Then at our 36 week scan it all went horribly wrong. A few seconds into the ultrasound I knew something wasn't right. Normally I could see my son wiggling and moving all over the place. This time he was perfectly still. The doctor started asking me about the baby's movements and when was the last time I felt him move. He got this horrible look on his face, I asked him why he wanted to know. That's when he said those 3 horrible words, "There's no heartbeat."
But how could there be no heartbeat? I had just felt him move right before the scan. I had been feeling him move all week. Sure, he wasn't kicking as much but that's because I was close to the due date and he didn't have as much room, right?? But they told me he looked like he'd been gone for several days based on the absence of fluid. So in fact, he had died and I had not even noticed it. I didn't know. How could I not have known??
I was completely numb and in total shock. I remember hearing my husband start screaming, "No, no, no. He can't be dead. You have to save him. Someone has to save him." The doctor was pushing the paddle hard on my stomach trying desperately to find any signs of life, but there weren't any. I could hear my husband sobbing and screaming and feel him squeezing my hand. But I was frozen, I said nothing. The doctor doing the scan called for my doctor to come down to verify. It's all a terrible blur but I vaguely remember him showing her the scan, saying something about no heartbeat and no fluid left. We were then left alone so I could get dressed and we could go upstairs and talk to my doctor about what to do next.
I made the call to my parents back in California (who even knows what time it was but I know I woke them up). Still in shock, I told them with barely a tear in my eye. I was totally numb, almost like a robot while my husband was absolutely inconsolable. I suppose it's good that we both didn't fall to pieces at that moment because there were decisions to be made.
Ultimately I decided to have an elective C-Section. I was not dilated at all and the doctor said it could take several days for any induction to work. The thought of being pregnant with a dead baby inside me for up to a week was too much for me to bear. And the idea of going through labor to give birth to my child who was already in heaven was even more unthinkable. So we scheduled the C-Section for the following day and I went home to make some more calls and get my bag packed.That night as I was trying to fall asleep I still thought I was feeling him move. Maybe it was just his body responding to my movements? Or maybe I was still hoping he would be OK.
I didn't break down until the next day right before the C-Section was about to begin. I walked into the operating room and had a total meltdown. "Why did he have to die? I want him back," I screamed. I was crying and shaking so bad I almost fell off the edge of the bed. I remember the anesthesiologist telling me that I had to calm down so she could give me the epidural. I had to sit still or she might damage my nerves. As hard as I tried, I couldn't calm down. In the end, the midwife had to lay on top of me to keep me still enough to have the epidural. Once they were sure I was numb, they gave me some sedative drugs and the rest I don't remember.
My son was born on August 13, 2010, he was already an angel.