Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sebastion's 1st Birthday in heaven

I've been meaning to update for a couple of weeks now, but I just haven't been able to bring myself to do it.  I wanted to make this post 'perfect'... a beautiful tribute to a beautiful boy with truly inspirational and heartfelt wisdom on how passing the one year mark brought some sort of relief to my grief... but... I just can't do it.  That would be a lie.  So instead.... here are some photos.

 His Stillbirth Certificate arrived on the anniversary of the day he died.  Unfortunately, the state of Ohio did not pay much attention when filling out the information, hence August is misspelled, as is Derek's name. :(  Think I can write to complain and get a new copy, typo free?

 I started my day off with a haircut.  A major one at that.  I donated 15 inches of hair to 'locks of love' in honor of my sweet son Sebastion. :)

The hair that was shipped off :)

The final result.

After the hair cut, my momma took Liliana, my niece Megan and I out to lunch....

Pickles and Ice Cream?  You would think with that appetite someone would be pregnant...haha.

In the evening, we headed to the cemetery.  A sweet friend of mine had been there earlier in the day to visit and left him the giraffe above, as well as 2 balloons that said Happy Birthday:)  We brought the giraffe home in fear that it would get broken, as we discovered a few minutes later that one of his Angels had busted:(

First birthday cupcake... We left it there... I wonder what lucky animal got to eat it?

We sang happy birthday... the tears started flowing.

Blowing out baby brother's candle.

 We sent balloons with messages to heaven... and watched them until we couldn't see them anymore.

Sebastion's birthday cards :)

Liliana wasn't feeling very well:(

And, of course.... the night ended with a full moon:)  That right there, couldn't have been anymore perfect.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A year ago... (part 2)

Once the doctor had left it did not take long for me to decide that it was best to start the induction the next day... there was no way possible that I could walk around for weeks KNOWING that my son had already died.  My mom drove me in my car to my house, my dad followed in their car, and Derek left to go pick up Liliana from his grandmother's house. Upon arriving at home, I sat on my my daughters playset in the back yard, crying,  until she arrived.   I do not remember much of the events of that evening...mostly just that I felt numb and did not move much. At some point I managed to climb in bed and try to get some sleep.

I awoke the next morning wishing that it had all been a nightmare.  Somehow I had actually slept lying on my belly, which had not happened in several months.  I remember thinking how odd that was.  Taking our little girl back to her great grandmothers house on the way back to the hospital was a bit torturous. I did not want to let her go.  I had no idea how long it would be until I would see her again, and she knew mommy was upset, but did not quite understand what was happening (she was only 2 at the time).

We arrived at the maternity ward just before 11 am... again, ringing the buzzer at the locked doors.  This time my response to the electronic voice was simply..."It's Bethany, I'm here to be induced."  BUZZZ.  As soon as I walked through the doors we were greeted by Brandy, the same nurse who delivered our precious daughter.  She gave me a gigantic hug and started crying right along with me.  We stood there in the hallway for a minute or so, then gathered ourselves, and she led us to our room.  Room 501.  The corner suite.  The very same room that Liliana was born in.  Eerie.
She began explaining the way the induction would work... they would hook me up to an IV to keep me hydrated and to push pitocin, and they would insert little pills into my cervix every four hours that would help with the softening and allowing me to dilate.  It could be a very long process, I was warned.  During said time, I would not be allowed to eat solid food.  Only ice chips, popcicles, broth, tea, etc.  Bleh.  I wasn't hungry anyway.  I hadn't eaten much of anything since I had left work the day before.  How was one supposed to think about food when their child was dead?
Derek and I settled in to our room for the long haul.  My mom joined us after a couple of hours and she stayed until the following evening.  She is an amazing woman, with a heart bigger than I can describe.  Most of the day was spent in silence.  Many people contacted my mom to see if they could come visit, but I did not want to see anyone. I did not care to have visitors. 
Brandy came in several times to talk to us about bereavement and funeral plans.  I remember her giving me a Purple folder full of different pamphlets on how to cope with the loss of a child...but I could not bring myself to read them.  I looked at them, but I could not see words.  Nor did I want to.
Every couple of hours a nurse would come in to check my cervix and/or give me more pills. 
I think around 9 pm Derek left to go get a sub from subway and brought one back for me, just in case.  It smelled delicious!  As he was eating, nurses kept coming into my room and he would sneak me bites in between their visits.  Food was needed by that point, and much appreciated, even though I was not technically supposed to eat it.
Around 11pm the contractions started to pick up to the point where I could REALLY feel them.  I refused to have an epidural because I did not want to feel any more numb than I already did.  I wanted to feel every bit of pain because it would be the last I would feel my sweet boy inside my womb...moving or not.
I tried sleeping on and off throughout the night, but did not have much luck.  Around 4:30 am the pain was so bad I was too the point of clutching to the side rails. I remember the nurse coming in to check on me and saying it won't be much longer.  At around 4:45 my water broke, and I began to feel immense pressure.  Our sweet little boy was born silent at 4:50 am with no one in the room but myself, Derek, and my mom.  I have no clue where the nurse was...she came running in just after he was born, cut the cord, wrapped him in a blanket and handed him to me. 
The pain in my body instantly stopped.  For a moment, it was calm and quiet.  I kissed our sweet son on the forehead and stared into his face for a several minutes.  I could not get over just how beautiful he was.  His body was still warm, soft, and smooth.  His lips were perfect.  He had one eye open and it was staring right at me. Finally, I asked Derek if he would like to hold him.  As soon he exchanged from my arms to his, I looked at Derek, sobbing, and said "Sebastion?"  He instantly agreed with a nod and tear stained cheeks.  We had not chosen a name... we had several written down, but we both agree that we can not actually name a child until we have met them face to face.  Liliana was 36 hours old before we decided on her name.
The nurse had given us about 15 minutes to spend with our son, and then returned to check on me, as I had not yet delivered the placenta.  Another nurse came and took Sebastion to the nursery to clean him up.  After several minutes of pushing, I felt a tug on the umbilical cord, the nurse had yanked on it to speed the process along, which in turn made the placenta come out in pieces. 
About an hour later, an ultrasound tech showed up to do an internal scan to check and see if there were still fragments of the placenta left inside my uterus.  How pleasant that was after just giving birth.  Indeed, there was... so I would have to have a DnC the following morning.  Yet another day confined behind hospital walls....

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A year ago...

 Listening to 'Mad World'... this song always gets me.

On this day, one year ago, I walked into our local hospital and proceeded straight up to the maternity ward as I had already spoken with the nurses at my doctors office, he was out of town.  I had spoken with the charge nurse on duty as well... they were expecting me.
I buzzed at the locked door..."May I help you?" asked the electronic voice... " I am here to have my babies heart beat checked" ... "Yes, come right in."
Inside I was greeted by a face I will never forget, Shylah.  Miss Shylah is the head of the grieving department for our local hospital, who just so happened to be on duty that fateful day, August 10, 2010.  I did not learn this information about her until after the fact.
She took me into a room and began asking all sorts of questions about my son, kick counts, when the last I had felt him move, and family medical history.  She then asked me to change into a hospital gown and hooked me up to a fetal monitor.  After several minutes of only detecting my heart beat she proceeded to try to find the babies heart beat using a dopler.  After nearly 10 minutes of being unsuccessful, she called in another nurse to try as well... reassuring me that the baby was probably just lying behind the placenta.  At one point, she was nearly positive that she had felt the baby kick against the dopler probe, but I told her I hadn't felt anything.
The second nurse had no luck either, so they called for an ultrasound tech.  At this point I had already been in the hospital, alone, for nearly an hour.  Derek had just started a new job and I did not want to worry him if it was unnecessary.  A few minutes later, a very familiar face walked through the door pushing a mobile ultrasound machine.  She is the daughter of  a family friend... the same girl who had just weeks before confirmed for a second time that we were having a boy, and performed all of the ultrasound scans that we received with Liliana.  She looks at me worried..."What's going on miss Bethany?"...  deep breath..."I haven't felt him move in far too long, and now the nurses can not find a heart beat".  She takes a deep breath..." I am going to take some photos. You will not be able to see the monitor screen, and I will NOT be able to tell you anything."  Gasp.  "Will you at least tell me if he is moving?!" "No, sweetie, I am sorry, I can not tell you anything, you have to wait for the doctor."
I stare up at the ceiling, fighting back the tears, as I listen to the woosh sound of each photo she takes.  It did not take her long.  She was silent, and would not look at me.  When she finished, she gathered up all of her things and headed towards the door.  "Have a good day" I said to her as she left.  She did not respond. Did not even look back.  If she had, I would have seen the tears in her eyes.  The door closed and I was left ALONE once again.  At this point, I began texting my mom, trying to make small talk to pass the time while I waited.  and waited.  and waited.
At 4:20 (ish), nearly 2 hours after arriving at the hospital, the door opened and Shylah walked in.  She sat down on the bed beside me and put her arm around my shoulder. " Did your friend say anything to you?" she asked. " NO! She said she was not allowed to discuss anything with me."  She took a deep breath and said "I'm sorry Bethany, but your baby has died."
The words echoed in my head over and over again as tears streamed down my face.  She asked if I had anyone I could call to come and be with me, and said she would give me a few minutes to myself.  I collapsed in the bed, curled up in a fetal position and the river gates opened.  I have never cried so hard in my entire life.  Ever.   After a few minutes, I dialed my moms phone...she answered  "Hello?" She had just started relaxing on the back patio with a nice glass of lemonade on a hot summer day.  "Mommmmm.... I neeeeeed you."  I could hear the panic in her voice.  "OK.  Where are you? What happened?!"  Between sobbs I managed... "hospital.  the baby is dead."
My parents walked through the door 10 minutes later.  They live 15- 20 minutes away.  The loving embrace I received from them both, is another moment I will never forget.
I could not gather the courage to call Derek and tell him over the phone that his son had died.  I just couldn't do it.  My parents both offered, and I decided that I would rather someone go to him and tell him in person.  I called his best friend, who was also a co-worker who had the day off.  I pleaded to him to travel the 40 minutes to their place of business to tell him with a loving hug.   He said he would take care of it.  40 mintues later, Derek walked through the door, head down.  He took one look at me and tears started flowing through out the room.  His friend had not respected my wishes and instead, called him and told him over the phone.  (I still have not forgiven him for that, but that is another story for another day.)    The doctor FINALLY arrived.
He reaffirmed that our son had died and proceeded to tell us about our 'options'.  He stated that we could wait until my body decided to reject the fetus and go into labor on its own, which could take weeks, or we could choose to induce labor.  Yes, he was that harsh and matter of fact about it.  When my mom spoke up and asked "Why can't you just do surgery?!  You mean to tell me that after all that she has already been through, she still has to give birth?!"  He explained that, yes, it was better that way.  A c-section would be unnecessary and more of a risk than needed.   He left us to make a decision.   Which I quickly decided that I needed to be with my daughter.  I wanted to go home.  We would return the next morning to start inductions.

***The words have flown through my tears this evening. *** To be continued....