In January 2000 we got pregnant after our first attempt. In February I began having severe abdominal pain and I was told that it was because I have fibroids and when they degenerate they will cause me pain and that I could experience this pain throughout my pregnancy. I was also told that this could cause me to have pre-term contractions. On 5/30/00 I went to OB/GYN because I was having some contractions I was kept overnight for observation. The contractions stopped and I was sent home in the morning and told to rest for about a week. On 6/7/00 I went to my regular OB appointment and my OB did an internal exam looks up at me and says "your membranes are bulging" I asked "what does that mean?" and he explained that the membranes are bulging out through the cervix. He did an ultrasound and we watched as the baby was kicking her little foot in and out through the opening of the cervix. He admitted me and they layed me in trendelenburg position (head lower than my feet) hoping this would retract the membranes, he also said they would be transferring me to another hospital in the morning to have an emergency cerclage. Morning of 6/8/00 Dr. Tenn came in and did an internal exam and said the membranes had retracted and that I was about 1 1/2 cm dilated now. I was transferred to the other hospital by ambulance which took about 1/2 hour. When we got there Dr. Edwards a perinatologist examined me and said I was now 4cm dilated. He diagnosed me with an incompetent cervix. He asked me if I wanted to let this pregnancy go or would I want him to try and save it. I thought he was crazy for asking me something like that. I told him "of course I would like you to save my baby". He scheduled surgery early the next morning. I was kept in trendelenburg position. During the night I was given medication for contractions. After the cerclage I was kept in the hospital for 5 more days to be monitored. I was sent home on strict bedrest. The evening of 7/31/00 I felt my water break. Daniel and I looked at each other in fear and I said "this isn't supposed to happen yet". We rushed to the hospital. Daniel was running red lights and honking his horn, he was even speeding on the freeway. When we got to the hospital I was given steroid injections for the baby's lung development. They said they were going to try to keep the baby in me for at least another 2 weeks and they would be keeping me in the hospital. Daniel went home thinking we had at least another 2 weeks. I then started having contractions and so they gave me morphine sulfate (this was a horrible drug) and they gave me other medications to control the contractions later on. Later that night the baby was having decelerations of the heartbeat and the nurse came in a few times to manipulate the baby and get the baby in better position to help heartrate. The OB came in and said they were going to have to deliver the baby now. I called Daniel at home and told him to get here now, he freaked. I was then wheeled to the O.R. and the last thing I was told was "now just go to sleep and when you wake up you will have your baby with you" and I thought "wow". I woke up mentally but I couldn't open my eyes for some reason and felt someone stroking my hair and I asked "where is my baby?". The OB said, "I'm sorry but the baby didn't make it". I said, "why, why!" and started screaming. I then felt severe pain - because I was screaming, I was making my incision hurt. So they gave me something for that pain. Daniel came in then and he was stroking my hair and he said "Alicia she is beautiful" And I thought (oh my god a girl, that is what I wanted, a girl}. I started crying again. I was taken back to L & D and Daniel asked if I wanted him to bring her in to me. I wasn't sure, I was scared, but I said yes. They must have given me some kind of drug because I was mentally numb/calm. When he brought her in I was thinking awwwww she is sleeping, sweet baby. I just kept looking at her and touching her, I really felt like she was just sleeping. The nurse asked me if I wanted her to take her and I said no. Later she came in and said she had to take her. I must have been truly in shock because I calmly let her go. They wheeled me to a regular room not a maternity room thank goodness. My family stayed with me for a while. It was so strange, it was like I was in a dream. The two OB's who did the C-Sec came in to see how I was doing and were both teary eyed. The anesthesiologist came in to visit as well. My family left and so did Daniel. Daniel had to leave because he was in torment and kept crying, he couldn't look at me, but I understood. A social worker came in to talk to me and I told her I thought I shouldn't have seen the baby because I thought it made my agony worse, she counseled me about that and other things. Later I realized that I was glad I had seen my baby and held her because I would have regretted it. She asked if I had a name for her I told her we had a name picked out but I did not want to use it I would have to think of another one. I felt so strange like I was in a nightmare it was such a weird feeling. I cried all night I couldn't believe what had happened. Hope was alive when we got to the O.R. but passed away during the surgery. They were unable to revive her because she was sick with infection. Apparently when I was 4 cm dilated before the cerclage, infection had gotten in and festered. The next day I told Daniel we needed to name her so we were silently thinking about that when I then looked up at him and said "Hope", Daniel looked at me wide eyed and said "God sent you that name". I was discharged Friday morning. Saturday we cremated Hope which was another horrific experience, I took one quick glimpse of Hope because I was crying so hard - and that was the last time I saw my angel. I now yearn to see her again. Daniel and I did not take phone calls or visitors for many weeks. We slowly got stronger, but it was a long hard journey which we are still traveling to this day. Hope was our dream that did not become a reality. - Poems:
"Oh Mother, My Mother"
Oh Mother, my mother I touch your tears, invisible fingers soothing your skin. I know you think of me so often in the day, in the night, in your dreams, going into an empty nursery knowing I'll never be there but I am ... in your heart, in your soul. I shall always be; for you gave so unselfishly of yourself. Inside of you, you created such a world for me, a world of laughter, of love, of sadness, of sorrow, every emotion people come to know, you shared with me.
And even though I may never feel your arms around me I felt your heart beating, like a lullaby, singing me to sleep, and your spirit giving me a safe haven, already protecting me, nurturing me, preparing me of things to come. But sometimes the journey of life pulls souls apart and yes, I had to go on to another place. I wish I could stay, I wish this was a decision I could make and I know you do too. Know this wherever you are: I will always remember that yours was the first love, the first joy, the first soul I will ever know, you gave me the courage to go on in my journey, I hope I can do the same for you. Your heartbeat will always call me to you. Love, Your Daughter -
Go ahead and mention my child, the one that died you know. Don't worry about hurting me further, the depth of my pain doesn't show. Don't worry about making me cry, I'm already crying inside. Help me to heal by releasing the tears I try to hide. I'm hurt when you just keep silent, pretending she didn't exist. I'd rather you mention my child knowing that she has been missed. You asked me how I am doing, I say "pretty good" or "fine", but healing is something ongoing, I feel it will take a lifetime.