Our parents and my sister were in the waiting room when we arrived. We hugged & cried then were given a room. I remember after changing into my hospital gown sitting on the couch and asked my sister-in-law, Sarah, to contact someone from NILMDTS (Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep) http://www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org/ . Last year I became familiar with the non-profit org. and had actually considered participating since I've been doing newborn photography part time. They volunteer to take photos of babies who don't live, so parents have some memories. Little did I know I would eventually need their services for our own personal needs.
I spoke with one of my nurses, Mary, as to what the plan would be and the rest of that day is a blur. My bag of water was broke and there was a LOT of fluid. Sadly, it was filled with thick meconium (baby had a bowel movement while inside me). They started the pitocin to regulate & increase my contractions and at some point I received the epidural. That didn't hurt-it hurt more when they removed the tape from my back. It felt like I was being waxed. Not pleasant. I do remember the feeling as the needle went in my back and I jolted a bit and was nervous and apologetic for that. Otherwise it was OK. From then on I didn't feel much pain. I had one "hot spot" in my lower left abdomen region where I could feel contractions so some adjustments were made to the epidural and I was fine after that.
It was kind of strange-surreal-to have our immediate families in the room for such an event. I was pretty tired and we just all watched the monitor and the contractions go up & down. The nurses checked me a few times and I was progressing. I think I was up to around 7 cm by the end of the night. Everyone went home for a short while since the nurses thought it wouldn't be until morning. I think I was worried they would miss something because around 1:00 am I had Tim call my parents to have them come back by 2:00 am. I was drained emotionally and I was sleepy...very out of it.
The nurses were great. Lori was there while the epidural was administered and until Linda arrived to help me with the pushing. I think I started pushing a little after 7:00 am. I could feel when the contractions were coming but no pain. Being numb made it difficult to feel where to push but Linda & Tim were great coaches. They kept me going for almost 4 hours. Tuesdays are my Dr.'s day off but she made sure to be there. She was there for a great deal of my pushing as well. Oddly, we were able to joke a little bit and I teased Tim for almost drowning me with the straw in my water cup. I also remember joking about my bad breath & stinky feet. My Dr. suggested we try a tug-of-war method of pushing where she twisted up a sheet & knotted both ends. She pulled one end & I pulled the other. This really got things moving. (And I made note for future to start this right away!) I was completely exhausted. Tim was unbelievable. He was really there for me.
At 11:10 am on 10-12-10, Sofia Rose was delivered. She weighed 6 lb, 15.6 oz, 20 inches long.
I actually felt her coming out which I didn't expect. Tim cut the cord and the instant she was separated from me is when I lost it. I don't know how the entire hospital didn't hear my cries. Our cries. It was supposed to be the best day of our lives together. Instead it was the most painful. My Dr. and nurses had tears. It was horrible.
There were no knots in the cord and the placenta looked healthy. No explanation for her death. We said we didn't want an autopsy done. We couldn't handle the idea of them cutting up our little girl. Besides, I've read that an autopsy likely won't find anything anyhow in situations like this.
When Sofia was cleaned up they handed her to Tim and he brought her to me. We were amazed by her beauty and all of her thick dark hair. We cried but we also spent some time just looking her over, like most new parents do.
We decided to have our families come in the room to find out what we had and to see her. It was very emotional but everyone there got to hold her. We were happy they were there to see how cute she was. It was very rough on everyone. It is so hard to see a baby that way. She should have been crying, not us...
We had Father John Michael Voithofer from St. Robert Bellarmine Church come to the hospital to give her a blessing (in lieu of a baptism, since she was already deceased). It was very much like a baptism though.
We had more time with our baby girl and had some photos taken by the NILMDTS photographer. Eventually we said good-bye. It was so hard.