Friday, April 23, 2010

The Worst 12 Hours

On Wednesday, April 21st Jason and I went to my regular 2 week doctor appointment. My doctor does ultrasounds every other visit, and this visit was an ultrasound for us. The ultrasound tech was running behind, I had a 9:45 appointment, and finally shortly after 11am we were called in.

For about 3 weeks prior, I noticed her movement started to decrease. So at my doctors appointment 2 weeks ago (April 7th) - after they found a strong heartbeat - I mentioned my concerns to my doctor. I am obese, had an anterior placenta, was retaining fluid and was nearing the end of my pregnancy where movement does decrease. My doctor had no major concerns.

On April 9th I had an ultrasound at the hospital to check for cleft lip. Aurora was so beautiful, she was moving around and even flipped us off. There were no concerns at that time. She had a good heartbeat and all of my fluids were fine.

My doctor thinks that sometime shortly after that she died. Jason and I look back, and on April 10th I saw my mother who was gone for a week... she said it looked like my stomach had dropped. We are now thinking it happened between that time.

Day after day of not feeling the movement I was a nervous wreck. Part of me said to call my doctor, and the other part of me didn't want to. I think i knew deep down inside that everything was not ok. I just have to remind myself that even if I had called after 1 day of not feeling any movement, there wasn't anything that they could have done. During that long week and a half, I remember talking to my belly and pleading with her to be ok. I didn't want this sinking fear in the back of my mind to be true.

When i went into my ultrasound the first thing i asked the tech was to see if I had a lot of fluid because i had not felt her move. I laid down on the table and she started. After about a minute she said "I have to talk to your doctor" and she left the room. Jason and I did not see her move. We held hands and waited, for what seemed like forever, for the tech to come back. When she finally came back she told us that she could not find a heartbeat and that my doctor was waiting for me in an exam room.

This time all seemed like a blur. We were in shock and had yet to cry. I could feel the tears forming, but I needed to be strong. I needed my doctor to say that the tech was wrong. I needed my doctor to say that they would check again. It really didn't hit me until my doctor said she was going to get me escorted over to the hospital right then and there to start the delivery process. I had to deliver my baby. I had to deliver my baby that had died.

Jason had called my parents, and they were both on their way. By the time I made it to L&D I could see my mother at the end of the hall standing next to her boss who had to drive her. That is when I lost it. We had to sit and wait in the hallway for a few minutes while they moved someone out of a delivery room. Although there are 8 L&D rooms, they wanted me to be in one at the very end of the hall.... so they had to move someone out of it. I feel bad for that woman, but i was glad that they moved me far out of the way.

I changed into my gown and sat on the bed and waited. Jason, my mother, my father and I were all sitting there crying and trying to figure everything out. What was going to happen next? What were we going to do about a funeral? How was she going to look? Would it be a good idea to hold her? Dress her? So many questions, and nobody really had an answer that i wanted to hear.

The nurse came in and gave me a double dose of Cytotek to start the contractions. I had been having them on and off all day, thinking that they were braxton hicks, but only realizing later that they were real.

The next few hours seemed to take forever. It was a fury of phone calls to let family members know and to have them pass on the word - since my baby shower was supposed to be that Saturday. I only talked to 2 people on the phone, my brother and my best friend. Jason had been the one to call my parents and he also called his. My wonderful family took care of the rest. During those first few hours we also started trying to figure out a funeral. If we wanted her cremated or not? Where to place her? What funeral home to go through? Where to have the service? Questions I never thought we would have had to answer. Thank god for Jason and my parents. Between the 4 of us we figured everything out.

Although I didn't want any at first, the visitors started. Visitors in L&D in my mind came for a happy reason. This reason was not happy and I did not want them there. But once i realized I needed my family close to me I allowed them. With every visitor who came in, the looks on their faces made everything feel so real. And at the end of the first few hours I had cried every tear I had. I honestly had nothing left in me and felt so empty inside.

My doctor had come in during that time, she was wonderful! She talked to my whole family. She went through everything in my file and told me that I had a wonderful pregnancy and that they had no idea why this happened.

The Cytotek worked quickly. My contractions started coming about every 4 minutes at first and were not that strong. Right before 6pm, when I was due for another double dose of Cytotek, the contractions started to become stronger. Most of them were in my back, but they varied from front contractions to back labor. I had to start breathing through them, which they only lasted about 30 seconds.

The nurse came in to check me and I was about 6cm. They decided to hold off on the second dose of Cytotek. They asked about an IV for pain, and at that time I said I was still ok. It wasn't shortly after that I needed them. The pain was very intense. It took about 30 minutes for them to bring me an IV and get it hooked up. I have very difficult veins and after 2 nurses tried, the anesthesiologist finally came up and poked me 3 times before getting it himself. The pain med was wonderful. I do not remember the name of it, but i do believe it started with an F. It didn't take away the pain, but made it much easier to manage. I could tell when it was wearing off because i had to start breathing through my contractions again.

At one point in the evening I knew I wanted an epidural. The anesthesiologist came, it was a different one at this point, and gave me the news. Because I am obese, he couldn't find the opening easily and would have to try blind. So he tried... and he tried... and he tried. He could not find the spot and I did not have my epidural. The anesthesiologist (who knew my father) told my father on the way out that if he had not known him, he would have never even tried.

I was disappointed, and scared as the pain started to increase. The next few hours was a blur. I don't remember times, or how long things took. But my doctor was there and it was time to push. I was given a shot of morphine and it was wonderful... but again, didn't fully take the pain away. I remember a lot, but at the same time, I don't remember much. My husband was on one side of me, and my mother was on the other. I do remember when 11pm hit, because they were changing nurses, but I cannot remember if i had pushed before the change or not. They did let me take a big 30 minute rest between two of the sets of pushing, so maybe they changed nurses during this time. I slept through the resting times, even if they were only a minute long, but I do remember during the big rest having my father by my side.

The pushing was horrible. My mother told me the next day that I had a dry birth since the fluid was very very low. At one point near the end i remember saying that I could not do it anymore. The pressure, the burning, the contractions were horrible. I'm not 100% sure, but I think they gave me another dose of pain medicine. I remember the next few push sessions after that it became easier than before... and i believe, only 2 push sessions later Aurora was out.

After the relief I looked at the clock, and it said 12:00am. So i asked what the official time of her birth was, which was 11:59pm.

She was 4lbs 2.8oz and 17 1/4 inches long.

I had so many emotions going through me at this time. I didn't know how to feel. I was relieved it was over, because it was so painful. But it also meant my little girl was taken away from me. She didn't cry, so i knew had really died. Part of me still wished for a miracle.

Per my wishes, they took her away and cleaned her up. I delivered my placenta about 20 minutes after she was born and since I had tore, i was stitched up.

I don't remember times after that point, but it felt like things took forever. They finally dressed my little girl, wrapped her in a beautiful blanket and brought her to me. I held her. She was the most beautiful thing i had ever seen. We all agreed that she had my nose, I also think she had my lips too. She would have been a beautiful young girl! I wanted to hold her forever and ever and never let her go. But i knew I had to. We all held her.

There is a wonderful service name Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep and photographers came to take pictures. We decided to get them done, because we didn't want to regret the decision after that we never did. We knew we would never have to look at the pictures if we didn't want to. They took pictures of her and then she was brought back to me.

With Jason and my parents present, Aurora was baptised by my father. A priest had come in earlier and told us that anyone can baptise a child. We are not very religious, but my father read a beautiful scripture out of the bible and we said our goodbyes.

With all the medicine i had in me, I was out shortly after everything happened.

My doctor was wonderful, and so were all of my nurses. With my family I know that we can get through this.


  1. My heart is breaking. I am so very sorry.

  2. I am so very sorry for your loss.

  3. Stephanie,
    You, Jason, Aurora & the rest of your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I am so sorry for your loss!


  4. Steph and Jason,
    Our hearts are breaking and are so heavy for your loss. The tears just keep coming and have been since Wednesday when I spoke to Lyd. The courage and strength you both have shown is truely amazing to me. I am glad that talking and writing about your pregnancy and Aurora Rose has become a positive outlet for you. I cannot even begin to imagine how you both must be feeling. Words cannot express how deeply sadened Matt and I are for you all. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers and I wish you and Jason strength and peace through this difficult time.
    All our Love,
    Matt and Alicen

  5. Steph
    There are no words that i could find or say to comfort you, jason and your family. The lost of Aurora can never be explained by words or time, but she will forever live through you and your loved ones. I know that although you may no longer have your daughter, you will and always will be a better mother than millions of woman, because i know you will take Aurora with you everywhere you go, not only in the memory but in your deep love for her.

  6. This is not fair! I'm so sorry that this happened. Aurora is and always will be beautiful!

  7. I'm so sorry for your loss. I came across your blog by accident, Aurora Rose is what I have always wanted to call my daughter when I have one and I typed it into Google and came across this. I read some of the more recent posts, then I came to read this one and I really felt I had to say something. I cried reading your story. And something amazing happened as soon as I'd read this. I was amazed by the way you find pennies from her and really touched by it; then I went to find my hairdryer which was randomly in the bottom of my tights drawer, and laying next to it was a pound coin (I'm from the UK). I don't know why but I feel some connection from reading this, and finding that.
    I hope it gets easier for you, although it must be hard.
    All my love.

  8. I just stumbled across your blog from another website. Tears are streaming down my face... I cannot imagine the depth of pain and loss. I lost our baby in October - miscarried at 12 weeks. My heart was broken. Empty. So many women are newly pregnant around me... I'm rambling, but I haven't talked about any of this before... Thanks for sharing...will you please ask Aurora to give my little baby a hug? It would mean so much.