On May 19, 2013, our lives took a major turn which we were not expecting. It was a Sunday, and I was 33 1/2 weeks pregnant with our first baby, our little girl. It was a normal Sunday and everything was going as it usually did. As Dalton and I were getting ready for bed that night, we went through our nightly routine, which usually consists of reading, checking emails, playing a game on the iPad/phone, talking, reading our scriptures together and saying our prayers. This usually takes about an hour or so to wind ourselves down before bed and this was when I would always feel the baby kicking a lot more than usual. This particular night I wasn't really paying close attention to what was going on until we started saying our prayers. I didn't really notice whether the baby was moving or not. I just kind of assumed she was. So we said our prayers together, and as I was saying my own personal prayer, all I could think about was that I hadn't noticed the baby moving much earlier. I don't even remember what I said in my prayer. I was just waiting to feel my little girl move. I didn't really start to panic right away, but I just felt a little uneasy. Dalton finished saying his prayers right about the same time I finished mine, and as soon as he was done, he looked at me and the first thing he said to me was, "I just need you two to be ok. I just really can't have anything happen to either of you." And he gave me a hug. I hadn't said anything to him and immediately I knew something was off. I then said to him, "Well I will be ok as soon as she kicks for me." I told him that I hadn't noticed her moving at all that night when I usually would. I spent the next 30 minutes poking and prodding at my belly, trying to get her to move, but I wasn't feeling any movement. I could tell where she was and I could push on her and move her around, but she wasn't kicking back like she usually did.
I knew something was wrong but I didn't want to admit it. After a while of Dalton trying to talk me in to going and getting checked, I finally gave in. I texted my mom and let her know what was going. Dalton gave me a blessing before we left and as soon as he started talking, I just started crying. I didn't want to be going in. I could tell something was wrong, I didn't know what, but I knew we would be taken care of. We went and picked up my mom and drove over to labor and delivery. The whole ride over I didn't really know what to think and I could not stop shaking.
We went in and I changed and they got me hooked up to the monitor. The nurse told us they would just monitor and check for a heartbeat to make sure everything was ok. The nurse started monitoring my belly for what seemed like 5 minutes, and we couldn't hear anything. She finally stopped and said that she wasn't able to find a heartbeat and that she was going to go call my doctor and have him come do an ultra sound. I almost wasn't surprised to hear her say that. The whole time I could tell something was wrong, and I had a feeling we weren't going to be given good news. And it was definitely not what I wanted to hear. After waiting for a little while, my doctor finally got there. He asked me a few questions, but honestly can't remember exactly what he said. I just wanted him to do the ultra sound so we could see what was going on. He finally started the ultra sound and we looked at her head, feet, hands, spine, etc. then he monitored over the chest cavity where her heart was. There was no activity. No movement. I wasn't sure what to think, but Dr. Thompson just looked at us and said, "I really hate to tell you guys this, but there really is just nothing there." Meaning there was no heartbeat. I just nodded my head and began to cry. I looked at Dalton and he was in tears, as well as my mom. We all sat there and just cried. Dalton came and hugged me and we just cried and cried. I never imagined this would be happening to me. I felt like it wasn't my life, like it couldn't be real. Dr. Thompson gave us a few minutes and Dalton called his parents and told them the news. He could hardly even talk. It was so hard for me to watch him, knowing how sad he was. My mom called my dad and had him come over, then called my sister, Whitnee as well. My dad arrived there first, then Whitnee and Misi. Dalton's parents got right in the car and started their drive down to St. George from Tooele. Dr. Thompson told us that I was going to have to deliver. He said they could either start me right away or we could go home and get some rest then come back in the morning. I knew I wouldn't be getting any rest where ever I was, so we decided to stay and have them start me.
Dalton and I were curious as to why there was no heartbeat, and we obviously had so many thoughts and questions running through our minds. Dr. Thompson told us that there was no way of knowing what happened until delivery. He told us that in these kinds of cases (where the mom is healthy and there was no traumatic experience) you just hope that it has something to do with the cord so that you have some answers and some closure. If it wasn't a cord accident, they could do genetic testing to see if it was something genetic and they could also do an autopsy. Dalton and I both felt like we didn't need to go through all the testing to know what was wrong. We felt that everything was in God's hands and that He needed her more on the other side. We knew that everything happens for a reason and we knew that this was a part of His greater plan for us.
They checked us into our room and it was then around 1:00am. The room was in it's own corner of the hospital. It was a larger room and was decorated like a home to make us feel more comfortable. It was perfect for us. They got me all hooked up and gave me some medicine to try and help my cervix dilate. I was only dilated to a one so we had a long ways to go. They gave me a new dose of medicine every three hours, but it never did anything. By 11:30 Monday morning, I was still dilated to a one. They decided they would give me a foley catheter to try and help my cervix dilate. I told the nurse that I wanted an epidural before they put the catheter in. I did not want to feel any physical pain. They gave me my epidural, then not long after that, Dr. Thompson came over on his lunch break to insert the catheter. (I had never heard of this catheter before and had to look up the actual name--we referred to it as the "balloon thingy") The catheter is inserted, then pumped full of water so it balloons up to help the cervix dilate. Once the cervix dilates to about a five, the catheter will just slide out on it's own. They told us that this could take hours as well, so Dr. Thompson said he would check back after he was done with work at the office. After that was all finished, I was able to get a couple of hours of sleep. My family was all there, along with Dalton's parents. We were just playing the waiting game now.
My sister-in-law, Tiffany, happened to be in town for graduation that week (my brother, Kallan, and her sister, Shalei, were both graduating. And I forgot to mention that my mom was in charge of the whole grad-night!) and I am SO grateful that she was there. She helped out in more ways than I can even say. She talked to her mom, Rhonda Miller, who has a photography business with her good friend, Melody Averett, and they agreed to come take pictures for us as a gift to us. It has been the greatest blessing to be able to look back at all the pictures they took and I will forever be grateful to them for their generosity and willingness to do that for us. They came over that afternoon and got things set up and ready to take pictures. We all just hung out and waited for a while, then my nurse came and checked me and was able to barely tug on the catheter and it came right out. I was dilated to about a 5+ now so she told me she would be back in an hour to check on me. So the hour went by and she came in to check me and had me do a practice push. She told me I was fully dilated and completely thinned and she was going to go call my doctor and we would start pushing.
I was really nervous, but thankfully I had great nurses who were so helpful and told me exactly what I needed to do. We called everyone and let them know that we were ready. I had Dalton give me a blessing before we started and it was the sweetest blessing. He told me that there was someone else that had been through what I had been through and knew exactly how I was feeling and that it was my Heavenly Mother. He told me that she would be there to help me through this experience. I was not expecting to hear that, but it gave me such a great comfort and all I could do was cry. After the blessing, I felt much more calm and ready for what was to come.
(You can see in this picture the white marks where the cord was wrapped around her ankle and her thigh)
Dalton was able to hold her first and it was the sweetest thing to watch him hold his baby girl. I never understood how much love he had for her until I saw him hold her for the first time. He brought her over to me and I was able to hold her. All I could do was cry. It was the greatest feeling being able to finally hold my baby girl. I didn't ever want to let her go. I wanted to hold her forever and I just wished I could freeze time for a moment. After we had some time alone with her, Dalton looked at me and said, "She looks like a Havyn." It was one of the two names we had narrowed it down to a few months before, and all I could say was "yeah." I just looked at her and I knew that it was the perfect name for her. The perfect name for our perfect baby. We had created the perfect baby and all she needed was a body. And we were able to give that to her. It is one of the greatest blessings we could give to her. We knew that she was perfect and that she was in a much better place. I knew she was being taken care of, and more importantly, I knew she would now be taking care of us.
The next morning was probably one of the hardest times in my life. We had to get ready to check out of the hospital, and it was a moment I was dreading. We spent a few more hours with Havyn which was so nice. It was so hard knowing that it would be the last time I would get to hold her. We just held her and cried and cried, then it was time for us to go. Dalton laid her down in the cart and took off his shirt and tucked it around her. (The nurse told us they would put her handprints on his shirt over his heart for us to keep. So sweet!) Then our nurse wheeled her down the hall while we went the other way. We walked down the hall just holding each other, crying. (We did A LOT of crying those few days!) I felt like my heart was being wheeled down the hall away from me. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but I am so so grateful for the time we had physically with her. I am so grateful that I was able to hold her and be with her for those few hours. I am so grateful that I had Dalton there by my side every step of the way. He didn't leave our room ONCE the whole time we were there. I am so grateful that I had him to encourage me and cry with me. I am grateful for all of the support we had from our family and friends. I am SO grateful that we had such an amazing doctor. He was so kind and sweet and so helpful. He texted me every day for about a week just to check up on us and make sure we were doing ok, and had flowers sent to our house. We couldn't have asked for anyone better! I am grateful for our knowledge that we WILL see Havyn again and that she will forever be a part of our family! I am grateful that Heavenly Father trusted us to bring her into this world and give her a body. And I am so so grateful that Havyn chose US to be her earthly parents! I know that she is our little angel and that she will be watching over us and taking care of us more than we could have taken care of her here on this earth!