Monday, January 10, 2011

His Story...and Mine.


I've posted about my Baby Braden often. I talked about how much I miss him and how old he'd be...where he'd fit into our life. But I don't know if I ever shared "His" story. It's short. We started "trying" for Braden about a week before he was conceived. His pregnancy was easy, about 3 months into his pregnancy I changed jobs, I went from working at 5 / 3 Bank to working for the county as a Veterans Service Officer. His pregnancy moved quickly and smoothly through the months. As I didn't have any time off built up I asked the doctor to induce me about 3 weeks early so that I could have extra time with him over the holidays. My doctor quickly refused my request and uttered something about a tax return.

Then on the Friday (the 29th) before New Years I was having contractions so Todd and I headed to the hospital. The nursing staff confirmed contractions, did an internal and hooked me up to the machines. Dr. R was called but he decided everything looked ok for me to go home and see what would happen (normal protocol).

Tuesday morning (the 2nd) I called my OB telling them Braden had stopped moving, they said he had probably run out of room but to come on in, I e-mailed my BFC (best friend cousin) to tell her that B had stopped moving and I was going to be checked out...I left work telling my co-workers I'd be back later in the day. I arrived for my appt before lunch, but Dr. R was out for the day. Dr. K took me back, checked for a heartbeat...he got a very serious look on his face, turned white, and went to find a different heartbeat monitor. After the second monitor didn't pick up a heartbeat he sent me for an ultrasound. I sat in the hall way waiting for what seemed like an eternity, a very pregnant woman walked past and smiled, a 20 weeker was waiting for an US and another was waiting for a non stress test...they chatted around me, asked me when I was due and what I was having...I don't remember answering, though maybe I did...

The US tech called me in quietly, looked sheepish, almost like she had been scolded...we all know she hadn't been. She was scared, was this her first loss? She didn't say much, maybe the normal "up on the table, shirt up" spiel they give everyone...then she started the US....after a few moments she turned the screen away from me. I remember the look on her face...the fold in her brow, the frown. She finally smiled a small smile, not a smile of relief, and said she would get the doctor. I asked her "just say it" and all she said was "he's gone". Dr. K came in immediately, I remember he was wonderful, called my Mom for me (I was alone), he held my hand, discussed my options, offered to let me go home and think it over. I refused, I wanted Braden here and in my desperation I thought, maybe he isn't gone but the heartbeat was faint, we just need to get him out. A nurse brought down a wheelchair. She made small talk as she wheeled me up through the back halls...the nurses halls to Labor and Delivery, she gave my nurse a look, neither said a word...someone had called and "warned" them. As I stood up to get into the bed, she tried to hug me, I pulled away, sat down and just waited. Minutes later my Dad came in...he was in Lima, just getting off work when my Mom called him...asked him to get to me (he was closest). Soon family started to trickle in. Aunts, cousins, my Grandma...everyone seemed to come. Todd hadn't showed up yet when my BFC asked "can I ask what Braden looked like?" My uterus had relaxed so much I didn't even look pregnant. I just looked deflated. When I told her that I hadn't delivered him yet they all looked at me like I had 2 heads. As time drug on people filtered out, Todd called from the parking lot, Mom met him in the lobby and explained everything...everyone cleared out before Todd got to the room. He cried. I wasn't ready. I wasn't ready to accept Braden's death, or my fate, I wasn't ready to cry, I wasn't ready to give up hope of a miracle. I wasn't ready.
I labored all night long, the nursing staff gave me too much medication to remember most of the night. Todd never left my side. At 11 am Wednesday, I was finally ready to push. Dr. R had come back and was my delivery doctor. He asked if I'd like Braden placed on my stomach or if I'd like him taken to the bassinet. I opted for the didn't happen that way. Dr. R pulled Braden out, layed him on my belly and proceded to try to loosen the knot that had cut off Braden's oxygen and nutrient supply. I wasn't able to look at Braden. I didn't want to see him like that. I wanted to only see him as perfect, after he had been cleaned up and dressed. The nurse finally took Braden to be cleaned up while we delivered the placenta, Todd was visible struggling, I finally said "he's your boy, you can go look at him" He didn't want to...couldn't. Who can blame him. We spent a couple hours with Braden before they sent him to the funeral home, he was beautiful. Most of the hospitals dead babies are just too little to survive so they put him in an outfit for a didn't fit. But it was his. He came to us wrapped in a blanket, snuggled in and looking like a perfect little sleeping baby. We talked to him, prayed for him, gave him a list of relatives to look for and finally I cried. Long and hard. Todd held me. We held each other.
Because my Mom was with the twins, she wasn't able to come to the hospital, so she went and vistited him at the funeral home. While there she sang to him, prayed for him and cried. The funeral was just days later, held in our church (Bethlehem). Everyone came, every one said it was the quietest funeral they'd ever been to. The funeral director offered to play lullabyes, we asked that they not. I don't remember the service. Only the tiny casket. Linda read Lane Michael a book, Ethan had to go potty. I vividly remember having a small panic attack when I had to leave the casket alone. When we all walked away and he was just there. exposed. I couldn't make myself leave, I knew I was being unreasonable. I knew it didn't make sense. I couldn't make my heart listen to logic. We did finally leave.
My Mom drew Braden's grave stone was perfect before's even more perfect now as it looks JUST like baby Ryan. Amazing, it's like God led her pen.

I wrote this post because before Braden died, I didn't know babies still died. I knew miscarriages still happened, but I thought if you made it to the end, if you were fortunate enough to get through 40 weeks, you'd be guarenteed a eyes have been opened. I wish I had known. I wish someone had told me.


Elaine said...

I'm new to your blog, so I am just now finding out a little bit about your life. I can't imagine how hard it was to write this post, but I want you to know that I admire your courage to share your heart with the world. Something you said really resonated with me. You said, "because before Braden died, I didn't know babies still died. I knew miscarriages still happened, but I thought if you made it to the end, if you were fortunate enough to get through 40 weeks, you'd be guarenteed a eyes have been opened. I wish I had known. I wish someone had told me." Sometimes, we go through some really terrible things. Its when we search for God the hardest that He's often overseen. I can't tell you why He chose you or Braden for these circumstances. But, I can tell you that He will use it for His glory if you allow Him to.

Thank you for sharing Braden's story. I will be praying for you and your family.

Sarah said...

Oh Lynne, words have lost me.