Baby Alyssa Ray
(San Antonio, TX)
Alyssa Ray 6-11-10
I found out in February 2010 that I was pregnant. I had suspected it for a few weeks but kept insisting that it wasn't true, because I wasn't planning a pregnancy and was even on birth control at the time. I had taken a pregnancy test in early February but it was negative. I relied on that test and it took a lot to convince myself to take another pregnancy test 2 weeks later, since my symptoms would not go away.
On February 23, 2010 I peed on a stick and actually walked away from it, doing odd chores around the house, because I thought for sure it would be negative. To my surprise I came back and was faced with 2 pink lines. I took another test and it seemed as though the lines actually got brighter. Bright and early the next day I was the first person in my doctor's office to confirm what I already knew. I was about 6 weeks pregnant, they told me. I was terrified. Yet the moment they did the first ultrasound and let me hear the heartbeat, all of my fears went away. I was in love with whatever was inside of me and I knew that my life was going to center around this little person.
Everyone in my life was excited. I wasn't in a relationship with the father of the child, but we were great friends and his family was as excited as mine, as this would be the first grandchild on both sides of the family. In March 2010 I experienced some light bleeding and made several trips to the ER, as I had never been pregnant before, but was fairly certain that bleeding was not a good sign. The doctors were not that concerned and said that while it was abnormal, everything seemed fine and the baby was doing great.
In April 2010 my doctor told me that she was leaving to head up a hospital out of town and that I would need to find a new doctor. I decided to go with a doctor not affiliated with that doctor. There was no reason for that actually, as I truly did like my doctor. In May 2010 my bleeding returned and my doctor once again told me that there was nothing to worry about and that the baby, which we found out was a baby girl, was doing great.
Then in June 2010 I had my first appointment with my new doctor. She reviewed my history and showed some concern for the bleeding. During that first visit she sent me down to see a specialist and he notified me that my amniotic fluid was low. He said that it was lower than normal, but still good enough to develop her lungs. He immediately put me on bed rest and told me that he suspected that I was having a placental abruption, but that it's almost impossible to pick up on until after delivery. He said that my bleeding during pregnancy was probably related to an abruption.
On June 10th I had another appointment with my specialist and he said that the amniotic fluid levels were still decreasing. He told me that I needed to prepare that maybe her lungs wouldn't develop right, but that at this time she appeared to be doing great. He then had his nurse do another sonogram and she was so nice as to print out several pictures for us of our little girl's face, as with every other sonogram we had, she was always hiding her face. This was the first visit we had where she showed off what she looked like.
That night I went home feeling sad that my levels were still decreasing, but hopeful.
That night, around 7 pm, I began having some light pain in my back. Nothing too major. All I needed to do was reposition myself and the pain would go away. I chalked it up to being on bed rest and my body being tired of lying down all the time. At 7:30 the father of the baby went to get me something to eat and when he came back, my pain was still coming and going and seemed to be getting worse. I saw the look on his face as he started to look at the clock every time I had pain. I saw him try to casually read over the instructions my doctor had given me at my first appointment regarding warning signs of premature labor.
He then very quietly told me that my pain was coming and going every 3 minutes and that maybe he should get me to the hospital. It took me an hour and a half to admit that he was right and that something horrible was happening. We went to my hospital and had to wait in a waiting room for 45 minutes while the nurses tried desperately to get a room ready for me. I had to sit in a waiting room, having contractions, while everyone in the labor and delivery waiting room watched me.
Several strangers walked up to me to offer a helping hand and my only memory is wanting to scream because the pain was so bad, but not being able to because I was in public. I finally got admitted and was told that it wasn't certain yet whether or not I was having contractions and that Alyssa, my baby, was doing fine. They admitted me to the labor and delivery suite just in case though, and gave me pain medication that immediately put me to sleep. Despite the medication I would still wake up for the contractions and then immediately pass out once they were over. 11 hours later I remember having a contraction and knowing that this one was different. 5 minutes after that contraction I felt Alyssa drop.
Alyssa was born at 6:06 am and it was a heartbreaking experience. Knowing that my little girl was not going to make it, as she was only 21 weeks along. Alyssa lived for an hour before passing away. I was able to hold her and watch her move in my arms and even saw her yawn. I was also fortunate enough to see her open her eyes.
Almost as soon as I met her, I had to say goodbye. The pain of having to plan a funeral for someone I had just given birth to was excruciating. We held the rosary for her on June 14th...the day of my 26th birthday. This pain is too much to bear at times. There's this part of me that I call the "rational part" that tries to tell me that things will get better. But this new part of me, the heartbroken part, dominates me and has not seen a day yet where things are better. I miss my little girl every single second of the day and constantly think how unfair it is, that I am a mother without a child.