Being an army wife is one of the hardest jobs there is. The one job that beats that is being a mother who loses her child.
My husband and I decided it was time to finally start our family last summer. I was so excited when I saw that home pregnancy test was positive! We were going to have a baby! This was our first baby and we couldn’t be happier. Our baby would be due March 5, 2015. And the countdown to the big day started.
My pregnancy was a little rough. I had terrible morning sickness and on top of that my uterus was abnormally shaped. It was shaped like a heart and my increase of premature labor was higher and so I was closely monitored to make sure I didn’t go into labor early. My whole second trimester my husband was deployed on a mission. So it was just me and our little love bug. During this time we learned that our little girl had clubbed feet. At first I was devastated when the nurse called me and told me the news. My doctor wanted me to see a specialist to confirm what she had seen on the ultrasound. I just balled the whole way home. Our little girl had crooked feet. I just cried. I felt helpless. I came home and researched everything on clubbed feet. I was preparing myself to write an email to my husband about our little girl’s feet. After all my research I realized that this is something that we can handle and will get through. Our little girl didn’t have anything else wrong with her, she just had crooked feet. And we were grateful that was all.
My husband came home early December at the start of my third trimester. We decided to name our little girl Austin. Austin loved hearing her daddy’s voice. She would always kick when he talked. Not even here yet and already she was a daddy’s girl. Christmas came and went and the new year began. I was getting huge. January 14 at my appointment my doctor measured my belly and said I was measuring 4 weeks bigger. So she wanted schedule an ultrasound to measure Austin and also to check to see if she was still breech.
Two weeks later it was January 29 and the worst day of my life. After talking about my swelling and how tired I was and what we would do if Austin was still breech, the doctor wanted to listen to her heart. I lay down and the gel was put on my belly and we waited. Doctor couldn’t find her heart beat. My heart dropped and I knew something was wrong. I prayed for Austin to move to do something. My doctor thought maybe Austin had her back turned and so we went into the ultrasound room. Looking at the monitor I could clearly see that her heart wasn’t moving, Austin wasn’t moving. The worst words any parent could ever hear is “Your baby doesn’t have a heartbeat.”
I just lost it. How could this have happened? How did my baby die? What did I do wrong? Why me, why my baby? My doctor took us to another room to talk about the next steps. She just held me and we cried. My husband just had a blank look on his face. Doctor said that we should go home and process everything and then we had to be admitted into the hospital either that day or tomorrow to be induced. We decided to go in that day. I walked out of the doctor’s office feeling horrible. Just crying as everyone else in the waiting room sat happy with living babies, while mine had died. I was angry at those women, because their babies were alive and mine wasn’t.
We got in car and started to head home. It was time to start calling people to tell them what happened. I called my mom first. She was at work and I could barely say her name when the lady picked up the phone. My mom got to the phone and I just started crying. I blurted that Austin didn’t have a heart beat and my mom just started crying. This was her first grandchild and she was gone. Austin was everyone’s first. Our first child, the first grandchild, the first niece. She was so special and wanted and loved and yet we couldn’t have her.
We got home and just cried. We just cried and cried. Finally we packed our things and headed to the hospital to be induced. Walking in the hospital was supposed to be a happy time. It’s supposed to be exciting. But for us it wasn’t happy or exciting. I felt like everyone knew that we had lost our baby. I felt like I was wearing a sign that said my baby had died. After getting checked in and in our room, the nurse came in to start the fluids and get blood drawn. Before she started that she just hugged me and cried with me. Without that nurse I couldn’t have done it. She was amazing and I am so thankful she was my nurse. Doctor came in and explained all my options and we chose to be induced and deliver vaginally even though she was breech.
That day was a long process of waiting for my body to dilate. I originally wanted to have a natural labor. But with this I was so emotionally drained and physically I couldn’t labor naturally. It was long process and we were in for the long haul. The next day I got my epidural and the nurse said things would speed up now and that I should rest. And she was right. At 2 pm my doctor broke my water and took a sample to get tested. I tried to sleep but it was hard. It was a weird feeling not being able to feel my legs or to move on my own. Around 8pm I wanted to turned on my side to be comfy. My mom and husband helped move me and I felt a lot of pressure. We paged the nurse and she said it was time to start pushing.
This was it. It was time to see my baby. My beautiful baby who we have been waiting for all this time. I pushed for an hour. During this time I prayed that Austin would cry when she was born and everything would be ok. I prayed and prayed that she would cry. Last push and she was out and placed on me. Austin was beautiful. She did not cry but she was here. My baby was here. I have never seen my husband cry and he was crying. Austin looked just like her daddy. I couldn’t believe how beautiful she was. My little Austin Elizabeth was born January 30 at 9:17 pm. She weighed 5 pounds and 3.8 oz and was 19.5 inches long.
We had a photographer come and take pictures. The organization Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep came and took beautiful pictures of our little angel. Those pictures are so precious to me and my husband. Beautiful moments captured forever.
Leaving the hospital empty handed was something I never thought would happen. But Super Bowl Sunday my husband and I left the hospital without our baby girl.
My wounds are still fresh and they are never going to go away. I’m learning how to cope every day with Austin being gone. Its a very slow process and I cry every day. I know my love bug is always with me and my husband. I love her more than anything and always will. For she was my baby, my little love bug.