Born To Fly The Hurst Family
Everyone goes into a new pregnancy with excitement and dreams of what the future holds. The reality is that those dreams don’t always come true and the excitement can turn into devastation in the blink of an eye. We had a very normal and healthy pregnancy and welcomed our first child, Isabella to the world in July 2007. We were so excited to be expecting our second child in December of 2009. Everything was going as plan through the pregnancy, no bumps in the road. At 39 weeks, I had gone to my weekly appointment and everything was going as planned. My doctor told me he was on call for the Thanksgiving weekend if we needed anything, but he didn’t think anything was going to happen that weekend and would see me in the office next week. Much to our surprise, on Thanksgiving evening, the contractions started and after dinner, we headed to the hospital. The excitement of our family growing, and on Roger’s birthday none the less, had us feeling on top of the world.
As we waited in triage at the hospital, the nurse was having trouble getting the baby on the monitor. That stubborn baby! They always had a hard time finding the heart beat at the doctor....there was a little gymnast in there! After trying for several minutes, the nurse started asking questions about when the last time I felt that baby move. It was Thanksgiving, and I had no reason to be worried, we had been busy…I started to question myself and wondered if I felt movement or if I hadn’t. I wasn’t sure any more! The nurse left to get the ultrasound machine. Being in health care, and working in the maternal/child area, my excitement was quickly turning into anxiety. This isn’t supposed to be happening like this. Something doesn’t seem right. After scanning with the ultrasound for a few minutes, and calling another person in to “assist” we were given the devastating news that our baby didn’t have a heartbeat. The disbelief was overwhelming. Denial, fear, and tears were in overdrive. When our doctor arrived at the hospital, with the same look of shock and disbelief, he confirmed that there was no heartbeat. Our sweet little baby had passed away. How could this be happening?? Why is this happening??
Our baby had turned and was breach, although 2 days earlier at the doctor, baby was head down. The flip must have happened during the night, as I don’t recall it happening. Because of the baby’s positioning, our doctor decided to deliver via C-section. A few hours later, we got to meet our beautiful, peaceful, sleeping baby boy. After the C-section, our doctor told us he knew what had happened. The baby had not only flipped breach, he had tied and tighten a knot in his umbilical cord, essentially cutting off his life line.
In the following 36 hours in the hospital, we were able to spend time with Jacob and our family. Leaving the hospital with only a memory box and funeral plans to make was devastating, to say the least. We decided to keep Jacob’s funeral plans small and just for immediate family. In the weeks following Jacob’s death, we began to receive grief support materials from Tomorrow’s child. These tools proved to be more helpful than we realized. With the help of tomorrow’s child and our grief counselor, we were able work through our grief. Although the pain is always there and will never go away, we’ve been able to move forward with our lives.
A few months later, we were pregnant again. The fear was so powerful. Always on high alert for movements and hypersensitive to anything that felt “funny.” Fourteen months after we said goodbye to Jacob, we said hello to our second daughter Emily. Our family has continued to grow since then with another daughter, Angela, who was born in 2012 and another son, Garrett, in 2013. With each pregnancy our OB and his staff were amazing. They were very compassionate and always took the time to answer those “silly” questions. Not to mention, very accommodating to doing extra monitoring to provide us all peace of mind.
All of our children are very healthy, happy, and active kids. They love to swim and be outside. We enjoy every moment with them. Each year we attend a Children’s Memorial Service at the cemetery where Jacob is buried. The kids like to participate in the butterfly release and always enjoy taking flowers and toys to their brother. It is a special time for the family to be together.
Although our experience with loss is one that no family should have to face, it has brought us even closer than we were before.
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