ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Walk a mile in my shoes

Updated on July 9, 2010
AJ before the heart issue.
AJ before the heart issue.
After months of fear I finally got to hold my baby.
After months of fear I finally got to hold my baby.

My neighbor’s grass is greener than mine. Though I hate cliché’s, the fact is that she is meticulous at cutting, repairing, fertilizing and watering her field of green perfection. I also know that she does so out of a sense of pride as she maintains the same piece of property once cared for by her ex-husband. When she talks of him there is still some bitterness and she, as far as I know, is married only to her career and motherhood and of course that beautiful lawn mowed into perfect rich green stripes.

I take from this my Lesson of the Day. We never know what someone else is going through or experiencing inside their head. We may not know the hardships that have hardened or broken their hearts or the grief they master every day. And because we don’t, a wise person would offer a basic daily dose of compassion to everyone. Never assume.

I recently had someone who adopted tell me I had it easy being able to give birth to my children. Like it was so simple: Get pregnant, get fatter, give birth, cry tears of joy, and take lots of pictures. Seriously? But she was convinced that being pregnant and giving birth was much easier than the path they were given.

I won’t elaborate on the fact that squeezing a human head out of your body after hours of crushing pain beyond anything in your imagination is not “easy”. I will not even delve into the fact I did it four times without drugs. She was talking the emotional roller-coaster of wanting and waiting for the baby to be theirs. I get it. I would never trample on their anxiety and anguish in waiting and wanting something so badly that your body refuses to provide you. But what she assumed, incorrectly, is that just because you are blessed enough to get pregnant means things go easy with no life altering worry or despair. Never assume. Nothing is ever guaranteed.

I have experienced a miscarriage at nearly three months along. He had a heartbeat. He had a name. I talked to him before bed each night. I started knitting a blanket that remains unfinished somewhere in a keepsake box in my basement. I did not knit again for 21 years.

I surpassed that pain, fear and despair when I was seven months pregnant with my now-three year old son AJ.

I was 38, in my last trimester and feeling so exhausted that it was difficult to just keep going, to just get through each work day. I had no time for lunch that hot July day because I had a prenatal doctor’s appointment I could not reschedule.

As the clock raced ahead, the baby kicked me, tapping the desk in front of me and pinching the skin of my belly in between. I fell behind in the workload and I left my office in my usual scurry of being ever so slightly late for my doctor’s appointment. I waited impatiently at the traffic lights to turn into the hospital. I watched as coworkers passed in a car heading towards the local sandwich shop. I envied them being able to squeeze in lunch. I envied their freedom.
I raced into the doctor’s office and breathlessly said my name as I checked in. The baby in my belly had grown quiet.

In the examining room the doctor breezed in and made the usual small talk as I lay down on the table and she began to listen for the baby’s heartbeat, moving the scope around on my belly. Time ticked by. Stupidly I did not notice.

“Can’t find him,” she said, as she searched. I continued to chat not realizing at first her expression had changed. “Something’s not right…something’s wrong.”

“What?” I asked, still not quite getting it. She said something about an ultrasound and ran from the room. I heard her yelling for the machine and in seconds she burst back into the room with a portable ultrasound machine. “Is something wrong?” I asked. “Is he alive?”

“I can’t find the heartbeat. I don't know,” she said, her voice strange and slightly shaky. “Oh…oh. Something is not right. OK we are going. No time to wait for a wheelchair.”

I was confused and beginning to panic as it was sinking in. He had been moving an hour earlier. He had to be Ok. This could not be happening. He had to Ok.

She swiftly took me out a back way from the office, holding on to my arm as she urged me to go quicker. We got to the elevator where she slapped the button, backed away like it would magically open knowing the urgency, then said it would take too long.

“We are taking the stairs,” she said, grabbing my arm again and pushing open the door. “I know it may not seem like you should be doing stairs like this but we don’t have time.”
We don’t have time. He was dead. She really thought my beautiful baby boy was dead or near death inside me.

I fought back tears as we raced into the maternity ward. The nurses there got me to the first room. They helped get my clothes off. Doctor Brown was kicking some of her street clothes off, scrubbing her hands and replacing them by stepping into the operating garb the nurses were holding up for her. I was lying down as a nurse came running in with a roll of something. She spread it out on a table and it clanged of metal as the surgical equipment for the emergency C-section rolled out. Another nurse had begun searching for a heartbeat again…she told me her name…which I will never recall.

Then we heard it. Ka-thump. Slow at first, and then regaining its speed, the sound of a little heartbeat filled the room.

“Oh, God! There…there,” the nurse whose name I will never recall said. Tears were streaming down her face. “Oh, hunny, it’s Ok.”

She leaned onto me, hugging me in a very uncharacteristic way of a medical professional, both of us crying and sputtering words of gratitude. I was shaking and felt sick. I could not stop the tears. I vaguely heard Dr. Brown saying “thank God” over and over. The sound of my son’s little heart downed out all else.

I never went back to my corner office as fate would have it. I spent a week in one hospital then was transported by ambulance to another that had a more extensive neonatal unit. I was monitored 24 hours per day. I listened in fear as my baby’s heart would slow to a near stop. Adam and I video taped some of the better moments in the hospital when the baby seemed to be back to normal. It was always in my head however, what if?

“What will we do with all this…this tape if…,” I had trouble with the words. “If we loose him?”

“Maybe we erase it,” Adam responded. “I don’t know.”

But miracles happen. Eventually I was released even though AJ’s heart continued to slow to a near-stop. I was monitored every day for the last three months and was on modified bed rest. I was scared all the time. Seriously. Was my position doing something to him? If he grew still I was told by the doctors to poke at my belly and if I could not revive him into movement to rush to the hospital. I lived 30 minutes away. I knew that it would never be in time to save him. But, somehow, he survived, was delivered without drugs after more than 16 hours of labor and is my miracle baby. A child I did not know from one moment to the next I would actually get to hold and love and watch grow.

I will not argue that my three months of unfathomable fear and anguish wondering if this baby would survive was more difficult than trying to conceive unsuccessfully and then adopting. I really try my best to never belittle someones personal experience with never assume.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • hurdon2000 profile image


      8 years ago from Arkansas

      I really enjoyed your hub.And so glad your baby maded it.Thank God I will follow you and keep up on your hubs.

    • kaltopsyd profile image


      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Wow, what an experience... and a story you can tell your son. I'm glad he was okay. You're absolutely right about never assuming.

    • profile image

      Auntie Jill 

      8 years ago

      That was great Barb! We are so blessed by little AJ.

    • vicki goodwin profile image

      Sojourner McConnell 

      8 years ago from Winchester Kentucky

      Your story touched me. What a heart wrenching time that must have been. Yes, you are right, we should never assume that our path has been harder than others.

      I understand what you mean, but you are also correct that we often think we have had it so much worse than others. Thank you for reminding me.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)