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A C-Section, a Still Birth, and Baby K

This post is part of an editorial series, “The Stork Stories,” brought to you by the Fort Worth Moms Blog. We hope these pieces provide you with helpful information, encouragement, and answers as you prepare for baby’s arrival.

Stork stories

After trying for three years, I found out I was pregnant on Valentine’s Day 2015. It was unexpected for both myself and my husband, but we were over the moon. Eight weeks later, we went for our first ultrasound and discovered that we weren’t just having a baby. We were having TWO babies!

The next few weeks were filled with a lot of planning, nausea, and heartburn. Every time we went in for an ultrasound, the babies were growing right on track. Baby A was always head down, while Baby B liked to lay on top of A, across my belly. At 19 weeks, we discovered they were both girls, and likely identical.

We bought a lot of pink things. I had the girls’ nursery finished by the time I was 28 weeks, expecting to be large and tired by the end of my pregnancy, and wanting to have it done before they were born. My husband and I talked a lot about how we were going to handle two babies, and how crazy our lives were about to become.

At 31 weeks, we went in for a regularly scheduled ultrasound. My OB did this ultrasound, instead of the usual tech, and chit-chatted about it with us as he scanned over Baby A. As I watched the monitor and Dr. S. moved on to Baby B, I remember feeling an immediate sense of dread, just knowing that something was wrong. The change on his face confirmed it. His voice choked up: “That baby is dead.”

My husband and I cried. Dr. S. cried with us. He told us that he would send us to a maternal-fetal medicine specialist to get a more detailed ultrasound to make sure that Baby A was not in any danger. We went home and ate lunch in silence. I went back to work after, because what else was I going to do? I couldn’t change what had happened. But I wondered. She had been perfect at the 27 week ultrasound. How the heck did something change our lives so drastically, in just four weeks, that I hadn’t noticed was happening? How did one of my babies die, inside my body, while I was completely oblivious to it?

A week later, we visited the specialist who confirmed that Baby A looked great, but couldn’t tell us what had happened to Baby B. She wanted me to deliver by the time I was 37 weeks, but as my OB was on vacation, agreed to push it out to 37 weeks and five days. We scheduled a C-section for October 5. I went to the MFM often for ultrasounds and NSTs to check on Baby A.

On surgery day, things were quiet. My nurse, Renee, knew our situation already. She asked if we wanted to see Baby B after she was born. I said no because my husband had already decided that he did not want to see her. I didn’t know what else to say.

After I was moved to the OR and prepped, my husband came in and sat beside me. I remember not knowing what to say, or how to feel, as my OB cut and tugged and pulled to get to the babies. I remember feeling like a bowling ball was yanked out of my stomach, and then seeing Dr. S. holding baby K over the curtain — a 5 pound, 9 ounce, wrinkly little thing. I waited for her to cry, then breathed a sigh of relief as I heard her voice her disapproval about being brought into the world. I watched as the nurses looked her over, then wrapped her up and handed her to my husband.

Then, there wasn’t anything to do but wait until Dr. S. took out Baby B, who would never cry. Deep, deep down, I had always had the tiniest inkling of hope that maybe the doctors were wrong, and maybe Baby B really was fine. But all that was lost in that one moment. The nurses took her and turned the bassinet around so we wouldn’t see her, and all I could do was try to focus on K, try to keep the bubble of grief down.

After the surgery was over and I was wheeled back to my room, Renee asked again if we wanted to see Baby B. Again, we said no. Over the next two days, several nurses came to visit us, having heard our story. The hospital chaplain visited too, not that we had much to say. My husband called a funeral home to have Baby B cremated, and we went home after a 53-hour hospital stay.

K is 18 months old now. To this day, I don’t think my husband regrets not seeing Baby B (who we named M). Renee took some pictures of M’s hands and feet for us that I look at sometimes on my more emotional days. But, that’s all I have of her.

To any mom who may be going through this: See your baby. Hold him or her. Take pictures. It will be hard, but you’ll only have a few hours, maybe a day or two. Not a lifetime. You won’t regret seeing your baby, but you’ll regret it if you don’t. Most of the time, I do.

{The Fort Worth Moms Blog created the Forever Loved, Never Forgotten page to honor the lives of our children who left this world too soon.}

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Rue is a native Texan, and moved to Fort Worth in 2009. She and her husband are parents to K and angel baby M. She works full-time in finance, and when not at work or momming it up, you can probably find her aimlessly wandering the aisles at Target or finding the next concert she’s going to attend.

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4 Responses to A C-Section, a Still Birth, and Baby K

  1. Diana
    Diana April 19, 2017 at 3:39 pm #

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for sharing your story! I’m so sorry for your loss of baby M. I can’t imagine what you must have felt, getting that news and preparing for the C-section. I appreciate the courage it must take to tell this story.

    • Rue Estes April 20, 2017 at 1:36 pm #

      Thank you!

  2. Kristen S.
    Kristen S. April 19, 2017 at 3:46 pm #

    Thank you for sharing your story with us! May Baby K be a constant source of joy for you!

    • Rue Estes April 20, 2017 at 1:36 pm #

      She very much is!

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