Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Day the Earth Stood Still, Part 1

Where should I start? As I write this, 9 and 1/2 months later, the events of April 22, 2010 are so clear yet so fuzzy. Certain things stand out in my head with crystal clear clarity and others I must fight to piece together; perhaps this is my way of protecting myself from the pain.

It was a Thursday morning, and I had an appointment with my doctor followed by a biophysical profile at the hospital. My husband had taken the day off from work so that he could accompany me. He had not "seen" the boys since I had been hospitalized, so he was anxious to check in. The morning was rather uneventful. We got up, got dressed, fed our beautiful daughter, Libby, and waited for my friend Desiree to arrive so that we could leave.

As we headed out the door, something told me to grab the bag that I had taken with me to Long Beach. I had never unpacked because I knew it would not be too long before I needed my bag again. To this day, I still don't know what told me to grab that bag. What was nagging at me deep inside, telling me that today was a day I would never forget?

At the doctor's office the staff was pleasantly surprised to see that I was still pregnant. They were all very excited and supportive. We were ushered back to an ultrasound room and I was given a minute to get comfortable. The ultrasound tech began moving the probe over my enormous belly trying to get a lay of the land. She told us as she found Baby A's heartbeat and Baby C's heartbeat. They were very easy to find since they were right on top. Boe had always been a little bit more tricky as he was underneath his brothers. She kept moving the probe trying to orient herself and then her face changed. At that moment, I knew in the pit of my stomach that something was not right.

Nothing could have prepared me for the words that came out of her mouth.

"I am so sorry, but Baby B's heart has stopped beating."

My husband and I choked out a collective, "WHAT?" and the tears began to flow as we clung to each other in that tiny little room. The tech gave us a minute while she went to fetch the doctor. Although I kept crying, there was a part of me that thought maybe she was wrong. Maybe Boe was just hiding and the doctor would come in and say all was well.

The doctor did come in and took a look himself. He threw his glove down on the keyboard in anger and frustration. The tech's findings were correct. At some point in the last 12 hours, our little Boe had left. How had I not known? How had I not sensed he was in trouble? How could this be happening?

The doctor told us what some of his concerns were regarding Adler and Cameron's health. He was the most worried about Adler since he and Boe had been sharing a placenta. I was sent right over to the hospital for observation. The hope was that Adler would remain stable enough that I could carry the boys for another week so they could grow a bit more. Worst case scenario, they'd be delivered that day.

The thought of carrying a dead baby inside me for another week was heartbreaking. I wanted him out, I wanted him to be warm and peaceful, not wedged between his brothers receiving the brunt of their every move. Boe was not a punching bag, he was my precious little boy, and he was gone. I knew in my heart of hearts that if it was best for Adler and Cameron, I would do whatever it took, but I still struggled with the thought.

The nurses who checked me in were wonderful. They offered hugs, support, anything we wanted, except for food and drink for me. The doctor did not want me to have anything in my system in the even he needed to deliver the boys that day. So I sat there, thirsty, hungry and heartbroken wondering what came next?

The nurses hooked me up to fetal heart monitors, gave me steroid injections for the boys and magnesium sulfate to help with blood flow to their brains. Apparently, preemie babies have a higher risk of brain bleeds and this would help combat that. Now came the business of calling family and some friends. I know when I called my mom, I could not even respond when she answered. I just choked out the words, "Boe died." in the meekest smallest voice I have ever heard myself utter. She was there before I knew what had hit me.

Most people we informed had so many questions, and we had no answers so lots of messages, calls and texts from that day were ignored. Sorry people, it is what it is. We were surrounded by those who meant the most to us as we waited to fond out what was to happen next. The doctor came over to check on me at just after 3 PM.

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