As told by his mother Jessica.
We didn’t think we were going to have another baby. I had been fighting endometriosis for years and the pain was getting so bad that doctors recommended a hysterectomy. I fought the idea for awhile, but eventually after being beaten down so much by the pain and the constant heavy bleeding, I agreed. I ended up back into the ER 2 days before my actual pre-op appointment for the pelvic pain. They did their typical pain meds, the blood work, urine test, and they were going to do a cat scan for the hundredth time even though I knew what the pain was. They still wanted to do it, but wanted to wait until the blood pregnancy test came back. I knew it would be negative, I wasn’t even late, still five days from my period. The doctor came back in about two hours later and told me that we weren’t doing a cat scan. Then he told me I was pregnant.
I was giddy and smiling as big as I could. I texted my husband and said “Guess what, daddy? You’re a daddy times five now.” We were so happy. I was discharged from the hospital, went home, and canceled my surgery. I was 4 weeks and 2 days pregnant when we found out you were on the the way, our Clarence Austin. It was amazing.
We immediately started thinking of baby names, mostly girl names. We had already had four girls, so we assumed we were having another. I had pain off and on a lot up until 14 weeks when it landed me in the ER. I went in at 5 weeks and 4 days, and they did ultrasound. They told me there was a lot of blood in my uterus, and I was probably having a miscarriage. I prayed so hard for God to protect you, for you to not be lost to a miscarriage. We had had five previous miscarriages, and I couldn’t lose another child. I had an ultrasound at my first actual OB appt when I was 6 week and 3 days; that massive bleed was completely gone. I thanked God over and over. The last time I saw you on an ultrasound was when I was 13 weeks and 3 days. I had my next ultrasound scheduled for 20 weeks, it was supposed to be on May 8.
The family had to make a trip to Georgia on April 26 to pick up our truck that we had left with Mema the year prior. We were supposed to be there for two weeks, but we decided to stay after Daddy was offered a job on Sea Pines as a patrol officer in Hilton Head. It was better pay, better benefits, and a whole lot better than his job in Maine, so he took it. Our lease at our rental was up June 1st, so we figured we would just move everything out, put it in storage, and get a new place when we got back to Maine. We didn’t have to worry about rushing back now since we were staying. I was happy. I was going to have our first child in eight years in Georgia with my family nearby. We were going to see family that we hadn’t seen in awhile, I was getting to show off my tummy, my pregnant belly, you.
We got here on April 28th. You were kicking up a storm the whole trip down. It was funny to feel you moving so much at only 21 weeks. I loved it though. You always kicked so much after I would eat or late at night. I could time your kicks, you always were that exact.
On May 2nd, we decided to go over to see Mema, let the car have a break from driving, and drive the truck while we were here, then we would tow the car back. We have always loved to go riding through the woods, mud boggin. Mema, Joseph, Kayla, us– we all wanted to go, so we did. We went again on the 3rd, and the night of the 4th, and because of that and what would follow on the 5th, I will always believe I killed you.
You kicked so much the night of the 4th. You could see my tummy jumping all over the place. I was so happy; Dad felt you for the first time that night. Maybe it was you telling us goodbye.
I woke on May 5th just feeling like something was off. I did everything I was supposed to do to get you to kick for hours. I drank something cold. I ate something sweet. I laid on my side and jiggled my tummy. Nothing. I went into the labor and delivery. I hadn’t felt you kick all day. I was worried but also was thinking that everything was most likely all right. I was wrong. Everything wasn’t alright. They brought the Doppler in to find your heartbeat, and they couldn’t. I immediately broke. My heart stopped. Tears started falling.
The nurses told me that everything was okay, you were still so little, and they would find you on the ultrasound, but I knew they were wrong. They never had trouble finding you before. I was right. The tech came in and at first was showing me you. Then she turned the screen away really fast, stopped talking, finished the exam, and left. My world fell apart. The trap door opened, and I started my never ending fall, my never ending journey of pain and grief. When the nurse came back in, I knew what she was going to say. I just knew in my soul that you were gone. I was right. She just opened my door, shook her head ‘no’ and said there wasn’t a heartbeat, told me I was being admitted to deliver, and then left me alone.
Your daddy was still outside in the truck with your sisters so I immediately started calling and texting him, telling him to call my mom, to have her come get the girls. Telling him I needed him. That I have to deliver. Daddy kept asking, “What do you mean? What’s wrong?”
I screamed over and over “NO HEART BEAT. Baby is gone. Have to deliver.”
Then he asked again, “What do you mean?”
So I screamed “OUR BABY IS DEAD. GOING TO BE STILL BORN. CALL MY MOM.”
He got it then. I told him to please tell the girls, and he did. They all were crying. The whole time I was praying, begging, pleading to God to let there have been a mistake, let them be wrong. Why was he killing my son? Why are we being punished? Please God not my baby. Please God don’t take my child.
The nurse came back in and took me to my room on the delivery floor, with the other laboring mothers, the happy new mothers, the new crying babies. I was losing my mind. I met the doctor. They put the cytotec in, the iv, the pitocin, and tried to force me to get an epidural. Absolutely not. I did agree to IV pain medicine. I started with Demerol. This was my first vaginal birth after five C-sections. You had left me I wanted you to have a clean natural birth. I also wanted all the pain. I needed the pain. I needed to be nothing but physical pain after all I failed you. My body failed you. I failed your daddy and sisters. My body killed you.
So labor began. Mema finally got the girls about 2 hours later. Daddy came up finally. He walked over, hugged me, and we both broke down and sobbed. It was the first time I have ever seen your daddy cry like that. We braced for everything that was to come. I still begged and pleaded God. I even swear that I felt you kick. I believe it was you telling me goodbye.
That first night physically I was okay. I was getting pain meds in my IV starting at 10 pm on May 5 for the labor. The next morning at 9am on May 6, I called for my next dose of medicine, the new nurse came in and told me the doctor changed my meds, that I was to get 0 for pain besides motrin unless I agreed to get an epidural. So I spent the next 4.5 hours SCREAMING in pain, remember I was being induced after 5 c sections with CYTOTEC and nobody came to check on me by her orders not to, not only was I in intense labor but I also was being induced with cytotec, my C-section incision was on fire and causing me the worse pain I have ever felt in my entire life.
So finally after around five hours of screaming and crying the nurse came back and says, “Okay, she ordered your meds again.” She gave me a dose and left, two hours later when it came time for it again, I called for it, she told me the same thing she did that morning– that the doctor said absolutely no pain control besides motrin unless I got an epidural. So yet again another 3 hours of me screaming in pain, pain was so intense because of the cytotec, I wasn’t even supposed to be induced, you never induced a vbac mother, and definitely not with cytotec since it has a high rate of rupture. Then new nurse comes in tells me the doctor said I could have it back, gave me a dose, came back in 2 hours and the doctor had ordered them to not help with my pain again unless I did what she wanted and got an epidural. She did that 3 times.
So after her taking it back the 3rd time because I wasn’t agreeing to what she wanted me to do, Daddy went and filed a complaint against her with the patient advocate and talked to the COO of the hospital’s secretary. Daddy came back up since the actual patient advocate wasn’t in her office. 45 minutes later he went back downstairs to find them again. After 15 minutes of him being gone, the head clinician for L&D came in and told me that she had gotten word that I was being treated horribly and said that my nurse was on the way in with some really strong pain medicine. Just a few minutes later, Daddy came in with the patient advocate, and she told me that no matter what the doctor said they were going to do what I wanted and needed and make sure I’m not in pain and to make this awful time as easy as they could. She said that what the doctor was doing was not what the hospital was about and her treatment was not going to fly. During this whole time, I was still begging God to let you be okay. I was still praying for a miracle. I was talking to you, pleading with you to please not leave me.
Around 10:30 am, I could tell that it was time, and you were coming, I could feel you moving down further and further with every contraction. Daddy got the nurse, she came in, and asked if I felt pressure, and then checked me, saying “Yep, there it is.”
At 11:35am, I start screaming for Daddy because you were here, you were crowning, I was in pain, all of it was becoming more real. You were coming into the world any second now, and my heart was shattered, but I also couldn’t wait to meet you. I was scared, too. I didn’t know what to expect, I prayed you would be okay, that there would be no trauma to your body, your face.
Daddy yelled for them, letting them know that you were crowning. They didn’t even come right in. I delivered you alone with just Daddy and I there in the room, it was surreal, it was so so quiet.
Clarence Austin, my beautiful boy, You had a beautiful perfect body, face, hands, feet. You came into this world so handsome, beautiful, and silent. May 7 2015 at 11:47 am. I never knew silence could be so loud until you, my sweet boy made not a sound.
I didn’t push my entire labor, my contractions moved you down the birth canal, moved you into the crowning position, and then you were with us.
The doctor came in a told me that we lost you because your cord was wrapped around your neck. She said we were lucky and that most parents never have a reason as to why this happened. The nurse came in, cleaned you up, measured you, weighed you, and dressed you in a little outfit and hat.
I held you. I took pictures of you on my chest. I would have gotten pictures of Mommy and Daddy rocking you, cradling you, and that will always be a huge regret of mine. I can’t even remember if I actually held you, cradled you , or if you just laid on my chest the whole time with me. A photographer came in before we left and took some pictures for us. I will always be thankful for that because I was so in shock I only took 4 pictures myself.
You were born at 11:47 am May 7.
I have so many regrets from that day. I wish I would have fought to stay longer, to spend more time with you. I wish I would have taken more pictures. I wish I would have had you baptized. So, so many regrets, but I will never regret you. I will never regret the time I spent with you, my darling boy. I loved you from the seond I knew of you, and six months later, I still love you. I will love you with every breath I take. I will love you until my last breath, and then I will love you in Heaven.
Clarence Austin Campbell
Born into the arms of Jesus
May 7 2015 11:47 am
11 ounces and 13.5 inches long.