It was November 12, 2008. I was 20 weeks and 2 days pregnant with our first baby due in March 2009. The night before, E & I slept late after craving a strawberry milk shake & chicken mcnuggets. I had some discomfort in my stomach but not enough to be alarmed. I thought it was just indigestion from eating late. The next morning I woke up having to go to the bathroom.
Usually every morning I would have the urge to go. But this time it was with slight pain. As I walked to the bathroom I knew something was wrong. Although I bled in the past, this time it was alot of bleeding and bright red. I woke E up and rushed to the hospital.
My doctor was in O.R. with another patient. Another Dr. came in place and checked for the baby's heart beat. The Dr. said, "isn't it reassuring to hear the heart beat?" I wasn't sure how to answer since that didn't explain the bleeding and constant pain. Before the doctor was able to give me a final diagnosis I was sent to the ultra sound room.
E & I realized we were waiting in the wrong ultra sound room and by this time I was in deeper pain. I could not understand why the pains were getting stronger. The nurse was kind enough to bring us down to the right ultra sound room. The pains returned and then suddenly I was fine again. Little did I realize at this point I was already contracting.
Finally the ultra sound specialist checked to see if the baby was ok. E & I were able to see him kick. He was very active. The pains returned and this time it was intolerable. My back was suddenly aching and I asked E to hold my hand. The ultra sound specialist told me to be patient in order to complete the exam.
Suddenly my water broke. I heard the specialist ask,"if it was water or urine?" I was in so much confusion but I was certain it was water. A few doctors came rushing to the ultra sound room and said rush her to the Maternity O.R. At that point my world was turned upside down. I knew that it would be too early to give birth and save him. My heart broke.
There was not enough time to transfer me to the stretcher. I was rolled out immediately to the elevators. My doctor just came out of O.R. and saw my husband standing in the hallway. She recognized E and was confused to see him since I wasn't due til' March. My doctor rushed in and prepared for delivery. Within minutes after being transferred into the room, I gave birth to my first baby. I turned my head after giving birth and saw E broke in tears. He was alive and E saw the baby's hand raise. Now I know when hello means goodbye.
I asked my doctor,"is there anything they can do to save my baby?" I felt foolish for asking since I knew the answer before hand. In my heart I was hoping to hear a different answer. The doctor asked if we wanted to see the baby. At first E & I said no out of confusion, fear and pain. We were blessed to have our nurse Delphne encourage us. That it would be helpful in our healing process. We said, "yes." Of course I want to see my baby, my flesh and I'm so glad we were able to be parents for even a few hours.
They asked what do you want to name the baby? E & I looked at each other and shook our heads. We had just took our 19 week sonogram and found out it was a boy. It was too soon. We finally named him November. The Chaplain came to baptize baby November immediately upon birth. I held November in my arms for the first time and I can't tell you how powerful a parent's love can be. I never knew... I was sad knowing he will leave this world to be with God in heaven. He was so beautiful. His nose, toes and hands...everything was so perfect.
The nurse took my baby for a short while to take his footprints and pictures. I was given a bereavement box with his foot prints and belongings. In the box we found the camera and took extra pictures. E cradled the baby in his arms and I took photos with my cell phone. I wanted to remember November and to never forget his face. I was afraid that I would forget what he looked like. We finally said goodbye and the hardest part was to hand my baby back to the nurse.
That evening E wrote a poem and I wrote in my belly baby journal. We embraced each others arms of comfort to sleep.
The next day we asked the Chaplain to return and give our baby a memorial service. By this time we shared the news with our parents and family. My dad helped give Jacob his rightful name. E thought it was befitting since in the Bible it says, "Jacob wrestled with God." When E saw our baby slide out of me, he said he wrestled for his life. The nurse Kristine brought him back wrapped carefully in blankets. We were able to see his face again. We broke into tears. It was hard to say goodbye twice.
After the memorial we filled out Jacob's papers for the first time and last. We had to file a birth and a death certificate. All this information...naming our baby, burial arrangements, filling out forms... was all overwhelming. By afternoon we were discharged and left the hospital.
Later I found out we lost our baby to placental abruption and a mild-grade infection. Tomorrow it will be a new year (2009) and time of healing. I've started this blog to always remember November. Below was a bereavement letter sent to friends and family.
On November 12th, Wednesday I went into preterm labor. Our first son was born alive at and we named him Jacob November Kim. We held him til’ he died in our arms hours later. He was perfect in form and precious in our sight just weighing at 15 ounces. Jacob was baptized at birth and given a memorial blessing the next day by Chaplain ------. My husband E made a beautiful poem for our ‘November’. We are so grateful for the tremendous support and hospital care at ---------. He was cremated on November 18th, Tuesday at 12 o’clock at ------ Cemetery. We are in the process of getting a baby urn and giving Jacob a proper burial.
It has been 13 days since our little one has passed away and there is no easy way to share the news. However in order to avoid everyone getting too worried, I thought it was best to write a brief letter. Just recently E and I have moved to a new home. We want everyone to know that we are in the process of healing and still need some time to deal with our loss. Please understand if we do not return messages anytime soon. We thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers.
…Go to sleep my little baby
J & E