They told me I would have to deliver Peanut. All I could think was, 'You're kidding right? Please tell me you're joking.' How cruel is that?! Labor and delivery is hard enough, but to go through all that and then have to leave empty handed?! No way, Jose! They can't make me do that. They cannot make me deliver this baby. Women have elective C-Sections all the time, and I will be one of them. We left the hospital and returned home, though it certainly didn't feel like a home then.
We called our parents. "Oh Melly No!" was the first thing my mom said. Those words haunt me. I could hear the despair in her voice as she tried to comfort me. I could hear my husband's mom screaming and bawling as he told her. She and my mom would come together, along with my older brother. They would make the drive through the night to get to us. My oldest brother and his family (wife and three kids) would arrive the following day, and so would a few of my cousins, but there was no hurry. No rush because we all knew what was going to happen the next day.
A stabbing pain ached inside of me as we put away all the baby things that had filled our house. The car seat that was so ready to take him home was unbuckled and put away. The bouncer, playpen and bassinet that would hold him so lovingly were taken apart. The clothes, burp cloths, and bibs were folded and put away. Everything that was him was no more. The only thing left was my big belly; and even with that I felt so empty. And the phones just kept ringing! To have to repeat it over and over, I felt as though I would go mad. As we laid in bed that night, all I could do was replay the events that led us here in my mind. It didn't help, I know that. But what else was I supposed to do?
I arrived at the hospital the next morning and was taken to the same room as the night before. I hate that room. I was still sure that I could convince them to allow me to have a C-Section. I was sure I could not deliver this baby and not take him home with me. I refused to do that. But it didn't matter; their minds were made up. They were sure I would deliver him, but I was certain I was not strong enough. The medicine was started that would induce my labor and as the pangs began, I was made very comfortable. I drifted in and out of sleep; people shuffled in and out of the room. There were times of laughter, hard to believe I know. My family and I would joke and remember happier times. More often, there was silence. A heavy sadness hung in the air and filled those silences whenever possible. We could go back, but the silence always brought us to the present.
Then it was time. I must admit that for the hour or so that it took to bring my son into this world, I did not once think about him being dead. I just thought about what I needed to do to get him here. I concentrated on the pushing and relaxed in between contractions. My husband was a very good coach. Well, except for the one moment when his phone began to ring and he tried to answer it. But other than that, I couldn't have asked for a better birthing partner. I didn't yell, either. I just focused on the breathing, not the pain. I honestly did better than I thought I would. So they were right; at 7:23pm Owen Henry was born...stillborn, yes, but BORN! I broke down after the last push. I cried heavily and loud and without concern for how it looked. My baby, my poor little boy.
They scrubbed him up and tried to get him dressed. The clothes we had brought for him didn't fit - they were too small! My boy was a large 7lbs 2 oz, and 19 inches. The newborn onesie didn't fit, but thankfully the hospital staff has a little nightgown on hand. Everyone that was there with us got to hold him. It was beautiful. He was so perfect. Even more reason why I couldn't understand why he wouldn't be going home. He had so much black hair and looked exactly like his daddy. I'm not complaining, I knew I was in there too, but I was so happy to look at him and see my husband. To see this beautiful little person we created together made my heart happy.
For what it was, our hospital experience was wonderful. The staff was so comforting and accommodating. They gave us a "treasure box" to keep little momentous in that my niece and nephews would soon fill with pictures for him. They arranged for a photographer from "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep", an organization that does a small photo session for bereaved parents, to come and take photos of Peanut. Everything was done slowly so as not to overwhelm us, and I'm very thankful to them. We left the hospital two days later, empty handed.