This is a difficult post to write. How do you write a post explaining that your baby was stillborn? With God's strength I believe.
Many have asked what happened that caused Ezekiel to pass into Glory before he was full term. I decided I needed to finally let people know.
On Sunday the 18th I felt my baby move more than he ever has. I turned 25 weeks that day. Matt even took pictures because I was so excited at the movement he was making. I could tell he had discovered his fingers. I had been feeling him for 9 weeks, but I could tell he was getting much stronger. It was exciting.
On Monday the 19th I noticed he wasn't moving as much. I figured he was tired since he moved so much on Sunday. I did feel him move a bit though when I sat down, so I wasn't worried. I had very busy Monday and didn't sit down until 10:30 PM. I didn't feel him move much, but I wasn't worried because I didn't even feel Jefferson move until 24 weeks. And they don't ask you to count kicks until at least 28 weeks.
On Tuesday the 20th I woke up and I felt different. I had an appointment that morning so I just didn't worry about it. I even told Matt, "This is my favorite day of the month, I get to hear the heartbeat!" For some reason, I felt like I should ask him to go with me that day, but I figured I was just overreacting and decided not to.
When I got to my appointment I drank the glucose drink and then waited for Dr. Binette. The nurse gave me the kick counting sheet to start at 28 weeks. I almost asked if it was okay that I hadn't felt him move that morning. But I decided against it and figured I'd ask the doctor after he did my checkup. When Dr. Binette came in, he couldn't find a heartbeat. I knew it then, I knew why I felt different that morning, my belly was lifeless. Dr. Binette said we'd do an ultrasound because he was just making me nervous. But I knew before the ultrasound. I go to the best OB in our town. If he couldn't find a heartbeat, there wasn't one.
We went into the ultrasound room and he asked me when I felt the baby move. I told him all day Sunday, but only a little on Monday. He then did the ultrasound and said, I'm so sorry. I couldn't believe it. I lost my baby. My baby that I had felt for 9 weeks. The one they said had no problems when I got my ultrasound at 20 weeks. My baby that moved more than any other baby. I immediately said, "I've been taking a Robitussin DM" to the doctor. He said there was no way that caused this. I then panicked and said over and over, "I have to call my husband, I have to call my husband." The doctor had me sit down and he said, "There is no way you could have caused this. It just happens." I looked and said, "I have to talk to my husband." He let me call him. That was a hard call to make. I lost it on the phone. Matt was shocked. Dr. Binette came in once Matt was on his way and assured me that even if I had come in last night when I thought he wasn't moving as much there would have been nothing he could do. He then explained that I need to go give birth to my stillborn baby.
When I got to the hospital I met my husband and I balled. We both cried. We lost our baby. We were in the "safe" part of pregnancy. You weren't supposed to lose your baby at 25 weeks! Everyone we met kept saying, "This was not your fault" and "We probably won't know what caused this." I of course kept thinking, "I'm the exception" every time they said that. I didn't believe that it wasn't my fault until we left the next day.
The doctor gave me a medicine to induce me a little after 12. He said the labor would 12 to 18 hours. He came to check me at 5 and I was a 0! So he gave me more medicine and said he'd have the nurse put more in at 8, 12, and 4. He said it would be a really long night of contractions with no progress for a long time. I decided to take a bath at 6. When I got in the bath I was really shaking and I thought there was no way I could be starting to go into transition. I got out at 6:40 or so when some friends came to see me. That's when it really hit me. They gave me medicine in my IV because they didn't think I was dilated yet so I didn't want an epidural. But the contractions wouldn't stop. I finally sent my friends out of the room because I was starting to scream. I didn't know what was going on. Finally, the nurse said, "Do you think she's complete?" I said a few things that gave her a big warning sign that I might be. She then checked me and yelled, "Call Dr. Binette! She's ready!" I told her I couldn't wait and I pushed my beautiful 1 lb 10 oz baby out." That was at 7:45. My doctor was shocked. I went from 0 to 10 in less than 2 hours when it was supposed to take me at least 12.
I can't begin to explain what it's like giving birth to your lifeless baby. He was breached when he came out, but so beautiful. They told me he was a boy. My heart sunk. I wanted a boy next so Jefferson could play baseball with him. We were able to hold him and look at how perfect he was for hours. My friends came back in the room and prayed with us. Matt and I help him for hours. Just adoring him. It just didn't make any sense. The doctor came in earlier and asked if there was a cord issue and there wasn't. He explained that they probably won't know what happened even after all the tests that they will run. I still figured it was my fault, but I didn't tell him. He told me I was brave what I had just done. That meant so much to me.
After we took pictures and cried and cried, we said goodnight to our
sweet Ezekiel Ray. We named him that because Ezekiel means "God Gives
Strength" and Ray is after Matt's Dad who is already in Heaven.
The night was a blur. I fell asleep because I asked them to drug me. I did wake up in the middle of the night and I just felt, numb. Like what just happened couldn't have just happened. But it did. My baby was with Jesus. My doctor came to check on me later in the morning and he again told me, "This was not your fault." He also said, even though we are running tons of tests on you and the baby, we probably won't ever know what happened. I just looked at him, shocked.
We said goodbye to our precious Ezekiel that morning. Leaving him at the hospital was the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life. You're supposed to take your baby home with you. You aren't supposed to deliver a baby still. Your baby isn't supposed to kick like crazy for 9 weeks, only to pass away in the womb. I felt like a failure. I wasn't mad at God. I knew it was in God's plan. I knew he was God's before he even asked me to carry him for 25 weeks. But it still hurt.
That night, Matt emailed his sister who is a doctor and I finally started to believe that it wasn't anything I did that caused my baby to pass away in the womb. Most of the time, it's a chromosomal problem that is unseen. So my baby was perfect on the outside, but something on the inside kept him from surviving the pregnancy. I finally admitted it. That was huge. I also learned that stillbirth is much more common than we realize. 1 out of every 160 pregnancies end with stillbirth. I was shocked.
So now you know the story. We probably won't ever know what caused it. We just know that God was and is in control of it all. His plan is perfect. I'm getting to know God in a way that I never have before in my entire Christian life. And I am so thankful for Tom Farrell continually telling us at camp "God is Good ALL THE TIME!" Because He is good. He took my baby Home to Him so he could stay perfect. He never has to decide whether or not he will follow Christ, because He already is. God will love him so much more than I ever could.