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Rocco Joseph Baby #4

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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Rocco Joseph Baby #4

On the way home, Leo said not to google what any of it meant and to wait the two weeks and worry then. So immediately, I googled it and saw that there were a lot of shadows that meant nothing and that it was common for the shadow to be there at 21 weeks but gone at 23 weeks. What were the odds that the shadow that was a marker for CF, which two of my kids have, was nothing? When the twins came home from school, I told them we were having a boy and Tommy said, "Yes! I am going to have a little brother." Belle burst into tears. She cried and cried that she wanted a little sister and didn't God hear her?

Only thinking that I'd have good news to share and thinking the days of bad news were over, I scheduled the ultrasound a week before the big fundraiser we did every year. So, not only was I living with the fear that the baby I was carrying had CF, I had to get up in front of 250 people and talk about how CF was interfering with our lives. I had to discuss how I needed their help to stop it from stealing more of the joy from our lives. To say I had a hard time getting through it is a huge understatement. Plus, I was coming down with a cold so getting through the night was tough. By Thursday, I was sicker than I had ever been with a cough and fever. I called the doctor and they couldn't fit me in and said I needed to go to the ER so they could check me and make sure the baby was okay. I hadn't felt the baby move in two days or so but that wasn't that unusual because of what they told me at the ultrasound. I went and they diagnosed me with a sinus infection and went to write me a prescription. The nurse came to check the heartbeat of the baby and was having a tough time. I told her that happened a lot. She wasn't worried and said she heard something but couldn't get a read. She called in another nurse and another and then a doctor who all said the same thing. They finally agreed to do an ultrasound and I was so happy that I was going to see my little boy again. I called Leo and one of my friends to tell them I was in the ER and that they were sending me upstairs because they were having trouble getting a reading on the heart rate.

Once I was upstairs and the doctor was doing the ultrasound, I had no idea that I was about to be blindsided again. I was in no way (are we ever?) ready to hear, "I'm so sorry, AnnMarie. It appears the baby died a few days ago." I started to cry. I was in complete disbelief that what was happening was happening. I wanted to scream, "Are you freaking kidding me?" I wanted to scream that I hated him. To take his stupid ultrasound machine and shove it and bring one that worked because my baby was alive. He was a miracle and a gift from God. He couldn't be dead. How did he die? What happened? Did I do something? When I prayed to God after the last ultrasound and said I couldn't handle anything else, was this his way of "fixing" it? Because I didn't mean it. I could handle it. Just let my baby be alive.

Leo walked in and while crying on his shoulder, I remember thinking, how in the world did I end up there? Again, I was in a bad dream willing myself to wake up. The baby died. That couldn't be real. We were dealing with CF. That was painful enough. Now I had to bury my baby? The doctor went into my room and gave us our options. Did we want to deliver the baby? Did we want to be put under where they do some procedure and you wake up and it is over but we wouldn't get to see him or hold him? If that was the case, we'd have to go somewhere else because they didn't do that (there were technical terms but that was what I heard). Did we want to go home and wait for labor to naturally start or stay there and be induced? I wanted to be put to sleep and have them take the baby and wake up and hold him and show them that they were wrong and that he didn't die. They asked if we wanted an autopsy and we said yes. We wanted them to test to see if he had CF even though we knew that wasn't what killed him. I asked what she thought happened and she said she didn't know if I was leaking fluid and then he died or he died and stopped making fluid. I thought back to a party I went to and danced. Did I do something that caused me to leak fluid? In the end, we decided I'd be induced and deliver him. I wanted to get it over with. Leo was worried that I went in because I was sick so would I have the energy to labor? In a nice way, she said, I wouldn't labor long because the baby was so small.

Leo said he wasn't going to hold the baby or name the baby and didn't want a funeral or anything. I think emotionally he shut down and was afraid it all would hurt me too much. My best friend was there and we started talking about what to name him. When he was alive, we said we'd name him Johnny but my heart felt like it would burst from the pain of naming my dead son what I was going to name him when he was alive. I don't know why. I can't explain it. It just did. Leo was very against naming him so he wouldn't offer his opinion so I said I was going to name him Dino, one of the names I liked but Leo didn't. He suddenly had an opinion and started giving me other names. I had a little boy that I loved when I worked in the daycare named Rocky. I always wanted to name my son that but we got teased every time I mentioned it. We decided that was what we were going to name him because no one was going to say anything. Rocco Joseph.

That night, I had to call the kids and tell them. I wanted them to hear it from me. Tommy was the hardest to tell. I explained how I went in the hospital and they checked the baby and found out that he had died. He asked, "So the baby died?" I said, "Yes." He asked if I was crying and I said, "Yes, because it is sad." He asked, "So I am not going to be a big brother anymore?" I sadly said, "No." He replied with a shaky voice, "Yeah, that is sad."

Labor is labor and it hurts no matter what. I labored all night and by 8:00 the next morning, I got an epidural. Leo left to go shower when all my sisters showed up. While he was gone, I started to deliver him. Thank God my sisters were there so I wasn't alone while delivering him. Having had only c-sections, I was scared that it was happening and Leo wasn't there. They had to call him back and he got back just as I delivered the baby. Then the roles changed and I didn't want to hold him and Leo did. I sobbed while the doctors did what they had to do and then they gave us some time alone with him. To this day, that was the hardest thing I have ever done. I looked at him and his face and hands and feet and arms and legs looked perfect. I thought he looked just like Tommy. His stomach was scary...not developed so I kept him wrapped in the blanket. He was dark and as I held him and cried, I didn't want to ever let him go. I tried to memorize everything about him. My family went in and held him and looking back, it was just the saddest, most unnatural thing I have ever been a part of. We had a mini baptism in the room which made me feel better and then everyone left us alone again. I remember kissing his head and feeling how cold he was and telling the nurse she should take him because he was cold. Do you believe that? I was worried that he was cold? She asked if I was sure and that I could have more time and I said no. She said she'd take a lot of pictures. I thanked her and gave her the baby. One of my biggest regrets is not holding him longer. What was I thinking? Not that I'd never see him or hold him or touch him again. Just that I didn't want him to be cold.


At May 16, 2012 at 9:54 AM , Blogger Kristen said...

Quietly crying. A beautiful post from the heart.

At May 16, 2012 at 11:06 AM , Blogger AnnMarie said...

Aw...thanks, Kristen.


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