January 6, 2016 was my 37th birthday. I was pregnant with my second child. I was 18 weeks and a few days along. I was already miserable because I had gotten SO MUCH bigger with my second child. I have a beautiful little man named Giovanni or Gio for short. He was everything I wanted except he wasn’t a GIRL. It was no secret, I wanted a girl with my first pregnancy, so I was DESPERATELY HOPING this time around I would get my little walking, talking mini me. Only 1 more week and I could find out the best kept secret.
January 7, 2016, I was tired and not feeling myself. I noticed I had started spotting blood and immediately called my Dr. I spoke to the nurse over the phone who assured me spotting was VERY normal, but if I started cramping or the bleeding got heavier to go to the ER. A few hours passed and all HELL broke loose. I was bleeding bright red blood now more than I was comfortable with and now I was experiencing cramping.
January 8, 2016, as soon as I woke up I knew something was wrong. The cramping was heavier along with the bleeding. It was Saturday, so I told Sergio let’s just head over to Vanderbilt. As soon as I got there, I should have left. The lady checked me in and as I was telling her what was going on she seemed cold and careless of how frantic I was. By this time, the cramping was very intense and VERY, VERY often. She put my wristband on without concern and told me to wait. So, we waited and waited and waited. After about 2 hours, my son was DONE! Sergio gathered him up from his current meltdown and took him home. I was left to keep waiting all alone!
Upon hour 4, I FINALLY was taken back to the ER and started discussing my symptoms with the nurse. She informed me that they didn’t normally see maternity cases and it might take longer than usual to get me an Ultra Sound. Another 45 minutes, and I was off to ultra sound.
The room was so dark and cold. A young man comes in and starts to perform my ultra sound. Typically, you have a screen or tv that you can see what is going on as well. They had turned that off and he had turned his screen in a way that I was unable to see anything. This was adding fuel to my already burning fire of frustration. He sat in silence. He kept looking and moving around but made not ONE gesture to ease me of any concerns. I even asked, “can you see the baby?” He just turned with a half-smile and said “mmhmmm”. Eventually he asked if it was ok, if he had his boss verify some of the images. Immediately, I knew that meant something was VERY wrong. She came in a little friendlier than he was and began the exam all over again. I could tell they were desperately trying to hide something from me. She finished in a hurry and they quickly excused themselves and informed me someone would wheel me back up to ER.
I started crying immediately. I already knew there was something that had gone very wrong with the baby, but I never dreamed it was going to be miscarriage. The following moments I will remember for the rest of my life in great detail. I was sitting in my bed all alone in the cold ER in my ugly hospital gown. The curtain opened, and 3 women walked in with straight faces. The prettiest of the three (they were all attractive as if this would help ease the blow) stepped forward told me her name and then said the following statement. “I am afraid they were unable to find a heartbeat during the ultra sound.” What she said after that I have no clue. I only heard that one statement. I couldn’t do anything but just sob. I wanted to wake up from this shitty ass dream. I wanted my husband. I wanted my mom. I was surrounded by people I didn’t know and they were telling me my baby died.
I called Sergio and told him over the phone the baby had died. He didn’t believe me at first and made me repeat this horrible reality again. I could hear the panic in his voice and then he hurried to tell me he had to make arrangements, but he was on his way back to the hospital.
So, there I sat, sobbing in an ugly hospital gown after being there for 5 hours ALONE! Eventually Sergio and Gio arrived and then my mom, brother and sister followed. They all tried to comfort me and tried to be as supportive as they knew how. I decided I just wanted to go home and register what I had just been told and return a few days later to start the process of preparing for either labor or a DNC.
I didn’t sleep much that night. I had already purchased a ton of baby clothes (all for girls), a bassinet, and a few other baby supplies. I rummaged through all the clothes in disbelief and fell asleep with one the footie pajamas laid out next to my pillow.
As soon as I woke up the next day, I was immediately in a lot of pain. What I know now was that I was in labor. My body was already doing what it needed to do. As my contractions became increasingly intense, I curled in a ball on the couch to try and get through the pain. Then my water broke. My sister rushed over as quickly as possible to keep Gio and then off to the hospital we went.
I wasn’t in the room 15 minutes, when the baby just came out. January 9, 2016 at 3:03pm my tiny little daughter was born. She weighed 2 lbs. and was 10 inches long. As Doctor’s were rushing to make sure I wasn’t bleeding out and that my after-birth was ok, they asked “would you like to see her?” I trembled and looked up into my husband’s eyes with desperation. He was so brave. He stood there holding my hand through the entire thing. I know I was squeezing the life out him with every contraction and now he was as brave as I had ever seen him. He looked me straight in the eyes and with the softest touch to my face said, “No please don’t”. He wanted to protect me from what he had already witnessed. He knew that if I held that tiny lifeless body in my arms it would be something I would never return from. So, the Doctor’s wrapped her up and whisked her away. I glanced over as they were doing this and got the tiniest little glimpse of her reddish lifeless body. That was the last I saw of her.
Over the next few hours, we had to make decisions you never think you will make. We decided to have her cremated and she is buried with all the other tiny little babies in the Woodlawn Park Memorial. They have a section that is dedicated to little lives lost during pregnancy. There was no funeral. There was no memorial. All I have left are the few images I got during my pregnancy visits and a tiny little wrist band that she would have worn at birth. I have yet to visit the memorial site. =(
Sometimes when I close my eyes, I relive this day over in my mind from beginning to end. I remember everything that happened that day, and I don’t know that I will ever forget January 9, 2016. Three days after my birthday, I became the mother of a tiny baby angel.
Now my birthday is a constant reminder of the worst day of my life.