Monday, June 3, 2013

.life before the death

My life before March 11, 2013 was very simple and "normal"; I never once forgot how lucky I had it. 26 years old living in Rittenhouse Square in the city of brotherly love. Working for Big Brothers Big Sisters among an amazing group of people that I continually learn so much from. I have the best mom and dad in the entire world. Now I know everyone says that but really...mine are THE best. My brother and my sister are freaking awesome. I could write pages on my boyfriend, Chris, and some day I probably will on here. He is everything a girl could ask for - selfless, caring, funny, affectionate, confident, honest, handsome, and smart. I am going to marry him one day. Lastly, I have a group of friends that I consider my family. I can honestly say I am not sure where I would be without all these people when our baby girl's heart stopped beating. It's been 85 days since Evelyn Anne Netzel was born sleeping at 34 weeks and 4 days. Our lives changed forever that day. 

I wish someone could tell me what to do and show us how to fix our broken hearts. Is there a road map for life now so I don't get lost along the way? Because it seems very easy to do. There are days I don't want to wake up when I see her in my dreams. I never heard her cry but waking up in silence is not what I expected. Thankfully, I am not alone. One in four pregnancies end in a loss whether it be before, during, or after birth. One in four. Reading other women's stories has helped me so much and I hope mine can do the same for others.

She was a surprise to us. We were not planning on kids until after marriage but we were excited! Scared to death, but thrilled. We had some people around us who were uncertain about our decision to continue with the pregnancy but we both knew we wanted her and that was all that mattered. We were going to figure it out and it was going to be the happiest time of our life. Scratch was the happiest time of my life.

Our little baby girl was all we talked about - what we would do with her, what we would call her, what we were going to teach her. Her dad would be in charge of teaching her math, science, and everything Philadelphia. I would be responsible for playing as much Led Zeppelin and Janis Joplin as possible before she got roped into the pop music on the radio. She was going to be the baby in Broad Street Bullies gear and a toddler in tie-dye. She was going to be our everything.

I had the most perfect pregnancy a woman could ask for. Not an ounce of morning sickness and every doctor appointment was easy and concern free. I felt Evie kick me all day doctor would always say, "Strong heartbeat and she's still having a party in there!". The very last time I heard those words was 4 days before she died. Ugh, only 4 days before she died she was perfectly healthy and then her kicks stopped. I waited a few hours to call the doctor, I thought she was just sleeping. I drank cold water, I drank orange juice, I tried everything to wake her up. Her dad insisted on me calling my doctor and I finally caved; they told me to come in right away. I was trying not to worry, I thought I would go in, get monitored, and leave. I wake up every single day wishing that was the case.

We live in the city so he dropped me off and he quickly parked the car. I headed up to labor & delivery thinking we would be in and out. He's a nurse and was on-call so I didn't want it to take too long just in case his hospital called him in. The nurse quickly strapped a heart monitor on me and that's when I knew something was wrong. She was searching for a heartbeat. Searching....and searching...and searching...and finally they picked one up. It was mine. So she called in a doctor and asked her for an ultrasound. There was my Evelyn. She was beautiful and so big! There was only one thing missing when I saw Evelyn that last ultrasound, her little heart wasn't beating. I knew that this meant she was dead but no one was telling me. In a room full of doctors and nurses, there was silence. Finally, someone spoke up and looked at me with sad, sympathetic eyes and said, "We are so sorry."  After realizing this was not just one of my very vivid pregnancy nightmares I had occasionally, I immediately thought, "If only I had come in earlier. Even if she had to be delivered tonight, she would've been fine!" I know this because my niece was born this early and she's almost 3 years old now and she's perfect.

It had all happened so quickly that her dad hadn't even come to the room yet. He came in from parking the car and they had already confirmed her death. I had to break the news to him that our daughter died inside of me and that there was nothing we could do. I witnessed the breaking of my future husband's heart and it replays over and over again. We asked what the next steps were and they explained I need deliver her. C-sections were too risky for infection so I was going to have a baby. A baby that lived but was never going to breathe. The next 48 hours were a roller coaster of emotions...

No comments:

Post a Comment