Life is a beautiful thing and so often we forget what a miracle having a baby is. We found out first hand how fragile life is and how quickly it could be taken from us. I have always believed that only God is the giver and taker of life. After our experience with our baby girl I believe it now more than ever. The events of March 13th have changed the way I see the birth of a baby and my faith for the rest of my life.
Last July we were thrilled to find out we were expecting another baby. Because of the loss of our precious baby the previous September we decided not to tell anyone. The end on August we told our children and asked them to not tell anyone. They were all thrilled with the idea of a new sibling, except Joel he could care less one way or the other. Anyone that knows Joel knows that is just his personality. We waited till almost Thanksgiving to tell friends and family that we would be welcoming a baby the week of Easter.
The doctors considered my high risk because of my age and the size babies I typically have (between 8 to over 10 lbs). This pregnancy went so smoothly for me. Other than the usual complains of being uncomfortable, pain in my sciatic, and major headache's, this pregnancy was going well. My iron was good, I wasn't puking my guts out, and for the first pregnancy I could actually eat.
At week 23 we had our first ultrasound. I'll never forget the look on Doug's face when the tech told us we were going to have a girl. Neither one of us could believe it, but were thrilled that we were going to have our second daughter. After having five boys, we thought Jada would be the only girl we would have.
Some questions were raised about the baby's size at the ultrasound. The doctors wanted some blood work done to see if I had contracted a virus that would cause me to have a smaller baby. Many appointments were made in the following months to check the baby's size and growth. Everything looked fine. The blood work came back negative for the virus. Over the next few months we watched her week by week grow. We had gone to maternal fetal medicine twice a week until week 33 when they were happy with her growth and told me I didn't need to come for a check up in three weeks. During this whole time I was never worried about the baby. I knew God had her in his hands.
That weekend I had worked maybe a little harder than I should have. By the end of the weekend my ankles were as big as my thighs. Monday I went to the doctor with concerns about all the water I was retaining and pain in my lower abdomen. The doctor had me go to labor and delivery and hooked me up to the non stress machine and took some labs. Two hours later a nurse came in and said labs were good and I wasn't in labor. She asked me if I was ready to leave. I told her if the doctor wasn't going to do anything else there was no sense in sticking around. About a half hour later he came in and told me I could go.
Even after I got home I still felt like something wasn't right. Taking doctors advice I planted my butt on the couch and didn't move, even to make dinner. The kids made dinner and waited on my every need when Doug was at work. I was still in so much pain I caved and took a half a pain pill cause I just couldn't take it anymore. The kids were hungry for a real meal come Wednesday night, so I ordered out. For the first time in a while I was really hungry. I ordered a personal Stromboli and pizza for the kids. The baby was moving fine and everything seemed ok when I went to bed that night.
Four am I woke up for no apparent reason. Usually I would wake up about four or five to go to the bathroom, but I didn't have to go. This was one thing that was concerning me for three days previous to this. I was drinking like a fish, but it seemed everything I was drinking was being retained. I was so swollen at this point I had no dip in the middle of my back, I couldn't bend my knees and I had no ankles. When I woke up I noticed my vision was messed up. I opened my computer thinking if I waste time online I'll get tired and fall back asleep. When I opened my laptop I couldn't see the screen. My computer looked like the words were like looking into a funhouse mirror.
I spent a few minutes waiting for my eyes to focus when I noticed I hadn't felt the baby move. This was very unusual since her active time was when I slept, 4 a.m. was about the time she felt like she was doing aerobics. I got up and started walking the floor and rubbing my belly where her head was sitting (in my upper right side). When this didn't work I went downstairs and got a cold drink and took it upstairs. I was determined to get this little lady to move. I was patient and tried for an hour to get her to give at least a little kick....nothing.
Doug had just drifted off to sleep about 2 hours before I had come running (or as much as running a 7 1/2 month pregnant woman can) down the steps freaking out. I kept yelling over and over again "Doug wake up, something's wrong." Now that I look back at it I can laugh, but this morning I was in no laughing mood when his reply to me was "I'll go check your bed." often I would come and get Doug through the night to remove little bed hogs from my bed. The only thing Doug heard in his sleep was that I was annoyed, so he immediately thought someone had kicked me out of bed. Instead of answering him I proceeded to grab my coat and paw through his drawer for the van keys. Doug looked at me like I was crazy and asked what I was doing. I had the phone in my hand calling my midwife. At this point he was starting to understand something was wrong.
My midwife told me to rush to the nearest emergency room. As I was hanging up Doug was putting his pants on and grabbing his coat. I was so swollen I couldn't get in the van. Doug lifted me in and got in the drivers side. We sat in the van as Doug was going to let the van warm up. I must have had panic in my eyes cause after I told him I was afraid the baby was no longer alive in me, he drove like a mad man to the hospital.
Once I got to the hospital it didn't take long till I was hooked up to a bunch of machines. The next 2 hours was full of poking, prodding and puking on my part. I had one nurse tell me I ruined her for Stromboli for life. Poor Doug sat in the corner sleeping. Once they got the baby's heartbeat he figured the baby was fine. I kept telling the doctors and nurses he just got home from work and to just let him sleep.
Janavieve's heart rate was fine at first. I still wasn't feeling her move. The first time they lost her heart rate I started getting worried. They worked for a while and found it (in the same spot it was before). Dr.'s came in and explained to me they may have to do a C-section, or I may just need to stay for observation for a while, but I shouldn't be worried at this time. It wasn't long before her heart rate dropped to 80. They put the oxygen mask on me and told me to breathe deep. It seems like only seconds passed and her heart rate was gone. With poor Doug still sleeping in the corner they rushed me down the hall for an emergency C-section.