"When a soul recognises the will of God and shows a readiness to submit to it entirely, then God gives Himself to such a soul and renders it most powerful succour under all circumstances." - Rev. Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Levi's Story: Part 1

In honor of Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day, I'm sharing our experience of losing a baby. 

Logan and I got married in June 2009 and found out we were pregnant in August! That December, we found out we were having a boy and decided his name would be Levi Anthony. We were so excited! Here's the beginning of his story. It was originally written in 2010, a few months after it happened. Like I said before, it was a traumatic experience for us and it involves blood, pain, and tears. So, it may be difficult to read! Just want you to prepare yourself :)

Three days after Christmas, I was 22 weeks pregnant. We had a few friends over that night, and while everyone was over, I began to feel like I was having menstrual cramps. I had done some painting earlier in the day, so I thought maybe my body was just recovering from a rather active day. I went to sleep hoping it would subside after I rested. I had talked to Logan about it, and he agreed that I just needed to sleep. We got into bed around 11:30 p.m., and for the next hour, cramps kept waking me up. Since I know that true contractions come in regular intervals, I started to take note of the time when I woke up from the cramps. It didn’t take long to notice that each moment of pain was pretty close to the previous one. Being a nurse, I started to feel that things just weren’t right. But, I tried to convince myself that I was just making a big deal out of nothing – it very well could have been Braxton-Hicks contractions, which are completely normal. Plus, it was late and my next doctor’s appointment was actually that following morning, so I decided to just wait until then to seek medical attention.

At 12:30 a.m., it felt like my pants were wet, so I went to the bathroom to check it out. Logan woke up as I was walking across the room to the bathroom, and he asked, “Are you okay?” Being honest, I replied simply, “No.” The cramping had not gotten any better, and I still hadn’t fallen asleep, so I guess you could say I was a bit grouchy about it. I reached the toilet and when I looked down, my heart skipped a beat – there was blood. “Logan!” I called out frantically. “I’m bleeding…” Logan brought me my cell phone so I could call my doctor’s answering service. As I waited for the receptionist to connect me to the on-call doctor, I realized my legs were shaking, even though I was sitting down. No matter how much I tried to calm myself, my legs kept shaking. Up until that night, my pregnancy was going perfectly. In fact, my doctor had said at my last appointment that things were “looking hunky dory”. I was thrown off by this sudden cramping and bleeding, and despite my nursing school background, I had no idea what could have been happening.

After a very long minute, the on-call doctor, Dr. S, picked up. I explained what was going on, and she asked, “Do you feel the baby moving?” My body relaxed a little as I realized I had indeed felt Levi kicking as I had walked to the bathroom a few minutes before. Dr. S told me to just get off my feet and drink some water, but that if the bleeding increased or the cramping got worse, to go to the hospital. I felt a little better, but still couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong. Right after I hung up with her, Logan brought me some water to drink. I tried to lie down after a few sips but couldn’t because the pain suddenly got worse. I didn’t understand what was going on. Was I in labor? Had I been having contractions the past few hours and never realized it? The questions kept popping up in my head. Logan asked me if I thought we should go to the hospital. “I don’t know” was my response. I went to the bathroom again to see if the bleeding had decreased, but it had also gotten worse. We immediately decided to go to the hospital.

I quickly put on some pants in place of my pajamas and grabbed a jacket and my purse. Logan quickly changed as well, and then we were out the door. As Logan was locking the front door, I suddenly felt a wave of nausea. I told Logan weakly, “I feel like I’m going to throw up.” He rushed back inside to get some plastic bags in case I threw up in the car. Without warning, I threw up right there in our front yard.

From then on, it was like a bad dream. The nausea seemed to disappear, but the pain seemed to increase. It would come and go, just like contractions, and as much as I tried to relax and breathe through them, things just didn’t get better. It felt like the longest ride to the hospital, despite there being no traffic at almost 1:00 in the morning. Every time I would start moaning in pain, Logan would speed up. We pulled up to the hospital, parked, tried to walk as quickly as possible inside (I think I had to stop once when I felt a surge of pain), and took the elevator to the emergency room. There were only 2 or 3 people sitting in the waiting room, but we didn’t have to wait. The triage nurse asked a couple of questions, and then picked up the phone to call the Labor and Delivery Unit. Another employee then came in with a wheelchair, and we immediately went upstairs to L & D.

They brought us into a room, and one nurse had several papers for me to sign and also started asking a lot of questions. I was still in pain, which made signing papers and answering questions a bit difficult. Logan helped as much as he could, to my relief. When the paperwork was done, I was given a hospital gown to change into. After changing, I got into the bed (which more of a stretcher than anything, since I wasn’t in a typical L&D room). From that point on, several nurses were in and out of my room constantly. One of the nurses checked to see if I was still bleeding and said in surprise, “Oh! You are bleeding.” They called the on-call doctor and several tests and procedures were ordered. Two nurses tried to draw blood and start an IV, and it took two attempts. While they were in the process of sticking me with a needle, another contraction (as I will call them) began. I started moaning, and it took some effort to not move around and mess up the nurses’ attempts. They apologized for the needle sticks, and I tried to explain that it wasn’t the needle that hurt – it was my uterus. One of the nurses felt my stomach and commented that it was really hard. They weren’t picking up contractions on the monitor, but it was obvious that I was in pain and that it was due to my tense uterus. The blood was drawn, an IV was started, and they hung a bag of fluids.

The ultrasound tech rolled in the ultrasound machine, since it was one of the procedures ordered. I was lying on my left side, since it was the least painful position to be in, but the tech asked me to lie on my back for the ultrasound. I reluctantly agreed. As she was rolling the transducer over my abdomen, another contraction started. I started moaning yet again and tried not to squirm around so she could get an accurate picture on the ultrasound. The tech asked me to lie on my left side for a minute. I heard Levi’s heartbeat, strong and rapid. The tech then asked me to lie on my back again. As soon as I moved, the heartbeat changed drastically. Quickly, the ultrasound tech instructed me to lie back on my left side and to stay that way. She had a sense of urgency in her voice that I knew was not a good sign. I also knew that Levi was not handling the contractions well, and I wondered how this was all going to end. I just didn’t want to think about it.

To be continued

1 comment:

  1. Oh I can't imagine the fear you must have experienced once you realized the situation was truly dire. <3

    ReplyDelete

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