Shattered-A Personal Story Of Loss

Folder: 
Grief & Grieving

 

 

 

In 1988, May 4'th to be exact, at not even yet the age of 23, I was going into my 5'th month of my third pregnancy.

I went to the doctor for my regular checkup.

I had heard the baby's heart beat for the first time (and only time) only 2 weeks before.

All was fine...then.

On this day, however, my doctor could not find a heartbeat anymore.



She did an ultrasound...that machine was too old, she said, and sent me to her larger office to have one done there. It was done, the tech took us into the office, where my doctor was on the phone from the hospital, she said...


'The technician thinks she see's a cyst on the baby's neck and I need you to come to the hospital for an ultrasound here. I will meet you when you get here.'

So off we went again...me thinking,

'O.K. there may be something wrong with my baby and we need to be ready for it.'



Once there...I was taken in for yet another ultrasound

(the doctor hadn't met me yet as she was in an emergency c-section)

The tech there did the ultrasound...saying nothing...my husband was outside the room at the time. Then my doc came in, stood on the other side of me and the tech spoke to her...'I don't see anything.'

Now, he could have been talking about the cyst for all I knew,

but my 'Mother's heart' knew that was not what he meant. 


My doctor put her hand on my cheek and said these words I shall never forget...

'Cathy...Your baby is not alive.'




My world, at that instant...shattered.  




From there, they wanted to do an amnio, to try and find out why this happened.

After 3 painful attempts with the large needles, they gave up, as there was not even enough fluid to be had anymore.

At that point, someone from the hospital admin came in...all official and told me that they could not do a D&E (dilation and evacuation) there due to state abortion laws!!!

*huh?*

It wasn't even a Catholic hospital and my baby had died already, but you figure THEY know what they are talking about.



Now for the record...I am against abortion for any reason and always have been.

So, my doc said I would have to decide whether to have the D&E done elsewhere, or have labor induced,

go through all the pain with a not happy outcome.

'Go home and think about it, and I will call you tomm.' she said.

It didn't take me long to know that I wanted to go through the pain of labor...if only to see and hold my tiny child one time.

Just once...



Later, at home, she called and told me she had forgotten that my previous child was a c-section and that inducing labor could damage my uterus and cause infertility. Therefor, and also due to the fact that I had started having severe headaches, due to, she said, the placenta re-absobing into my body...I would have to have the D&E done at a place she recommended and had sent other women to also for the same reason.

She gave me the number to call.

It was a Woman's Pregnancy Clinic...they set it up for 2 days later.




For the next 2 days...my Sweet Baby and I were together, me, in a mind-numbing grief.

I cried, alone, in my bed, holding and rubbing my little baby-belly.

I had no one else to hold on to. No support or shared tears from my husband, which was the norm anyway.



The day of the appointment came, and with it...nightmares that are still with me to this day.



I figured all these people knew best...I was in shock and grieving.

On the day it was schedualed, my husband I went.


When we got in there, signed in, etc...as I sat there and saw 13 yr old and up girls/women sitting all around, none showing signs of advancing pregnancy...and it was then, that in utter disbelief, I realized this was an abortion clinic!!



I wanted to run, screaming!!!


But I had been told by my doc that the re-absorbing was posioning my body and this HAD to be done.

I figured..'ok...they will treat me ok, since my baby had died'...in my mind, what could I do...where could I go?

Boy, how very wrong I was.

 

And so the nightmare continued...they took me in for a urine sample. The nurse called me back, out there, right in the hallways, holding my file that had, written in red, right across it...'Fetal Demise' and said to me loudly...'Are you SURE that you're pregnant?! Your urine came back negative!'

(The pregnancy HCG levels drop to nothing in a situation as this)


I stiffly said...'I am 5 months pregnant! My baby died inside of me!!'

She said...'Oh...I didn't realize(hello...the file? In red?) Just go sit back in the waiting room and we'll call you in'.

So, back I went. They then called me in for blood work. The nurse handed me my file with ultrasound pictures right on the front with a paperclip, told me to carry it with me for the rest of my time there that day.

And there, right there in front of me, was my precious, sweet little dead baby...looking at me.

I hadn't even seen any pictures till that point!


I just stared at my sweet child as still more tears ran down my face in silent screams.

The nurse drawing the blood left me sitting there, looking at my baby while she discussed her daughter's pizza party on the phone with someone for about 10 minutes.



After that...I was sent into a room with 3 other girls, gave a lady my file, sat down and 2 woman were there to 'talk' to us.

One said...'O.K. we have to do this by law...but do you all understand that you have other options besides abortion?'


I said....not nicely now and still crying...'I HAVE NO OTHER OPTIONS!! MY BABY IS DEAD!!!'
Only then did one of them look at my file and told the other lady to take the other girls out that 'this was diferent situation'(of course...don't upset the young girls or they might loose their 'business')

Then the woman attempted to become 'counselor' and told me to talk, if I wished to the cashier, I would see next, saying...'She just lost a baby to stillbirth in her 9'th month' (AND SHE WORKED THERE!!!) I think not...thank you.

 

So next, came the cashier...all business...'That's $500.00...will that be cash or charge?'

I simply paid and went to await the next horror they would put me through...

 

Which was the worst.



I went in to see a 'doctor' who had to insert laminaria(a seaweed-to dilate my cervix naturally and avoid damage) When he came into the room...I was sitting up on the table looking at my baby in the picture and sobbing severly. He looked at me funny and said in a non-human tone...

'Stop crying! There's a dead thing inside you and we have to get it out!'



I was numb...I was so hurt, angry and devastated...I wanted so bad to run from there, yet there was still that voice saying...and go where? No hospital would do this procedure!! WHY!???

I never did find that out.



All through this day I was spoken to by young girls who saw me crying, who would say, patting my hand as though they had been through 'it' before...

'It'll be ok' they would say.

To which I'd answer...

'That's NOT what I am here for. I WANT my baby, but that's impossible...my baby has died inside me.'
They would look shocked and some would say things like...

'I don't really want to do this...my mother/boyfriend/etc is making me.'

I told them..it was THEIR decision...no one else's.

 

Needless to say, they all had their 'killing procedures' done that day.



I at least, in the midst of the most terrible grief I have ever felt, tried to save other babies even if I couldn't save my own.  


So after a few more hours of waiting, while my husband, never the emotional OR supportive type, sat there watching sports on an overhead tv and of no help to me...finally, my name was called for the procedure...I was taken into the room and told them, as I had told everyone that day while there...

'I want to know the sex of my baby!'



I had been calling the baby Andy/Andi for Andrew or Andrea, which was the name we had choosen weeks before. I was always met with confused looks and...

'Why do you want to know that for?'

and the one's that did know my baby had died, would add...

'Just forget this...move on and try again.'

Still I begged them...

'Please, I NEED to know'



As they were putting me under, my last remembrance was putting my hand on my belly and saying...

'Good bye, my sweet little baby Andy/Andi...I love you with all my heart!! Goodbye...'  



Then I awoke later, in a small curtained area, on a vinyl, low 'bed' that was stained from those before me, to hear nurses laughing and mocking other patients as they slept, orderly's transporting women back from their 'procedures', lauging and mocking the overweight ones they had to carry as they uncerimoniously 'dropped' them onto their 'beds' and the moans of other women.



I knew I had to get out of there asap!!!



I was dizzy, nauseated and weak...but I dressed myself and and told them I was leaving...NOW!

I asked the sex of my baby...they blew me off. My doc had spoke to them before I arrived and ordered testing done to find out why my baby died...

They never did do any of it and that too would have shown the sex of my child.

They simply tore my little precious baby into pieces and God only knows what they did with him or her after that!! And if I ever try and think about that too much...it brings more terrible, utter grief, pain and sobbing tears.



So I stumbled out of there, in a grief I never knew could exist.



For 8 years I suffered in agonizing grief...even though I had another baby-a 3rd son, in Oct. 1989 and my first and only daughter in Dec. 1993...I blamed doctors, myself, my husband, God and anyone I could!!

I was bitter, hurt and had lost my faith.

After my son was born in 1989...I also suffered the 2 very early misscarriages.

I went through life at that time, NEVER knowing why any of these losses had happened.

Until years later and my diagnosis of Lupus, that is, which included a blood clotting disorder that is now tested routinly in pregnant women due to its commoness.

A simple baby aspirin a day, which is what they use now when a woman has this disorder,

(Anti-cardiolipin or Anti-phospholipid Syndrome) would have saved all my babies!!

I have four children...here on earth...and 3 precious little babies in Heaven. I have healed now and my faith is restored, through the help of a very dear freind, an Amish woman named, Esther.



I have gone on...but a part of me will forever remain, shattered by the loss of my precious little Andi/Andy and my other two tiny, tiny babies, who I miscarried very early in the couple of years after.

 

But someday...someday, we will all be together again, in Heaven and my aching arms will be full again, at last.

 

 

 

 

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written:2001

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