious for my sweet little girl to be here and come home with us but she wasn't quite ready, I suppose. So we waited and that day I was scheduled for a routine ultrasound because I was a week late and they wanted to check on her and talk about being induced.
So that morning, I woke up as usual - showered, had a cup of coffee and got ready. Cary had already started his new job so he was at work like usual until 2pm. I didn't mind this, I was pretty used to going to doctors appointments myself or with my mum so I texted him and I told him I'd call him later and let him know what's going on.
Around 10am, my dad, mum and I finally left for the hospital. (It didn't dawn on me until later but I hadn't felt Lily move much or at all since last night. It wasn't that uncommon, as she was most active in the late afternoon, evening and all night long (while I'm trying to sleep of course). I wish I could remember the last time I felt her, knowing what I know now, knowing that would be the last time I'd ever feel her bouncing around inside of me.) We got to the hospital a bit early so my mum and I went in and waited. My dad told us he'd be back in about 45 mins to pick us up because he wouldnt have been able to come in anyway, I was only allowed one person to acompany me, for whatever reason. So we went in, waited about 15 mins and were taken to the ultrasound room for what we thought would be a normal ultrasound where we'd get to see my little girl once more by ultrasound before she was born...
By this time in my pregnancy - 41 weeks and 1 day, I was rather huge and uncomfortable looking. My nurse commented on this but said as uncomfortable as I was, I looked exstatic and absolutely glowing. I was. I was so happy I could barely contain myself. I was going to be a mother, I was going to have the most beautiful child in the world, I was going to be taking her home in just a few short days, or so I thought..
So the ultrasound started, nobody said much, they took measurements and the nurse kept going over the same spot over and over. I had no idea why. She called in the doctor to take a look, I was getting nervous. Another 10 minutes or so went by and noone had said anything. I was scared. The doctor looked at me and asked when the last time I felt Lily move, I stammered and before I could say anything she told me she could not find Lily's heartbeat, I swear MY heart nearly stopped when I heard those words. I thought I was dreaming, I thought I would wake up any second screaming.. I didn't wake up, it wasn't a dream. I couldn't move, I couldn't speak. I could hear them telling me how sorry they were and my mother screaming and crying and telling them to check again. They didn't need to, they had already spent the last half an hour searching for it. She was gone..
When I was finally able to speak again, the only thing I said was "Call Cary." and I started bawling.
I could not stop crying, I couldn't form a proper sentance, I could barely move. I was paralyzed with grief, in complete shock. At some point after my mum called Cary she'd called my dad and he was there right away. He ran in and hugged me and started crying with me. I'd never seen my dad cry until that moment. They told us that there was a room just next door where we could go and stay as long as we needed, be together and to wait for Cary. They said the doctor would be back in a bit to talk to us about what we needed to do. I heard all of this but I still couldn't speak or walk. My dad pretty much carried me into the next room. Where I sat for the next while in complete agony waiting for Cary, waiting for the father of my dead baby. I needed him so much but I wished he didn't have to go threw this pain - the last thing I wanted was for him to hurt but I knew that was now inevidable.
My mum, dad and I sat there for I'm not sure how long waiting for Cary. I still didn't say a word, my mum was crying and so was my dad. I was completely silent and I must have looked like I was about to snap because they kept asking if I was okay. Of course I wasn't, I'd just gotten the worse news anyone could ever get. I had stopped crying but I felt like I was dying inside. I still couldn't speak. My mum left briefly to go downstairs and see how long Cary would be. I was sitting with my dad and I looked at him and asked him "Why? Why did she die?.." My dad came over to me and he held me while I started to wail again. My mum came back and told us Cary would be here soon and his mom was with him. I guess he'd called her and she wanted to be with us aswell. I asked my parents if I could be alone, they said okay and left. I sat there and held my belly and cried. I'd never felt so much pain in my life, not physically but emotionally. I had just lost my little girl, she was never coming home with us, she'd never get to wear all the pretty clothes we'd bought for her or use her bassinet. She was gone.
A while later, I was still alone and I seen the door open - It was Cary. His face was bright red and tears were streaming down his face, he ran to me and held me and didn't let go for the next couple hours. I kept telling him how sorry I was, thinking this was my fault. He just looked at me and said "Don't ever think this YOUR fault, it isn't. You love Lily with all your heart. This isn't your fault." I still felt like it WAS my fault. I was supposed to carry her and keep her safe until she was ready to come out, I felt like I'd fail as a mother. I was completely heartbroken.
After a while alone, everyone came back in along with the doctor. Cary's mom came to me and hugged me tight and said she loved me and she was so sorry. I told her that I loved her aswell and thank you for coming with Cary. I was so scared of him coming alone and driving too fast to get to us and something horrible happening but she was there to comfort him and I was happy about that. The doctor sat with us for a while and talked. She told us she couldn't give us a reason for what happened, everything looked fine and we could opt for a autopsy after the delivery. I sat there shocked.. "Delivery?" I said. "You expect me to deliver my dead baby?" "I want a c-section." She then explained to us that unless there was a medical reason for it she couldn't ethically allow me to have a c-section because it is a major surgery and if in the future I wanted to get pregnant again I likely could never have a natural delivery. So that was that. I was going to deliver Lily. Right then I knew what I had to do, I had to be strong and just get threw this and after I could fall to pieces again. I asked when I could be induced they said ASAP and to just go home and get some sleep and they would call as soon as a private room was available. So we left, my mom and dad together and Cary, his mom and myself in our car.
We got home Freda still with us, my parents still about 10 mins away. I ripped apart my hospital bag which had been packed for weeks now. I removed all of the baby stuff and asked Cary to put it somewhere where I wouldn't see it. After my parents got home, Cary made some coffee for everyone and we sat down and decided what we were going to do. Freda would take our car home, Cary and I would sleep for a bit and she'd come get us when it was time. So we all parted ways and Cary and I headed downstairs but before I could my mum said to wait and her and Cary went downstairs. They told me to come down after a couple of minutes and I realized why. The bassinet was no longer in our room, they'd moved it out so I wouldnt have the constant reminder that she would never use it.. like I could ever forget. My mum kissed me on the forhead and left. I started to get changed into my PJ's, just as I was pulling on my pants.. my water broke....
I started to cry and ran to the bathroom, I knew it was time. We called L&D and they said I could wait til my contractions start or just come in. We decided to go and have them start my contractions with pitocin. I didn't want to wait, I wanted this to be over as soon as possible. From the time Freda left and my water broke it couldn't have been more then 15 mins so we called and she turned around and was there with in 10 mins. Cary got our hospital bag, which no longer contained our little girls clothes.. we wouldn't need them... and we left.
When we got to the car, I noticed the car seat was gone. I don't know when they or even who had taken it out but I was glad, it was horrible enough having to leave the hospital without her, I didn't want to see her empty carseat.
We headed to the hospital, my parents following us. We got there and was told I would have to go to admitting. They asked why I was there.. I didn't know what to say. I just said "I'm in labour" and started crying. They looked confused. I gave them my information and I think they finally realized why I was crying. We went upstairs and were put into a private room and were introduced to the nurses that would be there and then my doctor came in. They said they were insert some sort of gel to help my contraction to start.
Now, I'm sure you've heard of women being in labour for 2-3 days and think "Yeah right!" Well, I was close. I was in labour for 36 hours. 18 of which were without an epidural. I couldn't sleep, I could barely eat. It was nothing but pain. I was in pain but Cary was amazing, he never left my side, he was next to me helping me breath threw the contractions the entire time. He was there to keep me company and to keep me sane. Always telling me how good I was doing. I had nothing but back labour and I don't know how I even made it to 18 hours without drugs. Maybe it was because I had Cary there supporting me and knowing that if I took the epidural too soon, it might just stop my labour and I'd end up with a csection anyway. I think I just knew I had to get threw it, I had a job to do and I guess some sort of maternal instincts kicked in...
We had visitors every now and then, my parents, Freda, John (Cary's dad) but mostly it was just Cary and I, and I perfered it that way. I didn't want anyone else there to see me in such pain. I think because of the news we'd just gotten this experience was so personal to us, too private, too much pain to have anyone else see. We cried, we held eachother, we talked about Lily - she was still our daughter, she was still the mos important thing in the world to us. Going threw this awful experience with Cary just made how we feel about eachother all the more clear. I love him with all my heart and couldnt imagine spending my life with anyone else and we love Lily, the pain of loosing her is indescribable but feeling that much pain can only mean there was an unbelieveable amount of love aswell..
About 16 hours into my labour, Cary was trying to get a bit of sleep but my contractions were getting so painful I couldn't sleep and I would scream, moan and try to breath threw each waking Cary up. So we called in the nurse and I asked for morphine. They gave me one dose, I felt a huge wave of fuzziness. Hoping it would also take care of the pain of the contractions, I relaxed a bit. As my next one was starting I tensed up again, nothing was numbed, I could still feel everything, but I was so high I didn't care. I was finally able to sleep for a short while inbetween each contraction. I could still feel them, but I have to admit they weren't AS bad but still painful. I got one more dose before my epidural. I didn't feel the same fuzziness I could still feel everything. Then we realized my IV was pulled, they unplugged it and all I felt was a huge JOLT of fluid shooting into my hand and there was the fuzziness again...
After that dose of morphine wore off I was in so much pain, I couldnt handle it anymore.. I wanted the epidural and I wanted it now. At some point the anesthesiologist had come in before and explained our options, and told us they were testing me for somesort of blood clotting disorder (or something like that) and if I had it I would be unable to receive it. They hadnt come in to tell me the results yet, so I was praying I could have it. I dont know how I could have dealt with the pain otherwise. Luckily, everything was fine and I could get the epidural. Thank you Jesus. I could barely sit still, I was writhing in such pain Cary had to hold me still. They epi was nothing compared to what I was feeling, I couldn't believe anyone would complain about that TINY little needle prick and pressure. Just seems crazy to me..
After that, I felt alot better. I was numb but could still move a bit (they called it a "walking epidural"). I had a little button that I could press if it started to wear off, I could press it every 10 minutes if I needed it. The first serveral hours I only pressed it maybe once an hour or so. Towards the end of the 36 hours, I was pressing the button as often as I could. I still remember feeling the cool sensation down my back (the fentanyl going down the tube being injected into the epidural space), it was such a comforting feeling. By then I couldn't move at all, I was completely numb, I had to have Cary and the nurse lift my legs and help me shift my weight because I was laying down for so long I was getting pretty uncomfortable.
After about 35 hours, around 5pm on saturday the epidural completely stopped working. They had been checking me periodically to see how far I was dialted. 2cm, 3cm and so on. I think I stopped at 6cm and nothning happened for a while. I was so scared I'd gotten the epi too soon and it was stopping my labour, especially because I could not feel my contractions. Once it stopped working, I felt this HORRIBLE pressure very low down. I called the nurse and told her to check me. I was ready, I was 10 cm and ready to deliver Lily. Even though I'd spent the last 35 hours in labour, preparing for what I had to do.. I started to cry and said I wasn't ready. I didn't have a choice, I had to do this now..
Now the next part gets a bit graphic, I apoligize if it sicks anyone out but this is what happened.
I got into position with Cary by my side like he'd been for the last 2 days and the nurse on the other side. I started pushing, I dont think I was doing a very good job, I kept stopping too soon. I was so exausted. But both the nurse and Cary were there helping me every step of the way. They knew it would take a while so after I'd been pushing for a while my doctor came in. Now this is a doctor I'd never been too fond of but honestly I've never been so happy to see him in my life (he was actually very helpful and sensative, I was greatful I hadnt changed drs). I was still pushing and I felt like I wasnt making much progress but thats when Cary said he could see her head. One more push and her head was out. It was *a bit* of relief but thats when the dr told me her shoulders were stuck. I pushed and pushed and pushed, she would not come out. This was the most horrible pain I'd ever felt and that is INCLUDING my labour. I was screaming "GET HER OUT OF ME! NOW!".. I couldn't push anymore, I was screaming so loud in pain - my mumr ran in. I seen her, and felt a little bit at ease but I couldn't let her see me like this, in so much pain. I didn't think she could handle it. I told her to get out and that I was sorry. She left and I heard her and Freda crying in the hallway. I felt guilty as I knew she just wanted to help me but I couldn't let her..
Finally the doctor told me to stop and that he was going to try and pull her out. I nearly kicked him in the face, I couldnt believe he was trying to do this while I could feel everything. I started screaming again and told him to stop. The anesthesiologist came in after about 5 mins and injected my epi iv and my regular iv with copius amounts of drugs. I could no longer feel anything except the cold cloth Cary had put over my eyes. I was barely concious. And then I heard them say she was out and asked if I wanted to see her. I said no. Cary seen her and told me she was beautiful and he started to cry..
Our little girl was born at 6:01pm Saturday, November 13th.
The next couple hours I was still so high from whatever they injected me with I could barely talk and I couldn't move. All I did was sob. Cary wiped my face off and tried to brush my hair because I knew I looked hidious. Finally my parents, Freda and John (Who I didnt even realize was there. Turns out he was downstairs with my dad because my dad couldn't handle hearing me scream like I was) came in. My mum asked me if I wanted to see her, she had just gone to see her with Freda and told me she looked just like me. I knew I had to see her..
They brought her in. She was dressed in a pretty little onsie, that was much to big for her, a white hat and a pink blanket. She was beautiful, more beautiful then anything I'd ever seen. She did look just like me. She had my lips, cupids bow and all. My nose. I took her out of the blanket, I had to see all of her. She was perfect. She had Carys feet - long and skinny. Cary's ears. She was just like both of us. We had really made the most perfect child in the world. I rocked her and talked to her. Kissed her. I didn't ever want to let her go but I knew I had to. I knew even though I had just gone threw all that, she was gone and we couldn't take her home. My heart broke again, over and over, into a million pieces. This is the best I can describe what I was feeling but really I could never put into words what it really felt like to have to let her go.
The nurses took her and did all of the measurements they would normally do. She was 7lbs 13 oz, 21.5 inches long. They said from the looks of the placenta and cord, everything looked ok but that was just speculation. They would have to do an autopsy to be sure and we are still waiting to hear what the results are..
Threw out the next few hours, we had some dinner, talked and eventually my brother showed up. I had asked him to wait until everything was finished to come down and also that I didn't want anyone else there. When he got there, of course he had told me he was sorry and held me while I cried, just like I'd done with everyone else. I felt this was getting a bit redundant, I guess and I was sick of thinking about what had just happened. I was finally able to walk again so him, cary, my dad and mum and myself went downstairs to walk around. I had been in bed for close to 2 days and I needed to move.
Once we got back upstairs, a spiritual adviser, clergy, priest - something, I dont know what he was but he was able to bless and baptise Lily came in, he gave us his condolences and asked if I wanted to bring her back in and start the baptisim. I said yes, it seemed like a good time, everyone was there. All my family. She was brought back in and she was blessed and baptised as a Christian. They gave us a baptisim certificate and a candle. Eventually they left and Cary and I kept her with us for a while to say good-bye. We kissed her and told her how much we loved her and then she was gone. I would never see her sweet little face ever again..
Cary and I stayed at the hospital one more night just to make sure I was doing okay. I couldn't sleep much so I just watched TV, avoiding any show that might have children in it, which was difficult. I ended up watching Jackass and then the weather channel til I finally fell asleep. My nurse came in in the middle of the night to check on me and to give me the keepsakes they had put together for me. Her onsie, her little hat, the blanket she was wrapped in, her hand & foot prints and finally pictures of her. I said thank you and she left. I couldn't believe she gave me pictures of her, I was scared to look at them, I didnt know how she'd look. I put the box on the table and tried to go back to sleep. A couple hours later about 5am I woke up and knew I had to look at the pictures. So I opened the box and looked at everything and finally the pictures at the bottom of the box. I let out a wimper and started crying, as soon as Cary heard me he was awake and by my side asking me what was wrong and what I was looking at. I showed him and we cried. We promised eachother we wouldn't look at the pictures again unless we were together.
We didn't sleep anymore after that. Finally after my check up at 8am we were able to leave. I cleaned up the room and got our stuff together. I thanked the nurses (Who I have say were amazing and such a huge help, I'm forever thankful for their kindness), Cary brought our stuff downstairs, Lilys box and finally came up to get me. I was so indifferent about leaving, I wanted so badly to go home but I knew it wouldn't be the same with out Lily. We went downstairs, Cary had pulled the car around, and I got in. I looked in the backseat - Cary had put our keepsakes where Lily's carseat was. I lost it. I knew then that everything that had just happend WAS real and we were never bringing her home. Half way home I stopped crying and felt completely numb..
The next couple weeks at home are a blur. I pretty quickly turned to alcohol to help with the pain. It didn't help and I know nothing ever will. But that first week I drank and drank, I drank so I could sleep a dreamless sleep, I drank so I wouldn't constantly think about what I'd just gone threw. I know now that was the worst thing I could possibly do but thats what I did. I wouldn't leave the house, I turned my phone off and I just pushed everyone away. Finally Cary snapped me out of it, he picked me up and gave me some sort of hope again. I knew he loved me and I knew everyone else did aswell. I didn't have my little girl but I had/ve alot of people who love me, no one will ever replace her but knowing that I'm loved and cared for was a comfort and I finally was able to reach back out to those who reached out to me..
I know I'll never be whole again, when Lily died a piece of me died too. I miss her everyday. But I know she knew we loved her and she's watching over us now. Until we get to be with her again, she'll be our little angel. Hopefully someday I'll be able to see another baby and not cry, and maybe someday we'll be able to make Lily a big sister but the pain of loosing her will never leave us. I think about her everyday and I'll never forget her..
Rest in Peace my sweet baby Lily. Mommy & Daddy will always love you.