Sunday, November 13, 2011

Ellersley Grace VI

So what happened next is something out of nightmares. Actually, I can tell you that it wasn't even a nightmare of mine. I NEVER thought or dreamed or night-mared or even remotely imagined that this could happen to us. It has taken me about a week and a half to get up the umph to even write about that we go...oh tissues may be needed, just a suggestion.

So we were in bed after a long but fun day. We were so exhausted but the kissing began and well it couldn't be stopped, what can I say? During the fun I felt like I had started peeing. Now, keep in mind that I was 7 months pregnant, 7 months 1 week and 1 day to be exact. The actual act of peeing happened almost every hour but I felt like I had to pee about every 5 minutes. Also, secretly I may have peed a tiny bit at one point in my pregnancy while in bed. Wes may have made me laugh and it may have only been a little bit...that may have happened. If you see me on a regular basis I am holding you to an oath right now...DO NOT EVER ASK ME ABOUT THAT...I would be so embarrassed : ) So, anyway I sit up right away and I am immediately laughing, "OH, oh I think I'm peeing...". I sit there for a minute and Wes is on the other side of the bed at this point, "Well get up!" he said laughing. I stand up and I'm giggling and running to the bathroom but by the time I reach the bathroom I realize it is not pee. It was blood and it was running down my leg.

Now, as a pregnant woman I instantly knew something was wrong and I instantly started saying "Thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus, ok ok thank you Jesus". I was sitting on the toilet and the blood was just flowing out of me, it would gush and stop and gush and stop. Wesley was walking around the room and asking me what to do. He said, "Well I should call 911, right?". I said "Yeah, I guess. I'm fine I don't feel any pain but yeah I shouldn't be bleeding...". He called 911 and the ambulance was on their way. He came over to me nervously smiling and he kissed my head and my hands and then I asked him to pray..."Jesus keep our baby Honu safe, thank you for being with us and watching over us...give us peace Jesus peace" I stayed on the toilet until the paramedics came and I just kept thanking Jesus. Wesley and I knew that Elle was coming but we knew that she would be fine. All the books we'd been reading said that a baby at even 25 weeks had an almost 90% chance of living so we knew our Miss Elle would be fine. We knew she'd be early, waaaaay earlier than we ever thought but she would be fine. I cannot explain to you, even now, the peace that I felt. It makes me laugh, strange I know. God was filling me with peace. I had never been to the hospital ever in my entire life. The extent of my doctor visits have been for the common cold, which if you know me is like pneumonia to me. I am the biggest baby on this planet but I was so calm. I knew I would be getting an IV, I knew I would probably be having a c section that night, I knew all of it but I was ok. I was brave, because of Jesus and because of her. I just wanted her to be safe and I knew she would be.

The ambulance came and the paramedics got me all set up. I was not in any pain at all. I was bleeding and I could still feel it gushing out of me every minute or so but I had no pain. I remember trying to be very conscience of what was going on around me. I did not want to pass out and I knew since I was losing blood there was a chance that could happen. I remember being very alert and very awake and just wanting them to hurry up. Once in the ambulance I was getting nervous and starting to shake and I just kept praying. "Thank you Jesus, thank with us, be near, protect our baby girl..." The paramedic asked me if I was feeling Elle move and if I had felt her move that day. "I'm not feeling her move right now but it's kind of late and she usually doesn't move around this time, I felt her all day today though." I really can honestly say that the thought of her not being alive never even entered my mind. I truly feel that Jesus was protecting me from the evil that could have overtaken me in that moment. The paramedic was calm and kept me calm and Jesus was just permeating my being, I truly believe that.

We sped off to the hospital with Wesley riding in the front of the ambulance and my parents driving in their car right behind us. I remember watching their lights almost all the way to the hospital. Once we arrived at the hospital they opened the doors of the ambulance and I saw Gib, my sister (Rachel). She was standing there with Rob and Wesley. I looked at her and she was crying and she said "I love you" and she blew me a kiss. She was so worried about Elle and I. I will never forget the look she had on her face, one of panic and deep concern for us.

The paramedics took us straight up to the Labor and Delivery triage unit. We were wheeled into a tiny room and the nurse came in and immediately wanted to listen for Elle's heartbeat. There were a few other people in the room giving me a new IV and pulling up my shirt and pulling down my pants. People everywhere. The nurse put the wand on my belly and I remember praying that she would find her heartbeat quickly. We had just gone to a doctor appt the Wednesday before and I specifically remember the doctor saying, "Oh she has a very strong heart, very strong heartbeat." The nurse wasn't finding it. At this point, I started to worry. I looked at Wesley, my rock...holding my hand and he looked at me, " It's ok baby, it's's fine." I kept praying and Jesus's peace was filling the room. The nurse started to look pretty nervous and she opened the door to the room, "I need the chief of staff in here immediately..." My mom and dad were standing there when she opened the door, they were praying to hear the heartbeat too. The minute that nurse yelled for the chief, a million people flooded the room. I could not even begin to tell you what they all were doing but they brought a big ultrasound machine with them. The Dr. was a big, kind woman who pressed down very hard on my belly. She was bound and determined to find Miss Elle and to make sure she was ok. She finally found Elle and we heard the heartbeat. I sighed a big sigh of relief and smiled at Wesley, "There she is..." The doctor said, "OK Honey we have to do emergency surgery right now and get your baby out ok...and I'm sorry but he can't come..." I can tell you that in any other situation, had I been given any time to think I would have been terrified. I was about to be sliced open and the love of my life couldn't be there. We were about to meet our daughter and he couldn't be there?! They wheeled me out of the room as fast as they could and he walked beside me and said, "I love you, it's ok, I love you!" I yelled I love you as they wheeled me into the room that would hold the birth of our first born baby.

Once in the room I was flat on my back with tons of people running around like crazy. Again, that peace. I had butterflies but I had peace. I would feel myself start to shake and get nervous and then I would just say the name of Jesus and all of that would leave. Demons must flee at the sound of His great name. The lights were bright and I remember seeing all kinds of utensils everywhere. I tried to close my eyes and just breathe and relax. I thought of her and how we would get to meet her soon and kiss her little nose and her little feet. I was so excited and I think most of my nervousness was actually anxiousness to meet her. The people started grabbing every limb I have and poking needles into me. The nurse that was with us in the triage room was still with us and she was leaning over me. I remember looking at her and she had a very anxiety ridden face and tears welling in her eyes. I did not like that. She said, "Honey, I have to put a catheder in you now and I'm sorry but it's probably going to hurt..." Well, great I thought. "Ok", I said and she started. I don't even think I felt crazy. God, He really is in the little things. He knows how much of a baby I am, he calmed me for the IVs, he calmed me for the catheder, he calmed me the entire way. It was all as easy as pie. The man behind my head started talking and I asked him if I was having an epidural. He said "Oh no we are putting you under maam". Oh, gooood was exactly what I thought. If there was one thing I was worried about it was a shot in my spine. I did not want to do that but I knew if I had to that Jesus would be with me. I was elated to hear that He had already taken care of that part. That man said, "Ok, we are going to put a tube down your throat. You may feel some pressure on your neck." He put his hand on my neck and that is the last thing I remember before going under...

You were born into this world at 11:31pm on August 13th, 2011. You were born with no heartbeat and the wonderful doctors did CPR on you for 22 minutes. They got your heart to beat but it was not enough to keep you here on this planet. Your little soul met Jesus at 11:53 pm. You weighed 2lbs 9 oz and you were 15 inches long. You had weight in this life, Miss Elle. Your eyes were closed, your skin was flawless, your fingers were long, your hair looked strawberry blonde. You have Mommy's nose and Daddy's ears and toes. You are our perfect little girl.

I woke up in the recovery room to Wesley's tear-stained face. He was holding our baby and he tells me now that I had such a wonderful look on my face. A look of excitement and JOY to finally meet our sweet baby girl. I was so excited to see our beautiful baby. He tells me that was the worst moment of his life. He looked at me and said, "She didn't make it baby, I'm so sorry but she didn't make it." I was heavily drugged but I remember fully understanding what he was saying. I don't remember this but he tells me that I said "Oh God, why, God why?" Even through a foggy brain the heart can speak. I remember him handing her to me and I thought she was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Seriously, she was perfect. She looked so much like Wesley, it was almost funny to see. She was a little person, one that we had created together with Jesus. Those moments with her will forever be etched on my brain and my heart and they are far from something I can even articulate in writing. We have a book, The Belly Book, that describes our entire 7 month journey. In the belly book one of the questions is this, 'How I felt when I first saw you'...this is my answer...

I was full of JOY and sorrow. JOY that you were here and you were so beautiful and that you were mine and Daddy's. JOY that you looked so much like Daddy and JOY because I loved you so much before I ever even met you. Sorrow because I knew you would not be staying and we would never do the things that I do with my Mommy. Sorrow because I was afraid it hurt you and I didn't want you to be in any pain. Sorrow because I missed you kicking and moving in my belly. Sorrow so very deep it only came out in a very loud groaning. The ache of a Mommy's broken heart...

'How it felt to hold you for the first time'...this is Wesley's answer...

I don't know if I will ever be able to describe what I felt holding your little body in my arms for the first time. The deepest feelings, stronger and harder than any I've ever had before came rushing over me. I felt love, overwhelming love for the most beautiful baby I've ever seen. You made me feel strong and brave and you made me want to protect you even though you were already gone. I also felt awe just to see what you finally looked like after all the anticipation and waiting through the months. But mixed in with these feelings was the worst ache and pain and sorrow I've ever known. I hurt because you weren't there with us. I hurt because you weren't moving or breathing. I wasn't ready for that and I'm still not ready. I groaned for the fact that Mommy was going to be hurting so greatly; that we, together, would never get to see you grow or hear you cry or see your blue eyes. I still wish it wasn't true. I wish I could feel how it is to hold you again, right now. Sorrow came when you were born but so did love unspeakable. That's what I will remember forever after the sorrow leaves -- love unspeakable.

We held, hugged, kissed, smelled and snuggled our beautiful baby for 12 hours. Our family was all around and they all got to meet their sweet Ellersley and do the same to her. She spent time with grandmas and grandpas, aunts and uncles and sweet friends. Our nurse came and took pictures of us with her and she took her and dressed her in a cute outfit and took pictures of her. They are the most cherished possessions we own at this point in our lives. The outfit and hat she wore hang in a shadow box now in her room. We snuggled and slept with her all night, we cried over her and told her how much we loved her and how much we would miss her. We told her about all the dreams we had for her and how she was so anticipated. And of course we told her about that JOY, the JOY of that first test, the JOY of telling our family, the JOY of telling our church, the JOY of listening to her heartbeat, the JOY of seeing her move around inside me, the JOY of finding out she was a girl, the JOY of feeling her kick for the first time, the JOY of reading to her, the JOY of knowing she was coming and the JOY of loving her.

The first day and a half in the hospital seems a blur to me except every part with her. I remember it all so clearly. I remember how she looked and how she felt and exactly what she smelled like. I remember what she felt like laying in the crook of my neck, she loved to snuggle. I remember taking pictures with her and I remember sleeping with her. I remember her, I don't think I could ever forget. I know that so many friends and family came to visit us that first day but I really could not tell you who it was. The morphine was so strong, I hated it. I was so sleepy and I would be in the middle of a conversation and fall asleep. Remember that I had never been in the hospital ever before so any kind of major pain med was totally foreign to me. I hated being out of control, imagine that. : ) I remember coming off of the morphine...that was not a fun time.

They took me off of the morphine at 10pm Sunday night, almost 24 hours after the c-section. I, up to this point, had not really cried. Oh, I was sad...darkness was surrounding me, but my body would not allow tears to form. Monday morning at about 6am it all came spilling out of me. I had just woken up and gotten up to use the restroom, I got back into bed and my little body could not hold that hurt any longer. The tears started streaming down my face and the wailing began. Wesley ran to my side and my mom to the other side. Wesley held me and cried with me and my mom prayed that Jesus would be near. It was the strangest feeling I have had up to this point in my life and I pray every day that it NEVER happens to me again. I always had read in the Bible those stories about the mourners and how they had groaned in pain for those that had passed away. I never understood that and I actually thought it was a bit dramatic. Well, I can truly tell you that it is not drama of any kind. It is real, raw brokenness. The cry and the ache of a very broken heart. This wailing happened a few times a day for the first several days. It happened once when our entire family was in the room. We were about to eat and everyone was grabbing their pizza and I just couldn't stop it from coming out. Our nephews were there and afterwards Kyle came over to me and said, "Nicki, it makes me sad when you cry...". It made me sad too Little dude, it made me sad too.


Tia L said...

There are so many things that you say here that are almost exactly the same as the things that I felt and went through. I'm the same way with little sicknesses...a big baby. But THAT day, I became the bravest person in the world. I almost died and yet I could literally feel God all around me and even putting words into my mouth. I delivered a lifeless body, I still cannot even believe it today.

What a beautiful blog and tribute to your little angel. Much love!

Anonymous said...

Hi Nicki, You don't know me but I just wanted to say how sorry I am for the loss of your precious baby girl.
I have been in tears reading your blog because you and I were pregnant at the same time, my due date was October 30th, 2011 and my husband and I had our little girl just 6 days before yours was born....only ours lived and yours didn't :( I also bled before my c-section and had pregnancy complications starting at 13 weeks with a sub-chorionic hemorrhage and my water breaking at 19 weeks. I said "God this isn't fair, her baby should be here, after all I went through and our baby is alive and healthy but you took hers? I just don't understand". When I finished reading your story I picked my little girl up and hugged her so tight and cried because that could have been her :'( I also had a miscarriage August 12th of 2008, I just thought the dates and everything were so close for us so this really touched me. Thank you so much for sharing your story. We don't always understand why things happen the way they do but God always has a plan and someday it will all make sense. God bless you and your family.