Road to Reproduction: The Cradle Will Fall

BY: - 26 Jun '13 | Parenting

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NOTE: This piece describes a pregnancy loss in detail.

I was a pro at checking in to the ER, as this was my third visit during my pregnancy. I wanted to inquire about frequent visitor prizes. It was about 10:00 p.m. on December 8, 2011. “Brown blood” during pregnancy is fine because it’s old. This time there was “red” blood which is always a red flag because it is usually a sign of miscarriage. In the ER, you never know what kind of doctor you’re going to get. In my case, it was a resident studying to be a M.D. I could feel the springs in my back on the thin ER mattress as I stared into space. My husband, Che, kept reassuring me that everything was going to be OK.

The doctor came in and announced that we were going to do an ultrasound to check on the baby’s movement and the heartbeat. She rubbed the gel on my protruding belly. I temporarily stopped breathing until we saw movement and heard the rapid heart beat. I was released from the hospital at 3:00 a.m. on December 9th. As we drove home, Che asked if he needed to stay home the next day, as he was scheduled to leave out of town for work at 9:00 a.m. I reassured him that the baby & I were fine. If there was an issue, they would have kept me in the ER and I promised him that I’d be still until he returned Sunday. I had the day off from work the following day. I was exhausted from being in the ER the entire night and just wanted to sleep. I dropped Che off at the airport, drove back home and before getting into bed decided to go to the bathroom.

After sitting down, I felt a bit of pressure in my pelvis and then immediately heard a gush of water. I had never experienced it before and I understood that for every woman it was different. But I knew like all women had said I’d know that my water had just broken. I started crying and shaking. There weren’t any instructions in my pregnancy books for what to do when your water breaks at 5 months. I gasped for air a few times, put on my clothes and drove myself to the Emergency Room, which was about 10 minutes from my house. During the drive I immediately called my husband who was still on his flight and left him a voicemail.  After checking in to the ER I sat down in the chair in an emotional & spiritual bubble unsure of anything else in the world except my name. After feeling like the process was taking way too long, I told the front desk I needed to use the bathroom. When I pulled down my pants, I saw nothing but blood… everywhere… My entire lower half was covered in it. It made me lightheaded. I cracked the door open and then screamed for a nurse. When she came and saw that both me and the bathroom looked like a crime scene, she ran in with a wheelchair and raced me to the back of the ER.

A new doctor, this time an OB/GYN resident came and explained to me that I had lost a lot of blood and everything after that sounded like we were under water – I couldn’t understand her. A new OB/GYN came shortly after that with the ultrasound machine and while the baby’s heart was beating I had lost all of my amniotic fluid so the baby didn’t have anything to swim in.

I couldn’t see anyone or anything as my eyes were swollen from crying. “Sometimes the body recreates amniotic fluid, and we have to wait and see if your body is going to do that” someone said. To me that translated into hope. We did a pelvic exam and my cervix was open. This was not normal and not supposed to be happening. The doctor said we’d wait to see if the sac would refill with fluid and we’d continue to monitor the heart rate. They said I needed to be moved to the labor & delivery floor so that I could be better taken care of. All I could think about was the baby in my belly who was probably gasping for air & dear life.

Once I arrived to the labor & delivery floor a pelvic exam was done immediately. The new face said, “OMG, the umbilical cord is hanging out…” I started crying… My dream of Che cutting the umbilical cord after a drug-free natural delivery had been shattered and I was told that I had two options. I could either take medication which would “induce” labor and allow everything to come out naturally OR I could be transferred to another facility for a D & C (dilation and curettage) which involved dilation and a special tool to scrape the uterine lining. It was explained to me that the D & C is also a procedure that is often used for abortions. To me it sounded like you can do this naturally or unnaturally so I went with the natural option.

Che & I spoke, as he was in total disbelief and heartbroken at how quickly things had turned around and he agreed that natural was the best option. It was also explained to me that my baby could not survive outside of my womb on her own (We were actually one week away from her being able to stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit aka NICU). A blurry face told me I had to make a decision quickly for my own health & safety. I informed her that I wanted to deliver naturally.

My mother-in-law (a nurse) had been notified by my husband and she immediately took the 3 hour drive to Chicago from Indianapolis. She was joined by my grandmother-in-law who was an ultrasound tech in a past life. My two best friends, and two of my sorority sisters also crowded into the hospital room. There was no way that I wanted to be alone during this moment and all of these individuals had shared in the joy of the expected life that would soon change all of our lives. Thank God they could be in the room while I birthed my baby girl. The nurse gave me some medication to get my cervix to dilate and we all waited for the labor pain to hit…

Check back every other Wednesday for additional articles in this new series from Donnie Smith – “The Road to Reproduction” as she chronicles her journey to child birth. View previous articles here

About the author

Donnie Smith wrote 24 articles on this blog.

Donnie Nicole Smith is an adolescent education expert and lifestyle blogger. From her traumatic childhood to her triumphant womanhood – she shares pieces of her public marriage & relationship to grammy-award winning “raptivist” Che “Rhymefest” Smith and her private fertility challenges.


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10 WordPress comments on “Road to Reproduction: The Cradle Will Fall

  1. Jessica M.

    I admire your bravery and strength, not only in telling your story but in your entire experience. It is heart-wrenching to read. Thank you for sharing such a significant and private piece of your life. E-hugs to you!

  2. Donnie

    @Jessica thank you so much for your E-Hug and I am happy to be an open book. If one woman feels like she’s not alone I’m happy. Have a wonderful Wednesday!

  3. MrsB

    Wow! Thanks for sharing your struggle. What bravery and it lets me know that I am not alone on the “Road to Reproduction.” I wish you and your family all the best. You are truly in my prayers!!!

    1. Donnie Smith Post author

      MrsB you are not alone! This is the road less traveled but one that if we did not have the strength or the bravery, would not have been chosen to walk down. Keep me posted and thank you for the prayers!

  4. AliAngel

    My God. I experienced almost the exact journey. 5 months. Cervix opened for no reason. Blood. Realizing I was within 2 weeks of my baby being put in neo-natal care. Hysteria. The DNC. Waiting for my baby to pass away, and knowing I would have to push and deliver him dead. My beloved hugging and kissing the baby before handing him to the nurse. Wanting to die. Finding the will to live. God bless you, your precious daughter, and your family. The love will always bind you.

    1. Donnie Smith Post author

      My heart literally stops hearing your story. It is the other side of pregnancy and labor & delivery that few people talk about. Praying for you and your family as well. We carry our angels with us forever! E-hugs!

  5. Danielle

    Am I the only one who can’t see the remainder of the story? Had me all on the edge and it ended abruptly!

    1. Donnie Smith Post author

      Hi Danielle! So sorry for the confusion. This is one part of a story of a series that will be released every two weeks. It started in December of 2011 and will continue up until today as I am in the process of trying to conceive because I’ve figured out what my issue was. Thanks for commenting and again sorry for the confusion ;)

  6. a.byrd

    I felt like it was 2-27-2012 all over again reading this story. I too had a similar experience that I would not wish on my worst enemy. I was 5 months and had to deliver my baby knowing he was dead which I had to carry for 3 days after hearing no heartbeat at a regular routine checkup. My eyes just filled with tears but I must say I’m in a different place now of what happen. I went through the lost stages of Denial, Anger and now I’m at Acceptance. I faced it head on alone and with God’s mercy and grace as this incident caused the breakup of my engagement as it has caused many breakups with couples I’ve learned. I cremated my son and have the ashes and thank God for my baby Angel who’s wings now cover over me. There are several support groups and a national walk as October 15th is the National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness day that President Ronald Reagan acknowledged. This experience is something you will remember for the rest of your life and yes it’s taboo I find especially amongst the African-American communities as I’ve noticed in my support groups for most of the events I’m either the only person of color or I can count on 1 hand. It needs to be address and I’m thankful that you have done so and opened up for more of us who also too have a testimony that may help someone else get through this tragedy. May God bless you and your family.

  7. TLS

    Prayers to you and your family. Thank you for sharing your story. I pray that God gives you the desire of your heart.

    Yesterday marked 2 months that our dear son,Miles was born – stillborn. We were able to hold, kiss, cry for and talk to him. He was buried 3 dys later,2 days before Fathers’Day. We recently joined a local SHARE Support group for parents of stillborn/miscarriage parents.

    Unfortunately, there are so many families who go through this everyday. My prayer is for healing and faith restoration.

    Much respect and love

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