Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A Birth

I had a baby on Saturday.

And now I hurt so much that I feel like I can't breathe.

But I have to write him down, record him now right this minute before I start to forget a bit because the hurt is making me. I have to push it out and get it down because he was born. And he deserves a birth story.

I started spotting a bit. It was NOTHING, tiny, pink, benign. Derek and I had engaged in some *ahem* activities that night, and spotting after is very normal in pregnancy. I spotted in Miriam and Ezra's pregnancies without serious consequence.

A call to the midwives assured me further EVERYTHING was fine. Take it easy of course (YEAH RIGHT) but it was all okay.

A few days later, in doing my normal, daily regime of life, I hoisted a fifty pound bag of goat food a few yards, and two 40 lb bags of wood pellets around, to burn in our wood pellet stove.

Then the spotting which had almost disappeared entirely, turned a bit heavier, to blood. I panicked. What was going on? It was getting better. I thought it was almost gone, I didn't even think about NOT lifting those bags, I was just doing my normal stuff.

Another call to the midwives. "It's very normal."
"Bedrest to heal whatever blood vessels you've broken."
"It's okay to wait and see. It might be the placenta covering the cervix. We'll schedule a level II ultrasound when you come in on Thursday."

"It's all probably fine."

"What if it isn't?" I demanded.

"You can go to the ER if you're truly worried and you don't want to wait," she said kindly.

HA, We have medical insurance but unlike most people it only covers 70% of an ER visit. A place they'd charge me $1000 just to walk in the door. I wasn't bleeding much, just a bit and I'm no rookie.

So we'd wait. Fine.

And yet I didn't sleep at all that night. I kept getting up and getting ready to go, praying that if it was an emergency or that I really needed to go, Heavenly Father would tell me to GO so I'd know it was worth our tax return to have an ultrasound. It seemed ridiculous to run off to a place where people die to just have an ultrasound when I just needed to wait a few days for my appointment.

By morning nothing dramatic had happened, I'd never gotten the impression that I needed to go. Derek took off work, and I frustratedly directed traffic from the couch.

By Friday night the bleeding had slowed even more, CLEARLY going away. Oh what a relief. I'd just take it really easy until Thursday. Everything was fine. I'd been feeling little whisper kicks. Our baby was going to be fine. We'd have a baby in July.

I couldn't sleep much after 4am on Saturday morning. My stomach was hurting so badly. I tossed and turned trying to find a position that would help the pain. Finally, I gave up and just lay in a bit of agony. "That's it, it  has to be the dairy!" I concluded. "No more dairy!"

Derek made breakfast burritos for the crew before basketball. I ate, hoping it would maybe ease the pain.  They all dashed off to the van after ready to play ball. My stomach wasn't letting up. It hurt.

No spotting.

I sat on the couch explaining the pain to Derek who was concerned but agreed. Maybe it's the dairy. The kids were making the van rock back and forth with excitement.

"I'll be right out," I said. "I have to get my boots."

I felt two weird pops in my abdomen, right side, and then the pain lessened. AH. Gas pains! That explained the doubling-over sensation I was experiencing. I stood up, grateful for relief.

And immediately felt blood spilling everywhere, over every inch of my legs. I gasped in shock, surprise, panic.

"Derek!" I called in wild panic. "Derek, there is blood, everywhere! I...have to go to the ER!"

I rushed up to our bathroom, to see what in the hell was going on. It didn't make sense. It must have been one of the hematomas I knew existed. Those usually just BURST and scared you but then the drama was over. Dr. Google had said that was normal, and the baby was usually fine.

Blood. So much.

Derek stood outside the bathroom door while I gasped in horror and panic. In mere seconds I decided,  to get dressed and go with Derek to basketball, The kids were waiting, Derek is the head coach, no other arrangements could be made for 10 little kids on ten minutes notice. I'd call the midwives at basketball, and then after, he could drop me off at the ER.

So, I grabbed a towel to sit on, the bleeding almost completely stopped, making me again think it had just been a hematoma that burst. Maybe I wouldn't need the ER.

By the time I got to the van though, the pain was back, worse, hurting so much I couldn't really talk through it.

"You go to basketball. I'll go to the ER in the little car. Get a babysitter after basketball. Meet me at the ER later." I demanded. And oh my poor sweet husband, fear and worry showing on his face, agreed only because I gave him the look of death, and said, "Those kids need to go to basketball. NOW." I could feel blood again, starting to gush, and did not want my kids to see.

He peeled away, and after a quick call to the midwives so they'd send the ER my records and tell them I was coming, ("You're going right now, right?" she asked. "You're already on your way?") I was off.

The closest hospital is 30 minutes away.

By the time I got to the end of our street, any hope of anything was gone. "Please Heavenly Father, just let me get there. I can not do this in a car, please oh please let me get there," I prayed over and over.

I drove and drove, each wave of pain sending more blood rushing around me. The towel would be far from enough.

It took far too long to realize I was in labor. Contractions a minute apart, lasting a minute, every time, sending blood away from me, away from my baby.

I was going to die.

But every time I thought about pulling over and calling 911, I realized it would take them so much longer to get to me than if I just kept going. I had no choice. I had to keep going.

"Please God, just let me get there. I need to just get there, and I'll be okay. I don't want to die in this car. My kids need me, please God just let me get there," I prayed over and over, breathing and bleeding and driving.

I parked in handicap parking outside the ER, bursting from my car between the painful contractions, soaked and dripping blood, panic and embarrassment over what I must look like, pushed aside, as I yelled at the security guard coming over that I needed help. "Please do not give me at ticket!" I screamed as I ran for the door.

When you show up looking like a murder victim from the waist down, begging for help, they take you right back to a room.

In the room, I was surrounded by people, "Take off your clothes, put this on, go in here, let's clean you up a bit, see what is happening," kind voices said as I bent over in pain, blood pulsing to the floor. Somehow, I'll never know how, I did all they asked, and even had time to feel embarrassed that my socks didn't match, as I stripped them off.

"How many weeks are you?"

"Fifteen. Almost sixteen!" I answered.

"You drove yourself here?"

In moments, I was in a bed, ivs were going in, multiple ones. "How much blood would you say you lost at home?" someone asked. "A cup? More?"

"A cup, sure," I nodded, as other things were stuck places, on my chest, my arms, my wrists. A doctor came in, he was nice. I don't remember his name. He was the ER doc.

Nothing but kindness came from his as he very quickly looked inside and said, "You probably already know this, but with this kind of bleeding it's going to be a miscarriage."

Oh boy did I know.

"You're going to need a transfusion," the doctor said. "We'll check, but do you know your blood type?"

"A positive," I answered. A blood transfusion? Great. I was going to die.

In another few minutes, the OB covering the ER came in, the room cleared a bit. She sat down, and looked. I don't remember her name. She was lovely though. A nurse stayed with me, people brought in more tubes, more needles, more I don't even know what.

"I'm so sorry," the doctor said, "But your baby is coming out now." She was so kind. And I knew it was over.

Time ceased. I just felt tugging and the familiar release that comes when a baby is born. No one said anything for a minute, Someone whisked the baby away, and I was still bleeding.

"Call the OR," the ob directed a nurse. "She's lost a liter."

A liter? That sounded like a lot.

Where was the baby?

"Is it a boy or a girl?" I asked the nurse. "Please tell me."

"Do you want to see it?" she asked gently. It. It? My baby?

"Yes, please," I asked.

The ob left to call the OR to tell them we were coming. The placenta was not going to detach, she theorized, "We need to do a d&c. I'll be right back." I could still feel blood pouring out of me.

The nurse with my baby showed me briefly the tiny body, but took it (IT??) away, and immediately brought HIM back to me, wrapped in a wash cloth.

"It was a boy," she said so gently I thought my heart would shatter. "Here HE is," and she laid him on my chest.

He was a boy. He was tiny, with fingers and toes, and ears and eyes, and a tiny nose. He was my son. And he was real.

He is real.

"Oh baby," I choked. "What happened, little one? What happened?"

I didn't get to hold him long because there was still so much bleeding, and prepping. Soon, I left him behind to go to the OR, the doctor assuring me that the d&c was more than necessary, and would help me avoid a blood transfusion.

I sent a hurried text to my sister, asking her to call my parents.

And I knew Derek was on his way.

The OR staff was kind and efficient. A nurse who's whole face I never saw behind her mask, held me by the shoulder and said, "I lost a baby at 20 weeks. You don't know it now, but you're going to be okay."

The anesthesiologist wished I hadn't eaten breakfast but assured me that with an intubation, and stomach pump, and a bunch more meds, the risk of my dying of aspiration was small. She was concise and clear, and

I thought, "Oh, I really don't want to do this. Dying now would be really the worst." She listed off the risks of the anesthesia quickly but patiently. I asked a couple of questions, demanded I not feel a thing, and then we went.


An OR. More drugs, more things beeping, more blood.

I was not going to die. I had to go home to my kids. I made sure they would find Derek and bring him to me when he got there. I don't remember a single thing after breathing into a plastic smelling face mask for a few minutes. The ceiling then... nothing.

"Morgan!" someone yelled from so far away. I gasped, choked, coughed, tried to find which way was up out of the water. I couldn't breathe.

"Morgan!" the voice called again. Oh! He wanted me to breathe. Well, I was trying, but I couldn't remember how.

I coughed, I wheezed, I remembered how to draw air in, and filled my lungs. Oh wow, my throat hurt.

 I wasn't dead.

Thank God. I wasn't dead.

It took a bit to realize, it was over. I felt people moving around, trying to do who knows what, and my eyes were heavy. I was so tired.

Today could not be real. That's all there was to it. Today was not real.

They finally, after making sure I was awake enough, brought me Derek. My man, my rock. He was here. I could cry because he was here.

"It was a boy," I cried and we cried and I just couldn't believe it was real.

And now?

I can't sleep.

I ache so much and hurt so bad that sleeping is a nice idea in theory but terrible in practice. I wake up from an hour or two and realize it all still hurts. My body is battered, and my heart is broken, and I can't deal with it.

I miss my baby. I miss him so much I can't believe I'm still breathing.

He is real. He is our son, and he is gone.

And I don't know what to do with that.

I've miscarried twice before, I know how it goes. But this is not the same as the early losses.

This was a birth. And a death.

Our baby, our sixth child and our fifth son was born on Saturday.

February 1st, 2014

We didn't get to keep him.

And we miss him.


cheekybabyboutique said...

Life just isn't fair sometimes. I am so sorry, I know words can't even begin to help heal the pain of all this. And saying I'm sorry just doesn't feel like enough. I love you guys and I'm sorry you are going through all this. Rest, please rest and allow yourself to get better. The transfusion will help you, but you're going to feel so much more worn out after it (as I'm sure you've already discovered). I wish I was there to give you the biggest hug and help out with the kiddos so you could get the rest you need. If there is anything i can do from way over here, please let me know.

Kim said...

Oh Morgan, my tears are for you my friend. They won't stop flowing and I am just so sorry you had to go through this. There are no magic words to take away your pain just love for you and Derek and the kids. xoxo

mjoray said...

My heart hurts for you. I have been praying for you all day.

Nathaly Blalock said...

I love you, Morgan. Praying for strength and peace. I'm so so very sorry.

Meaghan said...

Oh, Morgan. I wish with every fiber of my being that I could ease some of the terrible pain you are feeling. No one should have to experience what you have gone through, and yet, I know that a lesser woman would not have been able to bear the weight of this enormous burden. You are so strong, my friend, the strongest woman I know. And yet, you do not have to be strong all by yourself. You have so, so, so many people who love you and your beautiful family. I hope that you can feel us, from all over the world, praying, loving, weeping, and lifting you up. This is hard, oh, it is so hard, but please know that you are not alone in your suffering. We love you, and we will keep loving you. Let our love for you help you, bit by bit, to be whole again. May you know peace, my dear friend.

Jeanette said...

I'm so sorry for your loss and hard experience. I've found great comfort from Elder Haight's last talk he gave in General conference, (http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2008/10/come-what-may-and-love-it?lang=eng) he said, "The . . . thing we can do is understand the principle of compensation. The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude." This principle has brought me great hope in terms of the losses I've experienced. I hope sharing it is a help to you. Take care of yourself.

Hannah White said...

I am so very sorry.

Carolyn said...

My heart hurts for you, Morgan. I'm so sorry for what you've gone through, and continue to go through. Sending love and strength your way.

Tami In Vegas said...

I wish I had the words that would ease your broken hearts, but since I don't, I will just say this. He is your baby always and forever, and one day, your family will all be together again. I know he was just beautiful, and tiny, and delicate. A precious little life. You are all on my heart and in my prayers.

ChupieandJ'smama (Janeen) said...

I'm so very sorry for your loss. Prayers going out for you, your family and your son.

Melissa said...

I'm crying. I don't know what to say. I wish I could hug you and cry with you. Thank you for sharing. You always have a way with words. It's horrible that you had to go through that. I hope other women who go through something similar read this. You did your son well by writing this. As you said, every baby deserves a birth story.

kelly said...

You are such a strong woman and mother. To even be in the right mind to make sure that your babies should go to their game and not be affected by all of this shows serious love and strength. I have always been so impressed with you and am grateful to have our paths cross, even if it was for a little while. You never know...our paths may pass again soon and your family may be more a part of our lives. I can only hope for this. You are one in a million. Hold on to your little ones and be forever grateful for everything they do as I am sure you already do. May you find peace and comfort and know it is okay to mourn your little one. He is a part of your family and you will always keep him close to your heart. I will continue to pray for you and your family.

Morgan Hagey said...

You're all wonderful. Thank you.

Shaylee Ann said...

Morgan, I wish I could cry with you and hold you. I found your most recent post in my blogger news feed - haven't checked it forever - and knew before even reading it what your post was about. I hurt for you and your family. I will pray for you. Know that you are loved, and that no matter what, you are not alone. That is something that I am struggling to know myself right now, but I do believe it. I miscarried for the second time in eight months the Wednesday before you did. I would have been 16 weeks that Saturday. Reading your posts, I feel like someone does actually understand. Thank you for having the courage to share your story. You are an incredible woman.

Jennifer Jean said...

I'm so Sorry for your loss! I lost my son at 15weeks 12/13/13 exactly two months ago. I miss him everyday. Everyone says it gets easier, but I don't know that I believe it. I don't know if it ever will. I think it gets easier to pretend all is okay when deep down you know it isn't and never will be.


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