This is the post I made to the March 03 board at Parent’s Place on the 24th of February, the day after Anily was born.
Anily was born on 2/23/03. Yes, I got to use the name I always wanted, but the circumstances are not good.
I had been in a funk all day Saturday. Baby was moving but kinda slow and I was feeling tired. I had talked with my midwife and the OB line and they all said it sounded like I was preparing for labor and that things were fine. I went to bed that night just feeling tired.
I woke at 4 AM feeling fluid leaking out of me. I went to the bathroom and my pants were all covered in red wettness. My water was leaking and it was really bloody. I called my midwife and she told me to head right to the hospital. We packed up my son, and our family headed to the hospital with my mother on her way to watch Gavin. We got there around 5 or so. I walked to the maternity ward where they dirrected me to the maternal assessment room asside from my telling them that I was in labor and bleeding. I had started contracting every 30 seconds on the trip there. They hooked me up to hear the heartbeat and the only beat we could find was around 110 or so. We didn’t know if it was the baby or mine since I was so upset. After waiting about 40 minutes they FINALLY got the ultrasound machine going and we couldn’t find any movement. The nurse kept saying she didn’t really know how to use the machine but it didn’t take a brain surgeon to see that the baby wasn’t moving. An OB came in and found the heart which wasn’t beating. My husband and I were holding hands and just crying. It was just too unreal for all of us. I was still having contractions and with each one more junk would gush out of me. There was no pain except for the contractions. They called to have some labwork done on me but when they finally noticed how much stuff was coming out they transferred me (leaving a bloody trail the whole way) to labor and delivery. They gathered to talk with me about my options. I didn’t want to give birth to a dead baby. I didn’t want the pain. I didn’t want the reality. I didn’t want the work. They told me the only other thing was a c-section which wouldn’t be in my best interests. I knew that. I just didn’t want to be in that situation. They promised to get me as numb as possible so that it wasn’t hard on me. As they talked about an epidural and what drugs I could get they did blood drawing and put in an IV and a catheter (ouch!) and I continued to have contractions that were getting really painful. Before when I thought a baby was being born, they didn’t really hurt because I was working with them. Now, with all this, it was all I could do to just curl up and sob.
My midwife said that a few weeks ago I had been 2 cent dilated and 60% effaced. I was now about 6 cent dilated and moving fast. Before they even got any drugs in me or could’ve thought about an epidural I was pushing through contractions. It was all so odd because no one was really paying attention to me. No one cared if I pushed or not. It was like since there was no baby alive in there, my progress was of no concern. I just cried and cried and my husband was holding me as I curled up on my side and grabbed the bed bars and pushed through the contractions to make them stop. They’d ask me questions through the contractions about insurrance or some admitting thing or another. I didn’t know or care. My midwife checked me again when I told her I had been pushing through contractions and she said I was at 9 cent and there was a little bit of cervix still in the way. I pushed with the next one and she worked the cervix out of the way and from 8:20 to 8:26 my perfect little girl was pushed out. There was blood everywhere. I got to hold her forever. After about 5 minutes I got a last contraxtion and the placenta came out.
As I held Anily, we looked at the placenta to find out what went wrong. The cord was attached right at the edge of the placenta and it was totally shredded. Also, the bag of waters had large veins running all around it, which is really rare. The thought was that the placent had been pulled from uterus wall because of the bad placing of the cord. That, or the cord became unattached because of that. The other idea was that I had gone into labor and my water broke right across one of the large veins. That would account for all the blood and Anily wouldn’t have made it past a few minutes of that. Since I wasn’t in pain, that was most likely the reason but it could’ve been a combination of all of those. Either way, there was nothing we could’ve done and nothing that means it is likely to happen again. Actually, they said the odds of it ever happening again are astronomical.
There was a lot to be done after it was all over. So many details that I don’t ever want to really remember. We decided to use the name that I had wanted all along considering the circumstances. We filled out for a “stillbirth” certificate. We signed papers and called for funeral arrangments. We cried and cried and cried. My son came in and we talked with him as best we could. He got to see Anily, who was beautiful and perfect and looked like she could wake up at any moment. She was 8 pounds 12 ounces, with dark hair and blue eyes. Afterwards when we got home and talked he said he wanted to bring the baby home. We told him we couldn’t because she had died in mommy’s tummy because something wasn’t made right. He asked if we could fix her and bring her home. Then he asked if the doctors could fix her and bring her home. He asks why she died and why we can’t fix her. We just tell him we don’t know and that we’re very sad. Now he asks everyone that visits if they know why his baby sister died. It breaks my heart.
It was my little girl. The one I’ve always wanted. She was beautiful and perfect. We took pictures of her dressed in the outfit we brought. We talked to her and told he we loved her. I told her how sorry I was that mommy couldn’t keep her safe.
They discharged me today and did the whole “wheelchair” out thing. The person pushing my wheelchair brought me down to the area where the cars were coming around to pick up people being discharged. There was another new mom sitting there waiting for her car with her little baby in her arms and her balloons and carseat and “it’s a boy!” cards right there. The wheelchair driver parked my chair right next to hers right in line. I almost died.
Tomorrow we will be talking with the funeral dirrector to go over the details.
We’re just trying to pick up our lives and take each day as we can. My son is a great deal of comfort to me, but he is a lot of sadness as well as I want so badly to protect him from this pain. He may be young but I can see in his eyes that he knows there is pain there. We have thought about TTC again and we will probably try shortly. I’m so saddened about losing my girl though. There are, of course, no gaurentees that the next would be a girl and even if she was I will never be able to make this loss go away. I just don’t want to make our family life centered on this loss. I want a healthy life for all of us including Gavin and any future child we may have. I don’t even know how to fit this in to a healthy degree.
Thank you for your support over this pregnancy and I wish you all the best in the wonderful outcomes I know you will have.
-Robyn, Gavin 7-11-99, Anily ~i~ 2-23-03
Anily was stillborn due to a possible velamentous cord insertion. This is a rare occurance where the cord attached to the amniotic membranes and the vessels travel to the placenta unprotected. This is a diagnosable condition and her death could have been prevented.