Sunday, May 17, 2009

Goodbye, sweet baby Riley

After over a year of trying to conceive our second we were thrilled to learn that finally our efforts had paid off. We were expecting. My pregnancy was so good. Sure, I got sick but nothing like I had with my oldest. We were glowing with the excitement that expecting a miracle brings. Never in our worst nightmares did we ever conceive the pain that we were about to experience, and nothing could have prepared us for it.

We were scheduled for our level 2 ultrasound on May 1st, 2009. We were excited and anxious to discover the gender of our baby. All morning I tried to get baby moving in case they were in a bad position they would be more apt to be able to find out if baby was active. Nothing worked but, since I had not felt a whole lot of activity on any given day, I wasn't too concerned. I just figured I was having a lazy baby. We get pulled back for our ultrasound and the tech was pointing everything out saying "that's the babies head, this is their thigh bone" She moved the wand a bit and I couldn't make out what I was seeing so I asked and she said "that's the babies head and body" the first thing I noticed was their was no heartbeat. The tech quickly left the room to go get the doc. Part of me knew then but another part of me was hoping that she just had it at the wrong angle. The doctor came in looked at the u/s and said "I'm so sorry". Robert and I lost it, our world came to a crashing halt. Our baby was gone. Judging by the baby's measurements they said it had probably happened a few weeks before.

We went to the hospital and began the induction process. I was concerned this would be dangerous, considering my prior cesarean scar, but the doc reassured me that with a preterm delivery there was very minimal risk involved. We arrived at the hospital after arranging childcare, informing work that we wouldn't be in and gathering what we needed for our hospital stay. They started the cytotec around 8pm and I was given another dose every 4 fours until Riley was born. Around 10:30-11pm on Friday I started having mild cramps and back labor. Early the next morning I was in full blown labor. I wanted so badly to get out of bed but the doctor had told me their was a excellent possibility that I would feel pressure as if I had to have a BM and that the baby could fall out on the way or in the toilet, so I refused to leave my bed. I just couldn't bear the thought of that happening. Once full labor began I had an insatiable urge to pee. I was not drinking near enough to compensate for my fluid loss and, since I wasn't on an IV, I was becoming dehydrated. Finally, at about 10 am the doctor came in. We had no expectations to push as the doctor had told us that about 90% or more deliver spontaneously either in bed on while walking to the bathroom. So it was a bit of a shock when he said that he was going to have me start pushing. His hope was that since my water was still intact that, during the process of pushing, my water would break and the baby and placenta would deliver at that point. However, my water refused to break. The doctor said he couldn't believe how good I was doing at pushing and that he couldn't believe that despite that my water still refused to break. I asked him if he could break it manually since that was all that was standing in the way of having the baby but he said it wouldn't be a good idea and that eventually it would break on its own. Suddenly I felt what felt to me like a full sized babies head pop out... either that or a mac truck. It hurt so bad and continued to hurt to the point that it took me several minutes to overcome the pain and keep pushing. I thought I was almost done then learned that I had only delivered a portion of the water bag, a very large portion- DH said it was almost the size of RAs head- but still I was far from done. The rest of the water bag was still in there as was Riley and my placenta. I kept pushing and finally the water broke and Riley was born sleeping at 10:44 am. I continued to push as the placenta did not want to come out. Finally, the doctor ordered for an IV to be hooked to my heprin lock and pit and nubain (a pain med) to be put in my IV. Shortly thereafter the placenta came out and I waited as they clean Riley up and the doc checked to make sure the entire placenta was delivered.

When everything was done we got to finally see Riley. He was so tiny, his entire body was about the size of Robert's hands. We cried for a long time, grieving and thinking of him and the life he missed out on. I wondered what he would have been like, what color would his eyes have been, what color hair, what he would have sounded like, how tall would he have been, so many unanswerable questions.

I know this may sound crazy but even considering the circumstances I had I light bulb moment and thought "I'm a mom". To me, that shows that I consider him no less than my perfect baby boy- just like his brother. We will never forget him, never stop loving him he is our baby, alive or otherwise. I'll be honest, it hurts like hell to have lost him and that may never change but he will have a special place in our hearts for the rest of our lives. I think the only things keeping me sane right now are knowing that and knowing that we still have RA and that he needs us as much as he ever did.

Rest in peace my sweet baby boy! I love you and miss you so much.

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