When I first found out that I was pregnant, I was very happy. It took some time for Steve to get used to it.
When I had my first prenatal visit at 12 weeks, the mid-wife could not find the heartbeat. So, she hooked me up to the ultrasound machine and we saw it. She was concerned why the baby implanted itself high in the uterus. She had me worried about that. I didn’t’ understand what that had to do with anything. Anyway, that visit was horrible. There’s more to it, but I won’t go into further detail. However, the following visits I was told there was nothing to worry about. My blood pressure was high and they found protein in my urine so they classified me as high risk and I was seen more often. My blood pressure seemed to get better in the second trimester. (I had Pregnancy Induced Hypertension with my first child, but not with my 2nd or 3rd). I did have morning sickness starting around 7 weeks (as I did with my other ones, too), but that went away after a few months. However, with this pregnancy, I had a nagging sharp pain under my left rib, but the doctor said it was my “spleen”, that the baby was pushing on it. To this day, I do not know if that was it or not.
When I had an ultrasound done at 16 weeks, we were told it was a BOY and Steve was thrilled about it. I was happy, too. Starting at 32 weeks, I got an ultrasound every week and also non-stress tests twice a week since I was high risk and everything always came out fine.
On October 26, 2001, Friday, I had my 38 week prenatal visit. My blood pressure was high then and they told me bed rest. They were to induce me the following week, but the doctor said I may be induced sooner if my blood pressure continued to be a problem. I was going to go back on Monday. They said my cervix was not ripe or inducible that day (Fri.). I had my ultrasound (measured fluid) and non-stress test and that turned out fine. So, I went home and tried to take it easy, but that’s hard to do with the kids around. On the next day, Saturday, I started having some mild contractions that afternoon. I thought “wow, maybe I’ll actually go into labor all by myself this time!” (That never happen before because I was induced with my other 3 kids) Well, those contractions stopped. Later that night, I was upset about something. I got up around 3 AM and sat in the recliner chair and watched TV. which was now Sunday.
I started having some very mild contractions again, but then it seemed to stop again. After a while, I got up to get a shower and I fell down while getting up. After my shower, I sat back down and after a while the contractions started again. It seems like it started getting strong pretty fast. The contractions were not so many minutes apart anymore. It was just a constant pain and I knew I had to get to the hospital. I made a few phone calls to make arrangements for my kids to go to their friends’ house. Then Steve took me to the hospital. I think I got to the hospital around 7 AM, maybe a little sooner.
When I got to the hospital, they hooked me up to the monitor and couldn’t detect a heartbeat, so then they hooked me up to the ultrasound and the doctor looked at it for a while. I saw my dead baby on the ultrasound. He said the reason for death was placenta abruption. I later found out the cord was wrapped around his neck, but that was not the cause of death. I had to continue on with my labor. I wanted an epidural and they said I could have one, but my blood work came back abnormal, so I could not have one. So, I continued with my labor and delivered Dylan vaginally at 10:37 AM..
He was a beautiful baby weighing 7 lbs. 2 oz. I held him for a short time, but not too long cause I was feeling weak. Steve held him for quite a while. When he saw his precious face, he was a proud father. This was our first child together and we were both heartbroken. Anyway, I started to hemorrhage a lot and ended up in ICU and needed blood transfusions. I hated the thought of blood transfusions, but I would not be here today if not for that and also prayers going out for me. After I stabilized, I was put in a room. Steve and I got to spend more time with Dylan. We are so thankful that we got to spend time holding him.
We miss Dylan so much and I have asked WHY so many times. WHY did this happen? According to the doctor, it was a freak thing. He said I had no risk factors. I don’t smoke (although Steve does), I don’t do drugs, ETC. Even though high blood pressure IS a risk factor, he said it wasn’t high enough to cause the abruption. Well, I don’t think I can believe that. How do they know that my blood pressure didn’t get even higher at some point (like maybe when I was sleeping?). I still think my high blood pressure may have been a cause. I also think my fall could have been a cause, although they think I didn’t fall hard enough for that to happen. Nobody knows why it happened, so I need to just accept it. But it’s hard to accept that there are no answers as to why this happened. I have gone over in my mind so many times. IF only…if only they kept me there instead of sending me home on Friday. He was alive 2 days before his stillbirth at my doctor visit. When I had my doctor visit on Friday, little did I know 2 days later Dylan would be dead. I have put the blame on many things and people, including myself. I think about several different possibilities as to why this happened. But I will never know the reason for sure.
We had a funeral for Dylan and of course that will be a day to always remember. Many people showed up. We had some friends and some people from church and our family there. Also, a lot of military (Steve’s work) showed up and I did not know most of them. Even my labor/delivery nurse came. We were so fortunate and blessed to have so much support from caring people. After the funeral service, we had Dylan transported and we had him buried in central FL near family since we knew we wouldn’t be staying at Eglin AFB for much longer. I keep his pictures in the living room along with a poem. I know people think I should just get on with my life, but it’s hard and I refuse to let his memory die. And when I see or hear of a baby around Dylan’s age, it upsets me. Many people may judge me for keeping out his pictures, etc. and do not understand why I can’t just put this behind me, but it’s hard for people to understand unless they have gone through it themselves. I think about Dylan each and every day and like to talk about him often. If it were possible, I would gladly take back my swollen feet, that pain I had under my rib so much, my acid reflux and my fat stomach. I would take all of that back just to have him alive again, and I would love to feel him kick and move again, if that were possible. My life feels like something is missing and I feel so empty. I am thankful for the 3 children I already have, but still someone is missing and that someone is Dylan. I would love to have another baby, but don’t know if we ever will and even if we do, it will never replace Dylan. I don’t think the pain will ever go away. He will always be part of our family, even though he’s in Heaven now. We love him so much and we will see him again someday, but for now we miss Dylan very much and he will remain in our hearts forever
As I write this addition, it has now been 7 months since we lost Dylan. I continue to think about him each and every single day of my life and my heart still aches to have him here. But I have tried to get on with my life. I still have my moments when I cry, but they are not as often as they were at first. But I still love him and miss him just as much. I know that the pain will never go away and my life will NEVER be the same again since Dylan existed. He is still part of our family and always will be. His pictures are out along with my other children’s pictures and my kids still count him as their brother. Only he is in Heaven instead of here on earth with us.
We are now expecting another baby on Dec. 13, 2002. To be honest, I am very scared. After I had Dylan, the doctor told me that there is a small chance this could happen again, but most likely it won’t. So, I guess the odds are that I have a good chance this time at having this baby without my previous problem. But there’s still the fear that it COULD happen again, even if the chances are small. You just never know. I am happy that God is giving us another chance to have another baby, but I cannot be really happy yet, until I give birth to a healthy, normal LIVE baby and get to bring him/her home from the hospital, because my fear is getting in the way.. Dylan certainly looked normal and healthy, but he was not alive and I still can’t figure out why I carried him for 8 and 1/2 months, only to have him taken away from me. All I can do is hope and pray that this pregnancy will not have any complications this time and that we will have a happy ending for both me and the baby.
Good news and congratulations !!!!
Ryan Jacob was born Dec. 2, 2002 weighing 7 lb. 2 oz.
We are so blessed to have him!
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