November 2 2009 at 28 weeks I woke up with swollen ankles, my eyelids were even swolle. This could not be normal... I knew I had an appointment the next day but did not have a good feeling at all. I called my doctor and told them I needed to be seen right away I and that I was having swelling in my face and ankles. I was told a nurse practitioner was the only doctor to see me. At the point I did not care who saw me I wanted to be seen. I went in and they did a urine test (I later come to find out that I had 1+ protein in my urine...which is not good), We talked about my concern with Preeclampsia and through my whole pregnancy I have always showed trace protein in my urine (protein in urine during pregnancy can be a huge indicator of pre-eclampsia) My blood pressure was 128/90 which was my highest reading yet in pregnancy. Typically my blood pressures were 100/70 or 60's...needless to say...I was sent home.
November 15th 2009 at 30 weeks It all began... That night I ate dinner and right before we went to bed around 11 pm, I began to vomit. Every hour on the hour I was vomiting. Around 1 am I started experiencing a headache like I can not even explain. I was laying in bed with ice packs on my head, as well as still vomiting. I called the doctor on call, explained my symptoms. I found myself on my way to the hospital! I had started seeing flashing spots/sparks and my vision started to go.
November 16, 2009 I was 30 weeks and 2 days along. While checking myself in the hospital, I noticed I could not think straight or even pull my id card from my wallet, I felt like I was going to pass out. Upon entering my room, I began to vomit again. The nurse came in and tried for about 10 minutes to find a heartbeat. Nothing...nothing at all. We knew something was wrong...all we heard was silence. I kept asking my husband why they could not find it. I called my mom and told her they could not find a heartbeat, and she was on her way. The nurse said a ultrasound tech would be coming in to get a better look. On the screen we saw her in a head down position...no movement. I asked the tech when he came in to do the ultrasound if he heard a heartbeat, he said The doctors will be able to have a better look. I had a horrible feeling, but at the same time I was just thinking this is all just a dream. My little girl will be fine, I was just at the doctors not even 2 weeks ago and heard her little heart beat! My mom arrived, and my dad was on his way. When the doctor came in I knew immediately that we had lost her. A doctor and two nurses came in. The doctor said "Laura your baby has passed." My first thought was thats impossible, there was no way. My mom, Kyle and I all began to cry. From there my mind seemed to stop. It all gets real blurry from here...
I asked what is going to happen next, and was told I needed to deliver my baby. I could not believe it. I had to deliver a baby and I could not even keep her or see her cry or smile. My mind was filled with 1,000 different emotions. The strangest feeling for me was...I was not scared...I did not care...I had no idea how sick I was and how sick I was going to become. I had no idea what time it was...nothing... I just wanted to go home and pretend this never happened, to pretend I was never pregnant to begin with. I wanted to erase all horrible outcomes from my head.
(From this point on I don't remember much, so I will do my best at trying) I truly believe now it was my bodys way (as well as Gods way) of taking care of me. Blocking any crazy emotions I had for the time being. I remember being wheeled into a bigger room and right away being started on a IV hooked to fluids, blood pressure medications, antibiotics (because I was running a fever of 101), and magnesium sulfate (Anti seizure medication) I remembering not even being able to cry. I also remember thinking maybe if I deliver her there is some chance she would be alive. Magnesium sulfate is a brutal drug. My BP was 160/110 which is dangerously high. After running blood work, the doctors immediately knew I had severe preeclampsia.I remember the doctors coming into the room and hearing the words "severe preeclampsia" Everyone seemed to be very concerned about how sick I was and I didn't even care. My mom said she never saw nurses act so fast. There was so many nurses surrounding me. The magnesium made me hot, hot to the point that I had the room at 65 degrees and I had cold rags all over my head and neck, it also made me vomit frequently and loss vision on my left eye. I remember having labor pains, and for some odd reason the nurses kept pushing me to get an epidural saying "Your already going through enough, you should not have to suffer any pain from this" I had contractions and finally I got an epidural which made me itch...to the point where I had sores on my face and scratches all over my neck and chest. It was a horrible feeling. I wanted to crawl out of my skin.
Next thing I remember was waking up and saying, "Im ready to push" Its weird its like your body just knows! I finally was dilated to 10. I remember asking "what if im too tired to push" I had to even have people hold me up, I could not hold my own body up. (later I come to find out I was in labor for more than 24 hours!) Seems like minutes...My mom and Kyle stood with me as I delivered our angel into this world with wings.
November 17th- Cara Angel Meindel...born at 2:30... 2lbs 11 oz and 16 inches long...stillborn.
he nurses asked me if I wanted to hold her, I said no. I can't explain why I did not want to hold her, although I wish I had. They cleaned her off, gave her a bath and dressed her. At one point right after she was born (in the picture below) I asked my mom why she was that color. It was liek a scene from a movie, a dead baby laying right in front of me...and she was mine. My family came in and everyone was able to love and hold her when I could not. I did not even cry. I had no emotions. I dont remember much at all, just wanting to sleep and wanting everyone to leave me alone. When she was born she looked like she would breathe or move...but she didn't. She just lay there. I remember being mad that everyone was holding her and rocking her and dressing her. I did not want anyone to hold her.I was so mad that nurses were taking pictures. I did not want any pictures. I was scared they would hurt her. She was so delicate. I could not understand why everyone wanted to hold her and kiss her... she was dead. Now I only knew everyone was doing it out of love. I am so mad at myself for not loving her more during that moment. I wish I could take it back. Every day now I wish I could hold her. It is to date a big regret of mine. Now I am so glad that I got to spend time with her because now whatever time I did spend and teh pictures I have I cherish.
Apparently I passed out after my delivery. After my delivery I must have gained another 10 pounds. I started pre pregnancy at 127 and got to 162 when I was admitted...then gained more after delivery. So you can imagine how much water weight I had. I remember my mom telling me I need to start thinking about her baptism and funeral. I held my beautiful daughter for the first time during her baptism, it was done right in the room. (Apparently I held her earlier...however this was the first time I REMEMBER holding her)
From that point on I don't remember much again. I know I was hooked up to a blood pressure machine to take my blood pressure every 15 mins, was still on the magnesium sulfate, and was getting blood drawn twice a day. Cara stayed in the room with us that night in her basket, I dont even remember falling asleep. I know I had nightmares. The next morning it all sunk in. I held her and cried, she had my nose and my chin, and Kyles eyes and toes and long body and lips. Just how amazingly beautiful she was. I could not even comprehend why this was happening to me. I know that Wednesday the 18th that the funeral home did come and take her, I thought it was time. (I now wish I would have spent more time with her) I was also still in the hospital. That morning the doctor came in and told me I had borderline HELLP disease. (Later to find out that due to my platelet count 120's I did have HELLP) It was hard to comprehend why, and how it was not caught.
November 19th 2009 I was finally released from the hospital. My blood pressure was still high. I went home on blood pressure medication.
November 21 2009 We lay our beautiful Cara to rest. It was the first family funeral I ever had to go to. We kept it family only. Open casket so everyone could see how beautiful she was. It was hard because I wanted to hold her again and could not. I had my brother her god father carry her casket, that memory is etched in my mind like a movie scene. Watching his tears run down his face as he carried her white casket. Another haunting memory I have is having to watch my grandfather kneel and cry and watching my Dad almost have to be carried away from her grave site. We all said goodbye to a beautiful very loved little girl.
If you would like a memorial page created for your child, to be posted on his or her Angel Day just email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org and any include any pictures you would like to use. Please make sure to include the day that your child passed so that I can post it on his or her Angel Day.
I am lucky enough to have 5 amazing children, 4 in my arms and one in my heart. In October of 2007 I gave birth to triplets at 28 weeks gestation and our sweet daughter Hadley passed away in my arms on her third day of life. We miss her more than words could ever say and this blog captures our life before and after.