Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Silent Epidemic

Did you know that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death in the first year? That is 2,000 every day, 700,000 a year. These are NOT women choosing to end their baby’s lives, these are women who (for the most part) prayed for, dreamed of, and desperately wanted to have this little person to love and hold. It just makes me wonder how this can be so common and yet be seen as a taboo subject that makes people uncomfortable.


I have mostly been very open about the details of my own loss. My blog has received almost 1,000 hits since I posted about losing Landyn. People are very curious and yet I have very few people who have wanted to be on the inner circle.

When my dear friend lost her daughter at the 37th week of pregnancy I was at the hospital. I saw her daughter, I held her, I cried. Later as I explained to others about this they would immediately get all squirmy and be astonished that I had held this little lifeless baby. Makes me wonder how these people can even pretend to be supportive of ME. I felt like the member of a secret club during those first few weeks after Landyn died. I couldn’t believe how many women told me they too had lost babies. Some of them asked me not to tell anyone.

How many people have lost someone close? A grandparent, a spouse, maybe a dear aunt, or even a sibling? Many of you, I’m sure, took the opportunity before the casket was closed to give that person one last kiss or at the very least pat their hand. Why is it ok to say goodbye to someone you’ve known for years yet no one seems to understand how very important it is to say goodbye to someone you’ve just met or only dreamed of.

When a wanted pregnancy ends, whether through miscarriage or stillbirth, you are not just losing a child but also all those dreams you had planned. You will never hear them laugh, teach them to ride a bike, see them have babies of their own. In my opinion there is no one more in need of time to say goodbye then a mother who loses a baby. There are many women who miscarry and will not get to hold their child or know whether it’s a boy or girl. They will have no tiny footprints, no pictures, and no grave to cry at. And since pregnancy loss is seemingly deemed hush hush by society these women go home with empty arms, broken hearts, and cry alone.

To me it doesn’t matter what week you are at. It hurts.

So what can we do differently then? No two situations are the same so there is no one size fits all solution. Not all women will feel the same so some tact is needed here. From reading posts on my baby loss support group it seems most women are in the same place though.

Please do not avoid us or refrain from talking to us because you just don’t know what to say. There are NO right words. We know that. A tight hug and a sincere, “I hate that this happened.” is good enough. Please do, though, use your brain when talking to us. Do not say you are having the worst day ever because your kid spilled juice in your car. I just roll my eyes and hope that you will never know that a real worst day really is, but others might not be able to handle that at all. Also, just be there. If you are close to the mom then continue to be close unless asked for some space. If you are not so close then drop off a meal ready for the freezer. Don’t just offer “call me if you need anything”, just do it. For me personally I have never been so lonely as I was in recent weeks. Having 200 facebook “friends” does not make you feel better when you cry alone every day. Continue to call or send cards, the pain doesn’t stop after the funeral.

We want our babies to be acknowledged. Whether they lost the baby days after a positive pregnancy test or were within days of delivery this was their child. Please treat it as such. If their baby was given a name please refer to it by name. Don’t be afraid to bring the baby up, you don’t need to always change the subject or be worried you will remind us of our loss. We like to talk about our babies and we did NOT forget.

Understand that this is not a thing you get over. My baby will always be gone. I will always miss her. Over time my grief will change and it won’t always be quite so sharp but know it will always be there. Do not in any way pressure a grieving mom to move on. Grief is personal, treat it as such.

So what do you do if you don’t personally know anyone who is experiencing a loss? You can donate money. There are multitudes of organizations that offer free things to grieving parents. I know of one that will send the mom a stuffed heart the exact weight of her baby. There is another that sends engraved necklaces. You can offer your time. I came home from the hospital with a beautiful memory box and one of the blankets that Landyn was in. She was buried wrapped in another tiny blanket. These were all made by volunteers and donated to the hospital. I know they also get donations of small clothes and hats. I saw another organization that has volunteers make teeny flannel diapers for babies to be buried in because they are just too small for the smallest manufactured diapers. You can use your talents. There is a group called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep and they have professional photographers volunteer their time to take pictures.

Above all, though, just make a point to adjust your thinking. A baby is a baby, no matter the size or gestational week. YOU may not be personally affected but a miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss changes a mommy forever. Remember, it’s 1 in 4. Even if we can’t stop it the least we can do is stop pretending it is not a big deal.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Grief

I hate grief. I hate that grief is so unique to each person.  There is no right or wrong way to grieve. There is no time limit.  There is no definitive list of how it will look, I can’t check off the different steps and know how long until the end.  There is a list of “stages of grief”, but even those will be accomplished in no particular order and you can be in several stages at once or even circle back through them.  I don’t like it.  I am a list maker, I like checkmarks and order. I don’t like surprises and unknowns.  How do you deal with something like that?  Grief is so much more then just being sad and crying some tears.  This sadness is unlike anything I’ve ever dealt with.  The sadness is all through me, it is tangled around my soul.  Sure, I laugh at the kids and still see the beauty in the changing leaves but it is still there, I am not better.  Lately people have been expressing what I take as surprise that I am still sad. I wonder if it would surprise them more to know that NOW is harder then those first few weeks were.  That brief period of shock has worn off, the cards and calls have stopped, and I am alone to deal my broken heart.  Yes, I’m still sad.  Some days are ok.  Some days I can barely function because the pain is just throbbing through me and there is nothing I can do to escape it.  This is not something I can just shrug off.  I think of the verses in Ecclesiastes “a time to be born and a time to die…a time to heal…a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance”.   I don’t need to push myself, I can just be sad and that is ok.  Even Jesus took the time to cry when Lazarus died.  I believe I lost something worth crying over.  My Landyn is one of my children.  She was conceived in the same love, her coming was discovered with the same joy, I saw her ultrasounds and heard her heartbeat with the same amazement, I felt her move with the same excitement, I love her just as much as my other kids.  With the overwhelming sadness comes so many other emotions.  It is very confusing to have so much going on in your head.  There is fear, anger, loneliness, guilt, stress, and depression.  Sometimes it’s not too bad, sometimes they all hit at once.  It is a lot to work through.  Honestly, there is not much people can do to help.  Just be there.  I have to deal with the emotions as they come, I could be fine one moment and fighting tears the next.  Don’t change the subject or be afraid to bring it up.  You wanna know something?  I didn’t forget. It’s ok to mention Landyn.  Actually, please do, because when you speak her name you acknowledge her, you recognize that she is my daughter and that even though she isn’t here now that she DID live. I love her, I always will. A piece of my heart will always be with her.  I will not get over this, I will get through it. I will not come out on the other side the same person I was before.  Grief is horrible but necessary.  It shows my love for my tiny daughter, because if I didn’t love her like I do it wouldn’t hurt so much.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Graveside Musings

Yesterday we went to check Landyn’s grave. Both of the potted plants had blown over and since they were on their side they didn’t get any of the water from the rain the day before.  We tossed out the leftover funeral flowers, I was impressed how long they lasted.  We did manage to save the water in the bottom of the vase to water the two potted plants.  Good thinking, husband!  As I stood there in the hot sun looking at the tiny grave of my daughter I didn’t feel sad.  All I could think was, “Who would have thought?”  Never, in my life, would I have pictured myself in this position.  Not that I thought I was immune.  It’s the kind of thing you think about, pray never happens, then move the thought quickly from your mind.  But, I realize you can’t prepare yourself for this because it isn’t healthy.  How could you live your life planning for the unexpected death of your child?  Waiting for grief.  If you did that you would be so focused on what never may be that you would miss what IS.  What if from the beginning of my pregnancy, when I was having all those feelings of “something isn’t right”, I just went with it?  I would have experienced the whole thing differently.  True, I suppose I would have kept myself from bonding, from dreaming and planning.  But…I would have missed the bonding, the dreaming, and the planning.  I would have viewed my pregnancy differently. It would have just been something that never would be instead of my baby that I loved and wanted.  While it’s hard to not know what will come, to trust God with the lives of my family, I think there is a blessing in NOT knowing.  It’s hard, now, to deal with the fact that I will never have my 5th child here with me. I will never nurse her to sleep, never put her baby soft hair in teeny pigtails, never watch her learn new things, or grow up.  It’s hard.  But it’s right and good and ok…because it’s what it is supposed to be.  I’ll miss her always.  Her short life wasn’t wasted though, look what she has already taught me, look how she has made me cling to the One who will bring me through this.  I can’t help but think of the foolish man who built his house on the sand and when it rained and flooded his house collapsed and the wise man who built his house on a rock and when the rains and floods came his house stood firm.  My house isn’t finished, I build on it a little more each day, but a long time ago I built it on a rock and I hope I never choose to move it.  God is my rock, the house is my life, and right now the roaring flood waters are losing my sweet little girl.  I’m clinging to that rock, sometimes by only my fingernails it seems, but I’ll never let go because without it I’d be swept away by the flood and drown under it all.  Turns out, maybe you CAN prepare. What is your house built on?  Are you striving to be wise? Or foolishly building on something that will never hold?  Make your choices now and choose well because you never know what will be.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Saturday, August 25 My Landyn's birthday

The minutes ticked slowly by and now we were in to Saturday. The dr was gone again. I suppose other women in labor needed her more then I did. My nurse stayed right with me or right outside my door. Finally, I told her I felt different again so she decided to check and see if I had dilated that last little bit. My cervix was being difficult and sitting in a spot that was hard for the dr and nurse to reach and very uncomfortable for me when they tried. The nurse asked me to push slightly in the hope that would give her a better angle for feeling the cervix. She then asked me to push a little harder and without much effort, the baby just slipped out. There was no pain and no real trying. She was born at 12:48 AM.


The nurse clamped the cord, pinching me slightly in the process, and pulled the sheet over my legs so I couldn’t see the baby. I wasn’t trying to look anyway. She called for the dr, who came in pretty quickly, and then I saw her take the blankets holding the baby to the other side of the curtain. The dr said we would wait for a while for the placenta to deliver on its own. It only took a minute or two. Then, she started poking around at my uterus from the outside to make sure it was shrinking like it is supposed to, she said it didn’t feel right. She started calling for speculums and another nurse. She wanted to check to make sure everything had delivered right. These kind of exams are not fun to begin with and if you don’t relax can be quite painful. Well, I was shaking uncontrollably from head to foot and couldn’t stop crying. The dr and nurse kept saying “just relax” and “let your legs just fall to the sides”. Are you kidding me!? It took real effort but I was able to take a deep breath, stop crying, and let her do her exam. I delivered a massive blood clot, then the dr left me alone. I just kept repeating “I am the Lord your God, I will not leave you or forsake you”. As soon as the exam was over I just couldn’t keep it together any more and it was back to shaking and crying. I remember spending a lot of time, or what seemed like a long time, looking straight up at the ceiling and just sobbing. The extra nurse worked on cleaning me up, helping me change gowns, and changing my bedding. The whole time I just cried. I hate crying in front of people and that never crossed my mind, it was like they weren’t even there and all my mind could concentrate on was what I just lost.

My nurse came from the other side of the curtain and said the baby had been gone longer then we thought and she wasn’t sure if it would be helpful or hurtful for me to see her. The dr didn’t like that remark because she didn’t want it to sound like the nurse was discouraging me. But the nurse said that she was in favor of whatever I decided, she was just being honest with me like I had asked her to. This really scared me. This was my one chance to see my baby and yet I didn’t want to leave there with bad images in my mind. I ended up asking her what she meant by “gone longer then we thought”. Was the baby discolored? Was it decomposing? Was there some kind of very obvious deformity? She said her main concern was over the baby’s head. Because she had been in water, still, and gone for such a long time, her head was misshapen. Strangely enough, that was a huge relief to me, THAT was something I could deal with. I asked whether the baby was a girl or boy, she said it is tricky to tell when they are that small but she felt certain I had another girl. I felt pretty good taking her word for it as I know she has a lot of experience with this type of thing. I asked how old she thought the baby was. I was 20 weeks and 1 day when I delivered, the ultrasound had measured the baby at between 16 and 17 weeks but the nurse said she would have been about 15 weeks. This meant she had been gone close to a month and a half before we even knew. She had died within days of my last hearing her little heartbeat.

I asked the nurse to take some pictures of baby’s hands and feet. I had thought to throw my small camera in my bag that morning knowing if I wanted it later and didn’t have it I would be very mad at myself. She did a very nice job, taking her time to get good, clear pictures. I have one of Landyn’s little feet and one of her tiny face and hand. She then asked if I was ready to see the baby. She dimmed the lights slightly and carried her over. She laid her down on the pillow next to me, Ryan was standing on the other side of her so she was between us. At that moment mommy mode kicked in. All the fears were gone. This was my baby, my daughter. I couldn’t believe how tiny she was. How perfect she was. She was wrapped in a very small, handmade blanket. It was pink on one side and lime green and white on the other, it had lace all around the edge. There was another small yellow blanket over the top of that. I still have the yellow blanket, the way it feels and smells makes me think of her. Her skin was dark. Babies at that gestational age do not have fat and their skin is translucent so they appear red because you can see their muscles. The nurse had put a little yellow butterfly next to her head to help hide the shape. I touched her little arm and hand ever so gently, she was so small and delicate looking. We looked at her tiny little toes. She had everything she was supposed to have, fingers, toes, a nose just like Kylee’s, the smallest mouth and eyes. You could see the 3 knuckles on each finger. Everything was there, just so, so small.

I am so glad I chose to labor and deliver. I didn’t have to. I could have skipped the long day and pain. I could have done a quick procedure and went home pretending it never happened. And I would have missed that moment. That moment to have my daughter by my side, to marvel over how small and perfect, to know she really was gone and say goodbye. I wouldn’t do it any differently. I don’t even know how long we spent just staring at her. I never did hold her as there just was hardly enough of her to hold and I was nervous of how delicate she was and of disturbing the little yellow butterfly. Seeing her as she was presented to us was safe and after not having slept and being super emotional I couldn’t think any differently. Several days later I wrote this in my Landyn journal:

The “I wish I hads” are starting to get me. At the time of Landyn’s birth and few short hours after I was overwhelmed with everything. How can you possibly, in the midst of grief, having only 9 short hours, think of all the things you would later wish you had done. I knew before the birth I wanted to see the baby and hold the baby. I also kept talking about the little feet. I never did hold her as I was afraid of seeing what they were trying to hide behind that butterfly; there also was just hardly enough of her to hold. I wish I had. I wish I just held her and held her. I wish I had held her little tiny body close to my heart. I know now that seeing her little squished head would not have bothered me. I wish I had moved the butterfly and opened her blankets and studied every tiny little piece of her. I wish I had looked at her little bottom and belly. I wish I had kissed her over and over instead of just once. I wish I had kissed her tiny little toes and fingers. The memories I do have are precious. I’m glad for every second I had with her. I know that I did what I wanted to and what felt right at the time. I know there will never be a second in my life that I won’t want to see her just once more or give her just one more kiss. But, oh, how I wish I had filled every second of those 9 hours with her.



I put that here and describe her because I want people to realize that she was really a baby, MY baby, my little girl. NOT a fetus, NOT a piece of tissue but a real person. A person who was and is very loved. So many are uncomfortable with infant death. So many think it’s weird to hold or see your dead child. To me it’s no different then any other death. How many people have kissed a loved one after they’ve died or at the very least patted their hand. The only difference here was this was my ONLY chance. I took it. And while now I may see ways I could have taken that time better, right then I was just happy getting even those few moments with my little girl.



After some time, I think now it was around 3AM, the nurse said we had people waiting and wanted to know if we wanted them to come in. My mom, dad, sister, and friend were there. I was very concerned with how they would perceive my baby and I didn’t want to see anyone upset. I sent the nurse out to describe the baby to them so they could decide for themselves if they wanted to see her. I had the nurse put her in the baby warmer on the other side of the curtain so I wouldn’t have to see anyone if they were upset. They came in and visited for a little while, those who wanted to see the baby did. The nurse also weighed and measured Landyn during this time and made me 3 sets of little footprints. She was 2 ½ ounces and 5 ½ inches long. They didn’t stay long and after everyone went home we decided we wanted to get some sleep. We opted to keep Landyn in the room with us even though the nurse warned us she would change overnight from the heat of the room and not being in the water any more. I’m glad we kept her. The few times I woke up I would look over and see her little blankets in the warmer and it felt right to have her right there.

Morning came. I was ready to go home. My nurse had gone home, I wish I could have said thank you, and a new nurse had taken her place. I had to wait for the dr to discharge me. Ryan went to get our breakfast and I sat there on the bed looking over at that little pile of blankets that covered my little girl. I got up and walked over to her and just stood looking at her. I told her I loved her, touched her little arm, and said goodbye. I sat back on the bed and couldn’t stop looking at her. I wanted to kiss her but was afraid to damage her delicate skin. Then I decided it didn’t matter and that if I didn’t get up and kiss her I would regret it forever. One kiss, hardly more then a brush of my lips, on her tiny, cold little forehead. Ryan came back with breakfast and we ate. It wasn’t good. The new nurse came in and I told her that I had been told I could have the blankets that Landyn was in but I didn’t want her lying around naked. She said she would take her and change her blankets, bring me the ones she had been in, then bring her downstairs. She wheeled her over for one last look, it was quick and I guess that is good because I don’t know that I would have ever been able to say that I was ready for her to go. I tucked the blankets around her and the nurse took her. The dr came shortly after that and answered the few questions I had. The nurse came back and put my blankets in the memory box the hospital gave me. It also had her footprints, measuring tape, and hospital bracelets in it. Ryan went out to get the car, the nurse told him to wait by the ER instead of the main entrance where they usually bring you. I guess they didn’t want me sitting there holding my box of memories watching other discharged maternity patients holding their babies. Just before the nurse was ready to bring me down I realized they forgot my rhogam shot (long explanation but it has to do with blood type) so I had to wait another 45 minutes or so while she ran to find the dr and ordered it from the pharmacy. Finally, though, she wheeled me down and we left. Home felt good. I crawled into bed and slept for several hours. The kids came home later that evening. We talked with them for a long time about the baby and they asked a lot of questions. Finally, we put them to bed and I took one of the sleeping pills I had asked for. It didn’t take long to put me right out and it was a good thing because it had been a very, very long day.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Friday

Friday, a day there are no words to describe the fear and emotions, there are only words to give facts.  Friday morning the alarm went off at 7:30. I was awake already. I had managed to get an hour and a half or so of sleep. The day was sunny. I called the hospital to confirm my 9AM induction. The head nurse apparently hadn’t checked her charts because she seemed surprised I was coming in at 9, she wanted to know if they were doing pitocin and if I was dialated at all.  Bet she felt pretty bad when I informed her of my situation.  She said they were very busy and she did not have a single room to put me in but if I gave her an hour she would move some people around. My new arrival time was set for 10.  Ryan’s mom had come and picked up the kids so we just sat around by ourselves waiting for time to leave.  This was to be a day of waiting.  Finally it was time to go. I had had cramping all night and knew my body was starting to move things along on its on. I had spent the whole night scared I would have the baby at home.  I was relieved to be heading to the hospital.  When we got there they knew who I was because they immediately took us through several hallways into the overflow section of the maternity ward. The nurse who was bringing us to my room handed us over to another nurse who only had time to say this is your room, apologize, and run down the hall to an emergency.  They peeked in the door often enough that I knew they hadn’t forgotten us but kept saying they were waiting on a nurse to free up so we could get things started.  I think in an effort to give me something to do they asked for a urine sample…no one ever did take it.  The phone started ringing and we didn’t answer it, it rang and rang quite persistently but we didn’t move.  There was no way I was picking up that phone only to have an awkward, though well meant, conversation with someone who really didn’t know what to say. Turns out it was only admitting.  I informed the head nurse I would NOT be taking phone calls but that didn’t stop them from trying to phone my room 2 more times asking if specific visitors were aloud.  We ignored those also.  I felt anyone I wanted to talk to would call my cell.  The Dr. made a quick visit to see if I had any questions. I had tons but no one had definite answers to my questions.  How long would it take?  Could be several hours or several days. How much will it hurt?  Depends on your body.  What will the baby look like?  Depends on your body and how long it had been gone.  There was a lot of concern that the placenta would not separate on its own and I would then also have to have a D&C.  I had been considered high risk because of the number of pregnancies I had had and there was worry over bleeding.  Basically every horrible situation was running through my head and no one could really do anything to reassure me.  FINALLY a nurse became available.  It turns out they were waiting for a very specific nurse and that I was to be her only patient. Worth waiting for I suppose.  It was almost 2PM when I had Dr and nurse both available to begin the process.  I cant remember the name of the medicine they used to induce me, it was not one of the common ones.  Two, small, round pills they put next to my cervix. Simple and pain free….rather anti-climatic for waiting so long.  The nurse started my IV and tried to get my blood sample from the same stick, turns out my blood was “like mud” that day and it didn’t work out.  That meant a special visit from the lab, a super tight elastic, and lots of needle moving in my hand to get a decent sample…and they barely got enough.  They thought maybe I was slightly dehydrated but I was using the bathroom every 30 minutes, then again, maybe that was just nerves.  I was able to eat lunch since we were in the very beginning stages, good thing because it was to be a long afternoon.  While Ryan and my friend Heather were out getting us some lunch the nurse sat right on the edge of my bed, looked me in the eye and told me what happened in that room stayed in that room. She said if I wanted to cry, swear, or throw things to do it.  She said anyone who came in my room that I didn’t feel comfortable with or made me feel I couldn’t be emotional I should tell to leave immediately.  She was wonderful.  The grief counselor made a visit and talked about a lot of things I hadn’t thought of like what to say to the kids, funeral options, and several other things. There was a lot of waiting after that. I don’t do waiting well, or unknown, I am a planner with lists. I don’t like surprises. It was horrible. It was not like normal labor where the contractions come and go and get stronger and closer together. It was just cramping, a constant pain with more intense spikes.  It never got real bad, I probably could have done it without any help with pain.  I did decide, though, that it was dumb to have  pain if I didn’t have to so I discussed pain management options with the nurse and choose to just do morphine through my IV.  Morphine is interesting. She wasn’t even halfway through the syringe and I felt the medicine rush up my arm, around my neck, and into my head.  My face must have looked interesting because the nurse told me in a no nonsense voice to put my head back, close my eyes, and take deep breaths. Then after a minute she also had to tell me to stop talking.  Some things just never change.  It helped ease the pain but it didn’t go away, more importantly it was the first time I had relaxed that day.  I laid down and kind of drifted in and out of sleep. The dr came to check me for progress around 6:30 and I was only dialated to 1, that was super disappointing.  They did another dose of the medicine. At 7 I got a new nurse. She, too, was wonderful.  We had my parents, sister, and brother in law visit that evening. It helped pass the time.  I got another dose of morphine around 10 and everyone went home soon after.  We got as comfortable as we could and tried to rest again.  I no sooner felt myself drifting off to sleep when the pain changed slightly. The nurse had told me to let her know of ANY change and not to get up, she didn’t want me delivering on my own.  Neither did I.  I hit the buzzer and a different nurse came in, she said my regular nurse had stepped in the OR for just a second to help the dr but she would let her know.  This new nurse checked me for progress and said I was a 10.  Guess once I got going and was able to relax things really took off.  She left and within a minute or two I heard running outside my door. My nurse had abandoned the OR and RUN to make sure she was there when I needed her.  A few minutes later the Dr also made an appearance and said I actually wasn’t quite a 10, but very close.  She broke my water to help relieve pressure and help things move more quickly.  The nurse told us she could tell from the condition of the water the baby had been gone a long time.  I talked for a while with the nurse about how scared I was to see the baby. I wanted desperately to see and hold her but I was scared of my own reaction, especially as we didn’t know what to expect.  Finally, we decided that after the birth she would wash and wrap the baby then come tell me what to expect before I saw her. That made me feel much better.  After that we just had to wait, knowing it would be soon.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Thursday

It was a Thursday, August 23, the sun was shining, it was a normal day. An anticipated day. The whole month before had seemed so long as I waited very eagerly to find out if you were a boy or girl. I desperately wanted a girl. That morning I got up, had breakfast, and got in the shower. There I noticed how nervous I was, a feeling I had never had before an ultrasound. Why nervous? It didn’t make sense. I also felt very emotional and had the sudden urge to cry. I remember telling myself I was all worked up for nothing. I got in the car to drive to the appointment and I don’t remember much of the drive except praying most of the way and saying over and over, “The baby is yours Lord, it never was mine, it’s your baby.” I had a slight feeling of dread and a fear of what we would find at this ultrasound. I had known for weeks that you were not moving right, if at all, and that I really was not as big as I felt I should be for one day short of twenty weeks. God had been slowly preparing my heart for the next moments. In the ultrasound room I laid down on the table and the girl started. Right away I could see the circle of your head, but not really anything definite other than that. Kind of an unusual postion from what I had seen at other ultrasounds. There was no movement, but you had always been kind of quiet. The girl marked the placenta and the cervix then made a comment about the baby being on it’s head. She then started to look at you and slowly over and over moved the sensor over my belly. I know now she was looking for your heartbeat. I was too. It didn’t take more then a minute really, but it felt much longer, and she said she would be right back. I think at that very moment it was confirmed for me and daddy, without anyone saying anything, that you were gone. I looked over at daddy and he sat there with his head in his hands, I could do nothing for him. The girl came back with the radiologist who asked her to look at different things and turned on the colors to check blood flow. Nothing. I waited, hoping I was wrong, and he turned to us and said there was no heartbeat. I felt no pain at that very moment, only numbness and an unbelievable feeling that I was right. The girl was very kind and had to take several more measurements before she finished and asked if she could get us anything. We sat, and waited and waited for what felt for forever. Finally, Sharon, the obstetrical nurse came in and said the dr was dealing with another patient with loss that she couldn’t see us for at least half an hour. We opted to spend the time outside the building. We went to the car, daddy went to buy us a couple of waters. I think mostly we were just in shock as we sat there. The beginning of a nightmare no one expects to be in. Finally, daddy had to make some phone calls, he had to tell your grandparents you were gone. I know I never could have done it and I wish daddy never had to. I'll never forget the image of him pacing the parking lot with the phone to his ear. After our half hour we went back in, we had been told not to go the regular waiting room but to check in at radiology and ask for Sharon. She immediately came to get us and brought us into dr El Kareh’s office to wait for Dr. Herde. They were very careful to keep me away from other mommys. All the waiting seemed to take forever. What do you think about or talk about while you are waiting to discuss what happens next when your baby had died inside you. We talked with the dr for while, I wanted a chance to hold you and see you, to know if you were a boy or girl. I did NOT want to do a D&C where they would destroy your little body. I opted for labor. I asked some questions, but it’s hard to really think at a time like this. We set the induction for 9 the next morning and left the office. To come home and walk in the door, knowing I had to face people when I just wanted to hide, knowing your brothers were waiting to hear boy or girl was a horrible feeling. To have to tell my living children you would never come home and know they wouldn’t truly understand, how do you do that? A surreal feeling as my whole life had been altered and yet was exactly the same. Shock I suppose. I knew I didn’t want to have to tell each person I knew and relive this time with each one so I made a post on facebook hoping word would spread and I would be spared a terrible moment with someone who would ask how you were and I would have to tell them you had died. I was exhausted and wanted to sleep early that night but lying down in the quiet and dark would give my mind a chance to start replay all the unbelievable events from the day…I did not sleep much. I wandered the house, alone, in the dark and cried.