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My Story: How I Joined The Club That No One Wants to Join

It was St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 2011 when I went to the hospital from getting the WORST pain in my life to find out after the hospital nurses took samples that I was pregnant.

I was so shocked and thrilled at the same time. How was I pregnant for so long and not really know? I'm pregnant?! Yay! Wow! 

I was told by doctors prior that without medical assistance I would never get pregnant; however, here I am on the phone calling my husband telling him to get here as soon as possible because I was about to go in for my first sonogram to make sure the baby was alright. Still in shock :)

My husband makes it to the hospital right before they take me back for the sonogram. As soon as the technician starts rubbing my belly with the device, a recognizable baby pops onto the screen. Not dots, not some spots, but a big baby :) The technician looks at me and says how far along are you? I told her I don't know. She said you have to be pass your first trimester and she continued to say some other things that I don't remember because at this point all I could see was my baby on the screen. Tears are flowing because on the screen was the answer to so many prayers. Right there, my baby. Go to find out that I was not only pregnant. I was 16 weeks pregnant! I just thought my butt was getting bigger LOL.

So as soon as I get my discharge slips, my husband and I go straight to Barnes and Noble and I get the book I've wanted to get for so many years-- What to Expect When You're Expecting. I've dealt with babies all my life growing up through siblings, babysitting, god children, and friends' children-- but this was MY first pregnancy. I wanted to be as prepared as I could be and since I missed the entire first trimester without any symptoms, I wanted to make sure I knew what to do during the second and the third and the pending labor and birth. My due date was August 31st and I felt like I really did not have much time left before my baby would be here. The next stop was Walgreens for the prenatal vitamins (I was already talking a multivitamin every day but I wanted to make sure the baby got everything the baby needed). 

I just remember being so happy with my news. We made sure we told all of our family and close friends before we made the ultimate Facebook status update--- posting "I'm Pregnant!" with your sonogram pic as your new profile picture LOL.

The next few weeks I was making sure to eat more healthy than usual, drinking tons of water, getting rest, shopping for baby things, and most importantly-- rubbing my belly every chance I could get. I would sing to my belly.  Looking back on it now, I am glad I did spend that time with my child. 

My doctor sent me for a routine 18 week sonogram even though I had one 2 weeks before to try to see if we could tell the sex of the baby. Let's just say my baby was not shy about it at all. All the sonogram technician kept saying was "All your baby wants to show is feet and cookies" :) That's how I found out I was having a girl. My husband couldn't attend the sonogram with me because he was at work but the way I told him was I went to Burlington Coat Factory and purchased one of those beautiful dresses they carry for little girls. He was putting together the dresser in the nursery the day before and was going to finish when he got home that day. So I laid the dress on top of the dresser before he got home. When he got home I told him the clue to what we are having is on top of the dresser in the nursery. He had tears in his eyes while holding the dress with a smile on his face. 

Ashley Antoinette Simmons. That's what we decided to name her. By week 19, I actually felt her kick and so did my husband. The next two weeks were just great. Everyone from the people in my neighborhood, to my church, to my job, and even strangers all seemed happy that Ashley was coming into the world. I loved watching my belly finally stick out at week 20 and felt relieved that I made it to the halfway point. Every thing was going so smoothly. 

Then around 5:30 am on Good Friday, April 22, 2011, I went to the bathroom (I know it's TMI but there is a lot of going to the bathroom when your pregnant that it's just what pregnant women do). I came back to bed to rest another 5 minutes before going to work. Then I felt the need to go again. Then (DISCLAIMER: This is about to get a little graphic so if you don't want to read details I suggest going to the next paragraph) I felt what I thought could be the baby's head (later found out it was the amniotic sac) between my legs. Completely freaked out. This can't be happening! I'm only 21weeks! This is way too soon!  I get my husband up and get dress with water just coming down my legs.  He rushes me to the hospital that is thankfully less than 6 miles away. Since this was our first pregnancy, we did not know to go straight to the maternity ward. We went to emergency. I am losing more fluid.

They finally get me into a room. The emergency doctor comes in and get a sample. The nurse tries to comfort me. The doctor just as cold as he could be. Even the nurse looks at him as if she too could not believe how much of a jerk he was being. Once they left, my husband let out a cry I never thought was humanly possible. I tell him to come over to me and comfort him. In the moment, I was holding on to hope. God would not allow this miracle to come into my life to just take her away. No way! 

The nurse comes back and transport me down the maternity ward. Thinking back on it, the room was beautiful. Very spacious. In the moment though, I did not care. I just wanted them to do whatever it was they needed to do to save my baby. The midwife who is my doctor comes in to let me know that my membranes ruptured and that they would do a sonogram to see how much water I had left. Thinking back, I knew from how much water came out that it was probably not much but since I wanted so desperately for my child to live I was really hoping for a miracle. 

I go down to radiology. This was the last time I saw Ashley inside me. It was close noon that day. Hours have gone by and even though I had no water left, she was in no distress. Her heartbeat was still going like nothing was going on. The head of radiology came in to explain to me that even though she was a perfectly formed baby that without water Ashley's lungs would not develop (she was right on schedule for forming her lungs) and therefore she would not ever survive outside of the womb. The head of radiology and my doctor both gently explained that my options were to either allow my daughter to die inside of me or to deliver her and she would die anyway. My options were death or death. Death now or death later. What really hurts is I had to make a choice. Not a choice to take my baby home but how do I want her to die. 

Well, so much was happening that I could not fathom having her die in me. So I went ahead and allow them to induce the labor. Every thing was becoming so surreal. How did my dreams become this nightmare all in a matter of weeks?! I got an epidural; however, my epidural did not work. The first technician put it in but I could still feel my legs, toes, and everything. Then another technician came in to check it and still-- full feeling. That's when the head of anesthesiology came to administer a direct injection into my spine and check the epidural again--- However, during labor I FELT IT ALL.

At 4:51 p.m., Ashley Antoinette Simmons was born alive at 13oz and 10 inches long. My husband cut her cord and she was placed into my arms. She was sucking her thumb. I kissed her and told her I loved her. I handed her over though because the doctor was having a world of a time getting out my placenta. I was in the worst pain ever from the doctor's efforts to get out the placenta than I was when I was in actual labor giving birth to Ashley. I was going in and out of consciousness. Before I left the delivery room to be rushed to the operating room for a D&C for my placenta, I held Ashley one last time and told her I loved so much and that I was so sorry. The last thing I remember after that was being asked my birth date and to count down from 10 before they performed my D&C. I don't even remember leaving the delivery room to get to the operating room.

Once I woke up from out of the operating room, it was after 9:00 pm. I just popped up and demanded the nurses get me back to my room. In my heart, I knew my daughter was gone. But I had to see her. I had to. Even if her little soul was no longer there. I had to see her. So they rushed me back into my room and I saw my husband. I asked him where is she? He went to the incubator that was in the room and picked up Ashley. He handed her to me and she was already gone. My husband told me Ashley died at 7:16 p.m. and he assured me that he held her to the end.

Even though my baby's soul had already left hours before, I just held her body and looked her over. Tried to take in as much of her as I could because I knew that when this day was going to be over, I was going to have leave this hospital without my baby. 



18 comments:

  1. I am so sorry for your loss, I was in tears reading your story because mine is very similar. I was 22 weeks when I had to make the same decision ,but my baby girl died during labor so I did not get any time with her alive. I treasure the moments I did have with her. At my 18 week ultrasound they saw that she was 2 weeks behind in growth, but told us not to worry she would probably catch up. They had me come back at 22 weeks & the minute she was on the screen I knew something was wrong. It was only seconds before the tech left the room to get the doctor & we were told that there was no amniotic fluid left (did not no why) & that she would not survive in the womb OR out of the womb. So I was faced with the same decision to make which was just heartwrenching, & the next day I was admitted to the hospital to be induced. I do wish we got more pctures of her I will regret that forever. So I feel your pain & am so sorry.
    ~Livia Briana~ 11/21/2009

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    1. Liamarie: I am so sorry for your loss as well. It is really the worst decision to have to make. It is almost crazy to call it a decision because in that moment the whole situation is really out of your control and the one choice you want is not even an option.

      As far as pictures, I know exactly what you mean. I plan to add Ashley's picture soon to the site. It's just in the moment, none of it is your plan so there was no way to prepare. I regret not having more pictures too.

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  2. Hi sweetie! I actually read this the other night..I feel the strength God has given you and the absolute love you have for your daughter. I know exactly how you feel and as I read your blog I told my husband the doctors told you the exact words they told us. I pray for you and ur husband that God continue to strengthen you through your loss. I definitely believe this is a way to share your testimony and to help someone else. I admire you for being so strong. I tell people losing a child is never easy and one does not know the pain unless they have actually been there. I did shed tears because I know..I also know she is an angel in heaven..watching over you and your husband.

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  3. You, my dear, are an amazing woman. You have come through with such grace and bravery, but I knew you would. Grief is such a heavy cross to bear, especially the kind that you are enduring. I pray for your healing, and also that your blog will help others in their journey to healing.

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  4. Always know that you and B will always be in my prayers. I will always be there for you guys know matter what. I love you guys always and never forget that.

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  5. Your blog is so touching. I'm sure it is going to be an outlet of support for so many who suffer through similar circumstances. I really am in awe of your words. We lost a daughter to SIDS at 3 months of age and I could not have done what you are doing. You are a very strong woman and I really admire you!
    XoXoXo

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  6. Being an advocate can be very empowering for those who have experienced the loss of a baby and child as sharing your story will encourage growth from within and from others who experience your pain ♥

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  7. Curtis Pollard, Jr.April 22, 2012 at 7:19 AM

    Happy Birthday to my niece Ashley Simmons R.I.P Uncle C-Note loves you.

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  8. I am praying for your family. I lost two children, mine unfortunately did not live outside of the womb. Joshua Kyri 7/17/2001 (38 weeks) and Jaiya Antoinette 2/24/2009 (20 weeks).

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  9. Your blog is written so well -- from the heart. Again, I'm so very sorry for your loss. :(

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  10. Dear Ms. Simmons,

    I am the tech at the hospital who did the memory box for your little angle. I hope time has healed your pain and I am glad that the photos and the box have helped. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Krytle

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    1. A million thank yous for what you did. Considering that what happened was not my plan, I would not have anything other than a birth certificate, a hospital blanket and outfit, and a hospital bracelet to remember my daughter. Because of you, I do have at least one good picture of who she was. Time never heals the pain. Time just helps forms the scab that masks the pain. But thank you for the box. Although I would have rather left the hospital with my baby instead, that box and its contents are more precious than anything to me. Cannot thank you enough.

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  11. Your very welcome, I am so sorry, my best friend just had a 23 weeks loss, and I did the same for her, another friend of mine had a 37 weeks loss last year. I have now transferred out of labor and delivery, I was the person who did the memory boxes all the time and it got very difficult. As i said im sorry for your loss, as I told my two friends words are never enough so I hope the box will help.

    Krystle

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  12. Thank you for your strength as it aids me in my time of sorrow. I recently lost my little brother--a still born. Holding his little body was heartbreaking. No one wants to lose a child .

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    1. Thank you Shanna for your kind words and I'm sorry you had to loss your brother. Hugs to you and your mother.

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  13. I went through this and im only 16 years old. My baby was not planned but when we found out i started to make drs appointments and taking and doing everything i was told, because i was pregnant before this one and i didnt know i was i was told your pregnant then you are having a tubal. anyways i was 24weeks and 5 days pregnant and i woke up in bad pain and i told my mom and she told me just to relax well the pain started to go away well i felt i had to p and the all of a sudden a bunch of water came out i freaked out then i saw blood i yelled for my mom and i told me to get dressed and i did and she rushed me to the er and i bleed a lot on the way there and waiting for them to get me to the room. well the told me my water did break the bad news was it was too early and second my cervix was not open it was still closed so my body wasnt ready to let my little Aiden go. His heart beat was going strong then it would slow but then pick right back up. so i had to go for a c section the last thing i heard before i was asleep was his heart beat. when i woke up my boyfriend was holding our son crying. i went for the c section at 1:20pm and he died at 1:29pm when they got him out he didnt have a heart beat they tryed to get it started but the couldnt the lord already took my baby boy. R.I.P Aiden Kenneth Greene-Osborne 2-10-2013 his weight 1 lb 6.5oz

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    1. Hugs to you mom. I'm sorry you loss Aiden. It is hard enough losing a baby in general-- but to experience such great loss at 16, my heart really goes out to you. Hopefully, you are healing physically fine as it seems like your body went through much giving birth to your son. I know your heart is probably still bleeding-- do whatever it is you need to do to get you through this. You never forget your children; therefore, your loss never goes away. But you do learn to live with it and develop a new "normal". Once again, many hugs to you. And Aiden, that is a great name :)

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    2. Me and my boyfriend are going to try on our 2 year which is in October my ob said im healing great and i can go back to my normal activity's and me and him are both ready emotionally ready we just have to wait for my birth control shot to wear off i just got it yesterday

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