As I sit here at 9:35 pm on the evening of November 7, 2017, I can’t help but reflect back on this exact evening in the year of 1994. My obstetrician sent me directly to admitting. He wouldn’t even let me go home and pack a bag. My baby girl was in distress.
Over the next few days, the nurses came and went. Family came in…but…at an oddly slow rate. Only a couple of friends came to visit. I couldn’t figure out why not many were coming to see me. Little did I know as the days went on, my Doctor ordered “no visitors”. Any stimulation made my blood pressure spike. I wasn’t told these things at the time, as not to upset me. Then, Friday afternoon, in came Dr. Vagovic, and he sat on my bed. He didn’t leave for at least a hour. All he did was stare at the monitors.
It was now 12:30 am on the morning of November 13, 1994. I had no idea my life was about to be turned upside down. At that time, Dr. Vagovic and a whole team of nurses and …. I’m not sure who all they were….they rushed me downstairs near the ER. It was then I saw an ambulance and sad eyes waiting for me. It was storming out. The chopper was grounded because of the intensity of the storm. Dr. V. crawled up in the ambulance with me and told me I needed to be at a hospital that had a perinatologist. I’ll never forget the look on his face and the sound of his voice. He….already….knew.
I was then whisked away on a hour ambulance ride to Orlando. I didn’t realize I had been admitted to an ICU. When I arrived I was alone other than the nurses and a strange Doctor with very little bedside manner. I couldn’t see clearly, only shapes. I was too sick to understand what was going on.
Finally, at 7 am, I heard the Doctor say, “We’ve gotta get that baby outta there! NOW!” They were wheeling me down the hall. I knew what was going on, but I couldn’t talk. Everything was fading. The Doctor was yelling for them to get me under…then I felt a cut…
The next thing I knew…the Doctor was trying to wake me. I remember his words like they were yesterday. “Your baby didn’t make it.” I was dead inside. Sick as I had ever been. Continually learning bits and pieces of what had gone on. Trying to come to terms with it…but not accepting.
Several days later I was released to go home. I had been in a private room in the “grief wing” of the maternity ward. The day I went home was by far the worst day of my entire life. My head was more clear however, I was not well. As they wheeled me in to the elevator …. I realized that day was the beginning of my grief. I was leaving the hospital…without what I went for.