Have you ever day dreamed about where you would be while your water broke? Or how much time you had to get to the hospital and start the delivery process before your contractions were unbearable? From June 14th 2015 (the day I found out I was pregnant) to January 19th 2016 (36 weeks and the last day I felt Kennedy move) I day dreamed every single day about where and when my water would break, and how much time I had until I could hold my baby girl for the very first time.
January 19th, 2016 at 2:00 pm I was sitting at my desk at work googling what Braxton hicks felt like because I had suspected I was in labor. Sure enough, my contractions became stronger, and about 5 mins apart. I was feeling my sweet baby move like crazy causing me to lean over as if I was going to throw up. I then decided to call Andrew and tell him that he needed to come home and take me to the hospital because I was POSITIVE that I was in labor, or something was wrong.
At 3:30 pm I was sitting in a triage room hooked up to a bunch of monitors that measured my contractions, Kennedy’s heartrate, my blood pressure, and my heart rate. While lying in the hospital bed staring at the little papers that constantly printed out from the monitor I had this exciting feeling that I would have the honor of being a mommy within a couple of hours. I mean why wouldn’t I think that? I was having horrible cramping/contractions, I had 3 contractions every 10 minutes, and I felt my stomach drop severely. While I laid there holding my husband’s hand I remember telling him that I HOPE AND PRAY Kennedy looks like him and has his brains!!
I also vividly remember texting my parents and Andrews parents letting them know that Kennedy might make an appearance due to my constant contractions and symptoms. With exciting feelings from both sets of parents knowing that their first grandbaby would soon enter the world. Shortly after those text back and forth, Andrew and I are sitting in the room very close together and watched my stomach shake profusely. I have never had a seizure before, but if I did I would describe that same shake as a seizure inside of my belly. I immediately hit my nurse button and let the nurse know the feeling I had. Of course, she did her job and brought the person in charge into our triage room. This person in charge was not a doctor unfortunately, it was a midwife.
I expressed my concerns and fears to the midwife, and told her the contractions are very strong and I think Kennedy had a seizure. My husband told the midwife as well that he could physically see my stomach shaking profusely. I already felt very uncomfortable with this certain midwife because she didn’t seem to be on her “A game” with me. After checking my cervix twice in 45 mins, not performing an ultrasound and telling me “I am a first time mom and I just need to relax because it may be Braxton hicks”, the midwife sent me home. I told her how I still felt the same and I was nervous, but her answer didn’t seem to change and off I went.
Little did I know, on January 19th, 2016 I was feeling and staring at my sweet baby girls heart beat for the very last time. After being discharged from the triage room I only felt worse and my anxiety was through the roof. I told Andrew I didn’t feel right and went to bed at 7:00 pm. While Andrew fell right to sleep, I just laid in my bed and cried till 1:00 AM. I finally got up around 1:45 AM and got my at home fetal Doppler out and tried finding Kennedy’s heartbeat. It usually takes me 2 seconds to find it. After 5 minutes of not being able to find it, I got up from my bed and walked in the bathroom crying. I closed the door so I wouldn’t wake Andrew up and I tried one more time to find Kennedys heartbeat, and I couldn’t. Not to mention, she wasn’t moving around in my belly like she usually does at 2 AM. I woke Andrew up and I was a wreck, I told him we need to go back to the hospital because I couldn’t find Kennedy’s heartbeat.
I walked upstairs and woke my parents up and told them that Kennedy was dead. Of course my parents wanted to calm me down and tell me she was just sleeping because she was tired. However, I knew she was gone because I could just feel her body float in my stomach in such a lifeless matter. Never doubt your motherly instinct! I hate myself so much for not staying in that hospital and demanding a DOCTOR!
8 hours after being discharged from the hospital the night before, I encountered the same midwife that sent me home and told me, “you’re going to be fine”, “it’s probably just Braxton hicks”. I walked in at 3 AM and told her I was not fine and something is wrong, and that I could not feel my baby anymore. Sure enough, the nurse put the Doppler on my stomach for 4 minutes and could not find Kennedy’s heartbeat. The nurse then finally called in the Doctor on call (not my doctor I had been dealing with whom I love and adore) and ordered an ultrasound due to non-existing heartbeat. While I watched my precious baby’s heart still on the ultrasound monitor, I died inside too.
The doctor looked up at me and softly said, “At this time there is no heartbeat, I’m sorry”. As the doctor was saying those very words, all I could do was look up at the midwife that sent me home 8 hours before this moment. There was a lot exchanged during that time, however I will not share it on the internet. The doctors gave Andrew and I 20 minutes of privacy as we fiercely grieved and wept. We both were dreading the phone calls we had to make to our excited parents who were grandparents to be for the very first time. Once the horrible phone calls were made, my parents and siblings arrived at the hospital within 10 minutes and Andrew’s family was headed to airport to jump on a plane and head our way right away.
As I tried screwing my head back on for a few short minutes to focus on the next step in this horrible nightmare, the doctor looked at me and said, ”Kacie, we are going to have to induce you and you will have to vaginally deliver within 24 hours.” I remember staring through the top of the sheer triage curtain thinking there is no way I can do this. I cried out to God so loudly in front of the nurses and doctors and begged him to wake me up from this. I begged God to give me strength and allow Andrew and I to get through the next couple of hours. I looked at the doctor with fear and told her there was no way I could find strength to vaginally deliver Kennedy dead. The doctor assured me I would be fine and sent my family to room we would deliver in.
Around 6:30 am I was propped up on my bed squeezing my nurse’s hands as they threaded the epidural through my spine. They tried threading it through about 4 times and it was so painful and uncomfortable. After four tries with the epidural, my left side took the medicine but my right side didn’t, however my body was pumped with strong pain medicines through my IV so I was stable enough. Plus, my nurses were absolutely amazing, and the doctor I worked hand in hand with throughout my whole pregnancy finally was on call and came to the rescue. I know God sent angels through my nurses and my doctor to surround my family with support and confidence.
As usual, the contractions were horrible, and getting more frequent and painful. As soon as I was fully dilated I aggressively pushed Kennedy as hard as I possibly could and my body felt weaker and weaker. I only pushed for 15 minutes, however, it felt like eternity. Still births are a little more difficult because the baby doesn’t have a natural force of moving out of the birth canal. As her head appeared 7 times with 7 hard pushes, I gave up. I asked for help from my doctor and out she went. I had an episiotomy, third degree tear, and three layers of stitches. I guess it seemed so much worse because I had no trophy, I had no Kennedy. When the nurse gracefully laid Kennedy on my chest I felt my heart stop, I felt my soul withering away, and my mind shut down all at the same time. Kennedy was perfect in every way and had every feature I wanted her to have. I prayed and journaled throughout my pregnancy of things I wanted Kennedy to have. She had her daddy’s curly thick hair, her mommy’s big shaped eyes, her grandmothers blue eyes, her aunt Hopes perfectly plump lips, and her daddy’s hands.
Believe it or not, I prayed and journaled for every single one of those things for Kennedy and I couldn’t believe she had them all. Andrew and I held her for 24 hours and then I had to give her away for forever. There are no words to describe that feeling. All I can say is I don’t know how people get through those situations without having a relationship with Jesus and pounds of faith. Especially when Andrew and I had to make a reservation to meet with the funeral home just two days after she passed. Normally you are picking out a cute outfit for a social media picture to show the world your beautiful trophy, but not us; we had to pick out an urn.
Once again, I have NO IDEA how people can get through these horrible nightmares without faith, and hope in Jesus! Andrew and I had to sign papers to consent Kennedy’s cremation and all I can remember was praying and crying out to Jesus for strength. I couldn’t believe it. After the meeting Andrew and I came home with our family and celebrated Kennedy’s life. We wrote letters to her and taped them on to pink balloons and let them go to heaven.
As much as I could dwell on all the things I didn’t have, I am not going to. I am dwelling on my strong marriage with the most amazing man, husband, and daddy. I am dwelling on the fact that my entire family was in the room with Andrew and I from 5:00 am on Wednesday morning through Friday morning at 11:30. I am dwelling on my amazing nurses that took care of my husband and I from the moment we left the midwives supervision. I am dwelling on Jesus holding me and allowing me to be healthy and fight the good fight here on earth.
Life is so small, yet our purpose is so big! I truly believe God allowed Andrew and I to go through this horrible time to glorify him and develop a ministry that can reach people in such dark times! Always have hope and rest in his promises, he will not fail you!