Monday, February 16, 2015

Clearly haven't been out here for several years, but a recent loss has called me back.  On 9/11/2008 I thought I had experienced my darkest day with the miscarriage of my daughter, Ruby Ellen, at 16.5 weeks gestational age. It was a loss that rocked the foundation of my family, my faith, and my self-worth. I felt helpless and weak in one minute and determined to prove I was strong and able to move forward in the next minute. I took me five years to truly process that loss.
In the spring of 2011 I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. This explained so much - my inability to loose weight despite a healthy lifestyle. It also explained most likely why I lost Ruby.
My mission, take care of my health and move forward. In 2013 our lives changed forever. My husband and I adopted the most amazing little girl and we finally were able to heal the last fissures caused by the loss of our first daughter.
All was great our family was healthy and strong and happy. In October 2014, more amazing news. I was expecting again. I was nervous to be sure, but felt so much more confident. I was healthier than ever, my PCOS was under control, and maybe, just maybe this would be the pregnancy that would take. Being over 35 I had all the genetic tests I could and was cautious.
At 14 weeks we got the results - a healthy baby boy was due in June! Our luck was changing and life was an amazing blessing. We waiting until Christmas to tell our families. They were over the moon!
All was well, I was still in shock. At 21 weeks I had a check up and again everything was great. His heartbeat was strong (153 bpm). My second trimester symptoms were all normal and next week I was scheduled for my level two ultrasound, which we were going to take our daughter to so she could see this baby brother she kept hearing about.
The next day, 2/11/15, was her 3rd birthday. Everything started off great. I had a little cramping, but it was just a little Braxton Hicks - nothing to worry about. The cramping, no, contractions continued.  I called my doctor.  "No discharge?  No bleeding? Could be dehydrated. Take two Tylenol and drink lots of water. Try to nap for an hour and call of anything changes."
I was at work. Took the Tylenol. Tried to drink some water. Felt a gush in my underwear. "I'm not ok." I repeated aloud as I rushed to the bathroom.
Blood. My mucus plug. Fuck, I'm in labor.
I called my husband, he talked with me as he ran out of his classroom and jumped in car nearly 75 miles away from me.
"He's coming. I can feel it." With the next contraction I caught him in my hand. "He's here. He's here."  He wasn't moving, he wasn't breathing. I knew he was already gone.
"Ma'am, are you ok? Do you need help?" "Yes, go to my office and get Michelle."
My coworkers are the best in the world. They rained calm and called 911. I then delivered my placenta in the toilet. This is good. A full and clean labor means no D&C. I was frozen my cell phone in one hand talking to my husband. My dead son in the other. "It's ok baby, it's ok." My rational mind knew he was gone, but the mother in me had to calm and reassure him.
The police and fire EMTs arrived. I was stable. Bp good, heart rate stable, blood sugar normal. What the fuck?!?! He was fine yesterday! I was fine yesterday! WHAT THE FUCK JUST HAPPENED AND WHY DID IT HAPPEN TO US??!?!
They put son and my placenta in a red biohazard bag and took me by ambulance to the hospital. Since I was stable I was able to go to obstetrics rather than ER. I got changed in to a gown and they brought me a supply of post-pardum pads and throw-away underwear. My husband, amazingly, arrived as we did was was with me the whole time.
The admitting nurse was appalled at how the EMTs treated our son like waste. "We figured it was protocol." A few minutes later they brought him to us. Swaddled in a tiny blanket, tucked I to a little white basket with a tiny blue crocheted cap on.
"He's perfect," the nurse said, "such a little doll."
WHAT YHE FUCK? Screamed through my head again.
He WAS perfect, purple from never being oxygenated, and 19 weeks premature. But perfect. He had my nose and lips, dad's ears, long fingers and feet. We just held him and cried and stared and cried and asked why and cried. My heart broke open even wider as my husband, this amazingly strong and caring man, say cuddling his 6oz son, weeping "I do so much for other people's kids, why can't we our own."  We say with him for several hours. Falling more in love with this little boy as each minute passed. "He's right here, but he's not."
"We'd like to keep you overnight for observation."  "No. It's our daughters birthday, and we want to be home with her." "Of course."
We said goodbye to Jack Alden one last time and they took him away.  A couple hours later the brought us a white memory box, "look at this when you need to." It contained his hand and foot prints, his little blue cap, a tiny cloth diaper, and a photo album.  A photo album? No! I want to Renee him in my heart and mind, not a photo of a purple little corpse that isn't my son.
The following days were filled with family and friends. My parents made the arrangements for his cremation. That's a startling thought. Yesterday I was a healthy mom in my second trimester, and today my mother is making funeral arrangements for my son.
He needs to be in a Native pot. It was my husband's family tradition and since he carried the names of his paternal great-grandfathers, it was only fitting. On Saturday was went to the Heard Museum and found a beautiful little put with a butterfly lid. After we purchased it, outside my husband shared it was from the Jimez Pueblo in NM. His Pappa's favorite. It was perfect.
His ashes will be sealed in this beautiful pot this week and Friday, Jack Alden will come home. 

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