Last Updated on March 15, 2018 by Jenny Pena
A big thank you to Ashley Mitchell for sharing her third birth story and most impactful, a stillbirth. Her third of five births, what a testimony to the God-given strength women possess! Be sure to click over to Happy Homeschool Mum and her FB Motherhood Maine
A Birth to Remember
Out of my five births I have had there is one birth story out of all of them that stand out the most. Science and research says that women have a hormone in their body that allows the to forget or not remember as easily the pain and hardship of childbirth. While
that research makes me laugh, because I remember the pain of all of them pretty well, there is one birth I remember the most.
My third birth.
March 8th 2014
I went into labor and delivery at my local hospital very late at
night alone. I had just completed a long shift at work. During that work day (night really) I was on the phone with my husband during my lunch break. I had asked him “When was the last time you felt Maria move?” and neither one of us really had an answer.
Maria-Lucille was to be our third child and our second daughter.
That question just stuck in my head the rest of the night. We picked up our 2 children from their grandmothers,drove home, and I called the labor and delivery department at my local hospital. After just simply saying I had not felt our daughter move they told me to come in and be checked.
I had no symptoms of anything but not feeling her move, and the woman on the phone did not seem concerned. I was convinced everything was fine. After I told my husband to stay home with the kids, I would go in on my own. I knew nothing was wrong. So I drove to the hospital around 1:30am, just after we had gotten home from
working and getting our kids home.
When I arrived at the labor and delivery department a nurse brought out the heart doppler. The nurse said she heard movement and I must have not felt her move because baby was losing room. Then they brought out the ultrasound machine. The nurse moved the wand around my stomach and said nothing. Next, a young doctor came
in; she not only said nothing to me, she also kept moving the wand around trying to see how long ago Maria had passed before she would say anything. But I didn’t know that was what she was doing.
The doctor looked a me and shook her head.
That is all I received, a shake of the head. I wanted to know what that meant. I believe you cannot do this to someone, you cannot determine that someone’s baby died and figure out when and then shake your head and leave and leave the room.
After sitting alone for a few minutes, which felt like forever, the same young doctor came back and asked if I wanted a second opinion. I replied “Yes please. I don’t know what is going on.” That is when I finally started to receive ‘answers’, none of which made any sense to me. Off the young doctor went and back she brought a new doctor
wearing a Cliff Huxtable sweater. He was the only one who would tell me that:
Maria-Lucille was gone and he didn’t know why.
I was alone, by my own choosing because I knew everything was fine but it turned out it wasn’t. I was sitting in the hospital bed alone, my head spinning out of control. The staff was going on about induction and the next steps and telling me what I was going to do. They gave me no options to go along with the no explanations.
I had no idea what was going on, I was having trouble comprehending what was currently going on. I called my husband and attempted to explain the best I could. My husband came to the hospital and everything went on from there.
The nurse who was helping the most in the beginning of all this, and did the doppler (telling me she heard my baby), moved me to another room to prepare for delivery. In this hospital they still use one room for a delivery and then move you again for recovery.
As we moved rooms I passed rooms with crying babies and hearing the
sighs of new parents who didn’t know what to do but they we just as new as parents as these babies were to the world.
She said “This doesn’t happen to healthy babies”
and sat me down on my new bed. I bursted into tears.I had spent most of my time up until now in confusion and shock.
Induction took forever. I had been induced with pitocin during my second birth, the one before this. I went through what felt like endless induction tablets, none of them working and me spending almost a full 24 hours telling them nothing was happening and no one listening.
After a few contractions, ones I hardly remember, Maria-Lucille
was born just after 11:00pm. No doctor present because they weren’t listening to me anyway, but a nurse ran in as we were holding down the call button. My husband and I were in shock. An induction that felt like it was taking forever was over in just seconds.
My kids visited me the next day which was what I needed.
I was just bombarded with questions. After I gave birth to Maria-Lucille I couldn’t even answer the question of which I prefer ibuprofen or Tylenol and now they were asking me if I would like an autopsy performed and what were my funeral preferences. They were asking me these questions like it is something everyone includes in their birth plan. Through my whole unusual experience I was told what to do and when to do it and was given no guidance.
I chose no autopsy, I felt that my daughter had been through enough and that was
something her and I did not want to go through.
I chose to have my daughter buried and I knew I wanted her buried where my
Great-Grandmother was laid. My mother(planed the most), husband, step-mother, and
uncle helped plan everything.
I didn’t plan anything and that was best because I was busy comprehending and healing. She had a small burial with few family and my two very best friends, whom I will be forever grateful that they made the effort to come.
The most influential birth story in my life may be an unconventional one
Though 1 in 200 pregnancies happen to be stillbirths, time does
help. I have been able to transform my experience into new research, openness, and
many volunteer opportunities. 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage and 1 in 200
pregnancies end in stillbirth. This means I am not alone, I am not even close to being
alone. While I was in pain, wondering what was God’s plan I have realized that he gave
me a great opportunity to help many people through writing, volunteering, fundraising,
and connecting with wonderful women.
When my daughter’s birthday comes I still remember her and see that she given me so much strength and turned me into the person I needed to become.