Sunday, September 19, 2010

September 17th

I still haven't spoken any of this to the people closest to me, besides my husband. To say the words is just unthinkable.

Today marked 2 other milestones: my husband called the funeral home. I didn't think I could bear to hear the conversation, but somehow I survived. How is that possible? How is it that the very things we imagine killing us, don't? How is it that we can lose a son and still wake up in the morning? The second was that my milk came in. The milk that I cannot give to my baby. Absolutely unthinkable.

On Thursday after they began the induction, Mr. Howard and I began the waiting game. I was induced with Connor, but it was a pitocin induction. This was a completely different ball game. This was long. Perhaps it all seemed longer given that we knew we were going to deliver a baby who would not survive. Again. Unthinkable.

In addition to all the normal questions the hospital asked us (What was my pain on a scale of 1-10? Did I smoke during my pregnancy?), I was asked two new ones. The first was: "What was my greatest need?" I laughed and cried at the same time. Did you know this was possible? How could I answer a question like that? My greatest need? I wanted to understand why this was happening. I needed Cole to survive. I needed this not to be happening. I needed God to explain everything to me. I needed to fastforward 15 weeks to me giving birth to my beautiful Cole and bringing him home to meet Connor. That's what I needed. Instead of listing all this out, I answered, "I don't know!"

The second question was, "What was my worst fear?" This was easy! My worst fear was that Cole would be born with a heartbeat and I'd have to watch him die. My equally horrible worst fear was that Cole would be born with no heartbeat and I'd never get to meet him here on earth.

My mom came to the hospital and spent some time with us while we played the waiting game...waiting for contractions...waiting for a birth...waiting for a death. Mr. Howard was so strong during this time, but later he told me that when he went to get dinner and a movie for us, he broke down in the car. I'm so thankful that he was able to do what he thought was best for me at the time and not let me see his sadness. I hope that I can be his strength when I'm able to. My mom left so that we could get some sleep and told us to call when we needed her.

Mr. Howard and I watched movies to pass the time. Occasionally I cried out in pain from the contractions and begged the nurses for this to not be happening. They lovingly pulled my hands from the bed rails and told me to relax my body so that the contractions could pass. When I forgot to breath, they reminded me. When I turned myself around on the bed and sat on my hands and knees breathing, they stood at the foot of the bed and mouthed "Is she okay?" to my husband so that I didn't have to look at them or talk. Nurse and resident, one after another, would enter my room and I wouldn't even look them in the eyes. They'd apologize and squeeze my hand and let me not look at them. They truly let me control the experience and for that, I am so very thankful.

This was not my experience with Connor. Because I had an epidural, I was tethered to my IV and not allowed to move. I am thankful that my experience with Cole was different than my experience with Connor. I am thankful that I was able to feel the contractions, although I will not be experiencing that again if I can help it. I thought it was fitting that Cole was struggling in my belly and I was struggling in childbirth. I don't want this to sound wrong, but I almost felt like I deserved it (I don't mean this in the sense that I felt like I had done something to Cole to deserve this. I know it isn't my fault); but I felt that it was only fair that I experience 1/20th of what he was going through inside me.

After what felt like a lifetime, at 5:40am they told me that I was dilated to a 6 and that I was ready to have Cole. I guess when you're delivering a nine ounce baby, you don't need to be dilated very much. This is going to sound weird to anyone who hasn't had a 20 week gestational baby, but I didn't have to push. Thank God. The contractions were enough to deliver our precious angel at 5:43am on September 17th and in a second he was swept away to the warmer (this was something we had agreed upon). The hospital needed to do chromosomal tests within an hour of his birth and we felt that being able to hold him and then having to give him up would have been too hard given what we had been through. We had also agreed that our other angel (our amazing nurse) would describe Cole to us before we held him to ease our transition and make it all bearable.

This is all I can do for now.

3 comments:

courtney said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

You are incredible my friend. You and Mr. Howard are just incredible.

Jess said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I wish I knew the exact right thing to say, but I'm not sure there is one. I'm praying and trying hard to hold back the tears. I'm so so sorry for your loss; I can't begin to imagine what you're going through. I pray that you find comfort in God's arms, and those of your family. I'm sure your sweet boy will be watching over you until you can meet him again. <3

Crystal Campbell said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

My heart is breaking as I read these posts. I too am not sure what the right thing to say is as I can't begin to imagine what you are going through. I just want you to know that you are constantly on my mind and in my prayers.

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