Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I wasn't sure if I was going to post this, or just let it go. But Bill said that this was the whole reason that I started my blog--so here it is. I didn't want the loss of our Faith to be what defines me and to be what my entire blog is about. I am the mom to two other wonderful children who deserve the majority of the blog space, but nonetheless I am still the mom to a baby that needs to be honored and remembered as well. So here is the story of our Faith's brief life.

When Bill and I found out we were pregnant, we were ecstatic. I had always wanted to be a mom--from the time that I was a little girl. I knew that I would have two girls that would love each other and we'd have princess tea parties and play barbies every day. At around 6 weeks we went to the doctor and they gave us an ultrasound. Faith's heartrate was 155 so based on the old wives' tale, I knew she was a girl. Things were going smoothly--I was nauseous, felt miserable, and was exhausted. Then, in the middle of the night, at 10 weeks, I started bleeding. We went to the emergency room. They did an ultrasound, we got a great picture of her face. They said, her heart's beating, so it's fine. The bleeding came and went and came again.

I kept calling the doctor and would go in every few days to ask about the bleeding. They didn't do another ultrasound--just kept checking for the heartbeat and said, well, the heart's still beating, so it's fine. I should have pushed harder. Hello! Bleeding is not normal!!! Finally one of the doctor's in the practice referred me to the perinatologist at Central DuPage Hospital. I was scheduled for an ultrasound--it was somewhere around 16 weeks. I was sure everything was going to be fine, they'd fix whatever was wrong. I was hoping that we would get to find out the sex. The tech did the ultrasound and didn't say much. She said she couldn't tell the sex because the baby was curled up in a ball too tightly. Then she said she'd get the doctor. I asked what was wrong and she said there wasn't any amniotic fluid. I didn't know what that meant, but I knew it wasn't good. The doctor came in and double-checked. Then he told me to go into one of the rooms. He told us that babies need amniotic fluid to breathe to develop their lungs. My baby didn't have any--at some point my water must have broken--or there had been a leak. He said we could terminate or wait it out, but there was no chance of survival. We of course chose to carry our baby. I was put on bed rest. I kept hoping and praying for a miracle. I would have Bill print out stories of women who had similar situations whose babies survived.

I was warned that I needed to make sure I didn't develop a fever because without amniotic fluid there was no protection from bacteria; I was more likely to develop an infection that could become fatal. My greatest fear was that I would develop an infection and have to make some kind of decision that I didn't even want to think about. On January 14, 2004 I started cramping. I went into the doctor and he said my cervix was softening. It was possible that I was going to go into labor. He said that if I delivered at home to call 911. That thought absolutely horrified me. I couldn't imagine delivering a baby that would probably not survive labor and then waiting in who knows what condition for the paramedics to arrive. The doctor also told me to call if I got a fever of 101.5 or higher--then they would probably admit me. I went home frightened and drained. That evening Bill went to pick up Burger King and I took my temperature. It was 101.5. I was a little relieved. I called the doctor and he told me to come in. We immediately packed and went to the hospital.

I called my parents and they met us there. I can tell that God was there with me and His hand was all over the delivery. I truly believe that He gave me that temperature so that I would deliver in the hospital instead of at home. You see, when we got to the hospital and throughout the night, I didn't have a fever anymore. But I was still contracting and the doctor said that the labor needed to be sped up. I was already in labor but they didn't want to wait because my blood did show some signs of infection. They offered to wait until the morning. They gave me something for pain and to help me sleep.

Very early in the morning, the perinatologist came to do an ultrasound. The baby was still alive and my cervix was dilating. Somebody--I don't remember who--told me that the baby would probably not survive delivery. It would be too traumatic for her. They said if she did survive, her lungs wouldn't be developed and she would gasp a few times and then pass away. I don't know if I could have handled seeing that. Part of me wishes she had been alive long enough for her to feel me hold her.

The nurse came in and put the doppler on my belly. I don't know why she did that. I burst into tears, hearing my baby's heartbeat for the last time. I was in a lot of pain because labor hurts--whether you're 20 weeks or 40 weeks. They gave me something for the pain, but all it did was make me sleepy. I felt groggy but in pain. I saw what looked like my dad crying off to the side. I couldn't take the pain anymore. They offered me an epidural and I took it. My mom held me while they put it in. Then I fell asleep and woke up to some pressure. I called my mom--Bill was in the waiting area with his family and Jenna and Ryan. She called a nurse and I had delivered our baby. I heard my mom say--"it's a girl. You can give her my name if you want." I said, "No, her name is Faith." They cleaned her off. I remember crying, saying "I'm sorry baby." and they told me it wasn't my fault, yet I felt I failed her. Her bottom was bruised because she had come out breach. They wrapped her up and handed her to me. I immediately noticed that she had her daddy's nose and her Auntie Jenna's toes.

We were able to hold her for a little while and then they took her away. Our families came in held her. I still feel a little jipped because I was so groggy and foggy from the drugs that I didn't really get to drink her in for the short time that I had her.

Bill made the burial arrangements and we decided that it would just be immediate family. I now wish that we had the rest of our family and close friends there, but I didn't want people to look at me. I don't know why. I just wanted to be alone. I was a mess at the burial--I couldn't believe how tiny the white box was that they were burying her in. My mom wrote some beautiful words that my father read. I wanted to jump into the grave with her. I was crying out to God inside, asking Him why He allowed this to happen. I don't think I will ever know.

While we were in the hospital, the nurse asked me if I wanted a picture of her. I said no. I thought I would always remember what she looked like. That has been one of my biggest regrets. I don't know why they didn't just do it and give it to the dad--how could someone in my condition make a rational decision?! I remembered that the nurse told me that they would need to take a picture of her for the hospital records. A few months ago, I got up the nerve to call the hospital and ask if they still had the picture and if I could get a copy. They were kind enough to mail me a photocopy. It's not very clear, because it is a photocopy of a polaroid, but I can still make her out. I am thankful to have it. I have other memories--we have a box with her measurements, we have her footprints--which I am incredibly thankful for, and we have every card and email that was sent to us from our friends and family.

I have my regrets, but I can't change them. All I can do is take the lessons that I've learned and heal the wounds that I have. Losing our Faith left a scar that doesn't define me, but has changed me and made me the person that I am today. I think I am a different mom because I have learned how fragile life is. We're not guaranteed another day or another breath--each moment we have is a gift. We know that we will all be together with her someday. God gave us two more beautiful children--Rori and Liam whom I love with my whole heart and soul.

Now go give your kids a big hug and kiss!!!


Anonymous said...

Beautifully written and many big hugs and kisses to you and your sister. Love MOM

Anonymous said...

Dolly, none of us have ever felt emotional pain like that and I hope we never do again. But, at the same time we all have the comfort in knowing that God is in control and that he loves not only us but especially little Faith whom he brought to be with him.

Anonymous said...

Oh Jaime...thanks for sharing. There are no heart still aches for you, Bill and family, but rejoices in Rori and Liam. Yes, sweet Rori is how I imagine Faith.

Anonymous said...

i bawled like a baby again. you're so strong, little sister. i love you.

Anonymous said...

That was beautifully and elodquently written. I am so very proud of you. I thank God everyday that he brought us together to share our lives. I love you more than words can say. Bill

Anonymous said...

I'm writing through my tears......I'm honored you even invited me to read your story of baby Faith! I hope I can be as real in our friendship as you have already been to me. I can't wait to become closer friends in the future! You are an inspiration!

Anonymous said...

Jaime, wow...... thanks again for sharing your heart, and your Faith, with us. You are an amazingly strong woman! -- Sarah <><<

Anonymous said...

Hi Jaime - just wanted to say "thank you" for sharing that beautiful story. Talking with Michelle recently has had me all emotional, and of course I cried reading your story too. :o) I appreciate hearing stories like yours, because it makes me appreciate my own story even more. Losing my mom was the hardest thing I've ever been through, but I don't know that it can compare to losing a child. Thank you again for sharing Faith with me. You are a testimony of real faith and an inspiration! Many hugs and prayers, Karen B.

MOPSgirl said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I'm glad you did it when you were ready on your own timing. Most of your outside friends like me have probably wondered what really happens when you are 19 1/2 weeks and you have to give birth to a baby who won't make it and have no clue how to help you and want to be there for you.

You would be good at helping other people through the same circumstances, Jaime. You are a good listener and you have a good heart.

I'm sorry for your regrets. I'm happy you are on this side of the situation now. It was so hard to see you suffer so back then.

Marc and Megan said...

Jaime, I just wanted to thank you so much for the comment you left on our blog. Much of my hope comes from stories like yours... where someone who was once where I am now is in a place where I hope to be someday. Thank you so much for sharing your story and for allowing me to come over and read it. I know there is so much that you understand about what I'm going through, and that is comforting. Thank you for taking the time to leave us a message.

jennie.newland said...

I just found your blog from Angie's site and OH MY WORD!! I am setting here in tears because you see my sister went through the exact same thing!!! I have never herd of anyone else that had went through it besides her! You see she would bleed all the time too, and the Dr's would tell her the baby was fine and to go home and lay on her left side and everything would be fine. Time after time this would happen until we began to worry about her saftey for the amout of blood that was lost, but again we were assured that everything was fine. Well on May 13, 2007 she felt like she needed to go to the bathroom really badly, and when she tried to go, the baby came out!! His name is James "Ty" Floyd and he was beautiful! It has been a hard road for us since that day, it has affected my sister until sometimes I don't even know the girl that is setting right beside me anymore. Please know that I am praying for you! Hope to talk to you soon!

Anonymous said...

Jaime, I just read this for the first time. Thank you so much for posting it. It meant a lot to me to be able to read it. I'm extremely touched in a way that will change me. Thank you, Janel (Rowland) Buechler

Unknown said...

I just re-read this again today. I'm so sorry that you lost Faith and am so thankful for you sharing her story with me, both here and in person. I'm praying for you today as I'm sure her birthday is a difficult day. I'm so thankful for you and your friendship.