I wrote out Mya's birth story, and my mom wrote her story through her eyes. They are both published on her site, if anyone is interested in reading them. They're both pretty long - too long to post here.
Through her Yaya's eyes:
I keep looking back to yesterday. I know I felt you.. I just know it.. I swear you had hiccups just last night, yet I sit here second guessing myself. Did I feel you pushing your little tooshie up into my ribs? Or jabbing your hand into my cervix?
Daddy is home today, on a Monday. Very rare. I’m so excited he gets to come to one of your appointments. The last one he went to was when we got to see you at 10 weeks – all gummybear-ish and perfect.
We’re driving, joking about today being a nakey-butt appointment. 36 weeks – they’ll want to do the Group B Strep culture. Daddy questions the need for a naked butt when they’re testing for Strep (you know, mouth swab, teehee).
No wait in the waiting room this time. A refreshing change from the typical 1hr+ wait that Anna and I typically endure.
180lbs. Uggh.. been sick all week, and I still packed on the pounds!
The nurse is nice today. Small talk about the weather being chilly, and the prediction of rain all week. She questions movement two different times this time. Odd, but I give it no second thought.
Mik comes in. She’s always so friendly, just chit chatting away like we’re old pals. Pulls out the goop and the doppler.. no instant heartbeat, like normal. I’m distracted by the chit chatting at first. She moves to the other side, nothing. The bottom of my belly, nothing. I start to wonder why you aren’t squirming away from her prodding. Mik speculates that you’re back is against my back, but I know better. I say something about Yaya losing your aunt Jordan years ago. Mik is reassuring, trying to distract me more with small talk, but still not finding your heartbeat. I know that if you were still in there, we would hear your placenta at least. We would hear something. I would feel you seeking escape from the invasive doppler.
I know you’re gone, and the tears start rolling. I call Yaya and sob to her that they can’t find your heartbeat. She says her and the boys are getting dressed and leaving.
Mik sends us for an ultrasound right then and there. Daddy keeps asking if everything is alright – he even suggests grabbing a cup of coffee to get you going. I tell him coffee doesn’t make a heart start beating. I think it scares him. I feel bad.
We’re in the dark ultrasound room. The tech is very sweet. Actually, the whole staff is.. but they know what has happened. I can see it on their faces. The sympathy. I ignore it, and tell myself it was a technical error with the doppler. We’ll see that beautiful heart beating on the screen. But deep down inside, I know it’s not the truth.
You’re on the screen. So still. Like a photograph. Your big sister sees you and says, “Look, it’s Sissy!”. Before the tech announces it, we know. There was no little flicker. No anything.
All the tech says is, “I’m so so sorry”.. and it sets in. I’ve never cried so hard in my life.
You were just there. You were just rolled up in my belly, making me uncomfortable as you try to stretch and make yourself comfy. You just had hiccups.. Letting Anna feel them and giggle. How did I not know you were gone?
Yaya gets to the room with your uncles. All three of us are crying – the three kids just there, not quite sure what to do. My first thoughts are “We can’t return anything” and “How do we tell Anna?”
The tech leads us out the back way. We go back upstairs, sympathetic looks from everyone again. Mik gives us the choice of going straight to the hospital, or going home to pack first. We decide to go home first.
I drive. Daddy and I are both equally upset.. I didn’t have the energy to give him directions back home.
We get home. Anna is asleep on Daddy, who lays back on the couch and enjoys the cuddle time. She’s the one pulling us through this.
I call my dad then head upstairs to pack. We didn’t buy you any new clothes, or a coming home outfit. I had found a pack of newborn onesies at Once Upon a Child, brand new, so you’ll wear one of those. I can’t bare the though of putting you in something another baby has worn. So the choices are a gray onesie with teeny hot pink hearts all over, and a hotpink crown on the front. Or a bright pink onesie that says “Daddy’s Princess”. I’ll bring both. But what about a blanket? We haven’t bought you one yet. All of the blankies we have were Anna’s, or used. So one of Anna’s will do. I pick out the one with the birds. Fitting, since you’ve grown wings now. Anna agrees with me when given the choice between blankets. Great minds things alike. It’s only after you’re born that I realize that blanket is the same blanket we wrapped Anna in when she was born.
I try explain to her what’s happening. That mommy and daddy were going to have sissy today, but she wasn’t going to get to come home with us like we had planned. Sissy grew wings (like a My Little Pony) and had flown away. So when Anna comes to the hospital to see Sissy, it would be to hug and kiss her and tell her to be careful flying. Anna seems confused, but agrees. I can’t think of any other way to word it for her.
We packed our hospital bag. Ironic, since I said before we left that I needed to get that done today. Never thought it would be under these circumstances.
At the hospital. Dad, Em and Alexa are waiting there. Dad hugs me too tight. I know it’s more for him than me, I don’t mind.
We get up to our room, and I stand around unsure of what to do. The nurse comes in and asks me to change into the hospital gown. I tell her I have my own clothes to wear, and send Daniel out for our bags.
I change into comfy sweats and a tank, looking at my belly one last time in the mirror. I tell myself to take a picture, the last belly picture, but can’t. I don’t want a picture of my belly when you aren’t here anymore. I just want this over with. (Later, I would regret this.)
I quickly start stuffing my face with the Subway that Yaya brought. I get through half, while Anna picks the black olives out of my other half and Daddy’s entire foot long. I bet you would like black olives, too.
The nurse comes back to start my IV. I request it in my arm, but apparently I have no good veins there. So the top of my hand it goes – yeeowch!
She inserts the first dose of Cytotec. I look at the clock, It’s 2:58pm. So much has happened since our appointment at 10:20.. things are happening so fast. Good, I want this over with.
Ricky and JoAnn visit. My head is pounding, Yaya rubs the pain away.
I cramp on and off for the next few hours, notice my belly getting hard and tight. But these contractions fade.
Second dose of Cytotec at 7. Daddy’s family is here. Mom, Dad, sisters, Grandma Rosie. So many tears are shed. My cheeks are raw from crying. I start contracting again, enough that Kristen and Heather are able to watch them on the monitor. They’re tiny, but I’m feeling them get stronger.
Everyone leaves around 9. It’s just Daddy and I. Alone to dwell on the fact that you’re really gone.. searching within each other for answers neither of us have. Feeding off of the tiny bits of strength we have left.
A little cuddling on his pull out couch (which is far more comfortable than the hospital bed I am now stuck in). It feels so good to lay on Daddy’s chest. I have a few more contractions, they’re hurting now. He helps me through. Yaya and Anna call. Poor Anna is so upset.. she won’t talk to me on the phone, she just keeps saying “I want my mommy. I want my mommy”. My heart breaks.
Dr. Guy and the midwife, Missy, come in to talk. Dr.Guy is awesome.. sympathetic, but not in the annoying way that everyone else is. He points out that you didn’t get to come into this world living, but I got to feel you grow inside of me for 36 glorious weeks. You and I got the most intimate bonding time. Just us. I got to feel your every move.
Missy checks to see how dilated I am – a meesly 2cm. The contractions I’ve been having are getting painful, mostly in my cervix. I agree to an epidural, and to starting Pitocin. Let’s get this show on the road.
I have a new nurse, now.. Kathy. She’s super nice. I really like her. She comments on my contractions being regular and close together, and says she isn’t going to start the Pitocin right now. No need.
After chatting with the anestheiologist for a bit (and finding out I most likely have a sensitivity to local anesthesia), I am finally getting the epidural. It’s about midnight now. The epidural starts kicking in (only on the left side at first) and I am incredibly thankful. Hopefully it lasts until you’re delivery.
1am. Kathy checks my cervix – 4 to 5cm. Making progress on my own, thank goodness. Now we just wait. I text Yaya the good news, and Daddy closes his eyes to get some rest. He will need it.. it’s been a long day. My eyes get heavy around 3am, and I end up dozing off for an hour or so. I slowly start feeling contractions in my cervix. They were tolerable at first, but by 4am the pain is too intense to keep my eyes closed. I try to roll more onto my back (since I fell “asleep” more on my left side, whoops) and realize my left leg is entirely numb. Such a weird sensation, since before they were numb.. but I could still partially move them.
4am. 7cm, lots of pressure/pain. I wake Daddy up to tell him it won’t be long now. He gets up and comes to help me through the contractions I can suddenly feel. He holds my hand, tells me I can make it through, rubs my temples. I tell myself how thankful I am that he’s there with me. I text Yaya to tell her what’s happening. She says she’s going to wake Anna up and head back up.
4.20am. 8-9cm. Incredible pain in my cervix, with nearly continuous contractions. Kathy calls Joe from anesthesia for more medicine. Boy, does that do the trick.. I can’t feel a thing. Yaya calls to say she’s stopping at McDonalds. I tell her that I’m 9cm, and she quickly changes her mind. Minutes after Kathy leaves the room, I feel a gush. A minute or so later, another gush. Kathy must sense this because she comes back in the room. I tell her I think my water broke. She checks, and agrees.
Yaya and Anna show up, with Pappy Chappy and Aunt Emi in toe. Em brings the McDonalds – the smell nearly sends me over the edge. More nausea medication, please.
Missy comes to see how I’m doing around 6ish. She checks my cervix, 10cm, with another bag of water. She breaks that one, but I’m so totally numb that I don’t feel a thing. Somewhere around 6:20-6:30 I start pushing. It hurts. Dr. Guy asks if I want to be numbed more. I don’t think anyone realises how close you are to being here. I tell him yes, but he never gets the chance. Your Daddy is right there, guiding me through each push. Telling me I can do it, have to do it. Each push, I feel your head getting lower and lower. You’re gone, but I feel like you’re helping me. Looking out for me.. I hear people start crying, and know that you’re head is right there, the end is near. Feeling your head crown hurts, bad. I feel like my contraction is ending, but I don’t stop pushing. I’m ready for you to be here and for this to be over. It only takes a few contractions, no more than 7 or 8, and you’re here. Limp and beautiful.
Dr. Guy and Missy tell me to look down so they can show me the cord. Your cord is around your neck twice, kinked into a crazy loop, under your arm.. The first thing I think is how you look just like Anna. Dr. Guy is explaining that the kink is what caused you to leave us so soon, calling it a “cord accident”. I briefly feel guilty for preaching that cord accidents are so rare, nuchal cords don’t kill perfectly healthy babies. It feels like karma. A slap in the face.
They lay you on my chest. I hear everyone in the room crying over my own tears. I touch you, feel your skin, count fingers and toes. Perfect. Tiny. Beautiful. Even with the blisters on your skin.
Your Daddy is right next to us crying, too.. he misses you so much. He cuts your cord. This should be the point where you are showing us your lung power, screaming your noggin’ off. But you just lay on my chest, eyes closed.
Your bottom lip tucks under your top – just like your big sister’s did when she was born. You look so much like her.. but with dark, wavy fuzz on your head. Such soft, fuzzy hair. You have my nose. Daddy’s toes. A perfect mix of the two of us.
The nurse takes you to the cold warmer to get cleaned up, do foot/hand prints and get your measurements. I guess you weigh 6lbs5oz. The screen shows a few different numbers, then settle at 6lbs 11.6oz. She gets your length – 19.5 inches. So big and healthy! I am astonished, and wonder how big you would have been if you had had 4 extra weeks to bake.
start at this point. Your Aunt Kristen shows up first, literally minutes after your birth. Everyone is crying, taking pictures, commenting on how beautiful you are.
Kathy, the nurse, dresses you in the pink “Daddy’s Princess” onesie and swaddles you up in the birdy blanket Anna and I picked out for you. We all take turns holding you. Daddy doesn’t think he can, but he does. You fit so nicely in his arm.
Yaya holds you. Anna doesn’t like it one bit. She says you’re dirty, that you need to be cleaned. Tells Yaya to give you back to me. Silly girl.. she just doesn’t understand what’s happening. She finally warms up later in the day. She tells me how you look like her. You look like Daddy. But little. She touches your cheek (“soft cheeky”), feels your hair (“it’s soft”), your nose (“looks like mine”). She holds your tiny hand, rubs your fingernails just like she rubs mine. She even rubs your belly through your onesie and tells me how little it is. “Baby. Baby Mya. Sissy.”.. She even tells me how you were in my belly and came out, came out through my “gina”. That sure got a laugh out of everyone!
So many people come to hold you. Everyone cries, looking at me as if they are waiting for me to break down. I just don’t have it in me. I can’t cry. I keep focusing on the fact that you’re beautiful, how you look just like your big sister. It’s not real to me. You’re just sleeping, you’ll wake up. Why is everyone crying? Can’t they see how beautiful you are? This must be the denial stage. It doesn’t last long.
Everyone is gone at this point. It’s just me, you, Daddy, Anna and Yaya. I’ve held you for a couple hours now. It must be finally setting in.. We are going to walk out of this hospital without you. This is the last time I get to feel your soft cheeks, your little button nose and chubby ears. Your yaya takes your onesie and blanket off, and wraps you back up in one of the hospital blankets. I rub your little bare belly. It’s so cold, but so soft. I want to scoop you up and run away. I kiss your little forehead three times, tell you I love you.. Your so cold. I have this urge to pull your blankey tighter – my baby is cold..
The nurse gives me my Rhogam shot, then stands around waiting for us to get our stuff to leave. I would have appreciated a few minutes to really say goodbye.. A few minutes alone. For Anna to say bye to her sleeping little sister, for Daddy to rub your perfect little cheek one last time. But don’t have to strength or energy to say anything. The words can’t form.
We get our things and out we go. I’m scared to look at you again. I want to turn back and look at you one more time, but I can’t bring myself to do it. My heart is breaking. We have to leave you in that cold warmer, that dim hospital room, all by yourself. My little baby. So perfect and innocent.. I shouldn’t have to leave you. You should still be in my belly, growing and kicking and stretching me to my limit.
I can’t say Goodbye to you. It shouldn’t be goodbye. This isn’t fair.
You were too beautiful for this world, Mya Sage. This world wasn’t ready for all of the great things you were going to accomplish.
Watch over your big sister, Mya.
We love you.