On March 1, 2019, I went to have my gestational diabetes test completed. We had the car packed up because we were going to my cousin’s birthday party, and we were dropping off my daughter and two dogs at my mom’s house and then heading to the birthday party afterwards. Sitting there and playing with my phone, I suddenly couldn’t remember the last time I felt my baby move. I was 24 weeks pregnant and I know I felt him (we were having a boy) move last week, but was this ok? It would have to be, nothing bad could happen, I was 6 months pregnant. I tried to talk myself down, but I couldn’t fight this feeling. The blood clinic was in the same building as my OB office, so after I was done my blood test, I went into the car and told my husband how I was feeling. He said “We are right beside your OB office, call them and see what they say.” So, I called. I remember telling the nurse how I was feeling and the crying started, I couldn’t remember the last time I felt my son move- she said, well you’re only 24 weeks, baby is still small; I am sure you are ok, but you should head to the hospital just so they can do an ultrasound. I got off the phone and said to my husband- well she says she is sure I am ok, he is still small, so what should we do? My husband said “We should still get you checked out.” We headed to the hospital, and he stayed in the car because my 18-month-old daughter was with us and our dogs. At the time, we both thought it was a quick check-up and I would be out of there- what could go wrong?
I get up to labour assessment, I remember explaining to the nurse why I was there, but thinking to myself I am over-reacting, this is nothing. But I told her, I need to hear his heartbeat, I need something. She registered me and they took me in. I went into the room and got changed and sat on the bed waiting for the nurse to come in. She came in, and tried to find the heartbeat- there was nothing. She left the room and said “I will be right back.” She came back in the with the Dr and a med student, and the Dr. did an ultrasound now. I saw my baby boy on the screen, but there was no movement. The doctor tried to move me around, but nothing. At past ultrasounds, he wasn’t very active, but I knew something wasn’t right. The doctor told me they were going to send me down to have an ultrasound done, and shortly after, I was wheeled down to have it done. During the ultrasound there was no noise, I assumed she didn’t have the volume on, and after it was done and I was wheeled me out in the hallway, I remember saying out loud to myself, ” I lost this baby, he is gone.”
Back in the room, I texted my husband to give him an update, we both tried to reassure each other and said ‘everything will be ok’. The doctor came back to my room and said “Unfortunately… I don’t have very good news…” My heart sunk, I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. The doctor said he had been gone for some time. He was measuring at 21 weeks and I was 24, so he passed away 3 weeks ago. I asked, what happens now? She said “Well you will have to deliver him, we don’t recommend C-section for future pregnancies.” I almost threw up. They were putting me on the list for induction tomorrow, they were too busy for me that day. How can you send someone home and expect them to go on with their daily lives? I remember getting up and getting dressed; I texted my husband, he is gone, I lost him. I need to be induced. I got to the car and just cried and cried; I couldn’t talk or breathe. I had to tell my husband that our little boy was gone for 3 weeks. I failed him and our family. We had to call our immediate family to tell them the news. I can still hear my husband calling his parents and 2 sisters and crying- ” We have some sad news, we found out we lost the baby.”
The next day I waited for the hospital to call me. I finally called them around 2pm and was told that they had no room for me and it wouldn’t happen today and maybe not even tomorrow, they are just too busy with inductions. I almost felt a sigh of relief, I didn’t have to part with my baby, maybe him still inside will make it better. Later that evening I got a phone call, the nurse couldn’t stand that I was at home dealing with what I was dealing with, so she made arrangements for me to go to a different hospital. I packed a bag and again, we headed to my parents’ house to drop off my daughter and 2 dogs. I remember my husband hugging my mom and the both of them crying. I couldn’t even look at my mom or dad; I felt so disappointed in myself.
The car ride to the hospital was quiet and when there was some noise, it was sniffles from crying. We arrived at the hospital around 6:30 on Saturday evening. My husband held me tight as we made our way through the hospital and to the maternity ward. I felt my knees want to give out as we walked and I could hear babies crying; I held on to the wall. After registering with the nurse, we made our way to our room and had to keep hearing the nurses say they were sorry for the news; what else could anyone say to me? The doctor came in and explained she would be inducing me; nothing really happens the first couple of times, but once it starts, everything happens so quickly. I got a dose every 4 hours; 5 doses in total before they started me on Oxytocin. At the point the contractions came on so fast (I had a c-section with my first, so I had no idea what contractions were or how they felt) I got the epidural and the doctor then broke my water. I remember the nurse telling me “If you need to push you have to tell me.” Within half an hour, I needed to push. The nurse called in the doctor and I couldn’t stop crying. The doctor asked “Are you in pain?” I said no, I know what’s going to happen now, you are going to take my baby after this and it’s over. With one push, he was here. but there was no crying, no tears of joy, just sadness.
Roman Matthew Ferreira Reale was born on March 4, 2019 at 1:11am; He weighed 406 grams. I remember feeling so against holding him, but after he was born, I needed to hold him and see him. I am so happy I did, he was so beautiful. My husband couldn’t do it, so he left the room, which I respected. I held my baby boy was tight and remember looking down and telling him how much I loved him. I told the nurse to take him because I knew if I held on any longer I wouldn’t want to let go of him. My husband came back in the room and I said Chris, he is so beautiful. Everything about him was so beautiful. The doctor then came to talk to us, and she told us that there were restrictions in the umbilical cord and that he had passed away roughly around 48 hours ago given the colour of his skin. I remember saying no, the doctor told me he was measuring at 21 weeks and he has been gone for a while and she said no, its only been 48 hours. My husband turned to me and said, that was your motherly instincts. When you said something was wrong and you needed to hear his heartbeat that was your gut telling you.
Later that day, I wanted to go home so we were discharged. My husband said I want to see him before we leave so the nurse brought him in. We both held each other and cried. My husband looked at me and said, “I am forever indebted to you because you were right, he is so beautiful and if you didn’t tell me that, I would have regretted not seeing him before we left.” After we left, we needed to make arrangements for him to be picked up by a funeral home. I am 30 years old. In my whole entire life, I never imagined being this young and having to make arrangements for my son. We decided to have him cremated and brought home, where he belongs with his family.
I don’t know how to deal with the pain of losing my child. I feel like life has to go on, but how? How can I get back into my daily routine without him here? We had so many plans, 2 kids at Christmas time, siblings that will be less than 2 years apart, etc. I feel like I failed Roman, I should have protected him from anything bad happening and I didn’t. I have a daughter who deserves 10000% of me and she is a good distraction. I try to play and read to her as much as I can, but I can’t help but feel sad that I will never be able to get to see or hold Roman ever again. I will never see him walk or talk; hear him say mama or dada. My heart is just broken. I know they say time heals, but how can you heal a piece of your heart missing for the rest of your life?
On the way to and from the hospital, we saw deer playing in the fields beside the highway. My husband and I say it’s a sign from Roman, he is happy and is at peace. Now I call him my little deer, who will never be forgotten.