A Story of Stillbirth-Too Soon

The weekend of August 1st, I realized that Cora hadn’t been moving too much. She wasn’t a very active baby, but her movements had been slowing down. Over the weekend, I watched her movement closely. On Monday during the day, she didn’t move at all. I waited until the night, her most active time of day, to see if she’d move before I let myself really worry. That night, we had another strong thunderstorm. In the past, she’d always woken me up kicking when there was a loud storm. Monday night, she didn’t kick at all during the storm. On Tuesday morning, I called my OB’s office as soon as it opened. The told me to come in at 10:00 AM so they could check on her.

Working that morning was torture. I couldn’t focus on anything, and drove to the doctor’s office as soon as I could. After a long wait, they took Husbandman and I back to the ultrasound room. The ultrasound tech verified that her heart was still beating, and tried to get her to move. Usually, she wouldn’t sit still during an ultrasound for anything. She would move and flip and kick and let her displeasure at being poked be known. She wouldn’t move. The doctor came in, and spent a long time looking at her. He saw a few things that looked questionable, and told Husbandman and I that he wanted us to go the University hospital to get a second opinion. He said the issues could be nothing, but that he wanted a second opinion.

That night, we both struggled to sleep. I couldn’t get comfortable, and was very anxious to find out what was going on. Eventually, we slept. When we woke up, we went to work and tried to focus again. Husbandman picked me up from work at lunch time, and we drove the hour to the high risk OB’s office for the ultrasound. We got checked in, and tried to distract ourselves as we waited in the waiting room.

They called us back, and the ultrasound tech talked to us as she started taking measurements. After she took a few measurements, I noticed the bar at the bottom of the screen that was supposed to show Cora’s heartbeat. It didn’t have the regular pattern that the ultrasound the day before had shown. As she started to say “I’m having some trouble…” there was a knock at the door. Two women walked into the room, and the first introduced herself. She took my hand and said, “My name is Dr. W, and I’m sorry to have to tell you that your baby doesn’t have a heartbeat.” My heart shattered.

The staff in the room asked us if we needed a minute alone. After they’d left, Husbandman leaned over the take and held me while we both cried. He prayed that God would bring us through this, and after trying to get ahold of some of our family members. All that I could think about what that I would have to deliver her soon, and that I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t strong enough. I asked the Lord to give me the strength that I needed as I needed it, because I knew that the next few days would be very difficult. Eventually, after I’d cried as much as I could and more, we opened the door and asked the medical staff to come back in the room.

Dr. W came back in, and asked if it was okay if they did another ultrasound to find out what there was to be discovered. She was wonderful. She walked us through everything that she was doing, pointing out every feature of our precious little girl that she saw. She printed ultrasound picture after ultrasound picture, making sure that we had every picture that we could.

We then started talking about “what would happen next”. Dr. W told us that it would be best for my labor to be induced, and that we could have that induction at the local hospital or at the University hospital. We eventually chose the University hospital because I knew that the hospital had a bigger staff and was better equipped to help Husbandman and I through what was to come. We also chose to have a few extra tests ran at Dr. W’s office before the induction to try and find out what had caused Cora to die. We scheduled everything for the next morning, because we weren’t prepared to stay at the hospital physically (we had no bags with us).

We drove home in the sun. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how the sun was still shining when my little girl was gone. We tried and failed to process what had happened. After making phone call after phone call, we got home, tried to eat, packed, and eventually fell into a fitful sleep.

Throughout the month of October, I’m writing a series titled “Hopeful Grief” with a fabulous group of writers, doing the Write31Days challenge. To catch up, or see new posts, click here. Interested in last year’s Write31Days posts? Click here

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