I was not properly prepared to make decisions on May 27, 2013. Here it was, this combination that does not suit me, combined with my worst nightmare.
A few days before Koen was born, I had felt off and was having a few things going on with me that I was unsure of, but nothing alarming. I called the doctor that was on-call for the weekend. She told me to drink water, rest, and if contractions started go to labor and delivery. I felt that the last recommendation from her was standard protocol, no way would contractions start. I decided to take her advice. I would later kick myself and wish I had headed to the hospital that day. I shared with my doctor my feelings of regret, only to be assured that even if I had and if Koen was still alive at that time and if that had made the decision to take him - he would have been a very sick baby. That combined with his preemie status would have led us ultimately to the same result. I would like to say that I am okay with this decision, but it will be one that continues to haunt me. We will never know.
Go to the hospital. This became clear shortly after I woke up on May 27, 2013. Those "cramps" I was having were now clearly contractions.
What to do with Hackett? With all of our family away that day, we had no place for Hackett. We had to take him with us. It was Memorial Day and I didn't want to bother friends if it was something simple. God stepped in and while I rode the elevator up to the maternity wing at 9 in the morning I got a text from a friend asking if Hackett wanted to play. Minutes later we would learn that Hackett was only allowed in the waiting room. As the day progressed my dad would make the decision to turn around, he was en route to the Tigers game, to go get him. My mom also made the decision to come from Chicago so she could stay the night at our house. I am thankful that my Hackett was cared for that day - by God and so many others.
When I arrived at the hospital and they first hooked up the fetal monitor it was picking up a heartbeat. I asked, "Do you have his heartbeat?". The nurse told me yes, and left me for minute. When I was alone, I thanked God for Koen's heartbeat and prayed that he keep that heart going strong. I laid there and smiled listening to the sound on the monitor, thinking with relief, we are okay. The same nurse returned and started to move the monitor around, she told me that Koen was being a stinker. Kevin was with me now and we were waiting for results from a bladder test, anticipating a UTI. A different nurse came in and without explaining much she had me role to one side, then the other, all the while messing with the monitor. I had heard Koen's heartbeat, so I was not concerned. Kevin left briefly to update our family and my original nurse returned. What she told me, literally took my breath away. My doctor was on his way, they were having trouble picking up Koen's heartbeat, because it was so close to my own. When my doctor arrived they would do an ultrasound to see if Koen's heart was beating. Dr. T arrived quickly and he was in his shorts - I knew I was in trouble. When he pulled up the image on the ultrasound machine and it was evident to me right away. Even as a little peanut in January I could see that white flash, but there was nothing blinking. That heart beat I thanked God for, was my own. Another doctor was called in to verify Dr. T's findings. When the second ultrasound was being done, I couldn't look, I had to look away. I remember looking away so hard that the side of my face was buried into my pillow. It was confirmed that Koen was no longer with us. A decision had to be made - would Koen be born naturally or via C-section (like Hackett)? My narrow pelvis was a concern for my full term Hackett, but would hopefully not be an issue for my Little Muffin. Dr. T gave us more information about our choices, but his recommendation was natural. He left us so we could discuss and decide. I looked at Kevin and said "I don't know how I can possibly do this." My contractions were coming with much greater frequency at this point, I was dilated to a 3, and it was clear now that I was in labor. I decided to go with safest option. I would deliver Koen naturally, I was taken into a labor and delivery room ...