It’s been 19 days since Ted & I were first told Sam did not have a heartbeat. On Saturday night, May 23, 2015, we checked into the hospital and Ted and I were convinced they were going to tell us our sweet baby was “just asleep” or this Mama was “overly concerned” about his lack of movement throughout the day. Instead, we were told his heart was no longer beating.
In that moment, our lives changed forever.
We were blessed that our OB was on call that night. She arrived in our room and listened for Sam’s heartbeat on the fetal doppler. After she delivered us the news that our baby was ‘still’ in my belly, she called for an ultrasound tech to come and view his heart & to see if there was blood flow from the umbilical cord to his heart; and there wasn’t.
I’ll never forget those moments and the sheer pain of knowing our future with Sam on earth would not be realized. I curled up next to Ted in my hospital bed and cried louder and harder than I ever have before. Our baby was with Jesus.
After some time, our OB came back in the room and told us that Sam would need to be delivered, sooner rather than later. While she recommended a vaginal birth, a caesarean section was still a possibility, but came with more risks. The Wednesday before I had not started to dilate and inducing labor could mean being in labor for two or three days, worst case scenario. My heart ached at the thought of delivering Sam vaginally and not hearing him cry when he was born.
The night of May 23rd felt like it lasted forever but passed too quickly. I knew when we went to sleep it was my last night to have my sweet Sam inside of me. I wondered if I’d ever know what it felt like to be pregnant again. Ted and I held each other in my hospital bed crying as we drifted off to sleep.
Sunday, May 24th, arrived faster than I could have imagined. Much of Sam’s birth day is an emotional blur. My parents & brother and sister-in-law were at the hospital waiting to welcome Sam’s body to earth & his soul to heaven. I was prepped for surgery the night of the 23rd and laid waiting during the early part of Sunday morning.
Sam Benjamin Newton was born at 9:06 A.M. He was a beautifully perfect 6 pounds, 1 ounce & 19.5 inches long. Ted & I held Sam in the surgical room embracing our short time together as a family of three.
We were soon taken back to the delivery room where my family got to meet and hold our Sam. The nurses scheduled for a local photographer who volunteered with Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep to capture our short time together. Ted and I will always be thankful we said ‘yes’ to having the moment caught on camera. What I sometimes have trouble remembering post-surgery is captured on camera forever.
Sometimes it feels like as soon as I gave birth, we had to say goodbye. In ‘real time’ we loved, had, held, and enjoyed Sam for somewhere around four hours. I am blessed for every moment.
Giving birth to my baby has easily been the best honor of my life. Giving back my baby is the hardest moment of it.