Ashley's Story-Baby William

I was 17 weeks and 2 days pregnant with our first baby, we were on our way to an ultrasound that my Doctor sent us to because she couldn't find the heart beat, but assured us that the noises we heard were the baby moving away from the Doppler. We were completely blindsided the next morning...we sat through the ultrasound...our baby wasn't moving. We assumed he must have been sleeping. We were laughing and so excited, our technician didn't say a word to us, except that she was going to speak with the radiologist. The radiologist came in and said she didn't have good news, that there may be a genetic disorder. We could live with that.

Then she said "I'm so sorry, there was no heartbeat", I didn't understand what she was saying, could they check again, was there a mistake? How could this be happening to us. I was in utter denial. She explained that our baby had stopped growing at 13 weeks, but I asked how could I have gone almost a month and not know my own baby had died inside me? What kind of mother doesn't know that, how could my body have failed so horribly?! To make matters worse, there was nothing we could do until Monday, because our ultrasound was Friday morning. The first thing I did when I got home was call our 3D ultrasound office to leave a heartbreaking message that our baby had died and we no longer needed the appointment.

That night I dreamt that I was holding a baby in a blue blanket and I knew that our first child would have been a boy. I couldn't sleep the whole weekend, and my mother-in-law stayed with us. She spent most of the long nights up with me. I was so lucky to have her, she was an OBS nurse at the time and I couldn't have asked for better support. I certainly did not get it from the hospital. I was told by the doctor I had seen that the tissue would be removed and disposed of because of how far along I was, there was a high risk for bleeding out. I sat in silence for a few minutes and then I couldn't stay quiet any longer. I replied "so you are going to put my baby in the garbage?" "Um, yes, more or less." "Absolutely, not! I will stay home and bleed before I let you throw away my baby!" Through tears, I stated that I would not be doing a D&C unless my baby was returned to me. She called a few people and came back into the room and agreed that they will make sure the tissue was saved and that I could pick it up at a later date. I was so upset that she wouldn't say baby, I was 17 weeks pregnant, I seen our baby move on an ultrasound... for the love of God acknowledge that I have a baby inside me and not a tumour!

The doctor was also going to make me wait until Friday to get the procedure done. My mother-in-law asked why I couldn't be taken in on Wednesday? Wednesdays were for emergencies. Again I felt like I was in a another world. I was sitting in front of my doctor with my dead baby inside me and in shock, but they felt it was fine to make me wait another week with my dead child inside of me. I couldn't bear it and broke down again. I just didn't understand why I was being treated like this wasn't a serious issue. The doctor said she would see what she could do and left the room. When she came back she said they would take me the next day, not to eat after midnight and be there for 7am. At 10am a nurse brought me into a room with my husband and mother-in-law. She explained that something was going to be inserted into my cervix to help with dilation. The next nurse came in with my file and a huge smile on her face saying "So this is the big day!" I almost threw up, I was so horrified by what she said.

I did not want this to happen, I did not want my baby scraped from my body and disposed of like trash. I don't think any of us could even speak...we we're just shocked. I spent the rest of the day curled up on a couch waiting for the procedure. I didn't get called until 5:30pm. The doctor came in and wanted me to consent to having the D&C awake, all I could say through tears was that I didn't want to hear anything or take any chance of remembering those sounds. Thank goodness, the anesthesiologist stepped up and said that I would be put to sleep and not forced to do otherwise. The surgeon left and the same nurse who was so happy about our big day came in to take me to the OR. She left me in the hall way alone and crying. The anesthesiologist, stepped up again, took my arm and said to come with him. He lead me to the OR and said he would take good care of me. The next thing I remembered was waking up, seeing my husband and saying "our baby is gone".

The doctor I had seen first came in to see me. She said she made sure to tell the surgeon to save the remains, that they would be sent to pathology and we would contacted when we could pick them up. My mother-in-law went to the hospital with me the day I got the call. She had arranged to have his remains cremated and they said it was free of charge. She had ordered a memory bear for me and the ashes were put into a gold locket on the inside. When she brought him to me, she handed me the bear and said "this is not how I wanted to hand him to you."

I had a really rough few months after we lost our son, I missed work and finally went on sick leave. I didn't want to see anyone, but anyone who came by I couldn't bear to see them leave, I would cry uncontrollably. My family doctor wanted to put me on antidepressants and I was so taken back by this, I asked her was I not allowed to be upset that I had lost my baby? Have I reached the maximum time of mourning my dead baby? I agreed to see a therapist and it did help. I started journaling, I would write letters to our son and just get out my feelings. No one in my family knew how to handle me, I was upset that no one spoke about the miscarriage, but I probably would have been upset if they did... I'm not sure. I just felt like I let everyone down and that I was a failure. I couldn't get past that I had no idea my baby had died and I didn't know.

One week before my due date, we found out I was pregnant with our second child. I was excited and then my heart sunk, I hugged my husband and cried, "what if it happens again?". His reply was do you really think it was an accident that we found out you were pregnant one week before your due date? He is looking over us and letting us know this is meant to be and we'll be okay. Throughout our whole ordeal, my husband was very supportive and said whatever I need to do to heal is what we'll do. I named our baby William Jacob, and we lost him March 25th, 2011. We had our Rainbow baby boy, May 11th, 2012 and our third baby, a girl, July 18th, 2016. I still think of the what if's and feel a little empty, I have learned to live with the sorrow, but I will never forget our first baby boy, William.

                                                                                 -Ashley Brinson-Whynot