Friday, August 28, 2009

Our last look...

The feeling of giving birth and then coming home without a baby is a feeling that I will never be able to describe. I don't get to try figure out his feeding schedule and his sleeping schedule. Instead, I get to figure out where to have his memorial. Which day and what time? I have to see who will be able to come and who won't. After all, we are in the military and away from ALL family.

I believe the nurse gave my mom some suggestions on funeral homes. My mom called them and scheduled us to meet with them. The meeting was the following day. We went and met with them. What do you think it's like planning something like this for your own baby? Wait, don't even try to realize what it would be like. You can't, unless you've done it. We went over quite a bit at the funeral home. Most of which I don't even remember anymore, because of those meds. I do, however, remember that they had some fantastic homemade molasses cookies! Now whenever I eat of a molasses cookie I think of Jayce and then the funeral home.. We got all the plans done, then had the task of going home and letting everyone know when and where.

We wanted him in a special outfit. So that day we went out searching for one. I knew just the store. I had walked by it many times, but never went in. We head out to that store. I kept my sunglasses on the whole time. I definately needed the sunglasses to hide my face. lol My eyes were NOT pretty. I had rolls on my eyelids from crying so much! In the store, the clerk was an older woman, she was helpful and asked what we were looking for. I started bawling and said 'ask her', meaning ask my mom. My mom told her what we were looking for and that poor woman almost started crying too. She said she was so, so sorry. She found us the PERFECT gown for him. She hugged us before we left and apologized again. Nice woman.

The day after that DH and I were meeting with the chaplain from his work. He was a fantastic man. We asked him to come and speak at the memorial, he very willingly accepted. He also told us that some of DH's bosses wanted to be there for us. DH told the Chaplain that he didn't want them there, but then changed his mind.

Somewhere in these days my sister, TL, was able to come down. I don't remember when, but I do remember picking her up. I hadn't seen her in about a year, so it was nice to see her. Obviously the reason for the visit was the worst, but I was happy to see her and happy she was able to be there for me and my husband. She brought a bunch of gifts with her from some of my family that weren't able to come. My other sister, KL, wasn't able to come. She was sick and the doctor wouldn't allow her to fly. She was so upset about not being able to come. She had good reason though. She always called to check up on all of us. She was great during this time.

December 6 was finally here. It was a saturday. The day of the memorial. When I woke up that morning, I dont' remember crying at all. I was able to shower and get ready so I could look good when that little boy, that little angel was looking at me. I remember my pants being a bit to long, so my sister bobby pinned them up for me! haha it worked like a charm! All of our family that was able to come, met at our house first. Then we all drove to the funeral home together. When i walked in the door, the funeral director grabbed me and brought me into a special little room. It was Jayce lying in there. He told me to take my time and when I was ready, everyone else could come in.

That's exactly how he was when I walked in. Oh My God. Aboslutely GORGEOUS! I'm not sure how long we were in there before we allowed everyone else in. I needed some time though. As everyone came in, their eye's instantly filled with tears. They all hugged us and said "sorry" or something of the sort. I honestly don't think any of them had ever seen a dead baby. But gosh, he looked so alive. So beautiful! How could something so sweet actually be dead?

After everyone was in the room the funeral director pushed Jayce into the other room, where the Chaplain was going to speak to all of us. They left the casket opened as I asked. I don't remember one word that the Chaplain spoke, actually, I didn't even hear him. I mean he was loud enough, but there were so many other things going through my mind that I just couldn't hear him.. Like, why me? Why my husband? Why our baby? This was our last look..

Once it was all said and over, everyone went back to my house. My mom put some food together for everyone so that we could all just relax. It was great. My mom helped us so much.

Gosh I miss him...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I can't breath!!!

What do you do after you give your baby to a man you've never met, so that this man can carry your baby to a morgue.. and leave him there? Is there a certain way you should act or feel? Do you say anything to the man, the pastor? Or do you just let him walk away? What about after they are gone from view? You think your world has already fallen apart, but for me, at that moment, it got worse. There were a few times after I had Jayce that I felt like I couldn't breath. This was one of those times. My breath was completely taken away and I felt like I was gasping for air. I was crying, telling everyone "I can't breath, help me". The nurse on the oncology floor was sort of a bitch. She would just say "yes you can". The nurse on the l/d floor would help me til my breathing was normal again..

After the pastor left with him, the only thing left for me was to wait and get discharged. The doctor came up, talked to me a bit, prescribed me some meds that I desperately needed and home I went. An empty carseat and crib awaited me at home.

Before I left I had to decide if I wanted an autopsy done. I said no at first. Then we thought about it and my mom gave her opinion. We decided that we should get one. If we don't, we may always wonder if an autopsy would have given us any answers. There were so many hard decisions to make. Shouldn't the hardest decision be what to name the baby and whether or not to circumsize?? I wish that was all I had to think about...

The hours after birth..

My husband was deployed for about half of my pregnancy, so we didn't really have a whole lot of time to come up with names. Sure, we would email each other back and forth with names here and there, but for the most part, it waited until he got home. Even then, we couldn't find a name that we both agreed on. I remember him coming up with some of the funniest names. Ok, they weren't that funny, but they certainly weren't my type of name. I found the name Jayce, we both liked it, but we were unsure if that was the name.

So, around 8pm on Dec 2, 2008; The baby was born. There were no loud cries like there should be. Pure silence. My sleeping Angel is laid on my chest. Could he possibly be any cuter? The nurse took him and did the usual, weight, height, etc. He was 5lbs 11oz. 19 1/2 inches long. He had so much hair, just like his brother! It's amazing how much they looked alike!

Let me back track a minute. Before I had him, the nurse came in and told me that there is a wonderful organization called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. She told me that they will come and do rememberance photography for families who's babies have or will pass. She asked if I wanted her to contact them to come up to the hospital. Of course, we said ABSOLUTELY!

Very shortly after Jayce was born, NILMDTS showed up. They were so kind and so gentle. They knew exactly what to do and how. Mike, our photographer, took so many wonderful photos. I will be forever greatful for those photos and for Mike. What an amazing person to take time out of his day to help people like me capture precious moments like these.

The nurse brought in a little bath for Jayce. I get to bathe him! I'm so excited. While I was washing him he pooped. haha I didn't realize what it was, because you know a babies first poop is that black, gooey stuff? So, I grabbed ahold of it and asked the nurse "what is this"?? lol So embarassing! She told me what it was, then I felt stupid. I guess I just didn't realize that my baby would poop after he had already died. Thinking about it now, why wouldn't he. After his bath he was put into a hospital gown, for babies of course. They had little special ones made just for the little ones that are born sleeping. While my husband and I were packing for the hospital, we didn't even think to put in some outfits for Jayce. I get mad at myself occassionaly for that.

After the bath we just relaxed, cried, kissed him and held him. The nurses came back in to make me a memory box. They took his footprints, wrote down some different information, and asked if I wanted them to clip a little of his hair from the back. I said yes! They put everything into this pretty, pretty box. They gave it to me along with a little teddy bear. In the box there was also a little outfit, like the one he was wearing.. and a hat. That hat was so tiny!! I assume it was made for babies that were born VERY early. There was no way my childs big head could fit into that!! lol Along with a big ol' head, he also had some of the BIGGEST feet I have ever seen on a newborn! Seriously, where did he get those things?

Around midnight, my husband left to go pick up my mom from the airport. She was finally there! They came back up to the hospital and we just talked. Grandma held him and of course cried with us. Shortly after that, they moved me to a different room. They took me up to Oncology. The nurse said it was so I didn't have to see other moms and/or pregnant women. I wish I would have told them that I didn't want to go up there. I wish I would have said i wanted to stay on the l/d floor. Why they thought surrounding me by more death would be better, is beyond me. Thinking about it now, I think it was more for them than for me. Oncology nurses are much more used to death than a labor and delivery nurse.

I was so tired, but I didn't want to fall asleep. I just wanted to hold, hug, kiss and stare at my baby! Afterall, I wouldn't be able to do it much longer. My time with him was limited and I knew that. I had to squeeze a lifetime of Jayce into about 17 hours. I did end up falling asleep for a few hours. I'm glad I did. Because now I can say that I bathed him, changed his diaper, and slept with him and I can keep those memories forever.

Once morning came I knew I had to hand him over soon. I couldn't keep him forever. My mom called the Pastor up, he came and we prayed over him. The Pastor blessed him for us and then I had my last few moments with him. These last few moments were the hardest. They might even be harder than learning that he had died. I had to say goodbye. I had to kiss that precious little Angel and hand him over to the pastor.. so that he could be taken to the morgue.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Labor

Going back to that day and thinking about every little detail is hard. I remember everything before birth so vividly. It's like it happened yesterday.

After the phone call to my husband, I called my mom. She didn't answer. I called my sister, KL; I asked her if she knew where mom was. She didn't, but she asked what was wrong. She, too, could hear it in my voice. I told her what had just happened and she said "oh my God". She was shocked. She told me she would try to find mom and have her call me. I called my other sister, TL, she didn't answer. A minute or so later mom called. KL had already told her. Mom was crying. I told her I was going to pick up my husband and we were going to the hospital. She immediately got herself a flight here.

At home, dh (husband) and I packed some things for the labor. We talked a little, but we were both in such shock. So, it was mainly just crying. The ride to the hospital was the worst. I was shaking. I was scared. I was nervous. I had every emotion possible running through me. We had our 1 year old with us. He was so good that day while he was at the hospital.

We got to l/d around 1pm, they were expecting me. I guess my doctor called them and told them I was coming. They put me in the corner room. It had a sign on the door. It was a picture of a leaf with a droplette on it. When you see that, it means someone has died.. I didn't know that then. After the nurse did her thing with me, one of the doctors from the office came in. She was so sad. I have never seen a doctor cry with a patient before, but she did. And she was absolutely amazing while we were there.

When they started the pitocin I was also offered an epidural. They weren't gonna make me wait at all. I wanted it, so I got it immediately. Before they could do it they had to give me ativan to stop my shakes.

While I was in labor, my friends were texting me. They knew I was having possible contractions the day before. My husband text them back with whatever I asked him to say and one of my friends, JN, was so amazing. She took care of the kids for me. They spent the night at her house and everything.

Around 8pm, our baby boy was born. Jayce, our Angel, was finally here...

How it all started..

In April 2008, my husband and I learned we were expecting another baby. How exciting! At my first appointment we were told the due date was Christmas Day! As usual, I started my daily lovenox injections. It was prophylactic treatment-nothing was wrong. The entire pregnancy was pretty good. I really can't complain about it.

It was getting close to the end of the pregnancy, so it was time to schedule my induction. I was being induced because of the medications (blood thinners) I was on. We set the "big day" for December 18, 2008. We were going to be parents again. How amazing!

On December 2, I had a regular weekly appointment. It was sometime in the morning. I went alone while my husband stayed home with our son. Afterall, it's just going to be a quick appointment. Nothing big. However, I remember going in nervous because I hadn't felt the baby move a whole lot the day before and I was having some very minor contractions-so minor I thought they were just braxton hicks. After the nurse took my blood pressure and all that normal, routine stuff, she asked if baby had been active. I responded. She took me into the room with the non-stress test machine to hook me up.. just to make sure everything was ok. She was trying to find the heartbeat with it, but she was struggling. She searched for about 5 minutes before going to get someone to help. At this point, my heart is racing. I'm not a religious person, but at this point I was asking God to help me. Help the doctors. Please, God, make sure my baby is ok! Make sure his heart is still beating!! The doctor came in the room and the nurse finally found a heartbeat, it was about 135; Doctor put his fingers on my wrist to check my pulse, the 135 the nurse found was mine.. not baby's. We got up and went into the ultrasound room. As the doctor was scanning for a heartbeat my eyes were filling with tears. He went over the heart a few times. It wasn't beating. I could see it. I knew. The doctor shut off the machine, put his hands on mine and said "I'm sorry, there isn't a heartbeat anymore." The tears started rolling. The first thing I asked is "why did this happen".

I went into my doctors actual office, we talked for a minute. He explained what happens now. He asked if I wanted to deliver that day, or wait til the next day. I wanted to do it that day. I had to leave his office alone.. crying. I called my husband. I didn't know what to say. He knew something was wrong by the sound of my voice. I told him to get ready because we are going to the hospital. He asked what was wrong, I told him the baby died.

This blog will be about the pregnancy, birth and memories of our precious Angel. Raw thoughts and feelings about everything. Our lives now, how they have changed. Also, what is in store for us. Through this blog, I hope to meet many other people like us. Other people who have experienced the heartache of losing their baby. I have already met quite a few and they are some of the best ladies every. They know what you go thru day to day. They know the thoughts, the pain and even the happiness of looking at their Angels picture and just remembering.