Esther’s Story Part Three – Birth

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATo read from the beginning, see:

Part 1 – Pregnancy http://www.mommysheavenlydream.com/esthers-story-2/   ‎

Part 2 – Tragedy http://www.mommysheavenlydream.com/chapter-2/

As the sun shone into our windows early Wednesday morning, it brought with it a silent heaviness. We grabbed Kyla and left the house early for a follow up ultrasound. After dropping Kyla off and picking up my mom and dad (they lovingly went to support us), we arrived at the doctor’s. It was hard to believe that just the day before I had practically skipped into the office, eager to hear another good report on my baby. How very quickly everything had changed. I signed in quietly and took a seat where the all the happy moms in the waiting room could not see the tears flowing down my cheeks. Our appointment was brief and the ultrasound showed that our baby had died just a few days prior. We still had no clue why. Together with our doctor, we decided to schedule an induction for Thursday morning, February 14.

The rest of the day, Adam and I tried to take in the shock, and prepare ourselves for what the next day would hold. The pain was literally crushing, yet we knew it was still going to get harder still before it got any easier. We were faced with decisions no parent should ever have to make.

I awoke Thursday with the most gut-wrenching feeling I had ever imagined. I can’t describe what it was like to register at the hospital to give birth, knowing my baby would never come home with me. After mumbling my information and getting checked in, we were sent to the labor and delivery floor.

When we walked through the crowded hallway filled with Valentines Day balloons and flowers, I couldn’t even look. This valentine’s day, I would say goodbye to my little love forever. Over and over and over on the trek to the second floor I looked at my small stomach and thought…”this is not how it is supposed to be. this is not how it is supposed to be.”

I let my mind wander for a moment to how I expected this pregnancy to end…A beautiful day in July…contractions…big round belly…a drive to the hospital eager to meet our second child…birth…loving embrace…tears of joy…a lifetime ahead…

I was jarred back to reality as we exited the elevator and walked past the nursery, where my precious baby would never even have the chance to be.

We presented ourselves at the counter, and I heard one of the nurses say quietly to another, “here is your girl.” I tried not to look as more than one other woman stood beside us with large bellies and smiling faces, ready to meet their healthy, full term babies.

We were taken to a quiet room on the side of the maternity ward no one ever wants to visit.

It is hard for me to even write about how I felt when I walked into the room. It is enough to say that I was overtaken by a level of pain I have never imagined.

A sign was put on our door with a picture of a rose stem and a brief message asking visitors to please see the nurse’s station. It symbolized that the baby born in this room would not be alive.

The induction process was started at 12:30pm.

15 hours later, on February 15 at 3:18am, our precious Esther Kate Waller was born. At six inches long, she was exactly the size of my palm.

Precious…Beautiful…Wanted…Cherished…Tiny…and so deeply loved.

We spent the next few hours holding her, rocking her, talking to her, and loving her. It was such a special, sacred time of bonding with our little girl, even when she’d already gone to heaven.

I am so very thankful for my mom, dad, and sister who shared this most painful, yet intimate time with us.

Birth is supposed to be a glorious time where the difficulty of pregnancy and struggle of labor are finally rewarded by the cries of new life. To a mom whose baby has died, giving birth is a different experience altogether. The love is the same. The dreams are the same. The connection is the same. The value of the new life is the same. Yet this time there will be no first cry. The only tears will be wailings from a mommy who wishes she could have taken her baby’s place.

Yet I treasure Esther Kate’s birth so deeply in my heart. It’s not all one big bad memory, because she is my daughter and this is the only birth I will ever have with her. I want to remember every part, and every detail. It is so special to me because she is special to me. I am so very glad that I was chosen to be her mom, and I am so grateful for the privilege of birthing her.

Upon birth, it was immediately evident what caused her death. The umbilical cord was tangled so tightly around her right leg that a deep imprint was visible on her small thigh. This created a horrifying, extremely rare “accident” as they call it.

I ended up having some physical complications that required a lot of monitoring. While the medical personnel worked on me, I could hear my Dad on the other side of the room talking tenderly about Esther. The pictures, handprints, and footprints that my family graciously took for me will be treasured for the rest of my life.

After a trip to the operating room, I was monitored for a couple more hours before our doctor released me to go home. Only 24 hours in the hospital, yet it felt like my whole life was there.

I had nothing left physically or emotionally, but now I had to say goodbye to my Esther Kate, and go home to live the rest of my life without her. As I left my tiny little girl, a part of me was ripped out forever.

I climbed into the wheelchair and the caring nurse pushed me out to the car. This time, we drove home with a memory box, instead of a baby.

We were left alone to try to pick up the pieces of our family, and make sense of something that can’t really be understood.

February 15 will always be remembered as a day of hellos and goodbyes. I would go through it all again just to hold her one more time…..

Part 4 –  “Esther’s Legacy” coming soon…

Comments

  1. Kira Braun says:

    thanks for sharing

  2. Adam Waller says:

    Very special post. We will always remember that day.

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