Living with the loss of stillbirth and learning to live in the sunshine of our new normal.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Rainbow Baby

   8 years ago today, we checked into the hospital. We were there for an amniocentisis, a test I never thought I'd want. We were there to check the lung function of our second daughter, we were there to see if it was safe to meet her. I packed my bags that day, not before, not ahead of time like I had with Charlotte. My only birth plan was to get her out safely. My doctor came in and explained things to us again, set up the ultrasound. Pulled out the needle. It didn't hurt nearly like I thought it would. We watched our little baby on the screen, moving around, saying hello.The doctor left to go to a Jazz game, told us he'd call when the results came in. Said we could go either way- if her lungs were mature (i'd had steroid shots) we would induce in the morning. If they were not, we could decide what to do. I knew, I wanted her out of my body. My dangerous body, that had not kept her sister safe. The next day I would be 36 weeks pregnant.
   Mike and I watched that stupid Jazz game, against the Spurs, whom I hated and hate even more now. We watched it, we waited. We answered texts and calls from anxious family and friends. We got the news late, but it was good- her lungs were fine and she would be born on the 29th.
   I think we got some sleep. The nurse came in with the cervical softening crap. Family arrived in the morning. The induction started. It went smoother than with Charlotte, we could hear her strong heartbeat, we had something to look forward to. The contractions weren't threatening to rupture my uterus, the epidural wasn't dripping down my gown. I felt her moving, I felt her kicking and rolling. I called the nurse, and she checked me because I could feel so much. The nurse gave us some bad news: the baby had turned breech sometime during the labor process. My water had alread been broken, and I wouldn't have risked trying to turn her anway. So we booked the OR, and I had my first ever surgery. After much nausea, panic attacks, terror, relief, pain, extra bleeding, passing out, etc, the surgery was over. Sophia was safe, crying, alive. Mike went to the nursery with her. I kept bleeding. After many extra stitches and worry, I was fine as well. I had to wait over an hour to hold my baby, because her blood sugar was wonky, and I had so many drugs in my system that I could barely stay awake.
   I think I lost my point somewhere. I can't express properly the fear, anxiety, and joy. My baby girl brought me back to life. She saved me. Every day, she makes the world a better place. She is an amazing big sister, and little sister. She is smart, and funny, and beautiful. She is wise and kind. Tomorrow she will be 8 years old. 8 years of making the world a better place, of bringing sunshine and rainbows and unicorns into our lives. I cannot celebrate her enough. Happy birthday, Sophia. We love you.