My husband and kids make it to the hospital. My kids both come up to the bed and give me a hug. They can tell I’ve been crying. My daughter asks if the baby is sick. I tell her yes. My husband and I talk about our options. I call my grandma who lives nearby. We have her take our kids to her house for the night. We then call our parents with the saddest news we could ever imagine having to give them. They make their way to the hospital. My doctor sends in a bereavement nurse to speak with us. I don’t remember most of what she said because my mind was only on my son. How could my body have failed him? How could I not know something was wrong? I remember being told what our son would look like when he was born. I also remember being told we needed to pick a funeral home and decide on cremation or burial. How does someone make that kind of choice? My doctor told us she would run blood work on me and labs on the placenta to see if she could find any answers as to why this happened. As far as labs and autopsy on our son, insurance would not cover them. My husband and I declined an autopsy. Our son would already be so fragile that we couldn’t put his little body through the process of an autopsy. Knowing that his body was already fragile, having been deceased for 72 hours, we decided to induce that night. I felt like there wasn’t anything I could go home and get ready, nothing was going to make this easier. I got my first dose of Cytotec around 6pm.
We had some family and friends stop by throughout the evening offering support and condolences. It was then I told my paternal grandmother that our son’s middle name is James after my late grandfather. It brought us both to tears. My husband and I talked about all the plans we had for our son and how there was nothing more in this world that we wanted than to add another baby to our family, and now those dreams were ripped away in an instant. I now know how precious life really is.
We were told the induction process could take 24 hours, so I tried to mentally prepare myself for what was to come. I tried to rest as much as I could, but my body had other plans. I was going into labor on my own. 2 days ago I experienced what I thought was just braxton hicks contractions, not knowing what was to come. My first dose of Cytotec had not been in long enough to start working yet when I started having more intense contractions. I was given pain medication to help me relax. I was only 1 cm. I also tried to eat, but felt to guilty to eat. Why should I eat if my son can no longer? I also began to feel nauseous as the contractions got stronger. I was given another dose of Cytotec and pain medication. By midnight I had just about all I could take and asked for an epidural. I was now 4cm. When the epidural was in place I tried to rest while it was taking effect. After about 20 minutes my legs started to feel numb. I rolled to my left side to try to sleep as much I could. I knew I’d never be 100% ready for what was about to come. In those moments before my son was born, I prayed that God would give us a miracle. “Please let the doctor be wrong. Please let our son be born alive. I wouldn’t be mad if my son was born a preemie, alive.”
12:30a.m, just 1/2 an hour since my epidural had been put in, I felt an intense pressure to push. My nurse informs me that I’m 10 cm. I went from a 4 to a 10 in 30 mins. I wasn’t ready. At all. I wanted to delay what was happening. I was rolled onto my back as a nurse called my doctor back into the room. Staff was running about getting equipment ready for the doctor. “Don’t push yet.” The nurse kept telling me. “He’s coming now.” I said over and over again. And as soon as the doctor was ready, my son was born.
12:41 a.m. May 13, 2016. Logan James Manns entered the world, silent. The silence was deafening. Almost as if we were all holding our breath, waiting for Logan to take his first, but he never did. My sweet angel, all 5 lbs and 4 oz of him was placed on my chest while the placenta was delivered. The cord was around his neck. My doctor told us it was not tight enough to cause this. She also told us the cord had a slight twist near the placenta, also not tight enough to cause this. Our son was absolutely perfect for 35 weeks. There were no outward signs as to why he passed. He looked like a thinner version of his big brother.
I let the nurse clean him off and wrap him in a blanket while I got stitched up. Logan had come a lot faster than any of us had anticipated. I didn’t hold Logan again until 5 in the morning. I fell asleep. I’m not sure if it was from exhaustion or shock, but I felt if I went to sleep I could wake up and this would all be a bad dream.