Friday, May 22, 2009

The day i found my strength

It was one year ago today that i woke up for work and found my cat snuggled up to my side squinting at me. Normally this wouldn't be an odd thing, but for the past 3 months he had hated me and glared at my belly whenever my baby moved.

I was out of sorts that morning. I was getting increasingly tired and sore and looking more and more forward to my maternity leave. 6 work days to go! According to my boss at the time, i was going far too early. With a leave starting June 1st and my baby not due until June 23rd, she was expecting me to leave closer to the 20th of June. But I was so incredibly uncomfortable at work sitting at a desk all day, I couldn't imagine doing that for another 3 weeks. Plus the official due date wasn't accurate since they had no clue when i exactly got pregnant. My doctor said i could deliver as soon as the beginning of the second week in June. And there was no way i was breaking any water at work.

I showered and got dressed and my baby was poking me really hard in the side. I was nervous that morning. He wasn't moving as much anymore. I was assured by family and friends that they don't move as much once they get bigger, and since he was never a big mover, I shouldn't have worried about it. But with it being my first pregnancy, i was worried about everything. I was thankful for my doctors appointment later that day, so i can be assured, like i am at every appointment, that every thing's okay.

Since it wasn't busy at work, i did my best to organize all of my files so it would be as easy as possible for the person taking over my territories when i did leave. I was running out of work to do and the boredom was getting to me. During lunch i continued to sit at my desk and called an old friend Jeff from my last job, to see how he was doing. He was extremely busy and couldn't talk, so he told me he'd call me after i got back from my doctors appointment later that day. I cleaned up my work station a bit until 1pm, grabbed all my stuff, said bye to all the ladies and walked to my car. Little did i know I'd never be back.

I picked up Rob on the way as per usual, he came to every appointment with me which i loved. When the doctor came in he started to check everything out and he asked if there were any concerns. I told him about worrying about my babies activity. He assured me that it was normal as he checked for his heart beat. He quickly put the monitor away and suggested that if I'm worried i should head down to the hospital and have them do an ultrasound, make sure every thing's still okay. There was something about the look on his face as he said this. Something was wrong. He put his arm on my shoulder, said not to worry, just head down there. They'll call him with the results. So off we went.

Once we got to the maternity ward we were ushered into one of the rooms and monitors were brought in. They tried for 20 minutes to find his heart beat. They kept telling me not to worry, sometimes the babies position can prevent them from hearing it with that little monitor, so they'd send me for an ultrasound. But their faces were just like his. My heart started to drop. I was wheeled down to ultrasound and wasn't pleased to see who was going to be taking it. I've had this girl before and she's the most unpleasant woman I've ever met. And she started to be that same unpleasant woman until she turned on the monitor. She transformed into this sweet, soft talking, gentle girl. My heart sank. My baby was gone.

I held myself together until they brought me back up to the maternity ward. Once Rob and i were alone i started to cry as i told him how nice she was and that's how i knew. He told me not to worry yet. We didn't have the official news so we can't assume the worst. I knew he felt the same way i did, but was trying to make me feel better, trying to calm me down. He held my face in his hands and said "Whatever happens, happens. We can't change anything. If he is gone, whatever you do don't blame yourself. We couldn't have changed this outcome." We hugged for what seemed like an eternity and when we pulled away I kissed him and said "And if he is gone, we can't let ourselves be one of those couples that breaks up over this. I can't lose you too." I laid back down, with Rob sitting at my side, still waiting for a doctor to give us the results, when i hear quick footsteps down the hallway. Then i hear my dad asking for me. I immediately lost it. He called my parents. There was no denying it now. My baby was really gone.

The 4 of us cried together. My doctor walked in, tears streaked his face. He hugs me and apologizes over and over again. He knew. He couldn't hear his heart beat either but he couldn't tell me there. He needed me to get to the hospital first. Soon after another doctor entered the room and took a seat. Together they started to discuss the next step - delivery. I was shocked. How could i deliver a baby that was already dead? I wasn't strong enough for that. I couldn't do it. My mother hugged me, and i lost it again. I can't do it. I just can't. I wanted them to do a c-section.

They explained why they wouldn't. Not only would i hurt my chances of another full term pregnancy and delivery, but i would be scarring myself. I will forever be living with the emotional scar of losing my baby, but i would have a physical scar as well - the constant reminder of when they cut my baby out. I'll be stuck in bed after the surgery and i may never get out of it. Depression may overtake me. In more ways than one, i wouldn't recover from a c-section. They left the room while I took in reality. I can't cut him out like a cancer. He deserved to enter the world the way he was meant to. He deserved to be born.

I was transferred into another room, changed into a gown, had gel inserted to start the induction, and began getting teary eyed visitors. Robs parents and sisters and my own sister with my parents, all around us in the room. Taking turns leaving the room to break down with grief out of my sight, so i don't get upset even more. Eventually they all forced themselves to go home, so Rob and i could have the night alone together. They gave me sleeping pills but it didn't work. I was so overcome with sadness i couldn't succumb to sleep. Rob turned on the TV to try and clear our minds and i eventually drifted off. I awoke soon after to screams and grunts from the next room. Then a baby crying for the first time. I lost it again. That's what i was supposed to hear. Rob crawled into the bed, wrapped his arms around me, and we cried together. Eventually i passed out from pure exhaustion. Tomorrow would mark the hardest day of my life.

But it was a day i would survive.

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