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Devin Alin 3/6/08


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  #1  
March 15th, 2008, 06:51 PM
lunarmagic's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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This is extremely long... and still not finished yet. There will be 3 parts, only 2 are written so far.

Please be warned this is not a happy story.... this is a stillbirth.


Part II

Once I got dressed in a hospital gown, tucked into the hospital bed, and had my vitals taken the Midwife on call introduced herself. It was one of the Midwives that I had really liked when I had an appointment with her, and I was really glad to see her, glad she was going to be the one taking care of us. She talked to us about the induction and explained that she would be working with the OBs in the hospital to make decisions regarding the induction.

First thing she wanted to do, of course, was to check my cervix to see how far along I was, if at all. This would give them an idea of what they needed to do to start my labor. My very quickly formed opinion was that cervical checks SUCK. She couldn’t reach my cervix at all, and I actually had to prop my fists under my butt to help her out. It hurt like a #####. I gritted my teeth and looked over at Den with a “Holy $#!%!” look on my face.

Result of exam: not dialated, not effaced. Like, at all. I wasn’t surprized or disappointed, I just resigned myself to a very long night at the hospital.

Next order of business was the nurse wanted to get an IV line in me. They didn’t need to use it just yet, but they needed to get the hep lock in. I sighed and Den started asking her if it was really necessary – he was so sweet, trying, even in the midst of tragedy, to find some way to spare me the IV that I hated so very much. I patted his hand and reassured him that they really did need to put an IV in for an induction, and that I’d be okay. I told the nurse about my bad experiences, and she was very careful in putting it in. She put it in my arm/wrist, instead of the back of the hand. She went very slowly, testing it several times before deciding it was going to work just fine. I appreciated her taking the time. The IV in my hand still bugged the hell out of me the entire day, but it wasn’t horrible. But, then again, my definition of horrible had changed drastically at that point.

Someone else came in and took a bunch of vials of blood. They wanted to run tests, and we of course encouraged them to take as much blood and run as much tests as they could – we wanted answers.

The Midwife returned and explained the process they were going to use for the induction: they were going to insert some pills vaginally to soften up my cervix and hopefully get things started. Then, later, when my body was ready for it, they’d hook me up to some pitocin through the IV. I got up to use the bathroom one last time before being confined to bed for an hour (to let the pills absorb). All day, every time I used the washroom, I’d pause on my way out, staring at myself in the mirror. Me with my big round belly and red-rimmed eyes. I didn’t want to look, but I had to every time. It seemed like such a slap in the face every time.

After the pills were inserted Den and I turned on the television and we started the waiting.

The contractions started right away for me. They felt just like the braxton-hicks contractions that I’d been having for the last couple of weeks: I could feel my belly tighten, then release, but it didn’t cause any pain. They were very irregular at first. I’d go 10 or 15 minutes without a contraction, then three in a row. They were also very long contractions, lasting 3 minutes or so. But they weren’t painful, so it didn’t bother me too much. I stopped really paying attention to them and just watched TV.

After an hour and a half I really had to go to the bathroom. I waited for a nurse to come in, and they said it was okay to get up now. I got up and peed. A few minutes later the Midwife came in to talk to me. She asked how I was feeling, if I was contracting. I explained to her what I was feeling: long contractions, irregularly spaced. She told us that she had consulted some more with the OB and they decided to drop my dose down. She said there were two approaches using the pills they had used: a high-dose method and a low-dose method. They initially had gone with the high-dose method but now they were changing their mind. So she wanted to take some of the pills out. I just nodded and said “Okay.” Den looked irritated. So I got another vaginal exam, of sorts, and she rooted around up there to sweep out as much of the pills as she could. This was also unpleasant. But she thought she got it all. She told us they’d check on us in a few hours.

So Den and I spent time watching TV, holding hands. We watched some Law and Order, and I think some Terminator 2. Odd choices, maybe – not that we had much choice on the few channels they had. But it was nice just to get our mind off of what we were doing in the hospital. We were pretty numb at that point. We cried on and off.

People came in our room now and then to talk to us and to express sympathy. They apologised for having to bring things up, but had to talk to us about legalities and what we wanted to happen to Devin after he was born. Things like funeral homes and burials and autopsies. It was such a weird feeling to be talking about these things while I was in labor. I was in a deeply numb kind of state, and didn’t find talking about it all to be too hard. Den found it much harder. He would get very emotional when they’d come in to talk to us. He’d express anger after they left. He didn’t want to think about it, he didn’t want to talk about it.

The contractions were getting more uncomfortable. I was laying propped up in the hospital bed, just watching TV and talking with Den. Sometimes I would make a face as another contraction started. I was still able to concentrate, talk, do whatever. The contractions felt very mild, just a stronger tightening of the belly than they were before. They were annoying me, though – I didn’t want to feel anything at all. So the next time the nurse came in to check on me I asked for some kind of pain med. She said I could get an epidural or just a shot of something in my IV, and I just wanted something in my IV... something to take the edge off, make me a little woozy. That sounded really good. So the midwife came in to check me again – yes, painful yet again – and found that I was 3cm dialated. I was pleased with that. The nurse warned Den that I may become giggly and say very odd things while I was medicated, then she stuck a needle in the IV and put some sort of drug into it. As it flushed into my system I immediately started feeling the room spin in a very pleasant way. People were talking, but I didn't bother even trying to pay attention. My eyes didn’t want to focus on anything. I happily just let go to the sensation of drifting and dozed off.

I drifted in and out for the next hour. I slept for a while, then would wake up a little bit. I got really really hot and kicked off all the blankets I had on me. I could feel my skin radiating warmth. At one point a doctor that Den works with sometimes came in to offer his condolences. I was happy that he came, happy for Den... he trusts this doctor, and I thought he’d feel a little better knowing that he was around and looking out for us.

After a while the drugged feeling wore off and I really had to pee. They said I could get up and use the bathroom, but to be careful because the drug was still in my system. Den helped me and my IV stand navigate to the toilet without falling over – though I really didn’t feel all that woozy anymore.

The contractions were coming back, I could feel them again. We continued to watch TV, and I would just roll from side to side, still propped up with the bed, to take some pressure off my tailbone which was starting to hurt from laying down all that time. The contractions came and went, and I would just breathe and let it go. At first I found myself tensing up a little when I could feel them, and it would start to hurt. Then I realized what I was doing and made myself let go of the tension and just breathe. The pain went away. They were uncomfortable, but not horrible. I remember lifting my head every time a contraction started and ended to peek at the clock and get a rough idea of what they were doing. They were coming every 3 minutes now, lasting about a minute.

The nurse came in and asked if I was still contracting. I told her: every 3 minutes, roughly, lasting about a minute. She strapped a little monitor onto my belly to keep track of contractions. The monitor thing didn’t bother me much at all. I forgot it was there and continued to half watch TV and half sink into myself.

After about half an hour I decided they were getting bad enough to ask for another shot of that stuff. I really missed that numbness. I wanted to float again. The next time the nurse came in I asked if I could have something. She looked over the monitor and said I was contracting pretty good, and suggested that I get my progress checked before deciding what to do – that if I was progressing I might want to consider getting an epidural in place. I agreed. When the midwife came in she checked me: 6cm. I was surprized. Going from 0-3 didn’t surprize me much because I knew early labor could be pretty easy, but how was I at 6 already? The contractions weren’t all that bad! I didn’t even really want the epidural yet, but I agreed that it was best to get it in place now so I’d have it for delivery.

A few minutes later the nurse was back saying that the anesthesiologist was in the OR, but they’d be by soon as they were done in there. I was fine with that. So we waited. And waited. I ended up sitting cross-legged on the hospital bed, as it seemed the most comfortable for getting through contractions. Every time a contraction hit I’d say, “Another one,” then just drop my head to my chest and relax. Den rubbed my back as I got through each one. “Gone,” I’d let him know when it was over. We just kept doing that.

I think we waited about 45 minutes for the anesthesiologist to show up. By the time she got there my contractions required almost all my concentration to relax through them. She was very impersonal, the anesthesiologist – she didn’t even introduce herself (that I can remember). She got her cart in the room, then shuffled around at the counter with a ton of paperwork. She stood there asking me a hundred questions about my medical history. Ever smoke? Drink? Are you on any medications? Have you ever had surgery? Any allergies? Do you have any family history of this or that? On and on and on. All the while I’m contracting every 2 minutes. I was finding it very hard to answer her.... I could barely process what she was saying. After a while I remembered what my instructor said and would just say, “Just a second,” while I was in the middle of a contraction. She responded with, “Whenever you’re ready” – but in a very impatient tone. (Den later said he wanted to punch her. Her attitude just sucked.)

It was getting VERY hard to concentrate on anything at all, and suddenly I realized I really wanted that epidural. I wanted it right now. This was hurting. I remember at one point Den had his hand resting on my leg and I had to ask him to move it, I just couldn’t stand to be touched, everything hurt. I was really trying to relax all my muscles, but my body was tensing up. I layed back against the bed and turned to my right side, hoping that shifting my positions would help. The next contraction that hit was PAIN! I started shaking all over, I couldn’t get my leg out from under the covers, I panicked a little. Den was really worried, he jumped to his feet and asked me what was wrong. “I need to roll over,” I panted. “I need to...” I finally got my leg un-tangled and sat back up in a cross-legged pose. Knowing the anesthesiologist would need access to my back, I shifted around so my back was facing the edge of the bed. It took effort. My whole body was shaking and I wondered how in the hell she was going to get a needle in me... the contractions were coming right on top of each other at that point. I was very worried about that.

The next contraction was the most pain ever.... at least an 8 on the pain scale. I was struggling to relax, but my back was arching and I could feel so much pressure! My body wasn’t listening to me. I was crying out, my body shook uncontrollably. It hurt so very much.

The nurse looked at me with a very concerned, serious look on her face. “Do you feel like you have to push?” I thought for a moment. “Yes... I think I do.” I realized that’s what that pressure had to be... my body was trying to push, and I was fighting it.

The nurse jumped into action, she made me lay down on my back so she could check me. As I opened my legs there was an audible pop and water gushed out. Her fingers had barely touched me when she shouted, “Too late!” and hit the intercom button. “Need people in here NOW!” I was 10cm.

I freaked out and started hyperventillating. “You mean I can’t get anything? Nothing?? I need something. I need something! Can’t I even get something in my IV??” No, she said to me. It’s too late. You need to push now. Concentrate on pushing.

I almost lost my grip on sanity. Another contraction hit and my body pushed, but I was still deep in panic. The nurse on my left side was trying to get my attention, kept saying, “Natalie, look at me. Natalie. Look at me. Concentrate.” I felt like I was flailing around underwater with no air. Then her voice penetrated and I looked into her eyes and I felt suddenly calm. I knew what I had to do. Someone stepped away from my left foot and I asked that someone hold it up. Having my feet pressed against someone’s body just felt so much more secure.

The next contraction started and I took a couple of deep breaths, then held and pushed. It felt [i]good/i] to push. There was still pain, but it was a disconnected kind of pain.... the kind of pain that just spurs you to try harder. I had to keep pushing, as hard as I could... I knew that was the only way to make the pain stop. I’d say it wasn’t more than a 4 or 5 on the pain scale. The contraction stopped and I relaxed... I remember thinking that it should hurt, but I didn’t mind taking a break. Another contraction, another deep breath, another push from the very deepest part of my body. I felt his head come out. “One more push,” they said to me. “The shoulders aren’t as hard as the head.” And sure enough, one more contraction, one more push, and there was a gush of water as Devin was born. I felt him slide out of me. I remember glancing over and noticing the TV was still on, no one had turned it off in all the rush.

Immediately I was trying to sit up. “Do you want him on your chest?” they said. “No,” I replied, “I just want to look at him.” I scooted my butt backwards so I could sit up and look down at him. I started crying, looking down at the still body of my baby. Den was sobbing. The midwives and nurses were all crying too. I saw the midwife unwrap the cord from around Devin’s neck. His skin didn’t look quite right. His skull looked very strange, the plates in his head were very loose and sagging more than a newborn’s ought to. I wanted to look at him, but I wanted them to put a hat on him, dress him. It hurt to look at him like that. They took him away when we said they could. They told us they would bring him back whenever we wanted, that they would wash him and dress him and take care of him.

I layed back in the bed, exhausted physically and emotionally. Den leaned over and hugged me. “You were amazing,” he said to me. We cried and hung on to each other. It was such an amazing experience, giving birth. I was so amazed at what I’d done, what my body had done. I’d do it again. I was in awe of how quickly it all had gone – they hadn’t even gotten to the pitocin. They hadn’t even done a second dose of the pills, which they had intended to do in around 4 hours after the first one. My body responded to those pills and just went into full-fledged labor. From nothing to birth in 6 hours – and I had only had some IV drug in my system for about an hour, the rest was all me. I gave birth without a bit of medicine in my system. I got my natural birth – Devin gave me that gift, and I am thankful.

It should have been the best day of my life.





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  #2  
March 15th, 2008, 07:03 PM
Sebastians_mom
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This was not the way things were meant to end.
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  #3  
March 15th, 2008, 08:04 PM
4boys
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I know that there are no words that are enough. I am so very sorry this happened and you have to go through this. I cry for you.
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  #4  
March 16th, 2008, 08:25 AM
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I am so sorry Nat. Words cannot even begin to express my sympathy for you.
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  #5  
March 16th, 2008, 08:45 AM
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oh, Nat, I'm so sorry. This is not how things should end. You're constantly in my thoughts and prayers.
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  #6  
March 16th, 2008, 08:48 AM
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I'm so very sorry this happened. My heart aches for you.
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  #7  
March 16th, 2008, 10:00 AM
jentanne
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I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts!
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  #8  
March 16th, 2008, 05:59 PM
bessie17's Avatar mommy2caden&adisyn
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I'm am so sorry Nat. I pray for you, Den and Devin every day.
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  #9  
March 16th, 2008, 06:36 PM
Coffee_Bean's Avatar Cuz I got it like that!
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I am so sorry that this has happened to you and your family. I am always thinking of you guys and I will forever hold you in my prayers.
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  #10  
March 16th, 2008, 06:37 PM
CandiceN's Avatar Sam & Alex's mommy!
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I am so so sorry Nat. I can't even imagine how it feels to have to go thru this.
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  #11  
March 16th, 2008, 07:09 PM
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My heart is breaking for you. You have been in my prayers constantly.
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  #12  
March 16th, 2008, 08:16 PM
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No words can express how touching and sad your birth experience was. It should not have ended this way.
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  #13  
March 16th, 2008, 08:20 PM
Bermuda Girl's Avatar Andrea Jack & Olive's mom
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Oh Nat, my heart is breaking for you and your family. Thank you for sharing Devin's story with us. You are never far from my thoughts.
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  #14  
March 16th, 2008, 08:44 PM
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Natalie, My heart breaks for you and your dh. Reading your story was really hard for me. I have feel empathy in every word typed. I wish things like this didn't happen, I wish babies didn't just die. I'm 3 1/2 years into my journey and there is still a heart-stabbing pain I feel when I look at my son's photos.

God Bless you and your family Natalie, God bless Devin who was born an Angel. I hope it helps to know that the only emotion he ever knew was Love, no child should ever have to suffer and our Angels never will.
I'm so sorry and I'm here if you ever need to talk.
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  #15  
March 16th, 2008, 09:32 PM
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There are not even words to explain how sorry I am for what you had to go through. This is not how this story was supposed to end, but I'm sure you don't want to hear that either. My heart breaks for you. I want you to know that you, Den and your sweet little angel will all be in my prayers.
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  #16  
March 18th, 2008, 03:55 PM
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I am amazed at how well you did, I am not sure I could have and I know at the moment you probably felt so lost and out of control, but you did it.

I am deeply sorry for the loss of your beautiful boy, but in some ways I notice you seemed to have gained something too.

You are an amazing person and words will never fully express my thoughts and feelings.

Thank you for sharing and you are right, it does feel better to push.
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  #17  
March 20th, 2008, 08:48 PM
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I know theres nothing i can say that will numb your pain, but i am so sorry for your loss, i cannot put myself in that situation. You are a really strong woman, i'm so sorry things ended this way.
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  #18  
March 22nd, 2008, 07:14 AM
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Nat, I'm not from your DDC, but I've been following your story from the beginning (I always keep an eye on the new DDCs). I am so shocked and hurt to be reading this! You are an amazing woman, and an amazing mother! Devin is so lucky to have you for his mommy! You and Denis and Devin will be in my prayers!

Don't feel guilty, there was NOTHING you could have done. You're a perfect mother! You are so strong, hun! You are an incredible example to us all. Keep clinging to Denis and don't let this drive you apart. We love you both and we love your beautiful little boy. We're praying for your physical comfort as well as emotional comfort, and for a second miracle baby for you in God's time, with or without medical help.
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