Monday, October 27, 2014

Halloween...4 years later

We spent the day with my mom and some friends in College Station. We went to eat lunch at Potbelly Sandwiches, we shopped for Aggie Outfits for Owen and Julia, we went to Step Off and then enjoyed the game. It was a beautiful sunny day, and we be Texas Tech. Paul and I took a picture on the field after the game "with" the babies. You can't ask for more.

We drove back to Giddings, and had dinner with my parents before heading home. On the way home someone cut Paul off, and he cussed at them. We joked about how if our children are born cursing it will be his fault.

As we laid in bed that night, I realized I hadn't felt much movement from the baby that day. I tried to chalk it up to all of the moving I did, but my stomach was in knots. We decided to call the OB on-call to get his thoughts on it, and he casually told me that it was normal to not feel a lot of movement at 18 weeks, but if I was really concerned I could go to the ER for peace of mind. Paul didn't want to go, but I told him it was better to go and everything be fine than to not go and regret it. My momma instincts kicked in way before my children were born. I knew something wasn't right.

We got up and went to the nearest ER. When you are pregnant and say that you haven't felt movement from your child/children...they don't make you wait.

We went back to a room, and a nurse came in pretty quickly to check fetal heart tones. She could only find one heart beat, but reassured me that the babies were still small so it is sometimes hard to find both of them. The doctor came in and said he wanted to get an ultrasound to see what was going on. He said we would have to wait awhile because they had to call in the on-call sonographer.

Paul and I chatted while we waited. We were sure that everything was fine, but we just wanted some reassurance.

Once the sonographer arrived, she came in to get me. She told Paul that he wasn't allowed to come back to the ultrasound. This was devastating, but we knew that I would be back quickly. She told me that she would let me watch the ultrasound, but that she couldn't answer any questions.

She squirted the warm jelly on my protruding belly, and began the ultrasound. She asked if we knew the genders of our babies. I told her yes. I told her we were expecting a boy and a girl. She first found Owen, confirmed his gender, did his measurements, and checked for a heart beat. I never saw a heart beat on the monitor. I never saw movement.

She moved on to Baby #2.

She confirmed that we were having a little girl. She immediately got measurements, a strong heart beat, and I saw LOTS of wiggles (this little girl still wiggles).

She told me we were done, that she was taking me back to my room, and that a doctor would be in talk to me shortly. I asked if her there were two wiggly babies and two strong heartbeats. I was hoping that was I saw was wrong. She simply said "I'm sorry. I can't answer that." The doctor will be with you shortly.

I knew in my stomach that something was right, and I wanted desperately to be wrong.

As I went back in the room, Paul looked at me and said "Is everything okay?' I looked at him and whispered "I didn't see Owen moving. I didn't see his heartbeat."

A few minutes later the ER doctor walked in, and he looked like he had seen a ghost. He was very solemn. He sat down in the chair, and with tears in his eyes said "I'm sorry. One of the babies doesn't have a heart beat."

I felt like someone stole all of the air out of the room. I couldn't breathe. He said "I'm going to call your OBGYN and see what they want to do."

After he left, I felt like the room was spinning. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't cry. I couldn't think.

I looked at Paul and told him we needed to call my parents. As soon as my dad answered the phone I burst into tears. My dad knew something was terribly wrong. He calmly said "Cynthia, take a deep breath. What's wrong?" Through sobs I mumbled "We lost Owen." He asked if I wanted him to call anyone and I said yes. He told me to let him know what was going to happen, and we hung up.

The doctor came back in and said that my OB wanted to admit at the hospital where I would deliver. He asked if I wanted to go by ambulance or if Paul wanted to drive me. We said Paul would drive. (It's crazy to me that in the midst of all that was going on I could think about how expensive an ambulance ride would be.) We then waited to be discharged.

As we waited, my aunt showed up and I just started bawling. She held me. Prayed for me. Held my hand. She asked if I wanted her to come to the hospital with me and I said yes.

Once we were in the car we knew we had to tell Paul's family. I called my sister in law and Paul called his mom. Both were at church, but answered their phones. I could barely speak the words when I talked to Jenny. Saying it didn't make it more real.

We got to the hospital, and I was admitted into labor and delivery. The nurse checked for contractions and monitored Julia's heart.

The OB on call came in, and held my hand. He said he was very sorry. He told me he had talked to the doctor that was on call before, and he apologized for not having me come there. He said "we just couldn't have known."

Since I had seen the Maternal Fetal medicine doctor before, he let her take over care.

She came in, and did an ultrasound. She explained what had happened. She said it was a placental abruption. My sister asked if there was anything I could've done to prevent it, and she said no. These things just happen and we don't know why.

She said that I would need to see her throughout my pregnancy, and that Julia would need to be delivered between 37 and 38 weeks.

I tried to make jokes about how Julia would be stronger and smarter because she survived. You know the jokes people make about eating their twin and such. I wanted to do anything to make the pain go away.

I finally gave into crying. Then I started vomitting.

I made my dad take Paul to run errands so that Paul could talk and not have to worry about me.

He is so gentle. I knew he would avoid talking about how he was feeling to be strong for me.

I asked my grandma to come to the hospital. It was a moment that I just needed her gentle hugs. She sat and let me cry.

I asked if Owen when to heaven. No one could give me a straight answer.

The next morning my OB came by and expressed his condolences. He told me to come down for an ultrasound after I was released. He told me that I would need to come in more often, and for more ultrasounds. He told me I couldn't do anything for a week. I needed to be on pelvic rest.

That was 4 years ago on Halloween. 4 years.

My daughter arrived safely. She is healthy and happy. She loves dressing up and is excited about Halloween and getting candy. She has become a big sister. She is beautiful and brilliant.

She is so excited about Halloween that she has been wearing her costume for 4 days.

And all I can think about is that day, 4 years ago when I lost my son. I was never able to hold him in my arms. I was never able to see his face. And I dread having to take my daughters trick or treating.

A few weeks ago Paul said "I wish I had a son." And I know what he means. One that he could see, hear, smell and touch. One that he could teach about football. One that he could teach how to blacksmith and work on cars.

My heart sinks when I think about our son. Owen is our son. But sometimes it doesn't feel like it because we can't see him and hold him.

I often wonder what he would look like, what he would like to play, what his favorite food would be. I wonder if he were here if I would I want to try for another baby.

I wonder if every Halloween for the rest of my life is going to be this horrendous or if one day I will enjoy it.

1 comment:

Ritz said...

I'm so sorry, Cynthia. Thank you for sharing this beautiful, sorrowful, story. I'll remember Owen with you.