Adelyn's story technically began on January 16, 2010 with a positive pregnancy test. But I should back up and talk about the baby before her - the one that did not make it past 10 weeks. That pregnancy ended in August of 2009, and it was difficult. Little did I know what I was in for.....
So after that miscarriage (my 2nd), all I wanted right away was to get pregnant again. After my hormones got in check, I felt a lot better about things and decided that if I did not get pregnant in December, that we would just wait it out until the summer. The planner that I am - I did not want a baby too close to Christmas, and a spring baby works very nicely with a teacher's work schedule.
And so, of couse I DID get pregnant that month. I suspected it for awhile, but I didn't feel as awful as I had with my prior pregnancies so I wasn't positive. Until January 16, 2010. I remember it was a Saturday, and I had gone grocery shopping and bought a test. When I came home, Trevor was on the phone with his mom I believe and it was almost dinner time. But I HAD to know.
And so it began. I remember so much about the early pregnancy - I felt awful and was miserable. There was a major snow storm in February - we lost power for a few days and school was closed for a week. There was so much snow that even when school resumed, we had two hour delays every morning because there wasn't anywhere for the kids to wait for the bus.
I remember shoveling every day - probably I shouldn't have, but I did. No one knew I was pregnant yet, it was early on, but I remember going out there and feeling like I wanted to puke while shoveling. I guess it kept me busy, but I haven't a clue how I found the energy.
The pregnancy progressed uneventfully, which was a huge relief. We heard her heartbeat on March 1, 2010 at my first prenatal appointment. Her ultrasound was May 7, 2010. We had debated on finding out if she was a boy or girl - we did not find out with our first daughter. I honestly didn't care either way, and since I insisted on not knowing the last time, I left the decision up to my husband. He said it was a girl all along. At first I thought it was a boy, since there had been a lot of girls lately, I felt like it was time for a boy. But the further along I got, the more my gut said it was a girl. I just felt it, and I just felt like we were meant to be the parents of two little girls. I mean, both of us are picky and hate messes and dirt and neither of us like sports at ALL. I remember joking with my husband before we found out Adelyn was a girl, saying we were going to have a boy who was a football player. He was like, no way, I'd rather go to dance recitals.
And so my husband decided to find out, and of course it was another girl. I remember leaving that appointment, all smiles, and already dreaming of matching dresses and sisters growing up together. I felt a little bit relieved, to be honest, that I would not have to deal with superheroes and sports and active boy stuff. I was happy. I began to buy the pink versions of things, because we were having two girls and were done, so why not? I went out and bought matching dresses when I found them cheap, big sister/little sister shirts. I was so excited to bring home another little girl and this time, since we knew she was a girl, I was going all out girly.
A few days after my ultrasound, I came home to a message on my answering machine from the doctor's office. "We just wanted to talk to you about your ultrasound. It's not an emergency, but call us when you get this." WHAT? I of course immediately freaked out, tried calling, and they were closed. I got in touch with the nurse the next day and reamed her out for leaving such a message. Way to make me feel sick with worry all night. Turns out the ultrasound found a two vessel umbilical cord, instead of the usual three vessels. The nurse said that everything else looked completely normal on the baby, and combined with my age, meant there wasn't much to worry about. Maybe we would have to make sure she continued to grow well towards the end, but that was the only extra thing that needed to be done. I was relieved - did some research about it, which all seemed to point to there being like a 99.9% chance she would be fine. The doctor confirmed that at my next appointment, and I never really worried about it again.
It was a very HOT summer and I was so uncomfortable. I went back to work in August to nonairconditioned buildings. I'm not sure how I did it, but I wanted the most time off AFTER she was born. At a routine visit on September 13, 2010, the same doctor who reassured me that the two vessel cord was nothing to worry about, suspected she was breech and sent me for an ultrasound, where it was confirmed. He gave me two choices - try to turn her or schedule a c-section for a few days later. I was deathly afraid of a c-section, but at the same time was miserable and really wanted the pregnancy to be over and meet my new daughter. Still, I knew I wanted to try to turn her.
The appointment was scheduled for September 15, 2010. I have to say that the whole procedure wasn't bad at all and I am a wimp. It was successful, and I was so relieved. Afterwards, I started having contractions and thought it might be D day. But I had the procedures at a different hospital than I was delivering at, because I guess a specialist has to perform it. Finally they sent me home and I went back to work the next day. The nurse called me the next day and said they suspected my fluids may be low and I needed to get a biophysical profile the next day and then a nonstress test that Monday. Both appointments went well - everything was normal and she was still head down.
I saw my due date come and pass, and I was so, so frustrated. I called in and just about begged to be induced, because I was so uncomfortable and was worried she was going to turn back. The doctor explained that it was highly unlikely for her to turn back, and that it was better to wait because if my body wasn't ready, an induction may not work and could lead to a c-section. So I waited.
Another week passed and finally we talked induction. It was set for September 30th, a Thursday. The doctor did something during her examination to get things started - ouch. After this appointment, since I had an end in sight, I decided to start my maternity leave. The next day was uneventful, rainy and yucky and I spent it with Sierra.
September 29, 2010 - It was a beautiful day. I woke up, posted on Facebook about being glad to see the sun again and spending the day with the soon-to-be big sister. I also remember writing how I couldn't believe it was the last day that we would have just one child. I had been convinced I was going to have her early, and fell in love with this outfit for her to come home in:
We got there around 2:30 pm and they admitted me - I don't remember going to triage like I had to with Sierra, but it was a different hospital. Everything happened so quickly. I was in so much pain, I remember telling my husband that I couldn't do this. They gave me something to help with it, without asking, and it did nothing but make me out of it. I did get my epidural, barely in time before I reached 10 cm. I remember at one point her heart rate dropping and the doctor trying to get her out using the suction cup. It kept popping off apparently, and she wouldn't come out yet. Then she said if the heart rate didn't go back up, I would have to get a c-section. And as soon as she said that, it went back up and stayed up. I don't remember any other problems. I continued to push for maybe another hour and finally the doctor said this baby needs to come out (after the fact when I saw her heart rate monitor strips I realized at that point her heart rate was too FAST, which isn't good either). And so out came the suction cup again, this time it was successful. I remember that I did not realize she was born, because she didn't cry and my epidural was so strong I didn't feel anything. With Sierra, they turned it down at the end and I could feel pressure and such, but not pain.
I remember the doctor cut the cord and handed her off, but I didn't see anything. I don't remember or didn't see what she looked like when she came out. I remember the doctor saying it was ok that she didn't cry, they were suctioning her because the amniotic fluid had meconium. I wasn't worried yet, because Sierra also had that and they took her right away as well. Then I remember getting nervous and the doctor saying that they were working on her. It wasn't until I heard my husband ask her if there were any signs of life and out of the corner of my eye saw her shake her head, that I knew. The whole time they worked on her, we were there in the room. I had my head turned to my husband, I was holding both his hands, and bawling. People were scurrying in and out of the room. And then, I will never forget the exact words the pediatrician spoke, "I'm sorry, there's nothing else we can do. She's gone." I remember my husband walking out of the room. I don't know how long he was gone or what I did while he was gone. I know he made phone calls - which I do not envy him for. But I don't remember hearing him make them, where he made them, or what I was doing when he did. I remember them asking if I wanted to see her, the doctor telling me "she's beautiful". I was in too much shock and I couldn't. My husband said he would hold her, and I vaguely remember seeing him hold her, and her arms were limp and flopped off to the side. An imagine that haunts me to this day still, as when I see Sierra's baby dolls' arms do that, it brings that moment back.
Eventually I did hold her, but I don't remember it. Apparently the doctor who worked on her talked to us "at length" about what they did, but I don't remember that either. I remember talking to my doctor and asking some questions. I remember the only things I wanted were my mom (who was with Sierra so wasn't there right away) and to go home and hug Sierra.
We stayed that night in the hospital, but I didn't sleep. I cried off and on all night. Luckily I didn't hear or see too many babies. The next day was rainy and awful. We saw her one more time before we left. We filled out paperwork and left that hospital empty handed and changed. We will never be the same people we were when we had entered that hospital.
For those who wonder, we never did find out what happened to her. Her autopsy and all tests came back normal. That was a hard day, hearing that she was completely normal, but yet not here with us. We think it was a combination of the two vessel cord, version to turn her from breech to vertex, and labor that somehow caused cord constriction. It was like everything that needed to happen, happened for that outcome. I believe that it happened over a period of time, caused brain damage, but yet her heart was still beating because she was attached to me through her cord. But as soon as they cut her cord, she just could not sustain herself on her own. Because she had a normal heartbeat the second before she was born. None of the doctors could really explain it, I don't think this type of thing happens very often at all. To this day, I don't understand. I still wonder if I could have had the c-section, would the outcome have been different? I guess we'll never know. All I know is that we love her and miss her and all that she could have been.
And that is where I thought her story ended - but the truth is, it was really just the beginning, as you will find when reading this blog.
Adelyn Michaela McCready
September 29, 2010
8 lbs 5 oz
22 inches long
born at 5:46 pm
died at 6:04 pm
"We are forever changed for having known the gift that was you.
We miss you terribly and who you would have been,
But we are better people because you touched our lives.
If only for a brief moment."