Stillborn But Born Still

I was 38 weeks pregnant. I had been out on maternity leave since my 36th week. We had just recently moved into our new house and I was enjoying spending my time with my 3 1/2 year old and preparing for her little sister to come. I went to the dr on Tuesday, July 31. Bridget's heart beat was strong, I was fine. Everything seemed perfect. Wednesday came along and I was doing the finishing touches on Bridget's nursery. Thursday, my husband came home for lunch. I felt contractions but they werent close enough to go to the hospital. At around 7 pm, we dropped our daughter off at my parents because we knew we were going to have to go to the hospital because my contractions were becoming more frequent. We decided to go on a walk when we got home to help trigger them some more. Bridget was moving the whole time. I remember the last time I felt her move on that walk. I was so excited that I was hopefully going to be able to meet her within a couple hours. We went home, I went to the bathroom. I thought my water broke..instead it was a horrible amount of blood. Every 30 seconds, blood would squirt out of me. My husband drove me to the hospital. They tried to find Bridget's heartbeat..instead they only heard mine through my stomach since my heart was beating so fast. A resident did my ultra sound and didn't say a word. I screamed because she wouldnt tell me my child was dead. The attending came in, and told me Bridget was dead and now they had to save me. I told them to forget about me and just get her out and make her live. I wanted my little girl to be okay. I didn't think I would be able to live knowing my child was dead. I had to write a will. All I could think about was Bridget and my 3 year old. I knew I had to live for my 3 yr old. I am no longer the mother I was. I feel bad because I hate leaving the house. I feel anxious going anywhere without my husband. Grocery stores are the worst. I barely sleep at night, and I cry quite a bit. It's been less than two months.
ebLb8212 ebLb8212
22-25, F
3 Responses Sep 21, 2012

My sister recently lost her baby at 38 weeks, she had a C section with her first baby jack 18 months and was having a natural labour with baby ella,i took her to the hospital and they couldnt find ellas heartbeat, she got her wish to deliver her natural but not to ever see her alive and i cant help but feel angry towards everything, it makes you question what you believe in and why bad things happen, we buried ella last thursday and now im petrified that we shouldnt be talking about her incase we seem like were not getting on with things, ive alway been a mum to my elder sister and the stronger sibling but this has completely crushed me and i just cant move past it.shes been soo soo strong and brave and i just want to be with her 24/7 and protect her, we wont find out any reason for baby ellas passing for another 12 weeks and just prolings their agony,im soo sorry for your losses and this is something nobody deserves to go through in their lifetime, rest in peace to all our angels

Becky england uk xxx

First off ~ I would like to say how sorry I am to hear of the loss of your precious daughter. It is surely the most devastating situation to have to endure and there are no words to ease the pain. The path becomes a little less rocky as time goes on but the valleys and peaks remind us of the long soulful journey we all must make. My first Granddaughter was born still at 36.6 weeks due to torsion of the umbilical cord ~ not a true knot or nuchal cord but delivers the same devastation and heartache. I would like to share my story with you.

Now, I am in the same situation as you, thousands like you -- like us -- dealing with the loss of a child. The reasons may differ but the result is still the same, pain and heartache.

I am an RN and my husband is an Emergency Room MD. I have four children and never thought anything of it. I had heard of stillbirths but thought they occurred during labor when there was a complication. Why should I think anything different? The medical profession has hidden the details and frequency from us all.

Then came my son and my daughter in law. Their first child, a daughter, was born still at 36.3 weeks on June 28th, 2009. Danielle noticed no movement -- for a baby that was very active a lot of the time - one Saturday. She had read the books which reassured her and my son that the babies slowed down at 36 weeks -- that was normal. My son, now a resident at Emory, was a medical student at MUSC in Charleston at the time. We got the call on Saturday night, "We lost the baby."

I was in utter disbelief and total shock. What -- How -- What Happened? Bob told us it could be genetic, it could be an infection, it could be the cord, it could be a lot of things. My mind raced and was paralyzed at the same time. The ultrasound was done, there was no heartbeat.

My precious granddaughter, our first, was now an angel. My heart ached; no tears would come. My daughter, Nicola, had just gotten married in Charleston on May 1, 2009. Danielle was the pregnant bridesmaid and so beautiful. We were all set to welcome the newest member to the clan on July 24th.

I think our angel was going to be Chloe Gabriella or Lillian Bleu - depending on her features and who she looked like. But we welcomed our precious Roberta Rae on June 28th with all of the love our hearts could hold, as well as, all of the sorrow. Bob, short for Robert, had nicknamed the baby, Roberta, after himself. That was what everyone called her and that was the name she had been hearing for eight months while Bob spoke to Danielle's tummy. So, Bob and Danielle decided to call her the name she knew, the name she kicked to, the name she swam to and the name she danced to. Her "in utero" name was totally unplanned yet fit her perfectly.

My husband and I are now committed advocates for the stillborn. We will do whatever it takes to enlighten the medical community and parents to be, as well as, to find a cause as to "WHY" when there are or are not any answers.

I don't know if you are familiar with Dr. Jason Collins of The Pregnancy Institute, New Roads, Louisiana. He has been researching the issue of Umbilical Cord Accidents (UCA) for over 20 years. According to research by Dr. Collins and like minded Obstetricians throughout the world, the cord is a definite risk factor contributing to stillbirth and a definite catalyst for stillbirth from 28 weeks onward. And, yes, stillbirth moms are 5 - 10 times more likely to have a recurrent stillbirth. In the words of Dr. Collins, "Why is no one talking about this?"

When you think about it, at one time people had a heart attack and died. That was it - no intervention, it wasn't developed and no one knew the warning signs. Now if you have chest pain and go to the emergency room, the measures taken are incredible. The same is true with a mammogram. Every woman who goes for one knows what the findings may be - but it is better to know why we are going and the importance of the check and deal with the findings - than to be oblivious to the challenge.

All parents to be, as well as, medical personnel should be educated to the possibility and undeniable consequences of an UCA. With 30,000 + stillbirths a year in the USA, and at least 30% of these stillbirths definitely being caused by UCA - it is imperative women are given the facts by their doctors. Once knowledgeable, they can decide their course of action, seek ultrasounds and be proactive for their baby before it is too late.

My brother was killed by a drunk driver when he was 12 back in 1967. I don't think my father ever got over the loss. My mother was amazing. Of course she was filled with grief, but she gathered up the pieces and made our lives as children wonderful. She didn't skip a beat. She laughed, cheered her baseball team on the TV and life went on. I want it to be that way for me, for Danielle and Bob, for everyone who experiences the birth of a precious sleeping one. I don't want the grief to consume us. I want us to be able to smile when we hear the name, Roberta Rae.

Perhaps my sweet stillbirth mom, Kristina, said it best on Facebook, "You don't get over it, you just get through it. You don't get by it, because you can't get around it. It doesn't get better, it just gets different. Everyday...Grief puts on a new face."

I know there is a joy lying ahead for you ~ and ~ you will be able to grasp it. I wish it could be in your possession today ~ but sometimes really wonderful things take time.

In June of 2010 and May 2012, I became "Grammy" to Jacks, Roberta Rae's little brother, and Trent Oscar, Roberta Rae's baby cousin. Joy is returning into my life now as I continue nurturing Roberta Rae's legacy ~ and every baby born still ~ by empowering all expectant moms through education, proactivity and vigilance.

I just recently lost our precious baby boy on August 20th at 37 weeks. I remember being at church and feeling him move then waking up early Monday morning and not feeling him move which was unusual. I took kids to school and my two yearold and I went to the hospital to do my nonstress testing as we always did twice a week I knew something wasn't right that morning and I was correct no heartbeat was found my baby was already in heaven all 9 ponds and 3 ounces. I know how you are feeling I get angry that. He isn't in my arms and I cringe when others ask me how I am. I know they mean well I just wish they wouldn't do that because the tears flow. I would not wish this on anyone I can only hope tut pain eases. My two year old is a blessing in our time of loss for he is always talking about baby Solomon and him being with Jesus. Thoughts and prayers going out for you.

Sincerely, jamie