Welcome to my blog. The main purpose for starting this blog is to talk about my son, Collin James, who was stillborn on July 1st, 2010. I know it can be an uncomfortable subject for some people, so those people who know me and want to know what happened, or whats going on with me, they can come here. Everyday is a different battle for me it seems, and writing helps. thank you for reading, and don't be afraid to comment if you are here!


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Collin's Birth Story

I'll just pick up where I left off in the last post about Collin's arrival...

We arrived at the hospital on Tuesday night / Wednesday morning, June 29th / 30th. We got checked into the hospital and they took us to my room, had me changed into a gown, and into the bed to start my induction. First thing on the agenda, hooking me up to the monitors that would track my contractions as well as Collin's heartbeat. The nurse (I can't remember her name) was having a hard time finding Collin's heartbeat. This seemed normal, since he always seemed to dodge the monitors during my doctor office visits. After a couple of minutes I told my mom and sister "See why this makes me nervous?" jokingly... since just that morning Collin had done the same thing. The nurse assured me that sometimes it just takes awhile. After a couple more minutes I got more nervous, and had a bad feeling. She got on the phone and asked for someone else to come help her, and assured me again, that sometimes this happens. She continued to move the monitor around my tummy, still nothing. Another nurse came in, with an ultra sound machine. At this point I was trembling with fear, not knowing exactly what was going on, just thinking this couldn't be good. The nurse smiled at me, tried to anyways, and explained they were going to see if they could figure out how he was positioned to see if that would help. The second he popped up onto the screen, I knew. I didn't see the little flicker of his heartbeat. And he wasn't facing down like he had been that morning. I started crying, and my mom and sister were holding each other, not knowing what to think. They told me they were going to get a doctor but I already knew. Another ultra sound machine was rolled in, and a doctor came. He looked very concerned and looked for himself with the newer machine. The result was no different. He looked at me, and said "I'm sorry, there is no heartbeat". It was such a weird moment. There were 3 nurses in the room, and the doctor was just looking at me telling me he was sorry. My mom and sister were sobbing, and my mom asked if there was anything we could do, he just said he was sorry, that there wasn't anything that could be done. He just kept telling me how sorry he was, sitting on the edge of the bed, delivering me the news that broke my heart and changed my life forever. This wasn't what I signed up for, this wasn't why I came to the hospital! so many thoughts were swirling around my head, I couldn't grasp what he had just told me. I was now shaking from the shock. I think someone, maybe my mom, asked how I was going to deliver him, and he said like a normal delivery. The ultrasound machines were wheeled out of the room, and the doctor left with a couple of the nurses, leaving me alone with my original nurse and my family. I just could not stop shaking. The nurse took my blood pressure, which was high, especially for me. Someone put a warm blanket on me, perhaps to try to stop me from shaking. I'm not to sure what happened the next several hours, they were kind of a blur. Well, the whole hospital stay kind of was a blur, but I can remember most of everything. My mom called some people, my best friend Melissa who was going to be there when I delivered Collin, to let her know what happened. My step dad Walter came down, and so did my sisters fiance Joseph. At some point my IV was put in, and my blood pressure was still being monitored. We were pretty much left alone until around 6am. Then a nurse came in to start my induction.

I still was barely dialated. A medication was inserted into my cervix to try to help this along and make my cervix "more favorable" for the induction. 3 hours later, I was put onto Pitocin. This medication causes contractions. I was contracting regularly, which wasn't too painful, although I could feel them. At some points they were uncomfortable and painful, and at some points I barely felt them. The word had gotten out about what happened to Collin, and I had quite a few visitors. Because of the situation, I was allowed as many visitors as I wanted. A lot more phone calls were made, and recieved. My Uncle came and stayed most of the day, along with my mom, sister, Walter, Joseph, Dan and Melissa. Basically we were just waiting all day. Josh, my ex-husband, and Crystal came that night for a few hours. Aunt Lynda came by as well. I hope I'm not forgetting anyone. As difficult as the situation was, it was nice to have people I love around me. We tried to keep the mood light, that's how my family copes with things. At some point during the day, the room next to mine was occupied with another expectant mother, a mother who would be able to hear her child cry for the first time. That was extremely difficult to hear. The walls are thin, you can hear everything, from the nurses encouraging her to push, to the baby's first cry. Everyone in the room was upset, I'm sure not only from knowing that wouldn't be me, but watching me in agony as well. I did my best to try to hide my feelings, so I wouldn't make anyone else in the room upset, but that's pretty impossible, especially when you're the center of attention in the room. It seemed like that baby cried forever, he or she was not a happy camper, at least that was what I told myself.

At some point everyone left except my mom and sister. They refused to leave me, even though I tried to tell them I would be ok. I know it couldn't have been comfortable laying in the chair beds that the hospital provides. I sure as heck wasn't comfortable. Being hooked up to a monitor constantly was no treat. It was tight around my tummy, and even though I was encouraged to sleep, every time I moved the nurse would come in and have to readjust the monitor. Everytime I had to use the restroom, I had to call for a nurse to unhook me from the monitor and help move my IV cart. Since I was on the pitocin, which was increased every so often, I had to wheel the entire cart with me, and it was quite a production. Around midnight on Wednesday, another doctor came in to see me. He explained that my doctor had called to check on me, and wanted my labor to progress quicker, I should have had Collin by then. He was going to break my water. He checked me, and was shocked to find out I was still not dialated past 2 cm. He told the nurse there was no way he was going to break my water, and said it was ridiculous that I had been on pitocin all day, and made no progress. They left the room to talk about it and call my doctor back. My mom followed them to find out what was going on. The doctor came back in, and told me that he had made a suggestion about the route we were going to take, and she had agreed with him. He decided to put me back onto the original medication that they had put me on that morning, the medication that was inserted to make my cervix ripen. The nurse held my hand because she could tell I was nervous, the procedure that morning had been horrific and painful. He jokingly told her "hey I'm not going to hurt her!!" and I told him how it had been that morning. This time was much much easier, it's strange how someone doing the same procedure as someone else can be so different. They took me off of the monitor and pitocin, and said I wouldn't need another dose until 6, so I was able to get a small amount of sleep since it was so much more comfortable without the monitor on. I had barely slept since Monday night, so the rest was much needed. I was able to get up and use the rest room on my own, since I was able to just carry my Iv bag (I called it gatorade, since it was just electrolytes haha). That was almost a treat, being able to go to the restroom alone. Around 6, I got a new nurse. Her name was Stacy (the wonderful nurse I mentioned in my previous posts). She brought in a resident to give me another dose of the medication they were using. She wasn't able to check me, her hands were small, but she was able to insert the medication to keep the induction moving along. Stacy let me rest a few more hours. Around 9 she came back in to check on me. She asked if I wanted to shower, I couldn't believe my ears! After almost 36 hours in the hospital, in the same bed, that sounded amazing. She also asked me if I wanted to eat, something else I hadn't been able to do since I got checked in Tuesday night, and this was Thursday morning! She sent my mom and sister down to get breakfast, and a much needed break. She fixed my IV line, put a hep-lock on it, and covered it to make it water proof. She called my doctor to make sure I could have breakfast. While I showered she changed my sheets and made the bed and ordered me breakfast. After the shower I actually was able to make myself feel human, I brushed my hair and teeth, and actually put on a little bit of makeup to make myself feel better. I was going thru hell emotionally and physically, but I didn't have to look like it. I got breakfast, and even though it was hospital food, after than many hours of not eating it tasted amazing. Aunt Lynda came by to check on me, Walter was in and out visiting, and reading in between walks and such. Alison came on her break, and my old boss, Brandon, even stopped by for a few hours and visited with me. He left around 1, and Josh and Crystal, Dan and Melissa all came back, along with Uncle Bill who had been at the hospital almost as much as my mom. I was checked at some point, and making progress so I never had to get put back onto the pitocin.

Around 3pm my contractions were starting to get stronger and more uncomfortable. I had gotten up to go use the restroom, and everyone had cleared the room so I could do so, since it's difficult to be modest in an open backed gown. When I got back into the bed, the contractions got a LOT worse very very quickly. Within a few minutes I was on my side crying from the pain. Up until this point I had said no to any pain medication, I didn't want it until I needed it. And I needed it NOW. Someone called for the nurse, she was with another patient, so I had to wait for a little while to get to tell her what was going on. When she did come in, she asked me if I wanted to get my epidural, I told her yes, I needed it. She asked if I wanted anything until the anesthesiologist could get there, since he was in surgery and it might be awhile. I said yes, even though I wished I didn't need it. She gave me some morphine, just to take some of the edge off. It just made me kind of groggy. I'm so thankful I had my mom, sis and Mel there, My mom did a great job at reminding me to do my breathing, and that helped a ton to get through the contractions. Eventually the anesthesiologist got there, and Stacy cleared the room. I was so nervous having them leave, I started to cry because I needed them. Stacy swooped in and assured me it was going to be ok. She gave me this weird chair thing to sit up and prop myself up on, and she just talked to me. I can barely remember what she was talking about, I think she was talking about something from her childhood. I just remember her holding my hand, and talking to get my mind off of the pain and what was going on. She did an amazing job, I was able to sit there calmly while the epidural was inserted, and I was able to stay still even thru my contractions. The second the medication went in, my legs got a warm feeling going down them, and the pain went away. She helped me lay back down into the bed and I felt wonderful physically for the first time in a couple days. After my family came back in, I asked Stacy if she had put down a cushion while I was sitting up. She said "nope sweetie, you just feel THAT good". I guess the combination of morphine and the epidural made me believe I wasn't in the same bed. Everyone was allowed to come back into the room. So we went back to waiting.

Maybe an hour later, I started to feel some pressure. Stacy had told me to let her know when I felt this, so when she came back in I let her know. She had everyone except my mom sis and Mel leave the room again, so she could check me. She discovered that I was completely dialated and he had moved down, I was almost ready to go. She left to go call the doctor, and they started setting up the room for the delivery. Everything seemed to be happening so quickly. Next thing I knew I was ready to push, with my mom, sister, Melissa and Stacy all by my side. Luckily, even though I had an epidural, I could still feel a lot of what was going on. It made it easier to know when to push and where to push. I didn't have to push for very long, maybe ten minutes max. I just kept hearing everyone telling me to push and that I was doing good, so I guess I did what I was supposed to. Collin arrived at 6:03 on Thursday evening, July 1st. As soon as he came out, and I stopped pushing, I started bawling. I heard Stacy saying how beautiful he was, and my mom and sister were telling me too. Everyone in the room was crying. Stacy took Collin to the newborn station and cleaned him up, wrapped him in a blanket, and put a beanie on his head. In the meantime I was getting stitched up and taken care of. She asked if his grandma could hold him, I of course said yes. Everyone was still saying how beautiful he was. When I was done being taken care of and could sit up in the bed, he was placed into my arms and I finally could see who had been growing inside me the last 9 months. He was perfect. I couldn't stop staring at him , he was so precious. Stacy brought in a small box, and a blanket. She took a knit cap out of the box, and took off his hospital beanie to put the homemade one on him. She layed the blanket over him as well, it was also handmade... by a Mother who had gone through the same thing I was, and still am, going through. It was almost surreal being there, holding my son, being able to see him, but not able to look into his eyes or hear him cry. My mom took pics with her camera, and my sister took pics on her camera and phone, and Stacy took some pics with the hospital camera as well. Ampy, my nurse for the night, came in, and we gave Collin a bath, took his footprints, and measured his height and weight. He was 20 inches long, and 5 lbs, 1 oz. At some point, I'm not really sure about when everything happened, everyone came back into the room. Sharon, the chaplain, came in, and did a blessing and prayer for Collin. She let me know that she had talked to a photographer, from Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, and she was on the way.

It was a bit hectic when the photographer was there, only because there were a lot of people in the room. Parts of it are still a blur to me, there were so many extreme emotions going on, plus the lack of sleep and medications weren't helping either. And my body had just been through so much physically. My mom and I put Collin in the outfit I was going to bring him home in. We tried to take as many pics as possible. I let anyone hold him that wanted to. I felt proud watching other people hold my son. He was so perfect. I didn't want to let him go, but at the same time I wanted to share him. So many people love him. Chris, my youth pastor, came to talk to me and said a prayer with us for Collin. I hadn't seen Chris since my dads funeral, it was so nice to see him. So many people came to meet Collin, the room got crowded, but I don't think anyone minded. Paula came with her mom Maryanne, my Aunt Nancy came, my brother John, Alison, my cousin Chet and his boyfriend Erik, and Aunt Lynda came back again as well. Add that to the people who were already there, My mom, sis, Joseph, Melissa, Dan, Uncle Bill, Josh, Crystal. That's a lot of people in one hospital room (at least I had a large room), but it was a room filled with love. Later, after everyone else had mostly left, my cousin Renee came to meet Collin. She was able to hold him and visit for awhile as well.

Around 1am I was taken to the recovery room. We still had Collin with us. I was wheeled over in a wheelchair, and my new nurse, Amanda, covered Collin up with a blanket so we didn't get stopped by anyone asking questions about him. She told me I could keep Collin with me as long as I wanted. My new room was much smaller, so my sister was able to go home with Joseph and get some much needed sleep. My brother left as well, leaving myself and my mom. I let my mom hold Collin for awhile longer, and she gave him back to me one last time. We kept him until about 3am. At this point, I was so tired from the lack of sleep, I think my body was protesting and giving out on me. I was afraid I was going to drop Collin because I was starting to get delirious. It was time to say goodbye to my Angel. We told Amanda we were ready, and I kissed my son goodbye for the last time. I fell asleep almost immediately, not really by choice. The next morning she brought me a paper that had some of his hair taped to it, along with his hospital bracelets. I was still in the hospital until about 7 or 8 that night, due to various reasons. Melissa, Dan, my mom, Crystal and Ruben kept me company the whole day. It was so nice being able to wear regular pjs and not be hooked to an IV.

Going home was bittersweet. I wanted my baby. Never did I think I would be going home without him.

Well, I think this is already too long, so I'll stop there. There's more to talk about but that will come soon.


Monday, August 9, 2010


My son is now the reason I go on and face every day... I live every day to make him proud. This is a constant visual for me, to remind me why I have to stay strong. I have to make my son proud. And I'm honored to have his name on me... people that don't know me can ask who Collin is... I can smile and say my son. :)

My arms ache for him... so much.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Down today...

"A Mother’s Love cannot be measured by increments of time… an entire lifetime of love can be squeezed into a few brief miraculous moments when necessary…"

Someone very dear to me posted this on my facebook page when I found out that Collin was going to be stillborn. It's so true...