After much thought I want to share some things with y’all that have been weighing heavily on my mind regarding our sons passing. This is long, so be prepared. This will also be very straight forward and some parts are very blunt. I have found writing out my true feelings has been helpful with dealing with my grief so here it goes:
I’m not ready to fully share all of the details about the day we found out Turner passed away and the day he was born. Those are very raw and very emotional events for me to share and I’m not ready to do that in such a public forum. I know y’all understand this and don’t expect me to share those details in such a public way. However, I will sometime in the near future share his full birth story and everything on our blog once it is up and running, but I just don’t feel Facebook is the appropriate forum to share such a personal event. While it was obviously a very traumatic and painful event, it was also very beautiful and such a spiritual experience for both Dave and me.
Here is what I feel I can share at the moment. I know a lot of people have asked me how Turner passed away. I wasn’t ready to publicly say exactly how he passed until now. Turner passed away from an umbilical cord accident. There wasn’t anything wrong with Turner health wise and he was literally a healthy baby with no issues. There also wasn’t anything anyone could have done to save him unless we caught him in the exact moment he was passing. My pregnancy with him was flawless and he measured right on track with everything and all ultrasounds and tests were perfect. The fact that nothing was wrong with him and that he passed away from a cord accident has been difficult to process. Add that to the fact that he was a full term baby and we were anxiously awaiting me going into labor anyday and bringing him home to complete our family. Needless to say I have spent countless hours google searching cord accidents and stillbirths and I have learned so much about this very unfortunate, heartbreaking and life altering occurrence.
I do however want to say this….I did not miscarry Turner. I also did not “lose a pregnancy”. Our son, our newborn son, passed away. THAT is what happened. There is a HUGE difference between a full term baby being born stillborn and a miscarriage. These two situations, both being horrible and difficult losses and trails to go though, really can’t be compared to each other. Please don’t get me wrong…miscarriages are awful and I don’t want to diminish the loss that is felt when a woman has a miscarriage. But these two situations and circumstances are very different. If Turner would have been born the same day alive and passed away just mere seconds or hours after birth nobody would think to compare the two. If Turner wouldn’t have had a cord accident and I went into labor that same day (they wouldn’t have stopped labor either since I was term) we would have taken him home 2 days later since he was not a preterm baby. I didn’t have months left in my pregnancy, I had mere days left till my due date. 16 days to be exact. I have known many friends and family who have delivered babies at 37-39 weeks along and never make it to their due date and it is completely normal to do so. Their baby’s have been healthy and go home from the hospital in the normal length of time after birth.
I have been blessed to have never gone into labor early or have preterm labor. Our 3 oldest children were all born on their due dates, no inductions, and Andrew was 8 days late. It kills me to know that if I would have only gone into labor early with him he would be here, but since my body has such flawless and easy pregnancies and I carry all the way to my due date, it didn’t work out to our advantage this time with Turner.
Some people have asked what I meant when I mentioned in a previous post that I knew something was wrong, What I meant was this…I hadn’t felt him move the morning we found out he passed away. If you did watch the videos I posted of him in my belly you saw how very active he was and how crazy his movements were while I was pregnant. At that point in pregnancy you come to know your babies sleep/awake cycles and when they have their active times. So when I woke up and realized I hadn’t felt him move in the 2 hours I had been awake, I became very concerned as he was always active first thing in the morning after I ate breakfast. I tried getting him to move by pushing on his behind, but he wouldn’t budge. After about 5-10 minutes of this I then used my doppler to try and find his heartbeat. When you hit the end of pregnancy you can pretty much pick up your babys heartbeat anywhere on your belly. No matter where I put the Doppler it was completely silent. So in that moment when I couldn’t find his heartbeat I “knew” our baby had passed away, hence why I stated I knew something was wrong. I was just hoping and praying that I could drive fast enough to the hospital for them to find his heartbeat and save him via emergency c-section. They confirmed my worst nightmare when they performed the emergency ultrasound upon my arrival at the hospital. When I went to bed the night before, he was moving around as usual. So sometime while I slept he passed away. My midwife seems to think he passed away maybe just a couple hours before I woke up.
Also, some people have assumed that since he passed away before he was born that I didn’t have to give birth to him. I was 2 days shy of being 38 weeks pregnant, which means 2 weeks from my due date. Essentially “9 months” pregnant. Yes, I gave birth to Turner just like I have with all of my other children. I ended up being induced several hours after finding out he had passed away and I vaginally delivered Turner. I was in labor for about 9 hours with him. We knew the whole time he was gone and we wouldn’t hear a screaming newborn when he was born and there weren’t going to be happy tears either when we finally met our newborn son. We also had no idea why he passed away until after he was born. We were, at least I was, hoping and praying we would find out a visible reason why his heart stopped beating. It was a very surreal and devastating experience.
Since I vaginally delivered our son I have had to physically recover from birth just as every single mother does. I am 7 and a half weeks postpartum and my body is still recovering. I gave birth to a full term baby. Just because our son isn’t here doesn’t mean I magically don’t have to go through the same thing post birth like every mother does. I had postpartum bleeding for nearly 2 weeks. My milk came in 3 days after he was born, which was actually the day of his funeral, and was also very hard to deal with. Even though my son never breastfed, my body still knew I had just given birth and started producing milk for my newborn son. That is how women’s bodies are made. I had to pump breastmilk for almost 2 weeks before it dried up. My body is still waking up 2-3 times a night because it thinks I need to feed a newborn. Falling back asleep is difficult to say the least especially with the deafening silence when I know I should be hearing a newborn crying to be fed. Needless to say, nights are my most difficult time because of the silence.
Dealing with my postpartum body, postpartum emotions, and everything you typically deal with after giving birth has been like pouring salt into my already gaping hole in my heart because Turner isn’t here. There is no physical evidence I can show others that I just delivered a 6lb 2oz baby boy. No cute and cuddly newborn for people to dote and congratulate us on. No visual evidence for people to see why I’m 20 lbs heavier than last year and people to politely say, “well you just had a baby” to excuse the weight gain in hopes to make me feel better. It’s been hard to deal with mentally as well. Many people who know me, but aren’t friends with me on facebook, are still congratulating me on having my baby, since I’m clearly not pregnant anymore, and asking how he is doing. Which then leaves me having to explain that he passed away. I know I will get asked time and time again about our son weeks and months down the road. Don’t get me wrong, I WANT to talk about my son. I NEED to talk about my son, but having to explain that he passed away is painful.
Anyway, sorry for the novel. I do want to let everyone know how very much I appreciate the continued outpouring of love and support our family has received. There have been many of you who are still reaching out to me to see how I am and lend their support. Your messages and words have been wonderful. I have tried to reply to everyone. We have also received so many cards and some very sweet gifts, which we will always treasure. I promise when I feel up to the emotional task of thanking each one of you individually I will.
Please know I am “ok”. My typical response to when anyone asks me how I’m doing is this…I’m managing. Because I truly am. I’m never going to be truly ok ever again. What I mean by “I’m ok” is this: the waves of grief aren’t so overly consuming anymore where I feel like I’m drowning every second of the day. Rather, the waves still come and they are just as high as they have always been but the break I receive between each wave is growing a little bit each day. I still feel like I’m drowning when the waves do hit, but I know the wave will eventually pass and I will come out on the other side somehow, someway with my head above water. Each day is different and some days are down right awful. I’m grateful for Dave and the kids because I am forced to still function each day as a mom and a wife and having their love and support has helped immensely. The pain and heartache are still very raw. I will never “move on” or “get over it”. Rather, I will find a new normal and someday embrace this new and very different person I have become as we navigate how to be a family of 7 without Turner here. I’m taking each day as it comes and trying to be as gentle on myself as I can be. Thank y’all for everything you have done. It has truly helped during these last several weeks while we mourn the untimely death of our son. We wouldn’t be able to get through this difficult time without the love and support from our family and friends. God bless y’all.