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Joey's Birth Story

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August 20th, 2009, 09:07 PM
Super Mommy
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: CT
Posts: 982
Written Monday, 4/6/09 by Kathryn…Joey’s Mommy…to remember the amazing birth that allowed us to meet and cherish our son one last time before giving him back to God. The sweetest little angel who brought us so much joy in just 9 short months; each kick was a blessing, his strong-willed personality we came to know and love through ultrasounds and how purposefully he kicked the waist band of my pants. Every night we fell asleep with Tom’s hand on my belly, and if Tom took his hand off, Joey would go nuts as if looking for that connection with his Daddy. When Jamie would talk to my tummy sometimes Joey would stop to listen, and others it seemed he was trying to play with his big brother. We were all bonded so tightly to our Joey, we are so blessed to have had that connection. What I wouldn’t give to have him with us, to hold him one more time, to hear his cry, to see his smile and to gaze lovingly into each others eyes as I was so blessed to do with Jamie. I held our Joey under my heart for 40 weeks and 2 days, in my arms for just 6 short hours, but I will hold him IN my heart forever. My love for him is like no other, and he will be forever remembered.

Thursday night (4/2, our due date!) I had some regular contractions for about 3 hours, then they stopped and we went to bed. I noticed Joey was quiet but thought nothing of it. I really noticed Friday morning that Joey was very quiet and I was going to try and get him to move then go to my afternoon 40wk1d appointment with the hopes of meeting our little guy this weekend.

I was never able to feel him move, and when Tom and I arrived for our NST could not find his heart beat. Ultrasound confirmed and one of our wonderful doctors gave us the devastating news that Joey had passed away. In my heart I knew, I think all morning. So after Tom and I had a good cry, I called my Dad (I wanted him to tell my mom, I just couldn't do it) and we talked about our options. We decided we absolutely could not face anyone still pregnant, especially our son Jamie. The office made some calls and we headed to the hospital to be induced. Tom's parents had Jamie and were planning on keeping him overnight so we called them and gave them the option of telling Jamie or not, whatever they were comfortable with. They would bring him to us when our Joey was born so he could see his brother and we could tell him at the hospital before he saw Joey. My parents met us at the hospital after we got settled, and stayed with us all night. Unexpectedly my dads two sisters showed up at the hospital. While that was a little overwhelming, they had some hugs and nice words for us and offered a great distraction for early labor.

We talked about our options with the docs and nurses and knew that we wanted pictures and as many memories as possible of this night and the next day. Our nurses were amazing. The first nurse we had (from 5pm-11pm) was a nurse I had met 2wks previous when my bp was up. I was so thankful that she was there for me again. It was comforting to have someone familiar there for me. Our resident on call (until 7am Sat.) was also amazing. A male doc I had never met before, but he reminded us of a very dear friend of ours both in looks and personality, which was also comforting. Despite everything, I was SO excited about the birth story we came away with. It was empowering and a way I can remember Joey in a positive light.

Upon arriving I was 2-3cm and soft so we decided to go right to the pitocin and not bother with mesoprostil or a foley in my cervix. The doc was confident that because this was our 2nd child I'd be fine. They started inching the pit up by 2 every 15mins. Our parents arrived, then my Dad’s two sisters arrived unexpectedly. We were talking with them and going in and out of chit chat and grief. But it was a good distraction and I really was not feeling much by way of contractions..I could feel them but they were not painful. Finally the nurse came in to put a monitor on because I wasn’t feeling the contractions, and I had made it clear that I have a high tolerance for pain, they needed to make sure the pit wasn’t overdoing it on my uterus. At this point they were coming every 4-8 mins.

Finally the aunts left around midnight and my parents went into the room next door to try and sleep in some recliners. The nurses were so accommodating, they broke all the visitation rules for us. At this point I was exhausted both emotionally and physically and although the contractions were getting closer they were not getting stronger. But I needed to sleep so I did not get out of bed, I put the head of the bed down and tried to sleep. Our bodies are so incredible…how the mind and body protect each other. I needed to sleep in order to go through this incredibly emotional birth process, and I actually fell asleep for a little over 2 hours. My mom told me tonight that when she saw that I was not feeling the contractions on such strong dose of pit, she went and told my dad that subconsciously it was the fact that I didn’t want to let him go yet, I was not ready. As long as he was inside me, he was mine….and she was exactly right. But after I rested, I was more able to face the inevitable. The nurse came back in around 4:30 and I got out of bed to be more upright. Contractions were 2-4mins apart but really wimpy and the nurse was absolutely confused because the pit was turned up to 20! My body actually defied the drugs. The nurse changed the bag because she thought maybe it was a weak solution of pit. At 5 the doc came in to check me and I was 4-5cm so he decided to break my water. I agreed.

As soon as he left the room my contractions started getting stronger. I stayed in bed for a little breathing through each one to let Tom sleep a little more. He was feeling sick because of the emotional stress and I needed him to rest so he could support me later. I asked to use the shower but the nurse had to “check” because they wanted to monitor my contractions Finally at 7:15 I was able to get in the shower, but it did little as there was a really small shower head and shower and it was a little uncomfortable. But I didn’t want to move. I just wanted to be alone. I was able to cry. When I started vocalizing a little through the contractions Tom heard me and came in to support me. He was amazing. He put counter pressure on my back and hips and I was sitting on a chair with the warm water running down my leg, even just that was a little bit comforting. I didn’t realize the contractions were getting closer but they were definitely stronger. I apparently had 3 within a 5minute period (Tom was timing without telling me). Finally I wanted to get out of the bathroom. I sat on the edge of the bed and leaned forward on Tom, vocalizing during each contraction. The vocalization not only helped the contractions but also helped me let out a little of the emotions I was feeling. Some contractions I decided to stand and rock and I would sink down a little letting Tom support me. At one point I was on the fence about pain meds. It was such a bittersweet time. I really wanted to FEEL every second just to make it more real, but with the emotional stress I didn’t know how much more I could handle at that point. Probably around 8:45am Saturday. The nurse came in to explain my options. Epidural I was afraid of because I didn’t want a needle in my back. But my other options were nubain and benedryl to help me rest between. I knew I was getting close to the end and the last thing I wanted was to be sleepy when my baby was born.

So the nurse left. I started getting louder, contractions closer, and Tom knew I was ready to push, I was in denial. I thought it might feel better to push but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. So with each contraction I just tried to open my pelvis as much as possible and I started to feel him descend. After calling the nurse on the call button and her not showing up, Tom finally ran to the door as he could hear in my voice I was starting to push in little bits before I was even admitting it. Finally he ran to the door and my mom was there and he said “Get someone now! Kathryn is pushing!” I called to him and he ran back to me and I was sitting on the edge of the bed and I just HAD to push. I felt rushes of fluid but all I could think of was “CRAP! I am SITTING! A baby can’t come out with me sitting! The exit is blocked!” In my head I was laughing at the situation. As the nurse came sprinting in the room I was trying to get my legs up on the bed. She helped and the doc (a woman I hadn’t met, but ended up being amazing) ran in. With one leg on the bed one leg off another contraction came and the nurse said “don’t push we need to make sure you are ten!” I screamed “I can’t not push!” and the nurse and Tom coached me through blowing. I couldn’t believe I was actually able to do it and it felt better than all out pushing. I knew there was no way I was NOT fully dialated feeling like that…it was a “duh” moment. So miss “I will never scream like those weird ladies on A Baby Story” screamed like a mad woman the last seconds of the delivery as baby crowned. But again, it felt better than all out pushing. When the doc told me I could push my response was “I don’t want to!” lol. Pushing is the one thing I’m really afraid of. I was afraid of tearing, I was afraid of the loss of control that pushing brings and most of all, I knew my baby was not going to cry when he came out. The doc said “Its okay, you are going to have a baby on the next contraction whether you push or not.” As she yelled into the nurse’s call button that she needed an attending for a delivery. From the first real push to baby being fully out was MAYBE ten minutes. At 9:16am our little boy was welcomed into the world born asleep. And the attending doc walked in 5mins later as the resident was cleaning me and the nurse was drying and wrapping up our little Joey for us to hold.

When Joey came out I said “wow I feel better!” and then looked at Tom and said “how does he look”. The doctor and Tom both said instantaneously that Joey was precious and peaceful. He really just looked like he was sleeping. The nurse finished with Joey and I insisted Tom go hold his son first. He will never forget that moment and after carrying Joey for 9 months, I am beyond happy that Tom got to hold him first on the outside. It is a moment he will never forget. When Tom handed Joey to me I was flooded with emotions, but especially LOVE. I was in love with my little boy. He had his brother’s little nose and blond hair, and he was one of the two most beautiful boys I have ever seen. Tom went to tell my parents that Joey had arrived and told them I wanted them to come see and hold their grandson. They were also extremely emotional but my mom said she is so glad she got to do that. Tom called his family and they brought Jamie to the hospital. Tom had the horrible job of telling him his little brother had died inside mommy’s tummy. And he was angry. He would not talk to anyone and just looked out the window. He and Tom’s parents and brothers came into the room and Jamie stood next to the bed looking up at me and Joey once in awhile. I just told him that if he wanted to see Joey he could hop up on the bed and snuggle with me at any time. Finally the family left the room and Tom started watching tv with Jamie and I just held and looked at Joey. Finally Jamie asked to hold Joey and we got the sweetest picture in the entire world that we will treasure forever.

To make a long story short, we were moved up to OB recovery (thankfully not with a bunch of new moms) and our priest came to visit us. Finally our family went home about 2pm. Tom and I spent some more time with Joey, but the bruising on his face was becoming more pronounced and we wanted happy memories of our beautiful boy. So at 3:15pm we called the nurse and gave our baby back to God. It was the most beautiful and most difficult day of my entire life. Feeling the entire labor and birth validated it in my mind…the day was real for me.

The resident came to talk to us before we were brought to recovery and said that Joey’s omphalocele looked fine. That they have good reason to believe that there was a cord accident, as when Joey’s head was born she tried to loosen the cord from his neck as they usually do when the cord is there, and she could not. I’m sure there were other signs when she examined him, but I don’t want to know. We declined any further more invasive examinations of Joey, we think he has been through enough. But they did do some clotting testing on me so we would know if we choose to have any more children.

Jamie is handling this in an incredible way. He is acknowledging Joey’s death, asking questions, expressing sadness, talking about Joey as an angel. It is so healing for us. We are doing okay, all things considered. The sadness comes in waves. Our family is amazing and little text messages and emails from our friends give us strength to get through the day. We are so thankful we had our Jamie to come home to…we miss Joey so much though. My milk is coming in right now and the physical reminders that I am recovering from a birth are horrendous to experience. But at the same time, I don’t want them to end because they connect me to my Joey.
Married to my best friend Tom since 2004 (together since 1999)
Mommy to two little boys:
Jamie ~ 7-12-04 ~ fun, crazy, transformer loving tough-guy mama's boy
Joey ~ 4-4-09 ~ born sleeping ~ held under my heart for 40wk1d, in my arms for just 6 short hours but he will be in my heart forever
And finally holding my little girl,Felicity Rose, Born into Daddy's loving hands on June 9, 2010

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