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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

In the arms of the angels

As I have said before, I am not very religious, but I do believe in a higher power. I also believe there is a peaceful place we all go when we die, and I believe those who have already gone are watching over us.

Tonight, I have a new angel watching over me. Jenna Grace, my second daughter, was born today, Aug. 12, 2008, at 11:50 a.m. She weighed 4.4 ounces and was 6 inches long.

I found out that she had passed yesterday when I went in for an ultrasound to see exactly what birth defects she would have. The ultrasound tech was so nice. As she ran the wand over my belly, I knew something was wrong because Jenna wasn't moving. The tech finally looked at me and said, "Sweetie, I can't find a heartbeat."

"B" hadn't been able to go with me because he had to take "T" for her kindergarten physical. Luckily, I had asked my aunt Peggy to go with me, so I wasn't alone. We had a crying spell in the room, especially when we started talking about my granny.

I talked to the maternal fetal medical specialist, who explained what would happen. He called Dr. McGowen's office so I could go and see her. On a side note, I had been wondering why Dr. Speer hadn't called me at all. The ultrasound tech informed us that he had moved back to Pittsburgh. It makes me feel better to know that.

I went down to Dr. McGowen's office, and she said I should come back to the hospital that night around 8 p.m., so I could spend a little time with my family before I left. She also explained the procedure to me.

I went home and spent a little time with "T." I love that little girl so much, and she gave me all the hugs I needed. She would have been a great big sister to Jenna. She decided she wanted to spend the night with my aunt Joyce Ann instead of my parents, so we took her over there. Peggy and Ashley agreed to keep Rosie, so we took her to my mom's who took her over there. Then, we were off to the hospital.

When we arrived, our nurse took us back to a room at the end of labor and delivery. We were far away from the other moms who had just given birth, and I didn't have to hear them crying. Our night nurse was Dawn, and she was wonderful. If we needed to talk, she stayed in the room with us and talked as long as we needed to. She got my IV started and then inserted the cytotec, which are little pills inserted into the cervix. That hurt really bad. I wasn't expecting it to hurt that bad, and I know Dawn felt really bad about hurting me.

The pills would be inserted every six hours. Dr. McGowen had ordered an Ambian for me so I would be able to sleep. She also said I could have as much pain medicine as I wanted. After the Ambien I was out, until a few hours later. I started cramping pretty bad, so Dawn gave me some Dilaudid in my IV. That really helped. Around 5 a.m., I got my epidural.

At 7 a.m., our day nurse came on. Her name was Marta, and she was wonderful, too. A little while later, I felt something trickle out, and she checked me. My water had broken. She said it shouldn't take much longer because after the water breaks, things speed up.

My mom got here at 8:30, and DH left because "T's" social security card is missing. She needs one for school, and only he or I could do it. We needed it by tomorrow, so I didn't mind him going. In a way, I was glad he was going, not because I didn't want or need him here, but because I knew how hard of a time he was having with all of it. He also didn't want to see Jenna, and I knew if he was here, he might feel pressured to do it.

At 10 a.m., Marta came in to insert more cytotec and checked my temperature. It was 100.5. She said she would check it a little later, and if it had gone up, she would give me some Tylenol. About an hour to an hour and a half later, I felt some pressure, but I also felt like my temp was going up. Iasked my mom to come and feel of me, and she also thought my temp was going up.I called Marta to come in. She took my temp, and it had gone up to 101.3. She gave me my Tylenol, and then she checked me.

Jenna was coming out feet first and was about to be delivered. She called Dr. Moore (Dr. McGowen had two days off, but she did call to check on me today which I thought was sweet). Jenna Grace was soon delivered. I told Marta that I didn't want to see her until they cleaned her up and wrapped her in a blanket. I was scared about seeing her at all, but I knew I needed to do it.

The placenta didn't deliver right away, so Dr. Moore said to give it a little time. They brought Jenna Grace in to see me. She was dressed in the tiniest little pink dress and hat, made especially for early babies by a group of women who had lost their own babies. She had Tessa's nose. In fact, had she lived, I think she would have looked a lot like Tessa. Her hands weren't clenched like most Trisomy 18 babies, but one foot was clubbed. She also did have a large cystic hygroma on the back of her head and neck. Her skin was very red, but she just liked a tiny baby.

I'm doing Ok today. It will probably hit me harder in the days to come, but right now, I'm just happy she's at peace and will not suffer.


Violet said...

I'm glad you are now at peace knowing you met your princess angel, and knowing she is at peace herself. I'm glad you got to meet her. I can't imagine what you are going through, I've never had kids so I really can't even imagine. I do believe in God, and in Jesus. I hope it's not offensive to you if I pray that the coming days will be filled with peace and that some how you will have glimpses of joy and hapinness and be given a strength to bear this burden. Where you believe your daughter went, it sound like we both know she is at peace. I like to imagine these babies dancing in the clouds, or in heaven, whatever, in complete perfection, looking down on us, waiting for us to join them.

Grace said...

Even though it makes me sad that you have to go through this, I am glad that the delivery went smooth and you are doing ok afterwards.
It's goona take take for you to heal and recover.
Please continue to be strong and take good care of yourself because little Tessa needs you to guide her through this difficult time!

Jenna said...

((((((((((((more hugs))))))))))

You are in my heart.

SherryTex said...

A beautiful testimony to the power of even the shortest of lives and how quickly we can fall profoundly in love.

Rest well. Be good to yourself and DH and T. You will all need time.

All our love.