I had dreamed of writing my birth story through my whole pregnancy, I never dreamed that it would be like this. This blog is to document our journey through this tragedy and into the rest of our lives. Peyton changed the course of our lives forever, so I couldn’t see another way to start it than with the story of his birth.
I woke up on Monday, October 24th and I knew something wasn’t right- but I didn’t want to acknowledge it. I knew I hadn’t really felt him move in my sleep. It was the first day I was home alone on bed rest and Mark had gone back to work, so I told myself I was being paranoid. I tried to continue my day, but I was always waiting for a kick. I would poke him or lie on my side, and when I started to get really worried I took a bath- he always kicked in the bath. When I saw my reflection in the mirror I knew I looked different, from that moment on I was really hiding from a horrible fear. I wasn’t swollen looking anymore- I looked back to normal but with a huge belly. My ring that hadn’t fit on my finger in 3 weeks fit me. I still tried the bath, not willing to admit that I knew deep down it wouldn’t work. After the bath I went on the couch, lied down and closed my eyes, I thought if I devoted all my attention to him he would move. When I was on the couch my mom came over to eat lunch with me but I couldn’t eat much. Finally I told her that I was scared and I started to cry. I texted my doctor and he told me to drink juice and do a kick count, then go the hospital if I still felt I should, just so I would “feel better.”
I drank the juice, but I could only lay down for an hour, I knew we needed to go. In my heart I already knew, but the power of denial kept me from really believing, so I told Mark where we were going, but was convinced I would hear his heartbeat and then go home. The nurse couldn’t find it, I really started to get upset so Mom called Mark and told him to come. My mom sat next to me while my doctor looked at the ultrasound, until he said “Miss Allison, I’m not seeing anything”- I was hysterical. I don’t know how many minutes passed before Mark came in and I grabbed him and we just sobbed. Everybody left the room. I don’t know how long we cried on the hospital bed, but eventually we had to talk to the doctor about delivering our baby. How could you ask me to do that? I was so scared I couldn’t do it. That evening around 6 they gave me the first dose of the induction medicine, and again every 4 hours. We waited just over 24 hours, trying to sleep, just crying in each other’s arms.
Finally, after 24 hours my doctor wanted to break my water and give me a different kind of induction medicine. I was so upset when he broke my water, I didn’t want Peyton to be born this way, part of me was scared he was still alive and we would hurt him. After he broke my water the contractions started to hurt a lot more. I told them I wanted the epidural. The epidural made me really sick and it broke my heart, even though I knew he was gone this wasn’t the delivery I wanted for my baby. After I had it it was only 2 hours before I felt a lot of pressure and told the nurse, it was time to push. Mark started to cry, but I was too scared and too numb. The nurses held up my legs and Mark was holding my hand, as soon as I started to push I started to cry.
I pushed for about 20 minutes, at 10:30pm on October 25th Peyton Mark was born, he weighed 3 lbs 13 oz. They put him on my chest and he was absolutely perfect. I’ve never felt so in love and so heartbroken at the same time. Mark and I couldn’t believe how beautiful he was, I would have given anything in the world to hear him cry. His lips were small and red- they looked like mine. He had a tiny perfect little nose and his eyes were closed and a little puffy. We pulled back his hat and he had hair, not a ton, but a little. I held his little hand and saw his tiny little finger nails. I pulled back the towel and looked at his body, all so perfect looking, it didn’t make sense.
Mark held him and my heart ached, he looked like such a natural father holding his son, I had waited so long to see him hold his child. The time we spent with Peyton was the hardest time in my life, knowing we couldn’t keep him with us, but I wouldn’t give back one second of it. I held him again after Mark and I just squeezed him to my chest- I just wanted my lifetime with him.
I can only hope that he felt our love for him, that he never felt alone. I love you so very much Peyton, and you will always be in our hearts.
If you would like to share your birth story, email firstname.lastname@example.org