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I’m titling each birth by their nicknames Daddy uses.

Fussykins- January 2003

BethanyBell- February 2004

Browniegirl-May 2005

BabyJoy- March 2007

Little Prince- March 2009

This was our first planned pregnancy.  I knew I was ovulating and jokingly said “wanna try for a boy?”  Sure enough, I tested positive in less then two weeks.  We were overjoyed.  We hoped for twins as Kailey had a twin and miscarried the wee one at only 9 weeks.  The first ultrasound did show two sacks, but 2 weeks later there was only one.  We were sad to loose yet another twin.

I’ll never forget the look on Paul’s face when the ultrasound tech drew an arrow to the very obvious little boy parts on the sonogram!  Naming Benjamin was a real challenge.  I wanted Benjamin Justice, but that was not well liked by the rest of the family.  So we compromised with Benjamin Isaiah.

Early on in the pregnancy I felt a very strong pull from the Lord to VBAC.  At first I was not at all agreeable but in a week’s time I was quite willing to follow Him down this path.  However, I needed to research it and pray with my husband before making the final decision.  The research showed many risks to cesareans that my OB had never told me, and the stats showed much higher risks to mom with a cesarean then a VBAC.  The risks to baby were slightly higher, but still quite small in comparison to the risks following multiple cesareans (such as placental issues, uterine rupture, ect that make multiple cesareans unwise. )  We decided to attempt a VBAC.  I did find a wonderful pro VBAC OB but he said that the hospital had some issues and I would need to labor at home for a number of hours and be ready to deliver when I came in.  I hired a midwife and planned to labor near a hospital in case there was an emergency.  My OB assured me that if I ruptured, it would be when I was pushing, and he was much more concerned about placental issues then he was a rupture.

I was monitored closely.  There were concerns from my midwife about pre-eclampsia but my OB was never concerned.  I had ultrasounds at many of my appointments.  One ultrasound predicted a ‘big baby’ but the next did not.  I had three weeks of prodromal labor, which is common of VBACs.  I wasn’t dilated more then a 2 or 2 1/2 through that time, but I had hoped that when I really went into labor that I would dilate quickly.  By the end of it I was so tired and ready to have him.

My due date was on Saturday and I had a cesarean scheduled for Monday, which I had planned to go to if I didn’t have him before then.  On Saturday night contractions picked up and I labored in the living room alone.  I enjoyed the experience, and embraced the waves and surges as I knew they would bring me closer to seeing my little boy.   I waited until I was really feeling some pain before I woke Paul.  My contractions were still far apart and I had wanted him to get some sleep before driving out to see my midwife and check my dilating.  When I got there, though, I was dilated maybe to a 3.  So, not much.  I was really disappointed and crawled upstairs to try to rest in a comfy bed.  I couldn’t, though, as my whole body hurt.  My back, legs, everything hurt.  And then everytime Benjamin moved I was in tremendous pain, my uterus was very tender.  I knew there was something wrong and my midwife did too.  She listened to his heartbeat and it decelled from 155 to 115.  So off to the hospital we went.  My hospital was close, but I was afraid that I needed to go to the closer hospital (by the way it has been awarded by Healthgrades in the top ten places in the nation to deliver.)
They didn’t call a Dr, though.  They treated me like a normal laboring woman, and had me answer lots of needless questions (like if I wanted my son circumcised.)  I kept telling them that there wasn’t time, the baby was dying, and that I had four previous cesareans.  But they didn’t listen to me other then to argue that I should have had the cesarean sooner.  I was put in triage, and eventually in L&D.  They told me that I was not rupturing, but that didn’t allay my fears.  My uterus remained in a contraction and had done so for quite a while.  If I had not ruptured…I would.  Still they didn’t call the DR.  They knew I had a possible rupture at 6:15.  They waited until 6:50 to put an order in for ultrasound.  After it arrived placental abruption and fetal demise were noted in the report, although they didn’t tell me anything other then I had not ruptured.  They called the DR who told them to prep me for cesarean.  They did an IV but nothing more.  Benjamin wasn’t moving anymore.

I began to hemorrhage but no one noticed.  As the Dr was speaking to me all I could say was “Help.  Help.”  After an hour or so of a constant contraction my uterus opened up along the scar and relaxed.  The pain lessened and I felt like I was going to pass out.  He said “Now we’re going to try to save your life.”  I was rushed into the OR room but I couldn’t breathe on the table and finally I passed out.  They intubated me and when they opened me up Benjamin, and the full contents of my uterus were in my abdominal cavity.  I lost a lot of blood.
When I woke I was refused pain medication and they started a blood transfusion.  I was, there in the recovery room, accused of killing my son, and was told he was dead before I ever came in.  But placental abruption could have happened anyway, I wasn’t even in active labor as I had dilated less then 1 cm in 3 weeks time and my contractions were still not close together (until I had that one unrelenting contraction.)  They even told me when I went into the hospital that I had not ruptured and he was MOVING when I went into the hospital.  They lied to me and they lied to my family.  This has caused a thus far permanent rift in the family, who refuse to read my medical records I purchased from the hospital.  The Dr refused to sign the death certificate which caused a lot of grief.  He also refused to sign over the placenta report to me.

I was diagnosed with severe pre-eclampsia.  I don’t know if it had begun to develop but my BP was much better when I was asleep and when my pain was under control so I lean towards pain induced hypertension.  I was clearly under a lot of stress in the hospital, as well.

We spent the day with sweet Benjamin, who really did turn out to be a big baby at nearly 10 pounds.  I wondered what people thought about having the body of a dead baby in my room, holding him, photographing him.  But I really didn’t care what they thought, as he was my son.  My mom says that was NOT my son, just the body.  It’s all I have of my son, the only time I saw him outside of the womb, and I treasure those memories and the photographs.

At first I asked God why He didn’t take Benjamin early like my other miscarriages but within a few hours I was so very thankful for the opportunity I had to spend with him.  I don’t know what my other babies would have looked like, or their personalities.  I knew Benjamin, and that is a wonderful gift.  I miss him terribly, but thank God for him daily.

Twinlins, October- Nov 2009

I had a very strange dream that came true that very day and I wondered “Could I be pregnant?” It was much too early to test as I was only a week post ovulation but I had a super sensitive pregnancy test that could possibly test positive, particularly if I had twins.  So the next morning, on Benjamin’s 6 month birthday, I tested.  It was positive!  We were excited, but nervous too.  Paul was scheduled for surgery the very next day and I was pretty sure he had cancer.  The next day I bled while we were at the hospital.  I knew that I could loose both my baby and my husband!  I had dreams that my baby died, even when an ultrasound showed that so far everything was fine and I was no longer bleeding.
The ultrasound also showed a large ovarian cyst.  I was afraid that I had an ectopic pregnancy but they said I did not.  I was still pretty sure I did, and they just couldn’t see it.  The next week I had another normal ultrasound but my blood work showed a severe drop in progesterone.  A few days later I began to miscarry and had a normal miscarriage for 7 weeks gestation.  I still worried about a twin, though.  I prayed that I would not have to make the decision to abort an ectopic.  I know that the chances for the baby are none and that mother’s life is in danger if there’s a tubal rupture, but I still (contrary to common belief) consider an abortion for an ectopic pregnancy to be murder.  So I prayed fervently that there would be no heartbeat if we ever did find the twin.

At what would have been 10 weeks gestation I went to the ER with severe head injury symptoms and was diagnosed with a concussion.  They did a pregnancy test which of course was positive so they sent me to the dr who did not do a high level ultrasound for two more weeks, I was now 12 weeks.  I was certain from the way the tech behaved that there was an ectopic pregnancy but the dr office told me to GO HOME.  The dr would call with results (I had already been waiting two weeks, and they wanted me to wait some more?)  I was very uncomfortable with the idea of going home.  I live an hour from the hospital and my husband works an hour away and my parents were going to be out of town.  So I refused to leave until someone looked at my ultrasound.  Finally they called the Dr (he was in the OR) with the ultrasound report and he told them to not let me leave.  Sure enough, I had an ectopic pregnancy, and no heartbeat.  They performed surgery  as soon as they could book a room., the next morning.  The assisting OB said that I ruptured as he opened me up!  I lost a lot of blood and I was so glad that I refused to leave the office the day before.  Looking back at the first ultrasound I can see that the little white blip I thought was an ectopic pregnancy probably was!

We named them Emma Liberty and Elizabeth Shalom.  I knew that Elizabeth needed to be named after peace because God gave me such peace as I went into surgery.