Friday, March 29, 2013
Loud Moments of Silence
The rest of my day was spent in anticipation, to say the least. I did a LOT of walking! Anything I could think of that would help with my labor was in the forefront of my mind. I was so happy that I thought that not even lil' slewfoot himself could've have taken my joy away. I remember everything about that day as if I had just experienced it. We spent time walking the aisles of Walmart, and of course, my favorite store.....Hobby Lobby! I distinctly remember several people asking me that day "When are you due?" I would chuckle and say "Ummm... 2 days ago!" It felt so good to say those words knowing that I was so much closer to meeting my precious baby.
On our way home we decided to fill my hankering for Chinese food. So we made a quick pit stop, then to the house to rest. My mom had been tidying up the house and watching Ellie while we were out doing, what granny calls " galavantin' ". Well, I ate my Chinese and it never had tasted so good! The remainder of the afternoon I spent resting comfortably on the couch. I sat there a good while when it dawned on me....."My baby hasn't moved in a while!" I kept sitting there thinking it quietly while going crazy inside. I tried to tell myself that I had been so busy that I just didn't feel it or the baby had little to no room. I couldn't take it anymore! So I stood up and tried to put myself together as I mentioned to Jeremy and my mom that I hadn't felt the baby move in quite some time. They insisted, just as I did, that my baby was just wrapped tightly in my stomach and that I had been so busy that day that I just didn't realize the movements. Tears filled my eyes and I had that "mama knows" feeling. You know, that internal instinct that the Lord gives us.
I tried to remain calm as Jeremy instructed me to call the midwife and I did. She said that the baby was probably just fine, but she would come over and check just to see how things were going. When she arrived around 7:30 I remember her coming in with a bright and beautiful smile. She was excited to see if I had progressed at all. I remember lying down on the bed that night. It wasn't comfortable at all and it seemed so awkward. She said she wanted to take a listen and check on the baby. When the doppler came on my heart began to beat out of my chest as she placed it on my stomach. Have you ever heard silence that seemed loud?? Well, it did that night! I kept saying "Is something wrong with the baby?" She continued to search for a heartbeat with the doppler and said it was probably her battery, so she changed it. Then again, nothing! She screamed for Jeremy to run to the store and get another battery for the doppler.
When I saw his face it was so pitiful and helpless. However, he quickly ran to the store to get another battery and she pulled out her feta-scope to try and listen, but only silence. Jeremy's trip seemed like it took an eternity. While he was gone, Ellie had stepped in to comfort me. She was my little doula. She kept saying "Mommy you're gonna be just fine", while she rubbed my head softly and continued to kiss me all over my face. My mama knew that I was afraid and I kept telling her "Mama, something's wrong with my baby!" She was afraid too because she knew her own baby and she had that same mother's instinct.
When Jeremy arrived back with the battery we couldn't get it in fast enough. Then, I heard it..... that dreaded silence again. I started screaming " Jeremy, something's wrong with the baby!!!" I was uncontrollable. I knew when I saw my midwife's face that it wasn't good. She wanted to call the doctor and go in for an ultrasound. So she made her call.. After she spoke with the doctor she suggested drinking a big glass of caffeine and maybe the baby would move. Then, she even had me go outside the house and jog a little, in hopes to stir the baby up a bit. The whole time I was running I was crying and begging "God please help my baby! This can't be happening!"
Again, she checked for a heartbeat, but nothing, only silence. We rushed to the emergency room that night and it took a while to even get admitted. Walking to that labor room was one of the hardest things I ever did. I felt like I couldn't lift my feet to put them one in front of the other. As we were arriving to the delivery suite, I remember walking through that door. The nurses at the desk took one look at my face and they knew, I was "the one". They slowly walked me down the hall as if it were routine for them. Everyone was silent and grief was waiting.
The nurse escorted me in the room and up on the bed. Then the dreaded doppler was placed on my stomach. I knew if we heard silence this time the reason could not be the battery, and I was afraid. Nothing but static rang through the room. She initialized an ultrasound and continued to try to find life on the screen. I couldn't look at the screen in fear of seeing something I didn't want to see. I kept saying "Is my baby ok?" and she wouldn't answer. She just kept digging. However, what came out of her mouth next still haunts me to this day. "Hon, your baby is dead." I still remember the wails that I made in that moment. I'm sure it was disturbing to the laboring mothers in the surrounding rooms, but I was just coldly told that my baby was dead. I really don't think that my reaction of total despair would've been any different even if her words were different that night , however, I believe that my memories of that night would've been.
My doctor came in to check the status of the baby for himself. He was so compassionate and confirmed the nurses diagnosis. He asked could he check my dilation and I consented. As soon as he started the examination my water broke and gushed everywhere. He said I was 3cm and said they would induce labor. I begged him not to take my baby from me and he assured me that he wouldn't, because it wasn't best for me. He said that I was a healthy mother and that it would be better for me to have the baby as natural as possible.
The nurse then escorted me to the bathroom where she assisted me in taking off my clothes and helped me get a gown on. I was crying out to God so loudly "Why God? Why did my baby have to die?" My mind was raging with questions of "What did I do wrong? What did I eat or where did I go that caused my baby to die? What horrible sin did I commit?" Then the nurse quickly tried to silence my squalls by saying " Honey, God has nothing to do with this!" I continued with my pleas as she repeated herself again. In anger, I told her "My God is in control of everything!" I was traumatized , and then to have this nurse to try and quieten me. When evidently, what she needed was help in the compassion and bridle your tongue department!!
As I walked out of the bathroom door I looked at Jeremy's and my midwife's face. They tried to smile, but instead they looked so depressed and helpless. I slowly made my way to the bed and I remember thinking to myself, "I won't leave this room with a baby this time." I was so devastated and I felt like I had let everyone down because I was supposed to protect the baby, and I didn't. When the doctor came back in the room he held my hand and told me how the process of delivering my baby would be. As he finished I looked at him, totally broken, and I said " Please... just let me die. I just need to die right now." You could tell he felt pity and he whispered to me that he couldn't do that for me. I'm being honest when I say that I really wanted to die in that moment in my life. I felt totally hopeless and a big part of me was dead all ready. I just wished all the pain could be over and I could be out of my misery. I felt like I could never go on and live without my baby. My dreams were all broken as I thought of all the things I would never get to have or experience with this baby. The silence I heard never seemed so loud.
Unless the LORD had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence.Psalms 94:17
Part 2 of the story is found here: The Perfection of Beauty: The Day We Met Zion