8/9/14 - This day was one of every third Saturday that Ken worked. I was busy taking Addy to vbs and keeping the girls fed and occupied. It was that night when I think (again my mind playing those tricks on me) felt more movement from the baby than normal. I remember showing Ken my belly and making comments about the baby being ready to come out. I secretly wanted her to come out on August 11th. It was a silly reason really. My bday is on the 10th, Ken's bday is on the 12th, Addy's bday is on the 13th, and Juni's bday is on the 14th. August 11th would've been the perfect date.
8/10/14 - It was a beautiful Sunday. Ken and I were signed up to provide refreshments for church. I wasn't getting a good feeling...not about the baby, but about the refreshments. When Ken went into the store to pick up the food, I thought that perhaps the order wasn't ready because I didn't confirm. But the refreshments worked out smoothly. During praise time, I remember not really feeling the baby move the way she usually did. Like I've said before, Penelope loved it when I sang. I had gotten a very bad lower back ache, closer to my hip. It would not go away. I stepped out of church service to use the bathroom and once I came back, the pain was gone. When we got home from church I was tired, so I took a nap before we went out to have dinner with my in-laws. I may not remember the last time I felt Penelope alive and moving in my body, but I do remember the moment I woke up from my nap. I felt cold, empty, heavy. I sat up in my bed and moved my belly with my hands and felt no response. But I'm an optimist and I just couldn't fathom that anything was wrong....so I convinced myself that the baby was fine. We came back from dinner and I still hadn't felt her move so I texted my obgyn, a very good friend of mine, who told me to meet her at the hospital asap.
Driving to the hospital, it was weird but I had a gut feeling that there was something severely wrong. Ken was definitely not thinking the same thing. I didn't say anything, but I'm sure my face and actions said it all. When we got to the hospital the nurse used the doppler and could not find Penelope's heartbeat. She looked for her heartbeat for what seemed like forever. I was just hoping that we would hear her small heart thumping away just as I did a couple days before on the nst, but all there was was a deafening silence. The nurse said that she would use an ultrasound machine to find the heartbeat. When the nurse left the room, Ken and I looked at each other and we just held each other and cried. I didn't need to see my motionless baby on the ultrasound screen. I didn't need to see her lifeless ribs and still heart. I knew that we had lost her.
I was wheeled into the labor & delivery room. It was so cold. I had the chills. I shook uncontrollably. I was scared, angry, tired, my heart was in a million pieces. I felt lost, alone, in the dark, out of God's hands and in some sort of abyss. When the nurses and doctors came in, I knew they knew that my body held a sleeping baby never to wake on this side of eternity. They came in solemn, apologetic....they seemed hurt themselves. I was given an epidural, but it did not work. The epidural needle had fallen out of my back and none of the medicine was going into my body. I had felt most of the painful contractions because it took the anesthesiologist a long time to figure out why I was still feeling the pain. The pain was excruciating both physically and emotionally. I just felt like God was punishing me. Not only did I lose my baby, but I had to feel the contractions too.
8/11/14 - It took me longer than my first two deliveries to push Penelope out. I had wanted to give up several times. When she finally came into this world at around 6am, it was so quiet. The usual "Congratulations" and "Oh she's beautiful" were nonexistent. All I could hear is Ken crying and saying, "My poor baby. My poor baby." Obviously he saw Penelope before I did and actually seeing her made it all the more real. She came out with her umbilical cord wrapped around her waist twice and around both her ankles. My ob speculated that it was an umbilical cord accident, which I found out today was the actual cause of death that was stated on her final autopsy report.
Penelope was 7lbs 9oz (my biggest baby)! She had Addy's long, thin arms and legs and Juni's chubby little face. We held our baby girl and cried over her. We just cried and cried. The nurses offered to take some photos of me holding the baby and I refused. Was I supposed to smile for the camera? I just thought it was weird. This is the one and only thing I regret. I wish I had a picture of me holding my baby girl. We spent about 3-4 hours holding her, looking at her, sleeping with her in our arms, crying over her. I can't quite explain in words the excruciating pain, the deep void, the immense sorrow I felt. This day would change me forever.
So how am I feeling now, 4 months after my daughter was born sleeping? It's hard to believe but I feel lonely, sadly enough I feel lonelier than ever. I am so sad. I should've been celebrating my 37th birthday with Penelope alive and in my arms. I'm so different now. I go out with friends, but I'm not really there. No one really seems to understand the struggles I have on a daily basis. It's easy for people to say positive things to me and they love when I'm being positive as well, but I can't. Not right now. These days I feel isolated, wanting to talk about my struggles but not really. And that is where I am right now....hopefully the roller coaster will go uphill soon...