I entered into this hellish nightmare. I remember so clearly, I was at work. Busy, I was in charge of the ED. And of course, I am taking care of the sickest kid in the department. We were waiting for the neurosurgeon to take him into surgery. His blood pressure was high, his heart rate was low. He was only 2 years old. He was a former 26 weeker. His mother noticed I was pregnant and asked how far along I was, I responded "32 weeks" and she said I had nothing to worry about, if he was born then his chances for survival would be great. I took comfort in her statement, I knew this to be true. In the meantime, her son is deteriorating. I am calling the neurosurgeon non stop. I finally get an estimated time for the OR. It is now around 1230 ish, I realize the baby hasn't moved. Or maybe he has, but I was so busy I didn't notice. We order lunch and I finally sit to eat, or rather inhale my food. I even drink a regular Sprite. I tell one of the other nurses, who by the way happens to be pregnant as well, she goes to the adult ED and borrows their doppler. We go into one of the rooms and ask another nurse to help us hear fetal heart tones. She goes first, it's there about 140. Then we proceed to me, and nothing. No fetal heart tones. After trying for like what seemed an eternity, we stop. I go into the break room and call my OB. I'm crying now, but I manage to call my husband. He was at our son's school picking him up. I ask him to pick me up, I know I can't manage to drive there.
He arrives, he's worried too. We are interrupted by an old college acquaintance, she's there with her son. We talk to her quickly. We leave the hospital premises, we are on the way there. I tell my husband to stop and pick up something for Jason to eat. In my mind, I'm thinking we will have to go to the hospital perhaps for a non stress test or something. It enters my mind that perhaps something is wrong but I'm not thinking he has died. I just couldn't imagine it, not on the way there. We arrive, the nurse greets me. She tries to listen to his heartbeat, NOTHING. I am taken over to the ultrasound room, and there he is, lifeless. No heartbeat. I knew it then, Ethan had died. I hear talking, my head is spinning, I'm crying, asking for my husband. The ultrasound technician brings him in, we are taken into another room, shortly after that Dr. J walks in. I don't want my son to see me like this, I ask them not to bring him in. I can't comprehend what is going on, it doesn't feel real. I'm asking her what happened, she's sitting and telling me she doesn't know. I don't know how long we are there. We finally leave, Jason was sitting in the nurses station coloring. He looks terrified. I try to gain composure for his sake. We manage to drive home.
Upon our arrival, I am greeted in the living room with all of the shower gifts from a few weeks ago. We take Jason into the family room and tell him his little brother has died. He doesn't look at me, he braces me and doesn't let go. I hear his sobs, he's crying uncontrollaby. My then 5 year old has just entered this hellish nightmare as well. He's asking why did our baby died. We have no answers.
The nightmare has begun. We have phone calls to make, family to tell, arrangements to make. We try to maintain normalcy for Jason's sake. We take comfort in our mundane tasks, giving Jason a bath, bedtime routine. We finally go to sleep, hoping to be awakened from this nightmare. Only that never happens. I am wide awake at 2am, sobbing, looking at my belly asking "WHY????"