129 HoursThe day I found out I was pregnant, I had my two year old son tell my husband he was going have a baby brother or sister. We hugged together and began planning our future with a new baby. I soon became ill with relentless morning sickness. I remember wishing the nausea would just go away!
September 16, 2008 was a routine day. After putting my son to bed, I laid down, but was too excited to sleep. The next day was an ultrasound appointment. I just kept thinking about how I was about to get to know the little person inside me a little more. Right before I drifted to sleep, it felt like he or she was having a private party in my womb... I smiled and fell asleep with my hand on my belly.
My husband was away helping hurricane victims in Louisiana, so my mother came with me to the appointment. We entered a little room with a huge flat screen TV on the wall. It was hooked up to the ultrasound machine. I lay there as the technician squirted the warm jelly on me. The screen flickered as the machine turned on. Then, the most precious profile appeared. I said, "Wow, that is so amazing!" The tech never looked up from the small screen she was facing. She just kept making measurements. After a minute, she said she needed to go and get my doctor. She couldn't find a heartbeat. Confusion hit immediately. My mother grabbed my hand and held it tight as my eyes welled up with tears. I was saying, "No, no, she doesn't know what she's doing. It's fine. Right? She's not the doctor! No, no, no, no..." My doctor came in within seconds and began looking for herself. She said, "Oh, Amelia, I am so sorry, but she's gone." "She," I said. "A girl?" I hadn't known. I couldn't have any rational thoughts. I begged her to open me up and start her heart. "Just try..." I begged, "Please!" My doctor held me and said she would do something if she could. I didn't understand. The baby was performing acrobatics in my tummy just the night before. I couldn't catch my breath. I was devastated!
My doctor explained that I had to be induced to bring her into this world. I was to go home with some medication to start the process and return when I felt cramping. She said it would probably take twenty-four to forty-eight hours from start to finish. I returned later that night, exhausted, feeling emotional torment, just ready to hold my baby girl. After two days in the hospital, another doctor came in and explained that my body was fighting the meds and there was no progression. She suggested I go home until labor hit.
I went to my mother's house. There, I cried uncontrollably, stroking my swollen belly. I had phantom movements where she would bump into the walls of the womb. I kept thinking that maybe they had made a mistake. I soon realized the nausea was gone. I wanted it back! After two days I returned to the hospital begging them to take her out. They wanted to try yet another medication to get labor started. They didn't have the medicine. It was located far away and wouldn't get to me for a couple more days. They wanted me to go home, but I refused. I wasn't about to return to a place of torture with no one around to give me answers to my ongoing questions. I was taken to the ER there where I laid listening to other women's baby's heartbeats. After several hours, my mother demanded I be transferred to a private room. I was readmitted later that night.
The next day, another doctor came in and promised me that if I hadn't had my baby by that evening, he would physically dilate my cervix and take her out. I began to pray. I asked God to take this from me. I couldn't do it anymore. Finally, that evening, progression began. I told a nurse I couldn't wait to see my baby girl. She looked at me funny and said that since it had been five days since she had passed, her bones were soft. And that since she was so small, I would probably only dilate to a five before she would enter the world. She would probably be disfigured after passing through the birth canal. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. All I wanted, was my baby.
Then, a doctor came in and said I could have an epidural, but he thought the pain could be controlled with a morphine drip. Soon after, active labor began. The pump was incorrectly placed and the morphine was going into my hand, causing it to swell. It was too late for an epidural. For an hour and a half, I was in insurmountable pain. I held the rails of the bed and cried for God to show me mercy. All of a sudden the pain disappeared, completely. It felt euphoric. The nurse checked me and said with surprise that I had dilated to a full ten centimeters.
One hundred and twenty-nine hours after my nightmare began, the doctor came in and with one small push, she came out. They took her away and the doctor said she had died from a quadruple nuchal cord. A grief counselor came in and said since I had fully dilated she entered the world in a completely in tact sac. She was perfectly preserved. I was asked if I wanted to hold her. I cried tears of joy and asked for her.
My husband and I anxiously awaited as they cleaned and dressed her. An elderly lady, I had never met, who worked the nurses station had crocheted her a white dress and cap while I was in and out of the hospital. It was priceless! She was a beautiful baby girl. We named her Addison Paige. I kissed her cheek, sang her a lullaby, placed her hand over my finger and told her we would meet again. It was the most precious moments of my life. After some time, we had to let her go. It was the saddest moment of my life. It was an incredible journey that ended with an amazing gift.... An angel in my arms.
Having had trouble conceiving my first born we call him our "miracle." Addison is our "angel." Our third child, Cale, was born just fourteen months after his sister passed away. We call him our "saving grace."
Mother of Addison Paige
Died September 17, 2008
Born still September 22, 2008 due to a quadruple nuchal cord