As I said in my MOPS talk, whatever the worst feelings you can imagine for that moment are all true...at least tenfold. I honestly believe that my wildest imagination (and my imagination is very wild) could not have prepared me for the moment we found out our daughter died. Those moments are some of the blurriest and also some of the clearest moments of my life. After an initial period of hysterical crying, I remember my mind clearing and feeling very calm. Maybe some denial, I'm not really sure what.
The next morning was Aidan's birthday party and I went into detail mode. I wanted to know how to tell the boys and what was going to happen next. We made phone calls, moved Aidan's birthday party from my parent's house to ours, and made arrangements to speak with our midwife on Monday to make a decision about being induced. As long I was thinking or planning I was sort of ok, but as soon as I stopped I would fall about. Every time I would stop moving or lay down to try to sleep I would burst into tears. Every time I thought they had slowed down, they would start again.
The next few days are a blur. I remember Aidan's party in small details...my mother in law chopping huge amounts of lettuce for tacos that no one really ate...tears in my dad's eyes when they got there...having to ask a dear friend not to bring her 3 day old baby girl. After the party, we sent the boys to my parents' house for a few days. They thought it was a fun surprise and were very excited so they didn't ask too many questions.
After they left, Tim and I had some time to think about what we wanted to do. We decided we wanted to go into the hospital to be induced on Tuesday (Aidan's actual birthday was Monday and I didn't want them to forever be the same day). I would only stay for the minimum time after delivering and then we would go from there. We decided to bring her going home outfit even though it was for a November baby (and thus fleece in August) and her blanket that had been gifted to us from a dear friend and Caleb's godmother. We packed an entire bag of things... our own scrapbooking paper for footprints, clothes and a hat for her, her blanket, our own digital camera.
If I only had a few hours with her, I wanted to document as much as I possibly could. I wanted everything that touched her to come home with me and be kept safe.
My hospital experience was actually quite good, all things considered. We shared tears with our midwife before we started and nurses from the grief support group came and talked to us. Throughout the day, everyone who came into our room was quite respectful and caring. There were obvious differences between my labors, since I was starting from next to nothing and I knew there would be no joyful moments at the end. I never left the room to walk the halls or anything that might bring me in contact with another laboring mom. After a jump start with Cytotec on Tuesday, I actually was able to get things going overnight and didn't need Pitocin at all (which is a HUGE blessing as anyone who's ever had it knows).
The one downside was our labor and delivery nurse that day. She was probably the only nurse we had that I didn't like. She kept calling Tim, Jim, and just was way too perky. In fact, I have to say that all of the pictures she took turned out crappy and I'm very grateful we brought our own camera. The moment of delivery also turned me against her... Our midwife was next door delivering another (live) baby who had decided need to make their appearance the same time and there were no other Drs. on the unit. She was standing about five feet from the end of the bed yelling into the hall every 30 seconds that someone needed to get in there.
Being not a first time Dad, Tim had things covered, but the nurse clearly did not want to touch Kenna at the moment of birth and quickly handed her to me and then went to find a doctor. The Dr. she finally found was very kind and respectful and caught the placenta and let Tim cut the cord before he left. I've actually never seen him again...someday I might like to do that.
We only stayed for four hours. The four hours my midwife wanted me to stay after giving birth. Four hours with my daughter. Four hours of memories. Four hours that ocsillates between feeling like four minutes and four years.
The next day the funeral home offerred to let us see her one more time before she was creamated. I said no. What was I thinking?