Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday morning

Today felt like the day.


The day after Memorial Day.

A trip up to the hospital.

The last time we did the exact same thing on the exact same day, it all started.

I was awoken out of my sleep when my water broke. I was half-dazed, walking to the bathroom and could feel my pants starting to soak with fluid. I thought I had urinated on myself at first.

When I turned the light on, I looked down to notice that my pants were tinged with a pinkish color. I smelled them. It smelled like nothing at all. I knew what happened.

Erik had been sleeping on the couch because he had a terrible cough just like me. I punched him hard in the back to wake him up. I had him smell my pants too. Same thing, nothing.

I was terrified and shaking. Erik called my mom and told her she needed to get to the house, now. I - and I still have no idea why - took a shower. I felt that I absolutely had to take a shower first before we could leave. Besides, we had time - no one was here yet to watch Sadie.

While I was in the shower, Erik had tried to call our friends - Carrie and Mike - a few times (they live just a few doors down from us) but there wasn't an answer. So he ran down to their house and rang their doorbell until someone came downstairs. Carrie was here just minutes later as we were ready to walk out the door.

I will never forget how scared I was at that exact moment - Carrie gave me a huge hug.

I remember the sound of my shoes as they pounded down the stairs out to the garage. I remember driving in the darkness and silence all the way to Chicago. I remember Erik pulling into the parking garage, desperately telling the attendant that I was in labor - where do we park? I remember, with each contraction, thinking that we were never going to make it to the hospital.

We did make it. And for that time, we were still okay - together. Three hearts beating.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

May 29th, 2010

The last picture taken of me while Sawyer was still safe inside my womb. A blurry picture taken with Erik's phone. I was happy here. Happy because I could just lay back and listen to his tiny heart "woosh" with every beat. Little did we know, just how broken it was.

One year ago, my sister was having a birthday party for her son, he was turning three. Erik had just picked up Sadie the night before from my mom's house - that's where she was staying while I was home on bedrest.

I was so excited to see Sadie and even more excited for a long holiday weekend together. The days sitting here by myself were really starting to get to me. I was trying so hard to stay positive even though I knew something was just not right.

My sister had called to try and convince me to come along with Erik and Sadie to the birthday party. I wanted to go, so badly. But I was on strict orders from the doctor to stay put. My sister even offered to make up a place on the couch for me in her den, and bring me food or whatever I needed as the party went on - but, I didn't want to be stuck in the house, on a beautiful day with everyone feeling sorry for me. Alone, yet still surrounded by everyone. So, Erik headed off with Sadie to the party without me.

While I sat at home by myself I couldn't help but notice that something wasn't right with Sawyer. He was making his kick counts (10 within an hour) but the thing is, he wasn't exactly kicking. He was barely moving. Just enough for me to notice, but not enough to make me feel that he was okay.

We had known that my fluid was very low for the past month. I tried to relate that to the reason why he wasn't moving the way I felt he should be. But something in my heart kept telling my head to worry. And that's what I did.

I called over to the party and talked with my sister - crying between sentences, overwhelmed with dread. She said I shouldn't worry, and to call the doctor just in case.

Then, I called my sister-in-law who is a NICU nurse and explained to her how I felt. She has this very gentle way with words, and highly suggested I just go ahead and call the hospital. I needed that encouragement. I needed to know that what I was feeling made sense in some way.

By the time Erik came home and put Sadie to bed a few hours later, we were on our way to the University of Chicago. When I arrived, the standard tests were done. NST, BPP and everything checked out perfectly. The resident who took care of us that stormy late-spring night, reassured me that coming in wasn't a mistake. That she'd rather see us here and be wrong, than stay home and be right.

Two days later - she delivered our son, limp and gray, after my placenta abrupted.