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Justin, My Precious Son

by Deborah Dauenheimer
Mom to Ryan and Justin (stillborn)

January 5, 1997

I am so thankful to have found this Internet site and appreciate everyone's stories and poems. It breaks my heart to know that this happens to other's too.

My story starts with my first born son Ryan. He is now eight years old and has been asking for a brother (preferably) or a sister since he could talk. He did not want to always be an " only". At the beginning of 1996 my husband and I decided if we want another child we need to find out why I never got pregnant all these years. I had blood tests that confirmed I had not ovulated for three months while I took a fertility drug. Then, all of a sudden I found out I was pregnant! What a surprise and miracle since I did not "ovulate" according to the lab.

My pregnancy was wonderful, I felt great and had no problems. I was due on November 24, 1996 and that date came and went. I had figured I would be late just like my first son which my labor had to be induced for him. On November 27, 1996 I became concerned when I was not feeling movement from my very active son. After drinking orange juice and eating and monitoring movement and still feeling nothing I called the Doctor's. Additionally, I was very dizzy and had some trouble breathing. When I got to the hospital the nurse had trouble finding the heartbeat, so the high risk pregnancy doctor was called in with an ultrasound. He told me that my baby was not alive and he did not know why. Several hours later just before they were going to start inducing my labor my water broke and there was blood everywhere. At that point they knew that my son died from placenta abruption. All the books say you have pain or blood or something, but I had no symptoms with the exception of no movement from my son after the abruption.

I was in labor all day and night (with Pitocin to progress the labor), and the next morning I was experiencing extreme pain in my abdomen even with an epidural. I kept asking why did I have pain since I was not suppose to have feeling there and no one could answer until the pain had started in my shoulders. All of a sudden doctors were coming in and phone calls being made to specialists and I was told they needed to do an emergency c-section to save my life. I did not understand the urgency of the situation until later. The pain was because my uterus had ruptured across my old c-section incision and down through my cervix, and the blood accumulating in my abdomen and up through my shoulders was causing the pain. My son came out of my uterus and ended up in my abdominal area.

My son was 9 lbs and 6 oz. and looked exactly like his big brother did at birth. My son was so excited about finally having a brother I could not believe he was taken away from him.

We buried our son on December 6, 1996 and I feel like everything has been a blur from the time I found out my son was not alive. This experience has been an ultimate betrayal to me. After wanting another child for so long, then finally being pregnant to have him taken from us right when we should have been holding him for the first time.

The doctor did save my uterus because I had lost my son. They said with a rupture like mine they would normally take the uterus out. I was told I need to wait one year before trying to get pregnant again. Another pregnancy will never cease this pain, I want my son Justin, but I would still like to have another child. I do not know what our future holds, but I know another pregnancy will be a scary experience now that I know this pain. I am aching to have my son in my arms and feel that this is a terrible nightmare that I will wake up from. No one should ever have to experience this type of pain.

With Hugs,


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