The ambulance and hospital
About 5-10 minutes before getting to the hospital I had told my midwife that I was starting to feel a lot more pressure, and that my contractions were getting worse. She said this was all normal, and I kept asking her if there could be any other reason as to why they couldn’t find Adalynns heartbeat, and she told me that it was possible, but that we had to be transferred to the hospital due to the high tech that hospitals have that Birth Centers do not. I had a fireman sitting next to me asking me questions, and I remember him telling me he had been through about 7 of these incidents, and that he wanted me to feel as comfortable as possible. The firemen were really nice from the start, and it was sweet that they wanted me to feel comfortable, but when you go through labor you don’t really care about what people think in those moments. When we pulled up to the hospital, and they opened the ambulance doors, I remember feeling a heavy weight of emotions come over me. This was not how I envisioned having my daughter. This was not the experience I wanted to go through to bring her into this world, and the scary part was that there was a huge possibility she wouldn’t be coming into this world with me at all. As they pulled me down the hallway and to the elevator I remember feeling the fear come over me once again. It hit me in that moment that I could be delivering my child, but that she wasn’t going to be alive.
Before I could think further into the future the firemen took me up to the hospital room, and when I stepped inside, I started to blackout. I saw bright lights, and too many people in one room waiting for me. I leaned over on the hospital bed to breath through a very intense contraction as a nurse helped me onto the hospital bed. Before I knew it nurses were ripping off my clothes trying to get me into a gown, poking my arm with a needle to draw blood all while I am going through back to back contractions that were extremely painful. Two ultrasound techs came into the room, and it was confirmed that they couldn’t find a heartbeat. I remember one person shaking her head at Taylor in disbelief, and the other apologizing for our loss, but what I remember most is the doctor who delivered Adalynn kept telling us “Your baby is not alive. I know you are a bit uncomfortable, but your baby is not alive.” GREAT BEDSIDE MANNERS DUDE. I’m pretty sure that doctor had performed abortions for a living because he had no sympathy in his bones what so ever.
One nurse asked me if I wanted the epidural, and I looked at Taylor and begged him to have them give it to me because once I knew she had no heartbeat I was done. I couldn’t take the pain anymore. Not only did I have the physical pain of labor and birth to endure, but now I had the emotional pain running through my body. I felt like I couldn’t go on knowing what the outcome would be. I remember Taylor looking at me in the eyes and asking me if I really wanted the epidural. He knew how badly I wanted to go through this labor and birth naturally, and we had spent months and months preparing ourselves for this experience. He asked me over and over again if I really wanted it, and I just kept shaking my head yes. The nurse said there were a few things they had to do before giving me the epidural, and as she told us that I remember a nurse checking me to see how dilated I was, and at that point I was about 7 centimeters dilated. I asked Taylor to help get me up to use the restroom, and as I sat on the toilet I looked at Taylor and told him I didn’t want to move because it felt so much better to sit, and he told me I needed to get back to the bed if I wanted the epidural. As he helped walk me back over, and get me in bed the nurse checked me again, and I was 9 centimeters dilated, and I could feel my contractions getting more intense, and at this point I was so out of it, and in so much pain I didn’t really know what was going on. It’s crazy how in the moment it can all feel like a blur, and an outer-body experience, but when I look back on it I can place myself right back into the event because of how traumatic it was. Now that I was 9 centimeters dilated I could feel Adalynn coming down the birth canal, and I knew that there was no time for the epidural. This was all in a span of about 10 minutes from the toilet to the bed.
The doctor came over, and before he could tell me I had to start pushing I was already starting to push because I could feel her coming so quickly. While this was happening, I remember hearing my mom’s voice beside me. She said to me “Kati. It’s your mom. I’m here honey”, and I remember hearing her and my mother in law and feeling some comfort in the midst of emotional and physical pain. I had no idea how they got in there, or when it was that they did, but I was thankful. I just remember screaming “no” because the pain was so bad, and I didn’t want to have to go through with the labor and birth knowing what was coming on the other side. I wanted so badly to give birth on my side because it felt much better, but the doctor of course had me turn over and lye on my back which is something I wanted to avoid doing to prevent tearing. Thankfully I only had to see the doctor who delivered Adalynn for about 10 minutes, and all the nurses that took care of me were very sweet and sympathetic.
Within a few pushes she was here, and they laid her on my chest lifeless. It felt like a nightmare that I wanted so badly to wake up from, but knew I couldn’t. I looked at her, and I saw how beautiful she was, and I broke down crying. She looked like she was sleeping, and when I saw her, I saw Taylor in her, and I looked up at him as he buried his face in his arms and cried, and all I could do was apologize. I kept saying sorry because I felt so guilty. I felt like I had robbed him from experiencing the birth of his first biological child. I felt like I had robbed him from his dreams of having a little girl. I felt like I had robbed him from so many things, and I felt like it was all my fault. Some days I still feel guilty. Some days I wonder if it was something my body couldn’t provide for her that caused this to happen. Some days I question if it’s even in the cards for me to have more children when that’s all I’ve ever wanted was to be a mom.
Going through something traumatic like this can change you. It can change you in negative ways, and it can change you in positive ways. I guess It’s all about how you allow it to change you. When I looked at Taylor, and I saw him break down with his face in his arms I thought about how strong he had been for me through it all. He held my hand, helped me breathe through each contraction, supported me, encouraged me, and helped me every step of the way through one of the most terrifying things I have ever experienced. His strength amazed me, and I am so thankful I had him by my side through this. I knew as I looked at him, and then looked back at our baby girl our lives were about to change in a way we never hoped for, or imagined…
After the doctors had put Adalynn on my chest, they asked me if I wanted to do skin to skin, and I didn’t hesitate to say yes.
Although she was not alive, she was still my baby. She was still the child that Taylor and I conceived, and that grew inside of my belly that Taylor and I rubbed and talked to for 9 months. She was the child that Taylor and I anticipated meeting with excitement for so long. She was the child that made Kayden a big brother. She was the child that we fell in love with once we found out she was a little girl. She was the child we had prayed for for 8 months prior to knowing about her. She was the child that we already had a name picked out for even before finding out she was a girl. She was the child that sparked the desire in me to have a girl. The child that made me realize how much I wanted to have a mother-daughter relationship like my mom and I have. She was mine and Taylors first biological child together. She was the glue that brought me and Taylor together after a rough few years in our marriage. She connected us in ways we could have never imagined, and even after she passed, and as the days go on, she still connects us to one another in ways we would have never experienced if it weren’t for conceiving her. Holding her, and having her in my arms, and doing skin to skin with her was without a doubt the hardest, most painful thing I have ever had to go through. Just knowing that I wasn’t going to be able to bring her home was something I did not want to accept.
Knowing that Taylor and I had to walk out of the hospital without her in our arms, and that we would have to face telling Kayden his baby sister was not coming home was devastating. Don’t get me wrong I am thankful that I got to see her. I am thankful that I got to hold her, kiss her soft face, and love on her for hours before giving her to the nurse to take away. I am thankful we got photos taken with her, and that we will have those memories to cherish and hold onto forever, but it will never take away the hole in our hearts that we carry with us forever. We had many people from our church come to the hospital to see us, see Adalynn, and pray over our family. Having the community that we have gave us hope that we could move forward from this devastating loss in our lives… As I sat there in the hospital bed holding her, I was overwhelmed with the amount of love and support we had surrounding us, but I was fearful about what was to come as the days ahead of us would move forward and we wouldn’t. No one can prepare you for loss. With each trial I have had to face in my life, including being molested as a child, I can truly say NOTHING compares to this. Losing a child is the height of the pain I have ever had to go through.
After we said goodbye to Adalynn my heart sunk.
Taylor and I had a few minutes to ourselves, and he sat next to me in the hospital bed and we cried together. This was not how we pictured our life moving forward. Moving forward meant there would forever be a hole in our hearts. Moving forward kind of felt like moving backwards because what we envisioned was no longer in front of us. Moving forward meant not only mine, and Taylors hopes and dreams were shattered, but it meant our sons hopes and dreams of having a baby sister were shattered. It meant our parents hopes and dreams for having a granddaughter were shattered. It meant all the hopes and dreams of our friends meeting our baby girl and getting to know her were shattered. It meant all the hopes and dreams of friends that were pregnant who talked with me for months and months about our babies getting together were shattered. Moving forward meant a lot of things that we did not hope for or expect, and as each day has gone on it has felt like each step moving forward is a mountain that we are climbing.
As Taylor stood up from the hospital bed and wiped his tears off his face I could tell as he took a deep breath he had to muster up courage before I was ever going to be able to do to start moving forward. He carried me in ways I don’t think I would have ever had the strength to be able to do in the days to come after her death. As we had more people come in to visit us I remember having our lovely friend offer to buy us some food, and as I sat there eating my oatmeal that took me over an hour to eat I was losing track of the people coming to see us. As the nurse would come in every 30 minutes or so to check on my bleeding and massage my uterus all I could think about was how I wanted to get the heck out of that hospital, and that the recovery I was about to face going home was something horrible that no one should ever have to go through without their child in their arms. As I got pushed down the hallway, down the elevator, and to the entrance I felt cold. I felt numb. I looked out the big, long hospital windows and saw that it was gloomy, and still raining. I still believe that entire day was filled with clouds and rain for one reason, and one reason only. I believe God was grieving with us.
As I type this, I can play everything back in my head from when I went into labor like a rerun of a movie. I can feel every emotion that Taylor and I endured together. The pain overwhelms me, and I sit here with tears in my eyes not really knowing how I am even writing this, but knowing that if I can help someone through sharing my experience it means that going through this loss has some type of purpose behind it that I may not see yet. The days that went by as Adalynn passed were some of the hardest, I believe I will ever go through. I will get more into those days, weeks, and months, but for now this is all I can muster up the courage to write. If you are reading this, and you feel alone, or you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders, and like me you may feel like nobody understands, that your hopes and dreams have been shattered, and that who you are and what your life is supposed to be is put into question, and that the pain of your trial, or loss is too painful… your feelings are valid, and they MATTER. If you’re angry, and you don’t understand WHY you are going through the trial you are facing;it’s okay to be angry, and to ask why. The important thing to know is that unfortunately in this life no one can avoid suffering. When you feel like giving up, please don’t. How you deal with suffering is what matters. For me, my faith is what gives me hope, and I know that even though I have suffered great loss, God is bigger than anything, and He can bring good out of my loss. He can see the bigger picture that I cannot see. He can bring joy, hope, love and life out of my loss. He has a higher purpose, and how I walk through my suffering is what will build character, what will make me stronger, and what will give me strength to be able to face any scheme the enemy has to throw at me.
I am learning each day to walk through this unexpected pain unlike I have walked through pain in the past. I am learning to sit in the sadness when I feel it surface. I am learning to walk through each second, moment, hour, and day as it comes. I am learning to walk through my emotions instead of avoiding my emotions. I am learning to face this head on rather than waiting years and years to face it, so that I can continue to heal, and move forward. Adalynn will always be apart of our family, and when she went to Heaven she took a piece of my heart with her, and I will feel that emptiness forever, but I don’t have to feel guilty for moving forward with her in my heart, and I won’t allow myself to feel guilty for feeling joy again because even though it hurts to know that I will not be able to see her grow, and I will always wonder what she would have been like, and what she would have looked like as she got older, I know she is in a better place, and unlike me she doesn’t have to suffer through what this world has to offer.
I know Adalynn would want me to be happy, and whatever trial you may be facing right now you deserve happiness too.