It’s Getting Brighter

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Told by: Ashley

My amazingly supportive husband and I spent 41 weeks preparing for every aspect of our son’s arrival. We hired our birth doula at 12 weeks, read natural birth books, watched The Business of Being Born, made sure to have the best of the best for our little one when it came to car seats, etc. We customized Jackson’s nursery to be just perfect. We had dealt with the normal pregnancy “scares” including the glucose testing, ultrasounds to measure for size and NST when I was “overdue.” Jackson and I continued to prevail and stay healthy. I had predromal labor for a few days and had an office visit, NST and ultrasound just a few days before “real” labor started.

My husband and I had dinner on Friday, March 21 but on the way home my contractions became a little more intense. I was not too concerned because they were not regular. An hour passed and the once manageable contractions were more regular and definitely increasing in intensity. I labored for 6 more hours before finally believing I was in REAL labor. I was so excited! I was feeling Jackson move and I was remembering how active he had been at the NST that morning. He had kicked the sensor with such vigor at one time that it made my husband and I jump. Back to labor… Our doula arrived around 2:30am and assessed the situation. We tried different laboring positions, stayed hydrated and waited another hour before deciding we should go to the hospital. The labor pain was so intense in my lower back. I remember always hearing about how horrible “back labor” is and I was hoping Jackson was in a prime position and not spine-to-spine with me. After the 15 minute drive to the hospital, we were admitted to L&D and I was not having any breaks in the back pain at this point. I was happy that our doula suggested going again and changing into my Pretty Pushers gown while at home so we could get this show on the road as soon as we arrived. It seemed things were right on track.

The L&D nurse explained that I would be monitored for 20 minutes and then I could get up and move. She tried and tried to find Jackson’s heartbeat. She called in another nurse who also could not find his heartbeat. She then called in my on-call midwife with the ultrasound machine. The midwife then called in the physician who confirmed via ultrasound that our baby boy was not alive. The same perfectly healthy baby boy whose heartbeat his dad and I had heard less than 18 hours before. After realizing I was in shock, in pain and so confused with everything in the world, my plans of a natural birth were the furthest from my mind. I wanted to be NUMB. I immediately knew I couldn’t do this. Section me please. Luckily, my midwife and doula both talked sense into me and when I realized we were already at 5cm, I had to accept that I have to give birth to my sleeping baby boy. After 23 hours of labor, Jackson was born. I’ll never be able to put into words having to say hello and goodbye. I hope by sharing my story that I am on my way to healing.  Even several weeks postpartum it still seems like yesterday although every day does get a little brighter… especially when I think of my gorgeous baby boy looking down on me.

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