I Didn’t Name My Baby
On July 1, 2017 I delivered a baby boy that I decided not to name. I know you’re probably wondering why I didn’t give my son a name, so I’ll give you the answer. First, I must share his birth story with you....
I was home alone when I felt my heart beating as if I had just run a mile on the treadmill. However, I had not. In fact, I was just sitting on the couch watching television... enjoying and embracing my second trimester of pregnancy. There was no reason for my pulse to be at 155bpm (...and yes, I used my blood pressure monitor to check it, so I knew the exact number). My hands became sweaty and I started to feel as if I would pass out, so I figured I better call 911, especially since my husband was at work and no one was with me. I stood up to get my cell phone and immediately felt liquid running down my inner thigh. I ran... ok maybe not “ran” but waddled to the bathroom to discover that I was bleeding again. I called the emergency squad and they arrived within a few minutes.
They checked my vitals and noticed my elevated blood pressure and racing pulse. They decided to take me to the hospital for further evaluation. On the way, I explained that I had been cramping and bleeding on and off all week spending every other day either on the phone with my OBGYN’s office or in their office as a result. Each time seeing a healthy baby on the ultrasound. On one of the ultrasounds the baby even held up two fingers as if to say, “Mom, I’m doing alright”.
When I arrived at the hospital, they ran some tests and found out that I had a urinary tract infection and prescribed me some antibiotics. I also received another ultrasound and although they didn’t tell me the sex, I saw my little baby doing somersaults in my belly... still doing alright. I didn’t care if it was a boy or girl at that moment as long as he or she was healthy. They could not explain the bleeding, but since the baby looked healthy, I was sent home to rest and take my medication. This was a relief. After experiencing pregnancy loss in the past, I will admit, I was a little nervous.
The next day was the turning point. My cramps intensified and bleeding increased from the previous days. I took my antibiotics thinking that the UTI was the culprit, but I shortly regurgitated them up. The pain got so bad I could barely walk. Every few minutes I would fall to the ground, doubled over in pain, only to get a little relief once the pain would temporarily subside. When the pain became almost unbearable and the time I had relief in between decreased, I knew something was wrong, so I told my husband we needed to go to the hospital…again.
Somehow, I managed to take a shower before we left. As we drove to the hospital, I felt a heaviness in my pelvic area that caused me to think this time was different. When we arrived at the hospital my husband drove me to the front door, grabbed a wheelchair, and assisted me to it. As I stood up and looked down my pants were soaked with blood as were my shoes and socks. The pressure in my pelvis was even more noticeable and at that moment I felt in my heart my baby was no longer “alright”.
When the triage crew at the hospital saw my condition, they rushed me to the back, moving me ahead of all the other patients in the waiting area. They had to cut my pants off because by this point, they were stuck to my legs. Once they performed their examination, I got the news that no mother wants to hear, “I’m sorry. The baby didn’t make it.” I thought the two little fingers I saw just a couple days prior were an indication that my baby was alright, but maybe those two fingers was my baby throwing up the peace sign and saying “goodbye”. I had been in labor all week and didn't even know it. My husband and I were completely devastated. At this point we had been on a 7-year journey with infertility and loss and expected this baby to be our little miracle since this is the first time, we made it to the safe zone, the second trimester. We were wrong.
After hearing the heartbeat and seeing the hands, fingers, toes, head, spine, kidneys, brain.... a perfect baby, how could this happen? I delivered a baby at about 4 months pregnant and did not get to bring the baby home. How could I go to the hospital pregnant and leave empty handed? I could not answer those questions. While I was still processing all these thoughts the hospital chaplain came into my room and asked my husband and I the following questions:
— Did we want to get a death certificate?
— Were we planning on having a funeral service?
— Were we going to cremate the baby?
We were NOT ready to answer these questions. After all, we had just lost our child.... not to mention, no one had even let us see the baby or told us if it was a boy or girl. I replied to him and let him know that we were not prepared to make those decisions at that moment, and we did not even know the sex yet to determine what name to put on a death certificate. He then asked if we had any names in mind. I told him that we did have names picked out already. We had our names picked out for years while we waited. A girl would be named Tori and a boy would be named Todd after my husband. He understood and left out of the room to find out and said he would come back and let us know.
Shortly after, my nurse anxiously entered my room, told me the baby was a boy, and said she had just talked to the chaplain. Then, after previously telling us that her daughter was struggling with recurrent miscarriages, she said, “You were meant to be here today. I don’t know what this means, but my husband’s name is Todd and my daughter’s name is Tori. God is going to bless you with a child. I know you don’t feel like it right now but get to a place of worship and He will heal your heart.” My husband and I looked at each other in shock because we couldn’t believe what she had just said. What are the odds that their names were the same names that we had planned to use? This could not be a coincidence. Even though I did not feel like worshipping at the time, I thought about what she said and realized that somehow, God was trying to tell me not to lose hope. To me, that was a sign that I was still going to have a baby. The only boy name I had picked out was Todd, so I decided to save it in faith until I had another baby boy. Since I did not have any other boy names picked out, I decided not to name my son. I didn’t name my baby, but I have not forgotten about him. If I were to name him today, I probably would call him Hope. The following year, I did my fourth IVF transfer and got pregnant. On September 26, 2018, delivered a healthy baby boy. I named him Todd.
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