We parked the car and walked to L & D admissions. Refusing to look at all the pregnant women I told the receptionist my name and that my doctor was supposed to have given my information. She told me to go to the next lady and I began filling out paperwork and talking to the lady. She kept telling me to sit down and have my husband do the paperwork. I ignored her and kept filling out the papers. I looked over at hers and I saw by my name “threatened miscarriage.” Now why couldn’t my doctor tell them the truth?Once more she told me to sit down and annoyed I told her we weren’t married, I had to do the paperwork. She began typing faster and I just wanted to shout there was no need for all of this, my baby was already dead.
I was wheeled to a private corner hallway of L & D with angel’s wings taped to the door. There was my mark, I knew, that things were happening differently in this room. I was having contractions and we decided to let me try to go into full labor that night. At 11:00 my nurse changed to who I would later refer to as the nasty nurse. We were given the survival packet with all the information in it about dispositions, funeral homes, pictures. Overwhelmed, I put it to the side.
At 6am they started the pitocin. At 9 am I FINALLY saw my doctor (no, he didn’t bother to see me the night before, he only talked to the nurse). My water was broken and he said labor would probably go fast since she was small and he may or may not make it in time.
I declined the epidural and was only given morphine. My nurse was her usual self, in and out, barely speaking to me or looking at me. Only when she had to. I guess she wanted to be there as much as I did, but I had to wonder why they assigned her to me.
Around 10:30 I was having bad contractions and my stomach was contorting. I remember hitting the on call button and screaming “HELP!HELP!” of course no one did. Emily really did kind of pop out. I didn’t see her, I couldn’t. I was still having contractions. The nurse finally came in with another one and I was hysterical, screaming “She’s out! She’s out!” “It’s ok”, the nurse said, the doctor said this could happen. (btw, NOTHING was ok) They started talking about the cord being twisted all around her body and it was looped around her neck twice. Alex would tell me later that she had a mark on her neck from the cord. She was born 12/28/10 at 10:40 am and was 3lbs and 17 inches long.
I remember how quiet it was. Just Alex and myself. No monitors beeping, no doctors and nurses talking, no baby crying. A silent, silent birth.
It took about 10 more minutes to deliver the placenta, and then the nasty nurse gave her to us and walked out. I had Alex get her blanket with her name to use instead of the hospital blanket. She was so beautiful. Small, and perfect. We laughed over her hair, the same color as his (I wanted that, everyone else wanted her to have my hair). She looked just like her father, chin, nose, hair, face, feet. I think she had my eye shape, forehead, but she was her Daddy’s girl for sure.
We let her go for her bath and pictures. The hospital was taking pictures and the chaplain had called NILMDTS. We also had her blessed.
A new nurse came in (YAY!) and she noticed that my uterus was still too big and had the doctor come back. Apparently I was filled with blood clots, and they were concerned about a piece of placenta still being there. I begged not to be taken for surgery and a D & C and the doctor agreed. They pumped some more morphine in me and he used his hand to remove the rest of the clots. (horrific pain). Then Emily came back and we were able to hold her for two more hours, until she started changing colors and swelling, then we said goodbye. I never felt like more of a mother than when I was holding her.
We had to do the unthinkable. We had to start talking about disposition of her body, a burial or cremation, who will transport the body. Then we had to call funeral homes about cremation. Filled out papers for a death certificate. It was so bizarre I thought it couldn’t be real. This is what you did at the end of a person’s life, not the beginning.
My blood pressure was still too high (postpartum preeclampsia) so I had to stay an extra night for meds and monitoring. It was like I was in a bad dream when I was wheeled outside with my keepsake box instead of my baby. I remember closing my eyes so I wouldn’t have to watch the new mothers getting into the cars with their new babies and not clutching a small box.