Saturday July 16th
This day had originally been scheduled for Keith to take the girls to the lake with our friends in the ward. I wasn't going to go because with pregnancy nausea and boat movement (as learned in Mexico) not a great combo for me. I was going to stay home with the boy and Keith would take the girls. We had been talking to them about it all week and they were so excited. Keith agreed to still take them if I was ok. Friday evening Keith had a meeting with two guys in Elders quorum so we did most of our "Saturday chores." It was nice to have things cleaned up and know that kids would be gone and it would stay nice through Saturday and then maybe we could come home to a clean house after the hospital. Saturday morning Keith got up with the kids at 6:20 and got them ready (and so kindly sprayed them all down with sunscreen....INSIDE the house on the kitchen floor. SO I got to mop again after they left). The girls were so excited and Keith seemed to be doing fairly well. He called me after they'd left and asked if I did want to go and he'd come back and get me. I really didn't want to see anyone and just wanted to be alone. I'm not going to lie...was pretty low this day. It was just depressing and I felt like I was drowning in pain and sadness. Peter and I ate cereal on the couch and I pretty much stayed there most of the morning. Peter was so good to just play there by me or even snuggle me. He is such a tender boy and has been so good to me through this. Whenever I have been really low he always seems to just want to give me loves/snuggles or kisses. So, the morning was pretty weepy and depressing. I finally decided I needed to finish up chores and get things packed for everyone. We were going in to the hospital at 3am so the kids would be spending the night at Keith's parents house. I got their things packed and put a few things together for me. Then worked on the bathrooms and re-mopping the kitchen. By the time I was nearly done I was having a rather strong pain on my left side just above my hip. It was even a little swollen. I emailed my doctor's nurse. She had called me Friday after our appointment and told us she would send us an email and that we could reach her anytime (off hours) through that if we needed. I emailed her and told her about my pain and then laid down. An hour or so later it had subsided and was much better and the nurse had emailed me my doctor's cell to call if it persisted. Keith got home with the kids around 4. I was still really out of it and weepy. Keith made the kids something for dinner, but I honestly can't remember. We gave the kids baths and then took them over to his parent's house. I hated leaving them. I just needed to be able to touch my kids that were alive and with me. I cried most of the way home and the rest of the night. We got home and Keith asked if he could give me a blessing. It was a very sweet blessing. He talked about me feeling better (less sick. I'd been nauseated since they told us and my left eyes hasn't stopped twitching since Friday evening), and being able to sleep and get the rest I'd need. He talked about things going ok and without complication at the hospital. Then he got very emotional and told me Heavenly Father wanted me to know He had Penelope and that she was safe and that He would take care of her for us until we could see her again. It was a very special blessing and as soon as it was done I actually felt calm. I didn't feel the drowning pressure in my chest and my eye actually stopped twitching. I could actually eat and we spent some time together not just crying. We set our alarms for 2am and headed to bed.
Sunday July 17th
(my last picture with Penny)
2am - We got up and got ready. I have to admit...I was kind of angry. I didn't want to go, I didn't want to no longer have her with me. I didn't want this to be real. I just felt mad and didn't want to go. However, we got out the door by 2:30 and headed to Arrowhead hospital. We went in and were checking in at 2:45am. It was such a horrible feeling checking in. You could feel the pity as I'm standing there, barely showing a bump, signing in for induction. I HATED being in the maternity ward with all the dumb pictures of babies and happy moms on the wall. Seeing all the baby stuff knowing I would not be taking a baby home. They took me into this one room to weigh me and somewhere in the room was a monitor on a baby so you could hear the heart beat. All I could hear was that heart beat and think that my baby didn't have one. It was horrible! The nurse took me to labor and delivery room 1 and told us the nurse would be in soon to get things going. Changed and stood around for a bit, but after 20 minutes was feeling agitated and frustrated. I just wanted to get this over with; the sooner we started the sooner it would be over. You need to understand, I'd spent nearly two months WAITING to know what would happen, Waiting for answers, WAITING for diagnosis, WAITING for sickness to go away. I didn't want to WAIT anymore. I laid on the bed and just fell asleep.
The nurse, Michelle, came in finally around 4am (why it took an HOUR I'm not sure). She went through paper work and questionnaires with me. She was very kind and even a little emotional with me. That helped to soften my very hardened heart and to feel her compassion. We finished paperwork and she had to draw blood and hook up my IV. This didn't go so well. Don't think this was her strong point and was very painful (and messy). The first attempt at setting up the IV port in my left hand backfired and got blood everywhere (and hurt). That hand now painful and my wrist a little swollen, we went to the right hand. She went for the middle of my wrist ON my wrist. It was so painful and it hurt every second after that until they took in out Monday morning. From that right wrist port she tried to draw my blood but couldn't get it to flow. She asked if I'd been drinking enough because I was very dehydrated (I did spend basically ALL day Friday and Saturday crying and not eating). She set up the IV there and then went back to my left arm and drew blood from the normal elbow location. Then she explained the method of inducing they were going to start with. It looked like a skinny ribbon that they inserted to the cervex and then had like a tampon string that came out that they would pull to remove it. After inserting it I was suppose to lay on my back flat for two hours. It was sometime close to 5Am but then. Keith's dad showed up and said he just wanted to be with us. We were both surprised, we didn't know he was coming, but I thought it was very sweet of him to get up SO early (he was there around 4:30) and just come be with us. He just sat there while I laid there and fell asleep and Keith slept in the chair next to me. The nurse came in a few times to check vitals and ask questions (she asked Penny's name). But otherwise I just had to lay there knowing at some point today I would no longer be pregnant.
8:00-ish - The nurse came in and explained she had talked to my doctor and he wanted to change approaches. The thing I had in I guess was a very slow acting method of inducing labor and Dr. Petersen knew I was feeling anxious and not wanting to wait around. They pulled the thing out and gave me pills (don't know what it was called). Michelle said that she was heading out and introduced her replacement nurse. Her name was Erin. I hated that it wasn't going to be compassionate Michelle to help me through this, but I soon found I really enjoyed Erin as well. I took the pills and they told me to let them know as soon as I started feeling contractions. Keith's dad had church meeting at 9 so he left sometime in this time frame.
9:15-ish - I started feeling little cramp like contractions. It was mostly just back cramps and back labor. The cramps were pretty good and consistent for a while and actually got stronger and close together. We called the nurse in and let her know. The nurse checked me and said I was VERY closed but that the cervix was starting the soften (being checked when it is NOT time to deliver is very painful in case you didn't know). She said they'd just watch and see what happens and how I progress. I was told I could not eat food, but only have clear liquids just in case something happened and they needed to take me to surgery. I was VERY hungry (and tired) and this was a little discouraging. I continued have these contractions for a few hours, but nothing seemed to be changing. It was Sunday so I didn't want to just watch tv, and the contractions made it impossible to read, so I had to just SIT there with my thoughts.
Lunchtime came and still no change. Erin called Dr. Petersen and he said to give me the medication every 4 hours. I got another dose at 12:30pm. Keith started getting talking about being hungry, but didn't want to leave because we had NO idea when anything would happen. He called his brother and asked him to get him some food. He brought him a sub, chips and soda. I feel bad but this made me VERY angry. He gets to sit there and play on his phone, eating his stupid food while I'm laying here cramping and hurting like crazy and starving and there is nothing I can do. I was feeling frustrated. I had honestly thought I'd be done by this time. I was hungry and tired. I'd been laboring for several hours now with no end in sight. Keith was chopping away on his food and I was just mad. I didn't want to be touched or talked to. I was just mad at everyone.
Around 2:30 the contractions got much worse and very close together. We called the nurse and she checked me and thought she could feel something and that it would be soon. She called the doctor and then sat with me. She said she wouldn't leave me just in case the baby came. She told me if I wanted things to progress to try pushing with the contractions. So for the next 30-40 minutes I was having strong contractions and trying to push. It was SO hard and I felt like I wasn't making ANY progress. We texted Keith parents and Sam (my wonderful friend who was going to take pictures for us) and they all got to the waiting room around 3ish. The doctor showed up and checked me (again, VERY painful). He said he thought he could feel something, but wasn't sure. Not to get graphic, but he kept his hand in like he was checking and had me go through several rounds of "pushing". It was HORRIBLE!!! He finally said that it wasn't the baby we were feeling and that I still had a ways to go. Yeah, not exactly what I needed to hear after over an hour of rotten contractions, pushing and hands inside me. He said he could feel the baby still in the sack partly in the cervix. He didn't want to break the water, even though that would speed things up and baby would come right out. If he broke the sack the baby would come, but there was a good chance the tiny frail umbilical cord would break leaving the placenta inside and then they'd have to do surgery to get it out. He left and we told the nurse to send in our awaiting guests. Sam said to just call her and not to worry then left. It was SO discouraging. I had thought we were finally there and now it was "still a ways out". AHHHH!! I asked Keith's parents to stay for a bit so I could see my kids. It was helpful to see them and have them give me hugs. I continued to have contractions, but it was nice to hold my kids. Ada was very reserved and didn't like being too close to me (she doesn't like IV or seeing me hurting). Rue was insane. She was acting out and very naughty. I had her sit by me and she just started crying. Poor thing, she was worried about me and hated all the weird changing that was going on. She just sat by my clinging to me and crying. It broke my heart and I just wanted to go home. I didn't want to do this I just wanted to go home and pretend none of this was happening. Around 4 they decided to head out. LaRue started screaming when they tried to take her away from me. She just kept screaming my name and it broke my heart. Keith's dad just picked her up quick and hurried out (she did calm down quickly after leaving, but it still made me so sad). I hated kissing the kids goodbye. On the plus side, this almost event had done a number on my physically and I was looking rather worn I guess because my doctor told them to feed me real food.
Sometime after 6pm (after this, I really didn't have much of a concept of time...everything just seemed like forever) my parents called and said they would come and bring food for Keith. My parents showed up sometime around 7 when the change of nurse was again. Once more, I was sad I was loosing Erin as I'd grown very comfortable with her and had been so close to delivering with her. The new nurse was Shelby and I right away found I liked her Very much as well. Another lady came in at some point to take blood. I guess she was just a nurse that did blood work so she was able to get blood without severe pain to me. My contractions were much harder since I'd started bleeding. Apparently this was a sign that the placenta was pulling away from the uterus. Usually when you are full term they aren't this connected so you don't bleed as much. It was a good sign of progress, but not comfortable and things were much more uncomfortable and intense. My parents brought watermelon and food for Keith and I shared some watermelon, but I couldn't eat the other food. I was super nauseated from the contractions and really thought I'd throw up with every contraction. They were so intense now and I was surprised. I didn't think it would get this intense and I was SO exhausted for ALL day labor I was struggling. I looked awful apparently because the nurse kept asking if I wanted pain medicine. I didn't want an epidural. It seemed silly to get one with a baby that was going to be so little. Plus, they are expensive and I didn't want to pay for it. I finally broke down and asked for the pain medicine that they put in the IV. The first time I got it (actually was before my parents came) I got SO dizzy from it I wasn't sure I wanted to get it again. But it got worse and I did ask for more. She gave it to me every hour (I think I only got three shots). They didn't really feel like they were helping, but I was scared to stop getting them and find out that it could be worse. Mom and dad were there and mom asked if I wanted her to read to me so I could be a little distracted. It was nice to have something other than my panicked thoughts. She read to me out of a book she was writing about my grandpa's ancestors. After an hour of this I was REALLY wearing out and couldn't stop crying. I was SO tired of hurting, tired of thinking about my dead baby, waiting for her to come. It had been ALL day and I just didn't want to do it anymore. I was exhausted and could barely keep my head up. Every contraction made me so sick and I just wanted to give up! I really must have looked horrible because mom abandoned reading and asked the nurse for some lotion and rubbed my feet. It surprised me and was so thoughtful and was the ONLY thing that didn't hurt. I really appreciated this small act. All of a sudden I felt something come out and freaked out. Keith called the nurse and she hurried in. My parents went out of the room while the nurse checked it out. It was just a blood clot, but it was almost the size of my fist. She said we were probably getting close. She checked me, but the baby was still very high and still partly inside the cervix (just like it was hours ago when the doctor had been there). I was very quickly losing all strength and will to even try. Mom continued to run my feet and talk to me about different things to help me get through contractions. This went on for what seemed an hour. Then suddenly I felt that feeling of something coming out and looked and saw again what looked like a huge clot just bigger than my fist. Keith called the nurse Shelby came in and checked. She said it was the baby and I just lost it. I just sobbed and sobbed while Keith and Mom held onto me.
The baby was still connected to the placenta which had not come so the nurse just had to hold the baby there (still in the sack). Shelby called out to have Petersen contacted. We waited a minute and she asked if I was ok having his colleague Dr. Erickson come in and help finish things off or did I want to wait for Petersen. I just wanted it over. Unfortunately Erickson was just called in for a delivery so they had a hospital delivery doctor (not connected to my doctor's office) come in. It was some lady and she sat down beside me and told me she wanted me to hold my breath and push. That took about 3 tries and then the placenta came (everything was attached and still connected so they didn't have to do any other procedures to me. She showed us the two sacks and explained which was which. She then had the nurse take it to the table to open the sack and get baby out. Keith and mom and dad went to watch that. Oh yes, mom and dad were in the room for everything. I've never had my mom (or anyone besides Keith) in the room during a delivery. Poor dad seemed very uncomfortable and just paced in the back of the room during everything. So, they all watched as the nurse opened the sack and got baby out. The doctor pushed on my making sure everything was out and stuff. She then went and looked at baby and told us she was about the size of a 12 to 13 week old and had probably been dead for a long time. She was so callous and it made me MAD. I told her no, that she had not been dead for 6 weeks. I'd felt her move and seen her in ultra sounds moving at 16 weeks. She told us that ultra sounds aren't always correct and that I probably didn't feel her it was just some other indigestion. Seriously, I wanted to punch her in the face!!!! I was angry and not thinking of I'd have said they picked up her heart beat at 16 weeks and I KNOW that I felt her just a few days earlier (Wednesday). I was mad and just stopped acknowledging her and she eventually left. I don't know if she said anything or did anything I just shut her out. JERK! Shelby, on the other hand was amazing. She was SO sweet and wrapped Penny in a little pink wash clothe and brought her to me. Keith was weeping and came to stand by my. Dr. Erickson came in and came to check on me. He was very kind and told us he was sorry for our loss and that everything appeared to be fine with me (I guess hemorrhaging is common in this type of situation so they watch closely the first little bit after). He was so nice compared to the evil lady of before. He then left us to have some time alone with Penny. My parents stayed for a bit, but soon headed out as they had a long drive home. She was "born" at 9:17pm so by the time they left it had to be close to 10 (I wasn't really paying attention to time). Keith had texted his parents and Sam somewhere in all this so Sam showed up right after my parents left. She came in and I was holding Penny. She wept with us and then started taking pictures for us. I desperately wanted to hold her hand. She was not as developed as an 18 week baby should be. The Turner's affects development so it had slowed thing. She was very dark in color and I was shocked at first by how much fluid was on her brain and in the hygroma (around her neck). It made her look strange, but somehow to me she was still beautiful and I was SO happy to hold her and see her. I didn't feel heavy hearted it was just so involved and looking at her and touching her tiny feet and little hand. Same took several pictures of us while holding her and then she brought out a few little blankets and props type things. She had a little headed headband that we laid over her. Same said that even if she was gone she still deserved some bling. I thought that was so cute! While she was taking pictures Dr Petersen showed up. He felt so bad he'd missed things, but it was ok. We talked for a few minutes and he condolences for our loss. He said he'd check in with me the next day and left. We had a few more minutes to take pictures with Sam and then she headed out. Shelby came in and brought some crackers, juice and noodles for us (I'd only eaten that one sandwich, soup and a few pieces of watermelon all day). Shelby took Penny's measurements while we ate some food. She measure her head, chest, height and weighed her. Shelby was so cute to always call her Penelope and would say things like "lets see if we can get a hat on little Penelope". It was really sweet to me that she called her Penelope and talked to her as if she was real and alive. I know that sounds weird, but it made her real not just "a fetus". Keith had a few minutes alone with her and just got to look at her and cry together. It was pretty late (sometime around 12) when we told the nurse we wanted her to stay with us through the night. Maybe that sounds weird, but this was the ONLY time we would ever get to have her through the night and I wasn't going to send her to the morgue if I could still have her. So we kept her on the little baby bed thing and went to bed. To say I was tired would be a gross understatement. I fell asleep instantly and only vaguely woke up when they came in at 4:30am to check vitals and then take blood again. I just slipped into oblivion and was finally free of pain, heartache, and sickness for a few short hours.
Pictures below are real and maybe graphic, but this is real. Heads up if you don't want to see what she actually looked like.
the littlest hug in the world!