Monday, September 20, 2010
Glory Angel Cruz our loss at 19 weeks
The ultra-sound shows Glory at just 12 weeks old, saying high to us. Little did I know this would be the last time I would see him alive. At my 16 week appointment we had a healthy 146 BPM heart rate. He measured within days of my due date and everything was on track. I look back now and there were signs of what was to come. I got a phone call a couple days later from my doctor which freaked me out, he'd never called me personally before. He told me that the Alpha Protein test had come back elevated for Spina Bifida. The result was 2.7, 2.5 is the highest it can be for normal. I wasn't worried I told him, our first pregnancy had the same result, in fact I think she was 3.5 and Kieran was born a healthy 7 pounds 3 weeks early. I was scheduled for a special fetal ultra-sound two weeks later. I woke up September 13th, 2010 the day of the scan and went to the bathroom. My first major sign something was wrong is I had some very light brown discharge. I'm not one to have any color in my discharge with a healthy pregnancy. All of the miscarriages I've had start with this. I looked down at my belly and even though I think it had been in the back of my mind for weeks, I knew my belly wasn't as big as it had been a few weeks ago. I recently had been able to sleep on my belly, when I laid down it was sunken down. I put on regular jeans and just prayed that maybe I'd just be going from the scan to bed rest to wait out the next 20 weeks. I remember praying on the way to the hospital "please God don't test me with the loss of this baby" but quickly I said to Him, but if it is your will, give me peace. I arrived at Winnie Palmer Hospital, I happily told the tech that I wasn't too worried about Spina Bifida as we'd had this before. She asked me if we knew the sex yet and I said no, not yet. She got busy with the scan. She did say that there wasn't much amniotic fluid and asked if I had been leaking. I said no not at all, just the discharge that morning. I asked her what could cause this and she said a variety of things. And then I saw her measure our baby's leg, 16.5 weeks, I was 19 weeks (well according to my calculations 20 weeks and 1 day). I stopped her and said, can you check the heartbeat. She pulled the scan over and there was no heartbeat, no blood flow. I sat there in shock, I think I knew, but didn't want it to be true. How could I have gone from having 2 miscarriages in a row, be told at my 8 week appointment with this pregnancy that it's a keeper, and be this far along and loose the baby. All we wanted was one more child to complete our family. Then the doctor came in and took a look, she showed me that the brain had started to sink and most likely the baby had passed a week or two ago.
She informed me that I would have to come back to the hospital within the next week and be induced to deliver the baby. Another blow to me because the last baby I lost at 8 weeks I had to wait to miscarry because there was still a heart beat, though it was only 40 beats per minute. Not to say that I wanted either of them taken out, but it was such a painful process that took over 2 days of contractions and bleeding before I miscarried the baby.
My husband was in Washington DC, so I had to call him and tell him that our baby had passed away. He flew home and we scheduled the induction for the following morning.
On Tuesday September 14th, 2010 we arrived at the hospital at 8am. We were upset when we found out they weren't expecting me, because of a mix up with the Ultra-Sound Doctor and my OB/GYN office. I sat down in the waiting room of the hospital watching pregnant woman, after pregnant woman walk in with their full swollen bellies, and looked down to my shrinking belly and just cried. The woman at the registration was so kind, she worked like crazy to get me checked in to the 9th floor where I would be for my stay. At 9:00am I finally was wheeled to the 9th floor, I cried the whole way up. We got into my room and I was surprised to find that I would labor and deliver, and recover in the same room. I guess I just thought it would be like it is when you come into deliver a baby and are moved to a recovery room after. I imagined there would be so much blood and fluid it would be a mess with all the carpet in the room. While we waited for the nurses to get the required info from both doctors we were visited by the Chaplin, Gail. She was a kind woman who talked with us about our loss and options as far as arrangements. Sadly if you are under 20 weeks you are not required to make arrangements for your baby. I just sat and cried. I knew our baby was already dead, but this baby was still mine and I wanted to make arrangements. She was so compassionate and we were so relieved to find that a local funeral home that would cremate our baby for only $75. We thought it was going to be $400-500 and obviously there is not price tag on death, but it was something we just couldn't afford right at that moment.
At 12:00pm the nurse came in with the first dose of misoprostol to dissolve in my mouth to start labor. We were told that I would receive 200mg. the first and then go up 200mg. every 4 hours, and then every 6 hours. We were told it would most likely take 24-48 hours to deliver the baby. I was hooked up to an IV so I would be able to receive pain medication when needed, had 24 vials of blood taken. I had some light cramping but no bleeding, they weren't kidding when they said this misoprostol can have diarrhea as a side effect. It was pretty bad! At 4pm I was given the second dose of misoprostol, this time two pills, you have to let them sit between your cheek and gum and let them dissolve over 30 minutes. By 6:00pm I decided not to brave out the contractions anymore, really what was the point of going through all that pain when I wasn't going to get the darling crying little baby we wanted so bad. There was a problem with the IV and it wasn't till about 6:30pm I got my first ever dose of morphine. Wow it sure isn't what it's cracked up to be! It didn't take the pain of the contractions away, just made me feel a little drowsy, a little weird, and not nauseous but I just didn't feel great. I could hit my little pump every 6 minutes, but ended up using it I thought 10 times, but Luis says maybe 6. I remember thinking, I'm not going to get any sleep tonight, and please Lord I don't want to deliver this baby at 5:00 in the morning, be exhausted from all the hours of labor, transition, pushing, etc. and not be able to enjoy holding and saying goodbye to our little baby. At 8:00pm I had two or three contractions that really didn't feel good at all, I then felt this little pop inside me. I sat up and immediately knew that the head was coming out. I said quickly to Luis, the baby is coming, he jumped up and hit the call light. I pushed our baby out complete in the sac and what we later found out was the placenta. What was supposed to take a day or more, took 8 hours! I had no urge to push, no transition, etc.! I am so happy when I look back that I got to deliver my own baby! There was of course no panic that we needed someone to come, as he had already passed from this life. The nurses came in and paged the attending doctor, they took our little baby to get cleaned up so we could spend time together. There was concern on the part of the doctor that all of the placenta hadn't come out. They had prepared me that I would have to have a D&C and receive a blood transfusion if I lost too much blood. The nurse pushed down on my stomach and uterus to get the blood clots out. The doctor came in to examine me and said she thought all of the placenta was out but there was one very large clot that needed to come out and she just couldn't get to it. She gave me some bad news that she would need to get a a tool to scrape it out. I asked her if I could go to the bathroom before she came back, and she said yes. I went to the bathroom and by God's grace it came right out! She came back and said, you just did my job for me! They helped me get cleaned up and then we awaited the arrival of our baby. The nurse came in and said she thought our baby was a girl, but the attending doctor would examine and tell us what he or she was. They brought our precious baby in a basket. Luis and I looked and we just knew he was a boy. I held our precious son in my hands. He was so tiny only 7 1/2 inches long, weighing 110 grams. They explained that the swelling around his neck was most likely due to his early demise, and the trauma of birth. Even though he was more fragile than I imagined he would, we were drawn to his perfect hands and fingernails. They were so tiny, but perfectly crafted. We named him Glory Angel Cruz. Glory so we will always remember to glorify God in everything, even when we don't understand the why. Angel because this is my husbands middle name, who was named after an uncle that passed away. This was the most peaceful time of the whole process. Luis and I held him, prayed over him and just loved each other. We had some pressure from some of the staff to have a pastor come, the Chaplin, etc. and do a blessing, but Luis, myself, and God created this life, and we decided to be the only ones to pray and say goodbye to him.
We let him go a little after 10:00pm. The nurse and doctor feel that it may have been a cord stricture that lead to his death. It seems to be rare, but it's possible that he had so much room and was so active that he twisted his cord enough to cut off enough supply from the placenta to keep him healthy. I find comfort in this, as it should mean we can go on to have a healthy 4th child. But I have learned in all this to put all of my faith, energy, etc. into the Will of Christ. If He wants us to have another baby, He will provide this gift of life. I can't be in control of getting pregnant, charting, worrying over every week if the child is still alive in me. And if we are not to have any other children, He will give me the peace I need to make the desire go away.
We have to know that Christ loves us more than we can possibly imagine. He works in all things for the good of His Kingdom. He never gives us anything that we can't handle. It only makes us stronger. We can't give into the enemy who wants so badly to take us down so he can have his revenge on God. God loves us, and gave His only son, so that if we believe in Him, we will have everlasting life! John 3:16. Glory Angel Cruz is in heaven awaiting our arrival, I only had that one little wave with him, but someday I will hold him in my arms, and there will be no more pain or sorrow. We have to live here on earth and do two things! Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, body, and strength, and equally as important is love your neighbor as yourself.
My prayer has been that if my story and testimony even brings one person to Christ and the joy and peace that comes in knowing that you will live forever in the presence of our most holy God, Glory's death will be worth the sacrifice! God we glorify you in everything. With everything we give thanks!