We miss you, Trevor
by Kathy Oster
My husband and I have been trying to have a child for about a year with the help of fertility pills. Well, on December 28, 1995, I decided to take a pregnancy test because I was late. Low and behold, it came out positive. I was so excited. I was at work at the time, and needless to say, I didn't get very much done the rest of the day. I had always envision telling my husband that Lucy did to Dezi on I Love Lucy, but I was in such disbelief that we were actually going to bring a child into this work. This was just what I needed because 2 months prior I had lost my mother who I was very close too. One of my co-workers bought me a pair of green booties as a present that day so I took them home and held them up when my husband came into the door from work. He was so excited that he was finally going to have a child to play with, show his comic book collection to, and have all the normal father and child activities with.
Things were going "normal" along the way. Every month I would go in, listen to the heartbeat, he'd ask me if I had any questions, and then I was off again for another month. I did not have morning sickness, no cravings, nothing. It really didn't feel like I was pregnant. My stomach was a little hard but that was about all. I couldn't wait until I got bigger so I could wear maternity clothes.
Once again, I had my monthly visit on 5/8/96 so I wore one of my new maternity outfits because I was finally starting to show enough to make my regular clothes not fit too well. He tried to listen to the baby's heart, but he couldn't hear anything. The concern on his face started to make me nervous. He consoled me saying "well, don't worry, it could be a day where we can't hear the heart beat". But just to be sure, he sent me next door to the hospital where I could have a quick ultrasound to make sure things were okay. I was very calm still and just a little concerned myself until he asked me where my husband was and how quickly he could meet me at the hospital. So I checked in over to the hospital, called work to tell them I've been held up with the doctor awhile, and I called my husband. It was about lunch time so he took a half day off work and drove over to the hospital.
I guess I was naive because there was someone waiting for me in the lobby of the hospital to escort me to the 3rd floor maternity section of the hospital for the ultrasound. I really started to worry when I walked down the 3rd floor hall and saw 3 nurses staring at me walking down the hall like death was approaching. They quickly put me in a room, told me to get undressed and they did the ultrasound. Just when the nurses were finished setting up the equipment, in comes my doctor. They took quite a while looking at the ultrasound. One of the nurses came around the bed and held my hand. Once again, the doctor asked where my husband was. I assured him that he would be coming. The doctor came next to me and said, "I am sorry, but your baby has passed away." Now this thought, until now, had never crossed my mind. We were planning for college, had bought a 4 bedroom house, baby's room was well on its way and I had never thought of taking it one day at a time and getting through the whole pregnancy. Anyway, I told the doctor, very calmly, which was scaring the nurses, "Okay, now what happens." He explained the procedure of using the medication to thin out my cervix in order to deliver him. About that time, my husband showed up. THEN the flood gates opened. I kept saying I was sorry this happened. I couldn't look him in the eye. I felt so guilty that I had done something wrong. Since every appointment was going so "normal", I went through a bunch of "what if". He was of course, very supportive, told me everything was fine, and I did nothing wrong, it was something that just happened. We had time to ourselves to think before the doctor came back in. He started the medication at about 1:00 and by 1:30 I was having all the side effects of the medication. Diarrhea, vomiting, headaches, cramping, etc. I was also FREEZING. I was shaking and so cold. They brought me 2 warm blankets, turned the heat on, had me covered up almost over my head, and I couldn't get warm. Not until after this ordeal happened, did I realize I was in shock. Well, I kept having this cramping every few minutes that was consistent and painful. It would come and go. Well, I had to go to the bathroom, so my faithful husband helped me into the bathroom with the IV pole behind me. The pains were not lightening up. All of a sudden I felt the baby coming out of me, I looked down, while sitting on the toilet, and saw my baby's legs dangling. I calmly told my husband to get someone quick. I was delivering in the bathroom. Several feelings ran through my head at the time, most embarrassment. How was I going to do this? Well the nurses flew in and I tried to finish my delivery right there. They couldn't do it and told me I would have to return to the bed. I thought, oh god, how do I do this? My husband had the IV pole, I was holding my gown and nurse was holding the baby between my legs. One the other doctors at the hospital came in to finish the delivery. My husband just held my hand and told me to keep breathing. We hadn't had a chance to get to Lamaze classes yet. I was 23 weeks along and was signed up ready to go though. One last push and I it was over. My regular doctor then came in the door and pushed on my stomach hard to get the placenta out and make sure I wasn't bleeding too badly. During my pregnancy, my doctor would not tell me what the sex of my baby was. He said I would have to wait until delivery. We were hoping for a boy. The names were picked out. Sure enough, my husband turned to me, and said "It's a boy". I couldn't look at him, I was crying by now pretty good and I thought it would just make me worse if I saw him. I have gone through enough open casket funerals with close relatives, one being my mother 6 months prior, and I know what I remember for years and years. The last vision of me seeing them. So I decided that I didn't not want to hold or see my baby. They took him away but told me if I change my mind, they would bring him back. Now it was time for the decisions. Do we give him the name we had picked out or another name and save the real name we wanted for another son? That decision was quick. We'd give him the name we had picked out. Trevor Alexander Oster. Since he was over 20 weeks, most of you know that the parents are responsible for the remains. We were put in touch with a mortuary in town who did the cremation for free. We had a social worker from the hospital come in shortly after that to talk to us and offer his services if we ever needed him. Now I have NEVER seen my husband cry before, but that day, I did. Seeing him cry made this bad dream a reality. From just getting use to the idea of being pregnant, starting to feel him move inside me once and awhile, the pregnancy clothes and other things, to not having a baby anymore was a lot to consume in a short time. I came home from the hospital 12 hours after I had checked in. The hospital gave me momentos like booties, a hat, a blanket, his birth and death certificate, a little necklace and a shell which had a his foot print on the back and an ink stamp of both of his feet on a piece of paper with his name nicely printed on top. At the time, I thought, why are they going through all this trouble, I don't have a baby now. I realize now 3 months later, why they did this. My husband is very good with grieving, he doesn't cry at anyones funeral. Because he has the memories of good times to help him through and he doesn't feel sad. With Trevor, he has no memories and only things he could have done with him going through his mind. When we came home from the hospital, I couldn't look at the things the hospital had given us in his little box. I didn't have the nerve to go near it. My husband had asked me if I wanted him to change the baby's room back to normal until I was pregnant again. I told him no, this is his room where we will put his things the hospital gave us, and the gifts people gave us until he has a brother or sister. We did what we had to do at the mortuary, picked out something for his ashes to go in, and planted a tree in our back yard in memory of him. Both of us went back to work 3 days later. I needed to go back to work. Well about this time my breasts were very sore and I was leaking. I had to go buy some nursing pads to help me through this depressing period along with the 2 weeks of post delivery bleeding. I am surprising quite a few people with how well I am handling this. I can hold baby's watch baby movies, etc. and have no problem. I think of Trevor every day, and can't believe I am a mother but do not have a baby to hold on too. He was born just before mothers day. We kind of just let that holiday go buy without comment. It was bad enough not having my mother anymore, but being a mother without a son was too much if I had to celebrate it.
I think we are doing alright now. A day doesn't go by when I think "should I have held him and looked at him? At the moment it seemed like the right thing to do, but now, I'm not so sure. I other people's stories and they say that they held them, took pictures, etc. My nurse kept telling me that it wasn't a monster every time I told her I didn't want to see him. The hospital was very good to me. They took pictures of him, but unfortunately, they lost the film so we do not have any real pictures of our son. The hospital has never had this happen in the 7 years they have been offering the service to parents who lose their child. But I have the few momentos they gave us when I was there to remind me of him.
Well, it's been 3 months and I'm back on the fertility pills waiting for another chance. We have his foot print picture in a frame in the living room, and his remains in a nice cherry wood box with his name and birthdate on top so I would have something to look at and hold once and awhile.
Thank you for having a place to go so I can know that I was not alone. To this day, they still do not know what happened to Trevor. I wish I knew what it was so I could make sure it doesn't happen again. We miss him very much.
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