I am, what some may call a type A personality, I plan everything and make sure I have control over all that I can. Since I am a teacher, we needed to plan the pregnancy for delivery towards the end of the school year, just like we did with our daughter. May, it’s the perfect time, it allowed for me to take a few weeks off for the delivery and have the whole summer with my new addition to my family. So, we did the same plan we did with our daughter. I purchased the ovulation kit and hoped to get pregnant in August some time.
It worked! We were pregnant in August. I followed regular protocol and made my appointment at the OB for 8 weeks of gestation. The pregnancy went perfect for 9 months. Every check up was by the book; there was no concern for any thing.
After Christmas our dreams came true, we were having a boy. During the ultrasound, I made sure the technician checked everything. Since my niece was born with a heart defect, I wanted to be sure my little boy was healthy. She reassured me that he looked great. She even made sure to point out the four chambers of his heart. Our new little one was so active she had a hard time getting pictures; but, this tech was good, we left with a handful of sonogram pictures. Most of the pictures showed how much he liked to show us he really was a boy; I guess he wanted Daddy to know that he was for real. Phew, we were at ease, a healthy baby boy!
The pregnancy continued as any other normal pregnancy would. Until, they day that changed our lives forever…
I knew that my labor and delivery might be a quick one since I had that experience with my daughter. Just never thought it would be this quick.
I went into labor Monday, May 9, 2011, my husband’s birthday, around 8:30 am. I was alone at home with my daughter, my husband (Lucas) was at least two hours away at work. I woke up with a bit of spotting, nothing to bad or to be alarmed about. I took it as a sign of labor is coming soon. I called my husband to let him know to be ready. Since he was so far away I made sure I called the doctor right away to see if I needed to come in. So, I followed protocol and paged my doctor. I waited for about twenty minutes before I called the office. I called the office and was informed that he was not in town and the he will not be back until tomorrow. Great, my doctor is gone and I am pretty sure I am in labor now.
The office informed me to just come in to be checked. So, I arrived at the office and realized I am in full-blown labor. In tears, I ask if I can just go to the hospital. They see my pain, grab a wheelchair, and wheeled me into the hospital. Lucas has since arrived from his two-hour drive and I could see the excitement on his face when he walks in and sees that, yes, I am in labor. I will never forget how excited he was to meet his son. Never could I guess that our dreams were about to be shattered.
I get into the delivery room and the nurse checks me for dilation. She tells me she is not sure if I am fully dilated or if she is feeling my bag of waters; she calls for another nurse. The second nurse confirms that I am fully dilated and ready to deliver. With my husband at my side, the nurse puts the Doppler on my big pregnant belly. She moves it around quite a bit and realizes she can’t find his heartbeat. I ask her, “There’s no heartbeat?” My husband shows her where the doctor was able to find it the previous Thursday. Still no heartbeat. I begin to cry and my husband hunches over in disbelief.
Since my doctor was not in town, a doctor that was on the floor was called into the room with an ultrasound machine in tow. She sits at the edge of my bed, puts the wand on my belly, and says, “I’m sorry”. Again, Lucas falls over in tears, crying out, “no, no!” I see my lifeless Sam on the screen and fill my heart with disbelief. I remember thinking, their wrong, he is fine, this can’t really be happening, wake-up Stefanie, wake-up!
The doctor that was covering for mine was called in to deliver my still son. I had no pain medication, but that does not compare to the pain I feel now with empty arms. I delivered Sam at 11:24 am in a quiet delivery room. The silence of the delivery room was something that will haunt me for the rest of my life. I had hoped for nothing more than for Sam to just start crying. I remember after I delivered him and the neonatologist was looking him over, repeating to myself, “Please Sam, please Sam, start crying!” Sam remained still.
The neonatologist informed me that he looks perfect. There were no signs of any physical ailments that might have been the cause of his death. He also told me that Sam had been dead for at least forty-eight hours. He knew this by the look of Sam’s skin. He gave me his condolences and walked out of the room. The nurse wrapped Sam in a blanket and brought him to me.
I will never forget Sam’s warm, pink, soft skin on my cheek. I held my son and kissed him, still in disbelief that he was never going to look back at me, never going to smile at me, never going to see my face, and never going to come home with me. In the short time I was able to be with Sam, I created as many memories as I could in hopes that I will never forget how my son smelled, felt, and looked.
May 9, 2011 was the day my life was changed forever. I gave birth to my son that will have a place in my heart forever more. I long for the day that I will be able to hold him in my arms again. Until that day my heart aches.