We were going about our normal lives on that Tuesday, October 19th. I was already out of work on maternity leave. Arthur had to work, but was planning on being off starting Wednesday the 20th. I stayed home and “played house.” I folded and re-folded her clothes; I did loads of laundry, cleaned like crazy, made to-do lists, and daydreamed of what our lives were going to be like in just 2 short days.
Arthur had band practice, and decided to make it just about 30 minutes longer since he wasn’t going to get to practice for a while since Caroline’s arrival was right around the corner. I sat on the couch reading and cramming on breastfeeding. Trying to make sure that I did my best to be the best Mommy I could be for my precious gift. We ate dinner as soon as Arthur got home, and then went upstairs to piddle in the computer/craft room. We were up there just talking and sharing our evening together, then I saw some lights flicker out of my left eye. This is something that isn’t just completely out of the ordinary for me since I have migraines and this is normally a sign of one to come. These light flickers looked a little different though, and there were two of them. I told Arthur that I thought that I was going to have a migraine, but we just continued to sit and enjoy our evening. We sat for maybe 2 minutes after me seeing the light flashes and I stood up and said that something was wrong. I knew that something wasn’t right. I rushed into my bedroom to drink some of the ice water that I had in there, and laid on my left side, begging to feel some movement, SOMETHING, ANYTHING. Arthur lay right behind me, clinging to my giant tummy just like I was. We were begging and praying that we’d feel anything at all, but we didn’t. So he got out his flashlight, and put it to my tummy…one thing that Caroline always responded to, and still nothing. So we decided it was time to call the doctor. I called, and got the answering service, since it was 10:30 by this point. The doctor called me back and advised me to go on to the hospital to labor and delivery. We rushed to the hospital…the longest 15 minute drive of my entire life. Arthur and I clung to my belly just begging for some movement during that drive, and thought we MIGHT have felt a couple of tiny movements.
When we got there and checked in, the nurse took us into the triage room, and began trying to get a heartbeat on our sweet angel. Arthur stood beside me strong and brave. I lay there not saying a word, begging God in my mind to just let me know that my little girl was okay. The nurse tried to find her heartbeat for at least 20 minutes, but there was nothing. She called the charge nurse, who tried for about 5 minutes, and said that we needed to get the doctor there. I asked her if my baby was dead, and she told me that she couldn’t know for sure. I asked her if I should be worried, and she said yes. With that, I looked at Arthur and told him that I was sorry that our sweet girl was dead. The nurse asked if she should keep trying to locate her heartbeat, or if I wanted her to just wait for the doctor. I opted to wait for the doctor. I knew no more poking, prodding, or listening in agony was going to change the outcome. When the doctor walked in the door a few minutes later, you could tell that he knew she was already gone. He got out the ultrasound machine, and confirmed the worst news I’ve ever gotten in my entire life, the worst news we’ve ever gotten in our entire lives. There was my girl, my beautiful, perfect, promise of a future, still. Still. Where her little heart had been so active before, stillness. I lost all feeling. All I could do was squeeze Arthur’s hand and stare at the ceiling. I couldn’t believe it. How could this be true? My angel baby had been alive just hours ago. She had kicked me just a little while ago. SHE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE BORN IN JUST 2 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!! How could she not be alive anymore!?
After some time, I realized we had to begin the horrible work of telling our families. Thankfully we only had to make those two calls, his parents and mine. The saddest truth is that everyone was expecting the, “We’re on our way to the hospital…having a baby!!!!!” call. Gosh, were they in for some tough news. Arthur strongly called his parents, I could barely hear him speak even though he was sitting on the bed with me, “Dad, we lost Caroline.” I’m not entirely sure what else was said after that, but after a couple of minutes, it was time to notify my parents. Arthur volunteered to make that call too. He called and got my mom, “Gwen, we lost baby Caroline. I’m so sorry.” Somehow I spoke to her, though I don’t remember anything that was said. I just knew that they were on their way…
How could such a sweet and precious gift be ripped away from us? Not just me and Arthur, but our families. Our parents wanted their grand daughter. Our extended families couldn’t wait to get their hands on her! How could this baby that had been bathed in prayer and cared for with the most love and caution by this excited mom-to-be? I think we all questioned God’s loving kindness.