Aerosmith.... I've loved their songs since I was a child. This I got from my dad. However, I never knew who wrote the songs until I met Nolan (my husband); they are one of his favorite bands (maybe his all-time favorite). When I started thinking about making a playlist of songs to labor by I knew I needed to have a few that Nolan loved as well. I didn't want him to be annoyed by the music the whole time because I knew I'd subconsciously pick up on his annoyance and it would translate over into my labor experience. So, one day about 3 weeks before I had Asher, Nolan and I were laying on the bed and I asked him to help me pick out some songs that both he and I liked. This is why there is so much Aerosmith on the list.
I had already determined, weeks prior to Asher's arrival that I would start the music just after my contractions became real. I was going to get myself in a happy, relaxed mood. And proceed with the evening as normal, only I'd have a baby somewhere in the middle of the night. It would be nothing strange, nothing to get riled up about. I had no plans to call anyone other than my sister if I needed her to come get Vera. I wanted to start playing music early though b/c I was so jittery. So excited to be having another baby. And I was 42 wks and 4 days, so I had waited, and waited, and waited.
I had just come home from the grocery store Friday night. I was carrying in 2 gallons of milk and 4 plastic sacks on my arms. I made it to the kitchen and felt my water break. I immediately looked up at the clock on the microwave. 6:23pm. I thought to myself, well, there wasn't much "gush", so maybe I'm just spontaneously peeing. So I went to the bathroom to check, and sure enough I was right, my water was leaking, just a bit though. So I excitedly woke Nolan up (as far as he knew, he still had to work that night, so he was asleep) and told him my water had broke. He grunted and smiled and rolled over and went back to sleep. I thought that was good idea, because I was going to need him later.
Then I got the phone and called my midwife to let her know what was going on. She said she'd be over after a bit to check fetal heart tones. I decided to get dinner going. By the time dinner was finished, about an hour later, my midwife arrived. She and I sat and talked about a few things and then she asked if I was ready to check heart tones. She had forgotten the gel she normally uses on my belly and asked if I had any lotion. I told her the only thing I had was vaseline because I'm allergic to most other lotions, she said she didn't normally like to use it, but since it was the only thing I had, it would do. I stretched out on the couch and she felt for Asher and found his back. Then she began using the doppler. There had never been a problem finding his heart beat in the past so I didn't panic when she didn't find it at first. I just assumed it was because of the vaseline and she would find it eventually. As the minutes stretched out and we heard nothing, I began to get worried. My midwife asked if I had any plain olive oil. I told her where it was and she went to get that. She used the olive oil and began searching again for his heart beat. When there was nothing she said "We should be able to hear something, you need to go to the hospital."
This is where I felt the most powerful fear of my entire life. I ran to get Nolan. I said "Get up. She can't find the heartbeat. We have to go to the hospital." Then I called my sister and told her that I needed her to be here "like 10 mins ago quick". Nolan put his clothes on faster than I've ever seen before. I didn't grab anything but my purse and we left. As we were pulling out there was a group of boys standing in the way, and Nolan sped up and honked to scare them out of the way. Then we drove to the hospital. I just kept looking at Nolan. I just kept thinking there was no way Asher could have died. He was fine the night before, robustly kicking the computer that I had rested on my belly. He was fine right after my water broke, I felt him kick just after my water broke. That kick was probably his last.
When we got to the hospital Nolan dropped me off at the front doors. I raced inside and stammered something about no heartbeat to the receptionist and she motioned to someone to wheel me up to labor and delivery. It felt like my head was spinning. And I remember telling the man pushing me to "RUN".
When we got up there, the nurses wheeled me into a room and rustled me out of my clothes and into a hospital gown even though I told them to just check me first with their doppler. Once they got me into the right clothes (???????), the super great nurse I had (this part is super true, she really was awesome) broke out the fancy hospital doppler and checked for a heart beat. Some time while she was doing this Nolan made it to the room. I knew before she was finished checking that Asher was gone. When she decided that she wasn't going to be able to find anything with that machine, she called the Dr. and that is when he used the ultrasound machine to see if there was any chance that my son, my perfect, full term, son was still alive. He wasn't.
In a moment I was robbed of the joy that birthing a fresh new life into this world brings. Instead I knew I was going to have to face laboring for no reason other than to bring death into that hospital room. In that moment God held me up. He steeled my soul, my heart, my spirit, my being for the task at hand. I knew that night I would need to welcome death into my arms. I cried and sobbed in disbelief.
I did not smile that night. I did not laugh that night. I did not dance that night.