It's been 3 weeks since my baby girl went to be with Jesus. Saturday, June 22, 2013 is the day my life changed forever.
I don't remember if I felt her move that morning. I do remember that my 2 year old slept until 8 am, which was much later than normal. We did our typical Saturday things - lawn mowing for my husband, breakfast, showers, watching cartoons, then we went for a drive, to nowhere in particular, just to get out of the house. Again, I cannot recall if she moved during the morning or not. It's probably best that way.
We had lunch, put Joey down for his nap. When baby did not move after lunch, I was a little concerned, but not panicked. I went to lay down and take a nap. (It was the only rest I would get for a couple of days). When I woke up, I still had not felt any movement. I ate a cookie, laid on my side, waited 30 minutes. Nothing. I drank a glass of juice, waited 30 minutes. Nothing. I texted my midwife, recapping what happened. She did not respond right away. After 30 minutes, I called her and got her voice mail. I called her home number and got voice mail again. She called back a minute or so later, and said she was on her way to my house. Now I'm starting to panic, but not thinking the worst.
My midwife tries to find Harper's heartbeat. She can't find it. I am 33 weeks pregnant. This isn't good. She tells me we need to go to the hospital. I start crying. We have no family anywhere near us, and we can't bring Joey to the hospital. My husband stays with Joey and my midwife drives me to the hospital. The ride there is agonizingly long. It's hot in the car, I don't know if the air conditioning was working, but I don't care to ask. I'm praying, begging God to let my baby be ok, to not let her be dead. L&D is expecting us, as my midwife called ahead while I was saying goodbye to my little boy and my husband.
We walk into the hospital and ride the elevator to the 4th floor. We get buzzed into the L&D unit. They bring us to a room. The nurse tries to find a heartbeat, she cannot. The midwife on duty does an ultrasound. There is no heartbeat. My world is crumbling around me. I cannot believe what I'm being told. The hospital midwife is sobbing with me. I think this may have happened to her, too, but I don't ask. They tell me they will bring up the radiologist to confirm, but that she will not be telling me anything different. I have to tell my husband that our baby is dead.
I know that Joey hasn't gone to bed yet, so I wait. The hospital midwife is telling me things, and I'm not really listening. I'm crying and crying and crying. I don't understand why this is happening, why my little girl, how can this be? It's finally past bedtime. I call my husband. I say she's gone. He wants to come to the hospital and is trying to figure out how to make it happen. I tell him no. I'm coming home. I was told that nothing had to happen right then. That I could go home and come back in a couple of days. I don't say anything. Or, I could come back in the morning for an induction. They tell me there is no way to know how long my body will take to realize that she's dead. They tell me that the longer I wait, the worse the condition of her body will be when I deliver her. I decide to go home and come back in the morning. We need to arrange care for my son.
I call my mom. She and my dad are driving in the car. I tell her the baby is dead. Hysteria. I'm trying to remain calm, and calm her down. I tell her what the plan is for tomorrow, and tell her that I need to call my sister. I have to talk more with the hospital people. I don't call my sister right away. By the time I do, my mom has already told her. More sobbing. The nurse brings my discharge papers, tells me to come back tomorrow morning.
My midwife drives me home. Steve comes out to meet me. We hug and cry. He never blamed me. I kept telling him how sorry I was. He tells me it's not my fault. It's no one's fault. We go inside, and I try and get some things ready for the morning. Steve goes next door to tell the neighbors what has happened and ask if they can watch Joey. They agree.
We try to go to sleep. I pray and pray and pray for God to help us through this. It takes me forever, but I finally fall asleep. After an hour, I wake up to contractions. They aren't terribly strong, but they are close together. I don't know what to do. I am exhausted and not thinking straight. Steve calls my midwife, she says she's coming over and bringing her husband, in case we need to go back to the hospital right away.
Midwife checks me, I am only about a centimeter dilated, so she thinks it's fine to wait until morning, but decides to stay with us for the night. We make up the spare bed for her and try and go back to sleep.