One week ago today, I gave birth to a precious baby boy. I had no idea it would end like this, no indication I would come home empty handed. It just happened, and it happened fast. I ask Why? a hundred times a day. There are no answers. I seek the peace and comfort that only God can give me and it feels like it is still so far out of reach. It will come. In time, it will come.
One week ago today, before 7:20PM, I was pregnant. I had been pregnant for 20 weeks, 4 days. So many hopes and dreams of new life shattered. Yet at the same time, those same hopes and dreams renewed. My baby is with his true Father, the One who created him. Jonathan is whole and will never experience the pain of this world. Praise God!
Wednesday morning, May 27, 2009, was just another morning. Chris, Matthew, and I were all excited because we would be leaving for Gatlinburg, TN on Thursday. We hadn't had a family vacation in three years and were really looking forward to it. I had talked to Dr. B the previous week and she said I would be fine. My instructions were to stay hydrated, stop often on the trip there and back to walk around, expect more bleeding due to increased activity. I would see her at my next appointment, June 3.
I got up, dropped Matthew off at his summer program, and went to work. After I got to work, I started cramping a little. Nothing new. I had cramped on and off throughout the pregnancy and usually it just meant the bleeding would increase, but the baby was fine. The cramping continued throughout the morning and I took some Tylenol. It didn't seem to help. By lunch time, I called my doctor. I apologized like I always did for having to bother them. My friends and I joked about my weekly visits and how I was always calling the nurse. The nurse called me back and asked if the Tylenol had helped any, to which I responded no. Dr. B wanted me to come on in for my weekly ultrasound, so my appointment was set for 3:20. I left work around 2:15. I checked in the office at 3:15. By then the cramps were stronger. I asked if they were running on time and told the receptionist I was cramping pretty bad. By 3:45, I was in the ultrasound room. Just as I expected, Jonathan was fine. His heart rate was 150. He had good movement. He was head down, which I thought was strange. He had never been like that before. The hematoma was still there, but Jonathan's head was pressing on it. Dr. B said that is why I was cramping. I would be passing a lot more blood, hopefully the whole hematoma and by next week this would all be over with. I would be a normal pregnant woman with no complications. She told me to go home, lie down, take Tylenol, a warm bath, and apply a heating pad. So I left.
I called Chris as I left the hospital to fill him in. I started cramping so bad, I was having trouble driving. I finally made it home after breaking the speed limit. The cramping had gotten 10 times worse and I could barely stand it. I should have turned around and went back to the hospital. I told myself that as I was driving home. I didn't want to be the overreacting pregnant lady so I ignored my instincts. Chris arrived home about 20 minutes after me. By the time he came in, I was yelling, "Oh God, please help me," and crying. It only took 3 or 4 minutes for Chris to decide I was going to the ER. He called the after hours number, the doctor didn't call back. He called again when we got in the car and told them we were headed to the ER. During this time, Chris's mom had come to the house to pick up Matthew. Poor Matthew was so worried. I didn't even greet him when Chris brought him home. I couldn't talk or focus, I was hurting so bad.
On the way to the ER, I kept my eyes closed for the most part. Every time a wave of pain would hit me, I would open them to look at the clock. I then realized I was having back labor, contractions 2 minutes apart. We got to the ER. They came out and got me in a wheelchair. Chris had to go park the car and I was trying to explain to them what wass going on. I told them I had just been at the doctor's office. The baby was fine then, just 2 hours before. I was having contractions two minutes apart and I was yelling, "Please Lord, help me." I am surprised I didn't clear the ER out. They told me they were going to give me something for the pain and they could hook me up to the fetal monitor. Twice they told me they can hook me up to the fetal monitor. They never did. I don't know what good it would have done except tell me the exact time Jonathan's heart stopped beating. And, that would just be another number for me to remember.
They finally got an IV started and gave me Demerol and phenergan. I had been throwing up. I guess from the pain, I don't know.The pain was still unbearable so they gave me more Demerol. During all this, they are trying to get in touch with the OB on call. He was in an emergency c section. I started bleeding pretty bad. Twice I felt large amounts of blood and told Chris I was bleeding bad. He looked and confirmed it. The ER doctor finally came in and checked me. At the ultrasound earlier in the afternoon, my cervix was totally closed. When the ER doctor checked me, my cervix was totally closed. We were still waiting on the OB to call back. I think we got to the ER close to 6 and the ER doctor checked me sometime around 7, I think. Chris is better with the time because I was in and out. At around 7:20PM, I felt a huge gush of blood. I told Chris I was bleeding bad. It was just the two of us in the room. He looked and said, "Oh my God." I knew what had happened. He yelled down the hall, "Someone get in here. My wife is bleeding and she just had the baby."
I remember just crying out, "Why God? Why is this happening?" over and over again. Chris and I just held each other and cried uncontrollably. More like sobbed uncontrollably. The ER doctor and two nurses ran in. They cut the cord and wrapped Jonathan up. The OB doctor came in shortly after that. He finished up with me then asked if he could pray with us. I asked for my baby. He was so perfect. All 10.4 ounces, 8 1/2 inches of him. He looked just like Matthew, only much smaller. He had bushy blond eyebrows and a little blond moustache. So beautiful! I held him as they carried me up to labor and delivery. When we got there, we spent a few more minutes with him. They asked if they could take him to clean him up and dress him. I was shocked. We didn't have any clothes for him. They did though, which was such a blessing. Thank you Threads of Love for the clothes and blankets. We will treasure them always.
The OB doctor on call, a different Dr.B, was surprised I never did deliver the placenta. They had given my 2 shots after the delivery to make my uterus contract, they didn't work. The anesthesiologist came in to start an epidural because Dr. B was practically laying on top of me pressing on my abdomen. It hurt as bad as the contractions. So I got an epidural and he tried again to press on my abdomen. I could still feel it so I had more meds through my epidural. After trying several times, he decided I needed a D&C. Before I went back to the OR, Chris's mom came and got to hold Jonathan too. Chris told Matthew what had happened and Matthew sobbed. I was not with Chris when he told him. It breaks my heart I couldn't hold Matthew during that time and try to comfort him. We didn't let Matthew see Jonathan. We didn't think it would be good for him. We had just buried my grandmother 2 weeks ago and he had seen her. I didn't want him to have this memory too.
Dr.B told us the placenta was embedded in scar tissue that formed after my c section with Matthew. He gave us the the run down on the possibility of a hysterectomy if he could not control the bleeding. We told him to pray I didn't have to have that but to do whatever he needed to do. The procedure went smoothly. We held Jonathan again before they moved us to another room. Jonathan had such long hands and feet. The nurses even commented on how muscular he was. I held his hand, stroked his head. I held him as tight as I could. I didn't want to let him go. The nurse came back to take him away for the night. The rest of the night, I was in and out.
We were both up and moving by 5Am Thursday. My Dr.B came in Thursday morning. She was very remorseful and apologetic. The diagnosis of the events that occurred: placental abruption. It seems that the placenta never reattached like we all that it had. Dr. B apologized for giving us false hope. She thought we were in the clear too.
I'm exhausted writing and recalling all of this, so I will stop for now. There are still a few events I want to share and I will in the next day or so. It all just happened so fast. I still have so many questions. Why didn't the doctors stop the contractions? Why didn't they hook me up to a monitor? Why didn't I turn around and go back to the hospital when the pain got worse? Why is this happening to me, to us? Jonathan looked perfect, so what am I being saved from? What was he being saved from? I could question every detail of that day all day long, but all I'm doing is driving myself crazy. It wasn't meant to be.
When the complications started back in March, I was scared. My diagnosis when I left the ER was threatened miscarriage. I balled when I saw those two words in black and white. The ER doctor then told us the possiblilty of a D & C if the bleeding didn't stop. I came home from the ER that day and googled D & C. When I read the information, I prayed to God to please spare me from that procedure. To me, it sounded just like what an abortion would be like. This baby was wanted deeply, not just by us, but by family and friends. God answered my prayer then. He spared me from the procedure. He allowed me to carry my baby and deliver him, so that I would be able to see him whole. To hold him, smell him, kiss him. I praise God for that blessing!
Jonathan is with our Savior now. I should be happy. We all want the best for our children and Jonathan has the best. He is with THE BEST. I should be jealous. But, I am selfish. I am human. I still want my baby with me. I am not angry. I am confused. I am lost. I am broken.
I know I am a child of God. I know He loves me. I know He is holding me. I know He feels my pain and sorrow. I know He willingly gave His Son so that I can have eternal life. So that Jonathan can have eternal life. So that you can have eternal life. Can you believe He gave His Son WILLINGLY? Here I am whining about my son's death and God GAVE His Son. No questions asked. What an awesome God I serve!
I have moments where I feel His comforting wrapped around me and moments when I cry out to Him in pain. Hold me God! Give me peace. Give me guidance. Give me strength. Give me hope. Strengthen my faith. Help me to praise You. To give You all the glory You deserve. You gave me a son for 20 weeks, 4 days and for that I praise You. You are an awesome God!
Jeremiah 29:10-12 " I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
I use to love this song and have just thought about it the past few days. I will try to upload it later, but here are the lyrics.
If You Want Me To- Ginny Owens
The pathway is broken
And The signs are unclear
And I don't know the reason why You brought me here
But just because You love me the way that You do
I'm gonna walk through the valley
If You want me to
Cause I'm not who I was
When I took my first step
And I'm clinging to the promise You're not through with me yet
so if all of these trials bring me closer to you
Then I will walk through the fire
If You want me to
It may not be the way I would have chosen
When you lead me through a world that's not my home
But You never said it would be easy
You only said I'd never go alone
So when the whole world turns against me
And I'm all by myself
And I can't hear You answer my cries for help
I'll remember the suffering that Your love put You through
And I will walk through the darkness
If You want me to
Cuz when I cross over Jordan
Gonna sing, gonna shout,
Gonna look into Your eyes and see You never let me down
So take me on the pathway that leads me home to You
And I will walk though the valley
If You want me to
Yes, I will walk through the valley
If You want me to