my storyWow, thank you for this very important thread. Some of you know my story, but for those of you who do not, I will share with you as much as I am able to this morning.
My third daughter was stillborn @ 40 weeks July of 2004. She was a planned uc/mostly up. I started to see my midwife from a previous birth when I started having feelings that something was not quite right with my pregnancy. All seemed well from the outside. It was a difficult pregnancy because I was dealing with a lot of grief from my mother-in-law passing the month we conceived. My instincts were strong during the pregnancy. I could feel something was wrong, but my gut said just go with it, everything is the way it will be, there is nothing to be done. Two days after my due date, I woke up at 3 am and knew my daughter had died. I called my midwife that morning and she could not find a heart beat. We went to the hospital to confirm on ultrasound. I opted for some prostaglandin gel and then went home to labor. Labor stopped after the gel wore off. I rested and took some homeopathics, labor started again and my daughter was born peacefully at home in the water, just as we had planned. My midwife arrived just before she was born and was a wonderful support and guidance for our grief. I had worried how I would react, knowing my daughter had died, how would I labor, would I want to hold her, what would she look like. I was scared. Labor was normal, my body did its work and my mind turned off. As soon as my daughter came out, it was just the same as with my previous children--I was in love right away. It was that magic moment, I kissed her and loved her and ooed and awed over every part of her. She was beautiful, tiny, felt just like she should in my arms. It was so hard, because she just looked so peaceful like she was sleeping, I wanted her to take my breast and the yearning for this over the next few days was very difficult. But babies do die, we don't always have the reasons or the answers. Stillbirth is something most of us do not think about, or even fathom, but the facts are that it is more common than sids, yet we all know about that one. Death is part of this life, it is difficult to accept, I miss my daughter every day and I want her body and soul with me, but I have to accept and move on and carry her spirit with me and mother her from afar. I have three daughters, always will, I am just only able to raise the two I have.
The main thing is do not fear, trust in yourself, in your faith.
My daughter was born in the middle of the night. My midwife said don't worry about anything until the morning. We bathed her, dressed her, took her picture, held her, and put her to bed in a basket next to our bed. In the morning we called the coroner to report her death. He was kind and did not require to see her, he just said to call the funeral home of our choice and go from there, he would issue a death certificate once he received the paper work. It can vary from county to county, state to state. The county I am in now would have done an autopsy as regular protocol. We had our daughter cremated (no charge for any services for children) and brought her home to us. Even though she was born, she never received a birth certificate, all we have is a record of her death. But I know in my heart that she lived with us for 9 months, and she has a birthday.
I am now about to give birth to my fourth child, a boy, in a matter of days. We are having him at home. I did not up this time, I needed the emotional support and wanted to check on this little guy. It has been much harder trusting my instincts this time around (even though mine were spot on last time) due to fear and the knowing first hand what can happen. It has been a process to trust trust again, and to gain strength and wisdom, all the while grieving and yearning. I would love to have an unassisted birth, despite my fears, despite having experienced death of my child. I am days away from giving birth and I am still up in the air as to whether I will call my midwife for the birth. I am just going to follow my heart and my gut and do what it calls for. We do what we can, when we can, with the knowledge we are given-anything can happen, beliefs can change, we grow and learn everyday.
Blessings to each of us, to our children, in body and in spirit.