Saturday, May 4, 2013

Our Son - Connor

Our son, Connor, was stillborn when I was approximately 30 weeks pregnant. This is his/our story. I'm sorry if it is long. I want to get it right. 

Mike and I decided during the Summer of 2012 to try for a baby. We had gotten married in April, and both knew we wanted a child together. This was my first pregnancy, and I can't explain the ecstatic feeling of seeing that positive pregnancy test. It just didn't seem real yet. 

We had a bit of a scare early on, around 6 weeks, when I had some spotting. They did an early ultrasound and said there was nothing to be concerned about. Everything was going just as it should. 

We carried on, trying to relax. I would get anxious as doctor appointments approached, worried that something would be wrong. They worried that I would get gestational diabetes due to my family history and weight. Every doctor appointment and all the lab work were turning out perfect. 

Our anatomy scan was the day after Christmas. My stepson came with us, excited to find out if he was getting a little brother or sister. He wanted a brother, convinced that a brother would be more fun. We went to the scan anxious to see the baby. We hadn't seen anything since that early ultrasound. 

Exciting news! It's a boy! We already knew the name we wanted, Connor Steven. He was sucking his thumb in this image, and I loved him more than I could imagine already. He was perfect they said. Growing exactly on schedule, everything looks great. 

We allowed ourselves to relax. We had gotten past that "danger zone", right? We had more doctor appointments, and a follow up ultrasound at 26 weeks. 

My mom and I went to Babies R Us and started a registry, picked out a bedding set. I was so excited to find a boy set that I loved. Connor's nursery would be dinosaur themed. Our good friend bought us a crib and changing table set. I put it together. I am the one who assembles things in our house and I didn't want to wait until I was too uncomfortable to be crawling around on the floor. 

Along with my sister giving us boxes of clothes that my nephews had once adorned, we began picking up small special pieces of clothing. We couldn't wait to dress Connor up in the adorable pieces of clothes.

We went to our routine 30 week doctor appointment. I mentioned to the doctor that Connor had been lazy this past week. I had felt him move, but not as much as before. The doctor said that's okay, as long as he is moving, some babies just don't move a lot. 

He was looking for the heartbeat and couldn't find it. The doctor wasn't worried and said he would grab the ultrasound machine, but was sure it was fine. 

He searched with the ultrasound machine for a few minutes. I could tell by the doctor's tone of voice, everything was not fine. He told us to go to the hospital right away. He would call. They would be expecting us. Their machine is stronger. They can get a better look. He held my hand and said, "I don't like what I'm seeing. If this is an infant demise know that is nothing you did. There is nothing we could have done to prevent this and you did not cause this." 

We left the doctors office in tears. We knew at that point Connor was gone, but tried to cling to hope. The pain I felt walking into the maternity ward and seeing the nursery, knowing we would most likely not be using it, was inexplicable. I felt as if my heart was literally ripping in half. 

They checked us into a room. We later found out this was "the" room. The room where every family who is not taking their baby home gets checked into. This room is larger than the average room. The guard at the front desk knows that this room is allowed to have extra visitors, and visitors of any age. There is a flower on the door to symbolize to all workers walking in that this is not a happy occasion. 

A nurse comes in to take me for the ultrasound. They have a policy that Mike can't go with me. I guess they don't want someone who can move around and look at the screen in the room. I instantly was in tears. I was expected to go to the ultrasound alone? I just wanted to be at home. Feeling my baby kick, after another routine doctor appointment at which we were told everything is great see you soon. That wasn't our reality now. That same nurse stayed with me during the ultrasound. She held my hand and made sure I wasn't alone in that moment. 

The doctor came in about 45 minutes later. Mike and I had been waiting less than an hour, but it seemed like a lifetime. He told us our suspicions were confirmed. Connor was gone. He reiterated that there is nothing we could have done and we did not cause this. No matter how many times he says that it doesn't help. It doesn't bring our baby back. 

I'm instantly checked into the hospital. I had to deliver Connor, as I was too far along for any other option. I didn't know how I could ever make it through this, and still don't know how I got through that week. 

Monday night, March 4th, they induced me at 11:00. They gave me a medicine every four hours. The doctor explained that it should go pretty quickly, as this is a strong medicine. It didn't. For then next few days, the doctor would tell me my body just wasn't ready. 

We finally got some progress Wednesday afternoon when contractions were getting stronger. The doctor said he had other things he could do, and that it would be over Thursday one way or another. Being in the maternity ward was painful. I could hear cries of other babies occasionally. Babies that parents would get to take home. Excited fathers would ask Mike how things were going at the coffee machine. Unable, and not wanting, to go into detail he would simply say "slow".  

Finally, Wednesday night around 8:00 my water broke. I got an epidural, and went to sleep while things progressed. Around 2:30 am I called the nurse worried my epidural may have been wearing off. She checked me and said I was ready to push. They called the doctor and got him back to the hospital. 

Connor was born at 3:39 am on Thursday, March 7. He was perfect. He had my nose, and my blonde hair. As I held him, I missed him already. It seemed unfair that this perfect little boy had been torn from our lives. Mike, my parents, sisters, and grandma were there and got to hold him as well. A pastor came and baptized him there in the room, with the family all present. 

The hospital put together a memory box for us. They gave us information about a grief group, SHARE. I'll post more about this fantastic organization later. Throughout our stay a grief counselor that works with this organization had checked in with us as well. 

In the memory box was one of the most concrete items we will ever have of our son. His footprints on some clay. They did a fantastic job and got perfect prints. The hospital doesn't want anyone to leave "empty handed". At least we have memories of Connor. 

I don't know what I wanted to accomplish with this post. Maybe nothing. I just needed to get the story out. I still miss him every day. It seems so unfair. They blood work all came back normal. It was not chromosomal or genetic. While this is "good", because it isn't something that will for sure effect our future, we will never know what happened to our precious little boy. 

We had Connor cremated, and picked out this special urn. Connor is still very close to our hearts and always will be. We will be creating a memorial garden at our home. I will post about that as we complete it. 

In the mean time, I will never "get over it". I will never forget Connor. He is my first born, even if we couldn't bring him home with us in the normal sense. He is in this home with us. We love him and speak about him. If you are our family and friends, please don't think he is a taboo subject you should not talk about. 

Connor Steven


  1. Welcome to the blogosphere. I'm sorry you were drawn here for such a great loss. I can tell you have great love for your son and are still a wonderful mother to him. I'm a Baby Loss Mom too and blogging was def. a great part of my healing.

    1. Thank you for stopping by, and reading Connor's story. I agree that it has really helped to get the story "out". I'm sorry for your loss as well.

  2. Suzie-I knew your story already from LCF, but reading it here again and with more detail brought me to tears again, but much harder. I am so sorry....I can't even imagine going to that ultrasound room without your husband (Connor's daddy!!!) holding your hand. My heart is just broken for you and your husband. It is so nice to remind everyone that he is not a taboo subject to talk about. He should be talked about. I love how you said that. Please take care....and I hope that as each day passes you will find a little more peace, but it is okay and totally understandable if you don't. I just wish you the best and as I told you before, you and your husband and baby boy Connor Steven are in my prayers.

    1. Thank you. I really appreciate it. Yes, it was hard at the time that he couldn't go with me. To be honest though, I didn't even remember that detail until a few weeks ago. In the grand scheme of that week, it was not the worse thing going on.

  3. I'm so sorry for your loss. I know your pain well. Thank you for reaching out to others and sharing your story. Here is ours. With love XOXO

    1. I'm not sure why I never got notification of your comment, and I don't know if you will see this response at this point. I'm so sorry. I would have responded right away. I'm so sorry for your loss of sweet Ian. Thank you for sharing his story with me. Many hugs and love back to you.

  4. I am truly sorry for your loss.
    My daughter suffered a loss a few years ago. It was sad because she never got to see her baby at all. I am happy that the hospital at least gave you his footprints and that he is near you each day even if only in spirit. Peace...

    1. Thank you for sharing your story, and I'm so sorry for your family's loss. We are lucky to have things such as his footprints and a recording of his heartbeat. Thank you for your kind support.

  5. My heart breaks for you. I found you through MamaKat and will participate in random acts of kindness for Connor this week. Thinking of you and hope you are doing as best as can be expected.