Wednesday, March 05, 2008

26 years ago...

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep
I wish they had been there for me 26 years ago.....

26 years ago, when I was a naive, optimistic 21 year old, married for almost 4 years, I gave birth to a stillborn son, Jordan Matthew. I was full term.

But, the nightmare began 3 weeks earlier.

It was a Friday and I woke, looking forward to a warm summer day. As the day wore on I waited and waited to feel Jordan move. He was always so active. Somersaulting to the point that it took my breath away. When 4:30pm rolled around I could stand it no more and called the Dr. I didn’t want to go through the weekend worrying. They agreed and had me come in.

They tried to find a heartbeat and couldn’t. They did an ultrasound and didn’t find the heartbeat. They were sorry.

I was hysterical. I told my Dr. “Take him out!” “Can’t you do a cesarean?” He said “No, because then you will always have to have a cesarean. It’s BEST to wait until you go into labor.” This was in 1982. I remember driving home and wanting to wrap my car around a tree. How could this be real?

I had to live with a dead baby inside me for 3 weeks. It was beyond horrible and when I think back on it I can’t believe I actually lived through it and still have a hold on my sanity. I know I am a changed person though.

I hated going out. People would ask “How much longer do you have?” “Do you have a name picked out?” All the questions people ask, they are excited for you. They didn’t know my story. It was so sad. I was so young.

I went into labor. He was born with his cord twisted like a telephone cord. Wrapped around his neck and then around his leg. Poor little boy.

Afterwards the nurses felt so bad. I will always remember that they wanted to get me an ice cream sundae. I wouldn’t do it. I felt I didn’t deserve it. After all what was to celebrate?

I really wanted to see my son! The doctor said no, it wouldn’t be good for me. The baby had been dead so long that the Dr. said he was starting to decompose. I listened to him.

Dear God, to this day I wish I hadn’t. I wish I would’ve seen my baby. I even called the doctors office and mortuary years later to see if anyone had taken a picture of my baby. I was obsessed with wanting to see him. There was no picture. I remember my mother in law telling me that the mortician had told her that the baby didn’t look that bad. I wish the doctor would’ve let me see him.

I ended up with an infection because not everything came out during the birth. I had to have a D&C. People would tell me, “Well, at least he didn’t die after he was born. It would’ve been much harder for you” and “You can have another one”. What the heck are people thinking????

It took 3 years and 3 miscarriages to finally get a healthy baby born, my daughter Lily. Born cesarean. Then, 2 years later another daughter, Camille. Born V-back at the hospital. Finally, 3 years later my last daughter, Jasmine, was born at home. I never had another son.

I feel so incredibly blessed to have my girls.

I only wish that I would’ve had emotional support back then. My husband got tired of my crying and “dwelling on something you can’t change”. I wish I had a photo.

I am so glad that there is now this wonderful organization to help others. Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. I would encourage anyone who goes through this ordeal to have a photo taken. You may think “No, I can’t” but years later you will wish you had.

I know I do.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

god bless you. My heart is swelling with pride on having a courageous woman like yourself for a friend.
That was the most powerful story I have ever read. I remember you when you were carrying your son and you were so happy and beautiful...
You have been through so much and I know it is very healing for you to let it out. I love you and if you ever need a shoulder -ever- I will be there. Just remember this- even though you don't have a vision of Jordan- he has been imprinted into your soul. You carried him for 9 months and loved him forever afterwards. I just know he is watching over his family. I have always believed in guardian angels.
He is one.