Warning that the following is graphic and might trigger intense feelings related to loss:

Hope Olivia L. was born on July 26th, 2013 at 12:54am at 18.5 weeks.  I was in labor for over 24 hours after I started contractions and Hope’s water was bulging out of my fully dilated cervix.  It started on July 24th, Wednesday at 3:00pm.  I felt like I was having contractions but since I never felt contractions before I was unsure.  I called the oncall doctor, they told me it was probably round ligament pain and that if there was no bleeding, I should be fine.  The doctor told me to call back right away if I saw any bleeding.  At 8:30pm, I tried to have a bowel movement and strained to do so, immediately I felt something like a clot emerge from my cervix, I reached down and was horrified to feel a bulge, almost like a water balloon.  I yelled out, DH asked what was wrong and I told him that we had to go to the emergency room right away.  I called the on call doctor again and told her about the water bag, she said she would tell the emergency room that I was coming in.

Once in the ER, the ob/gyns determined that it was indeed the sac, and that it was bulging through a fully dilated cervix.  They also did a scan and determined that Hope was still alive, moving around with good heart rate.  They told me I was going to be admitted, but not to Labor and Delivery since I was only 18.5 weeks.  I was finally admitted at 2am on Thursday morning, the doctors all agreed that I was going to deliver Hope soon, there was no way she was going to survive.  Since she was still alive I told them there was no way I was going to induce labor with my water in tact.  My only options were to induce if my water broke on its own, or if she already passed within my womb.  I was so numb, I couldn’t believe the reality of the situation.  I begged God to wake me from this horrible nightmare.

I only got 3 hours of sleep that night even while taking am.bien.  My contractions let up and I started thinking about being on bedrest to get Hope to viability.  The doctors reminded me that even if I could keep the bulging water sac from breaking for another 6 weeks, that Hope would be born with so many complications that would not be good for her.  I then begged God that if it was his will to take her to heaven, then to let it be sooner rather than later.  I was so wrenched with guilt that I was letting her down, letting her die while she still was living at that moment in my womb.  I got another scan, Hope looked so adorable, I couldn’t believe that her precious beating heart was in jeapordy, and that she was going to be gone soon.

At 6pm that evening the contractions started to pick up and the pressure in my rectal area became very intense.  I asked for some pain medication, they gave me a shot of a narcotic, they would not allow an epidural.  The medication did nothing for me except make me throw up and feel so drowsy and dizzy.  I went in and out of sleeping and throwing up, only to awaken to each painful contraction.  DH just stared out me while I moaned in pain.  The pain and pressure went on until about midnight when the pressure started to transfer to my vaginal area from my rectum.  I felt like I had to urinate, they gave me a bed pan, but I begged to go to the bathroom to try to pee.  The nurse was weary and said I might give birth in the toilet, but I went anyways.  When I got on the toilet no urine would pass, suddenly I felt the sac descend even further down and I got up to go quickly back to the bed.  I yelled for the nurse to call the doctor, that I was having the baby right then, she didnt believe me, another nurse came and examined me and finally agreed that the baby was right there still in the sac.  I begged them to get the doctor because I wanted DH to baptize her with water if she was born alive and before she passed.  The doctors came running in and I pushed may once or twice, felt the sac come out and break instantly.  DH quickly sprinkled her with water and said, “Hope Olivia L., you are being baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

After that they wrapped her in a towel and DH laid her on my chest.  She was so tiny, but I felt her weight on me, it was the greatest and most bittersweet feeling.  Hope moved her arms, her fingers had fingernails, I gave her my finger to grasp, she held on tightly.  She seemed to gasp, I tried stroking her arm, but her skin seemed so delicate I was afraid to hurt her.  DH and I told her over and over again how much she was loved, how we were so thankful for her.  How her Grandpa Ron would be waiting for her in heaven.  She was perfect and beautiful in every way possible.  We told her how prowud we were to have her as our first born and our daughter.  The nurse finally took her to dress her in a tiny cap and dress.  I am so glad DH took many pictures of her.  Hope’s images have been a lifeline for me so far.  I think many people would be too squimish to see her picture, but it brings me comfort that I can forever remember what she looked like.  DH laid her on my chest again while she was clothed, we talked to her some more, I think by this time she had surely passed.

The doctors and nurses came back to attend to me and to see if they could deliver the placenta.  During this time DH took Hope and sat with her and got to spend his own time with her.  It was determined that my placenta would not budge and would only come out in pieces, the pain was excrutiating while they manually tried to do this.  Finally, it was time for them to take Hope away.  We were assured that she would be placed in the morgue until we were ready to cremate her.  I stroked her arm and reminded her of how much she was loved, then she was gone.  Gone too soon.

The next day I had to have a D&C to remove the placenta.  I lost a liter of blood in the surgery and had to have a transfusion, but everything else was textbook and they were able to remove everything.  Even today, 2 days later my bleeding is very minimal, and I have had no pain or complications from the surgery.  We were finally discharged on Friday at 7:30pm, less than 19 hours after I had given birth to Hope.

It is so hard to even breathe right now.  I am in so much emotional pain.  I was fine on Tuesday, I can’t believe Wednesday brought such a different outcome.  I was supposed to have my 19 week anatomy scan this Tuesday, July 30th.  They were supposed to do a thorough check of my cervix.

So I come back here to this blog.  The irony has hit me that I started this blog for my IVF experience, and with the surprise pregnancy of Hope I had only come back to update my readers (literally this week) on that surprise news.  The ironic part is that I named this blog IVFhope, not knowing that I was going to have my first born named Hope.  I feel like I can use this blog to tell my journey about her and what I have lost and gained through carrying her for 18 weeks and 3 days.  It might not be a lot of posts, but whenever I have the urge to share my feelings, I will come here and share them with you.

Thank you for reading this far, I know it was a lot to take.

Newly minted mother of Hope – C