Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Finding Out

Tuesday, June 9th was our oldest son's birthday. I was 9 months pregnant, had been having contractions and was tired. We went bowling with some friends and family.
The next evening, June 10th, I went out shopping for my doctor and nurse.

My OB and my nurse were wonderful. Knowing I would have the baby soon, I wanted to get them each a thank-you gift. So I went to a local Christian book-store and got an engraved cross statue thing for my doctor, then I went across the street to Lowe's and got a hanging plant for the nurse. I wrote out their cards, packed stuff in the car and went to bed.

The morning of June 11th was a crazy morning. Our son was going with me to the doctor's appointment as he had so many times before. The house was a mess, we were running late, and my patience was wearing thin. I arrived at the doctor's office thinking I was 15 minutes late. Turns out I had the appt time wrong and was an hour late! They said it would be okay and could probably work me in.
I went and sunk down into a waiting room chair and started to cry. "I HAVE to be seen today!" I thought.

They were able to get me in right away. I did the standard pee-in-a-cup, take your blood pressure, and so forth. Sat down in the exam room. Dr. E* came in and chatted with me. I told him how ready I was to have this baby! Pregnancy was wearing on my body and I was ready to hold my baby! He checked my ankles for swelling (thank you doctor, for NOT referring to them as "cankles," though that would have been an accurate description).

I laid back on the bed and he got out the doppler. Every visit the doctor listens to Sullivan's heartbeat. He couldn't hear one.
So he had me lay on my side. Still nothing. .......

Finally a little bit of a beat. Very slow compared to what a baby's should be.

"Is his heart okay?" I said, "It sounds awful slow."
"I agree." Replied Dr. E.

He left the room and the nurse came in to get me across the hall for an ultrasound.

I sat in there (remember, 6 yr old in tow) and waited. I didn't think my baby was dead, but I knew something was up. I started singing "Blessed Be The Name of the Lord."
"Blessed be your name, when the road is paved with suffering,
though there's pain the offering, Blessed be your name.
Blessed be the name of the Lord, Blessed be your name, Jesus.
Blessed be the name of the Lord, Blessed be your glorious name.
You give and take away, You give and take away...
When the darkness closes in Lord, still I will say, Blessed be the name of the Lord..."

Dr. E came in and fired up the ultrasound machine. Started scanning and scanning my belly with the wand. Not saying anything.
"Tell me what you're seeing, talk to me." I said.
Then Dr. E showed me on the screen all 4 chambers of the heart and how there was absolutely no movement. There was no heartbeat. The one we had heard earlier was my own.

It took a minute to sink in.

"So (pause) he's gone?" I asked.

I will never forget the look on Dr. E's face as he nodded. I'm sure it was the same look of shock and horror that was on my own face. Some would probably say a doctor shouldn't express such surprise or emotion. I say phooey on that. I am SO glad that my OB loved my baby so much that he too was horrified when the baby died. I want an OB that loves babies and is visibly moved when something goes wrong. I've said many times over that I adore Dr. E and this is just one reason why.

So there, in that ultrasound room, on June 11, 2009, I found out our baby boy had died. The only problem was, I was alone and now had to start telling people.....

*I only refer to my doctor as "Dr. E" in the blog in order to respect his privacy. I will not give his full name or information on his practice. I will only say that we have found him to hold no fault in our horrible loss, I continue to use him as my physician, and anyone who goes to him should count themselves lucky.

1 comment:

  1. Whoa!! I think Sullivan's Grandma found me via a mutual facebook friend tonight. She shared the link to your blog and wow! what a blessing to find this...My husband, our five kids and my entire community just suffered the loss of our full term baby boy two weeks ago tonight.

    Thank you for sharing your story...I am eager to read it ALL!
    God bless you, Laurie Young