Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Eli's story

Think its about time I shared Eli's story. Maybe the typing of his story out will help me find some sleep tonight.

I was going to the doctor for weekly BBP's because I have pregnancy induced hypertension and they wanted to make sure everything was going smoothly. I went for my last one on Friday, June 11th. Everything was perfect with Eli. I was checked and I was dilated 2 cm! I was so excited I thought for sure he would be coming soon. I had the option of scheduling  a my next BPP for Wednesday or Friday and instead of doing it on Wednesday I chose Friday, my decision to do that will be something I regret forever.

On Wednesday morning I woke up feeling fine but slightly off. Eli wasn't moving as much as normal but it wasn't so much that I was concerned. I just figured I was getting late in my pregnancy (36 weeks and 4 days) and he was running out of room. I had never made it this far before, Austin was born at 33 weeks. Everything past 33 weeks was new to me.

At about 10:30 pm I told my husband to get me the baby monitor that my sister gave to me to listen to the baby's heartbeat. I put the headphones on and placed the device on my belly and didn't hear anything. I wasn't concerned yet because Austin was crawling all over me and the tv was on and I could everything around me inside the headphones. David took Austin to bed about 10 til 11 that night and I decided to take a shower to see if I could get some movement out of Eli.

Before getting into the shower I of course had to pee, then I turned the shower on and felt like I had to go again. I sat down and felt a little pop. I thought maybe my water had broken. I stood up to find that it was blood, tons of it. I screamed for David, he didn't hear me but my Grandma did. She got him and he immediatley called my ob/gyn. I got clothes on put a towel down inside my underwear and we rushed to the hospital, notifying l&d about the situation on our way there.

I was wheeled up to l&d and the entire time I'm crying because I know something is wrong. In my head I just kept saying, "everything's ok, we are gonna have a c-section and he's gonna be fine". The nurses brought me into my room, l&d number 2, same room Austin was born. They got me into a gown and preceded to check me out. They kept wiping my bottom and saying there was alot of blood and alot of clots. Another nurse was starting an IV and checking my bp while another was hooking me up to the fetal monitors. David joined me in the room and from the minute the nurse didn't find his heartbeat right away I started to panic and crying uncontrollably. David couldn't even look at me. He paced the room. They tried the fetal monitor, hand held dopplar and an ultrasound and couldn't find anything, but never said a word. They told me they paged the doctor on call, Dr. Dotson, and that he would be here soon. A lady from ultrasound downstairs came up and started an ultrasound about the same time that Dr. Dotson arrived. He sat on my bed, patted my leg, looked at the ultrasound screen, then looked at me and said "I'm sorry, but theres no heartbeat", 12:04 am. Those 6 words changed my life forever. I threw my hands over my head and couldn't stop crying and shaking. Dr. Dotson hugged David.

For the first half an hour I could hear David running in and out of bathroom, getting sick and crying. He didn't want me to see him cry. We held eachother and then we had to make calls to our families. I called my Mom first, who was at my apartment with my Grandma, Austin and David's two girls. The conversation went like this:
Mom: Have they said anything?
Me: He's gone, Mom.
Mom: Are they sure?
Me: Yeah, they couldn't find his heartbeat, even on ultrasound. What do I do? I can't bury my son. Oh, God! What do I do?

We then called David's mom and had pretty much the same conversation. His parents arrived first, followed by my mom, Austin and my Grandma. I tried all night long to call my bff, Veronica with no answer. Around 6 am that morning she texted me, then called.
Me: I've been trying to get ahold of you all night.
V: Why, what's going on?
Me: We lost Eli, Veronica.
V: Are you joking? It's not funny.
Me: Why would I joke? No, hes gone.
V: What?
Me: I haven't had him yet.
V: I'll be there asap, I love you.

My doctor, Dr. Frederick came in about 7:30 that morning, teary eyed. He said he was sorry and asked if he could pray with us. He took my head and said a prayer. He then checked my cervix and broke my water. He came to my room every hour if not more.

I began pushing about 10:35 am. The most difficult thing I've ever done in my entire life. It was just me, David, Dr. F and two nurses. David sat up by my head, with his head buried in my shoulder, sobbing. I pushed as hard and as fast as I could. Once I felt him come out, I turned my head away and cried with David. I asked Dr. F if he was sure he was gone and he said he was. They took Eli out of the room and left us be. We cried together. The first time I've ever seen David cry; it was sad and beautiful at the same time.

The nurses brought him back in a short while later after bathing him and taking his pictures. We cried all over. He he was our perfect baby boy, and he's not breathing. Oh, I begged him to breathe. We stared at him, took our own pictures and then held him. God, he smelled so good. A perfectly healthy, 6lb 3oz and 20.5 inch long baby boy.

We spent several hours with him. Drawing his face in our memory and smelling him. At 6pm the man from the funeral home came to pick him up. I snuggled up to him for the very last time and handed him to the nurse. It was then I had my breakdown. I kept screaming "They are taking my baby to the funeral home! Oh my god! My baby is going to a funeral home!" It was shortly after my fit of hyperventiliation that I passed out. Dr. F came in and told me that the cause for Eli's death was a cord accident. AN ACCIDENT! That's all I get, it was an accident. He turned just so and got a knot in his cord and as he decended into the birth canal the knot got tightened and cut off his oxygen. Isn't that the most ridiculous thing you've ever heard?!?

I left the hospital the next morning before rounds, I couldn't stand to be there one more second. That day we planned Eli's funeral. His service was planned for Monday, June 21st.

Seeing him in a casket is an image I wish I could erase from my mind. I wanted nothing more than to pick him up and hold him, rock him; to make this all go away. The service was beautiful. He was buried just after noon that Monday. Seems ridiculous to me that I just had this beautiul baby and I won't ever get to see, touch, smell or kiss him ever again.

Since laying Eli to rest I've changed as a person. I can no longer be the person I was because part of me is missing. I know that it won't always hurt like this and honestly, I can't wait for that day. This will never make sense to me and the hurt of him being gone will always be here. I'm sad because my family will never be complete because he's gone. I'm sad because I never got pictures of him and Austin together. I'm sad because I won't get to see him smile, walk, talk, hear him say my name, see him go to school, get married and have kids. I'm missing out on so much.

One thing that I am grateful for is the fact that when it's my time to go, I have him waiting for me. I get to see him and hold him. He will get to hear me tell him I love him and he'll get to see my face for the first time. Oh, I can't wait for that day!

I love and miss you, Eli. I push forward because I have to. I can't let losing you be the end of me, although it did end a huge part of my life. Mommy can't wait to meet you all over again, my sweet angel.


  1. Oh, Amber, this is the saddest story. I admire you for being able to write it out and I hope this helps you in your healing journey. From personal experience, I can tell you that holding Eli and getting to know him the best way you could will help you tremendously. I never got to hold my Meredith and bond with her while she lived, nor got to hold her after she died. That simple fact held up my healing for many years. Now, I have a peace about her death. Yes, Heaven holds our babies and we have that to look forward to. I'm so sorry, though, that Eli is there and not in your loving arms right now. I wish I had had doctors who prayed with us and acted like they cared. It is good to know some doctors take their faith into the hospital rooms with them. xoxoxo

  2. I'm just so, so sorry. I wish I had better words....xoxo

  3. This is beyond sad, I am so sorry for all that you went through. I pray that God holds you close and gives you comfort during this journey of grief. My heart is heavy with your sorrow. I can't believe that a tiny precious baby can be so close to birth yet so far away. That is tragic. ((HUGS))