I woke up on Sunday, May 1st, 1994, depressed.
I was 26 weeks pregnant. I walked into the living room silent and sad. My husband immediately asked if I was ok. “I don’t feel pregnant anymore,” I mumbled. Words didn’t even want to come out of me. Putting his hands on my belly, he tried to reassure me, I was still pregnant.
What I didn’t know was yes, I was still carrying our son, however, he was no longer alive.
I had never felt the way I did that morning. I couldn’t explain it. I didn’t want to talk to anyone, I just wanted to be alone. I don’t feel pregnant anymore just kept rolling through my head.
So I went to work. Being Sunday it would be quiet and I could sit with my sad self.
I figured I was being crazy. This was my first pregnancy that had gone this far. I had an ectopic pregnancy in my early 20’s. I talked myself out of the feeling I was having, and poured myself into work.
Monday I woke feeling the same. My boss and Montana mom followed suit, trying to reassure me like my husband. She encouraged me to call my doctor too. “If you’re worried, you pick up that phone and call your doctor, that is what they are there for.” My next pre-natal appointment was in two days. I didn’t want to be a bother. It was ‘just pregnancy jitters,’ I told myself, everything was fine, I was sure.
Until Wednesday. I shared my feelings with my doctor. He wanted to put my mind at ease so we listened for the heartbeat. Not finding one he said, “don’t worry yet.” The hospital was next door and they had better equipment so off I went. Deep down I knew something was wrong. My co-workers tracked down my husband who met me at the hospital. Without much of a wait I walked into the ultrasound room and laid on the table. Staring at the stupid poster of basset hounds tacked to the ceiling, the tears started to roll as I heard “we can’t find the heartbeat.”
I knew something was wrong. Yes, I didn’t feel pregnant. But no heartbeat? We never considered losing our baby. We were sent home to pack our bags, take some time and return, so labor could be induced.
I thought the tears would never stop. I was numb, in disbelief, lost, and confused. What was happening?
Living at the top of a hill on a private road full of switch backs, we get no visitors or solicitors. I loved this home. Our first, we were going to start our family here. We hadn’t painted the babies room yet or bought furniture. I had an outfit or two, that was it. We packed our bags through blurry eyes and made our way to the car. We were met by two gentlemen dressed in suits. Missionaries, who walked up our private road, that day of all days. More tears and anger. Was this God’s way of stopping by? Maybe. All I know is I was NOT ready for him. In fact, I was pretty pissed at the big guy.
I don’t remember the drive.
Arriving at the hospital I was mad. I kept it inside though and thought things like… Would I hear other mothers giving birth? To babies they would get to hold and mother and take home? Why is this happening? This isn’t fair! The staff told us what to expect and encouraged us to hold our baby. My husband made it clear he couldn’t be in the delivery room at our little’s birth. I completely understood and shared I wanted, and needed, to hold and spend time with our baby.
We didn’t find out the sex during the pregnancy. We wanted to be surprised. Instead we were devastated.
My heart ached. There were no more tears. They induced labor. Our doctor was heaven sent, so kind and compassionate. Just before 2 am our son Calvin Steven arrived, May 5, 1994, still and silent. All I wanted to do was hold him. When they put him in my arms, wrapped in that soft hospital blanket I couldn’t do anything but smile. Our son. He was beautiful. All 2lb 14 oz of him. His upturned nose, tiny hands and fingers. He was perfect. And standing next to me was my husband, tears rolling down his cheeks, waiting to hold our son.
The nurses were concerned, for that brief time during labor, delivery, and going home I didn’t cry. I was temporarily cried out. I was truly happy to finally hold our baby in my arms. I took whatever time I could get.
All I know is I cried a lot, for months, once I left the hospital, without our baby.
… to be continued …