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  • Writer's pictureJen Chappell

Share Your Story Tuesday- Hayden Rae Sipe

In the beginning, Cody and I always knew we wanted kids. We want a big family, my husband always says he wants “5 ish kids” whatever that means. So when we got married, we talked about trying right away. Until our OB told us to wait 6 months after getting home from Mexico because of the Zika virus, so we decided to wait. As much as we wanted to get pregnant right away, we didn’t want to risk it (although the risk is small). It was more important to us to have a healthy baby than have a baby immediately. It seemed like the longest 6 months of our lives, but we waited. We decided to just enjoy the first 6 months of our marriage and being newly weds.

So we waited for what felt like forever. And then it finally happened, second month of trying. I was about 5 days away from my period and I just had so much hope. I took a test Saturday morning before work, it looked like it was positive but I didn’t believe it. It was SO faint, so I got ready for work. Freaking out the entire time, I decided to stop at the store and get an early detection test as well as some digital ones. I took one at work and it was almost immediately positive. I WAS FREAKING OUT, I did a happy dance in the bathroom then tried to keep my composure the rest of the day until I was off that afternoon. There was no way I would tell my husband over the phone, it had to be special. I stopped at Ross and got a little box and a cute little onesie, when I got home I could barely hold it in, so I gave it to him immediately. We were so excited, i started reading stuff right away. Nurseries, what’s the best car seat, breastfeeding, delivery, what should I expect at our first appointment, everything. We called my mom and told her, then went to visit my mother in law and told her. It was early but we didn’t care, we loved this little babe tremendously.

The beginning of the pregnancy was rough, I was SO sick the ENTIRE first 16 weeks or so. It started almost immediately, right around 5/6 weeks, and it wasn’t just morning sickness, it was all day, 24/7, non stop. I couldn’t get any relief, no amount of medication, ginger ale or saltines would do the trick. I basically just lived on water, but even that would make me sick. Everyone always told me how that meant a healthy pregnancy and perfect baby, and I believed them. I believed that if I could get through the sickness, everything would be perfect. Although I was sick, I was so happy. I started showing right away, the cutest little round bump, I felt beautiful. I was creating this life that would be a perfect mix of my husband and I. Our 12 week scan and blood work looked perfect, baby was measuring right on track, even though she was stubborn and loved to be curled in a ball and be cozy.

Then at 18 weeks we decided to go to a private company to find out the gender. My mom would be in town for thanksgiving and we thought it would just make it that much more special to tell everyone then, but first we had to trick them and tell them we wouldn’t find out until December during our anatomy ultrasound. So we went to our appointment for the gender and baby would NOT budge, she was curled up in a ball all comfy like. After an hour of jumping jacks, squats, peeing a ton and doing laps around the building, she finally showed us. ITS A GIRL! My husband and I cried, I feel like I knew Hayden was a girl, but Cody was convinced it was a boy. Either way, we were happy. It was amazing to surprise everyone as well.

The rest of the pregnancy was pretty uneventful. She had a strong heartbeat every time, my doctors appointments were good, she was kicking and moving like crazy, even with an anterior placenta. She was perfect at our anatomy scan, I felt great once the sickness went away. I started to get some aches and pains and a little swelling but that was it. Once I hit 28 weeks I was SO excited, this was it. We were so close to meeting her, this was the final countdown to meeting our beautiful daughter in just 12 short weeks. At my 28 week appointment everything seemed okay, I passed my gestational diabetes test. But because of mildly elevated blood pressure and my swelling they had talked to me about preeclampsia, what signs to look for and what to do. But my labs looked great when they called me so they weren’t concerned...

Hitting 30 weeks seemed like such a big deal to me, especially since I had finally found the perfect new home for us and our growing family, the place was beautiful and I was so excited to put together the nursery, it was going by so fast! My 30 week appointment was scheduled for February 13th, I was anxious because I wanted to talk to my doctor about the preeclampsia thing. I did research and was freaking out, I was scared but trying to stay calm because she was still perfect and moving around like crazy. On February 13th around 1am I woke up from a dead sleep in excruciating pain, at first I thought she was just in a bad position. I tried drinking some cold water, laying on my left side and getting her to move, but nothing.....

So I called the doctor on call, they told me is sounded like kidney stones and to drink some water and take some Tylenol. I woke Cody up, I could not get any relief so he went to go get more Tylenol since we were out, we waited about half an hour, maybe an hour but something didn’t feel right. So I called again and they instructed us to go in immediately, all the way there all I could think about was the fact that it was going to be okay because she was far enough along to have a high chance of surviving, she was just going to be tiny but still just as perfect. We got to the hospital and they were expecting us so we went to the labor and delivery unit right away, they went over some questions, took my blood pressure and temperature, then tried finding the heartbeat on the Doppler to monitor Hayden, but the nurse couldn’t find anything. At this point I didn’t think anything of it, my daughter dying wasn’t even a thought in my mind, there was no way. So she went to get the doctor, when the doctor came in with an ultrasound machine I was excited to see Hayden on there. She found Hayden, found her sweet little profile, head down which was good, but then nothing. She didn’t say a word, I didn’t hear or see a heartbeat, holding Cody’s hand all I could muster out was “is she okay?” That’s when she said it, “I’m so sorry, there’s no heartbeat”. I couldn’t believe it, I couldn’t say anything, I couldn’t do anything, all I could hear was Cody crying, the doctor kept looking at the screen. All I wanted to do was scream CHECK AGAIN CHECK AGAIN YOU ARE WRONG. I was in such a state of shock I didn’t even cry right away. They left us there, to have a minute together, so we called Cody’s mom and called my mom. After this, all I remember is my mom asking me if they were really going to make me give birth. I just couldn’t believe it. They called my doctor, and somehow we ended up in a delivery room. So much of this is a blur, none of it felt real. It just couldn’t. All I could think about was them being wrong, and to not just let me sit here with my dead daughter still inside of me. This was NOT real life.

A lot of this is a blur, between the shock of what was going on, the amount of doctors in and out of the room, the pain I was in and the medication I was put on. But once we were in the room I was finally given some pain medication, my doctor was on her way and I believe this was when we got somewhat of an answer as to what happened. We were told at some point during all this that they believed I had a placental abruption from preeclampsia, and when they said that it confirmed my fears I had from my 28 week appointment. I had seen that this happened, but it happened in less than 1% of pregnancies, so I never thought it would actually happen. My doctor finally got there around 11am I believe, she had talked to us about what would happen. I would be given magnesium because of the preeclampsia, I would be induced through my IV as well as get my water broken and a foley balloon put in to soften my cervix and speed up the process. I was told it could take about 24 hours or so. I opted to have an epidural, I just didn’t want to feel anymore pain, no more than I was already feeling mentally and emotionally. Once the epidural was in, my water was broken and the balloon was inserted, by that point I was about 2 centimeters dilated already. So we waited after that, an entire day of waiting, being checked, crying, updating our work, close friends and family. My husband ran home and grabbed a couple of important things while my mother in law and mom stayed at the hospital with me, he grabbed me some stuff and grabbed a couple blankets and baby stuff for Hayden and photos. Around 930pm or so the time came, I felt the pressure and it was Hayden. I was almost ready to push, she was sitting in the birth canal. I was terrified, all I remember is asking the doctor if I got to hold her, and if she would be warm still. So they prepped pretty quick, and had me push. At 9:59pm on February 13th, 2019 Hayden Rae Sipe was born. And holy cow she was absolute perfection, at 3 pounds and 16 inches long, she was beautiful.

So Hayden was here, she was perfect. She had Cody’s feet, and his little ears, my toes and fingers and squished up little nose. She was everything I could’ve dreamed of and more. I could just stare at her all day, kiss her little hands, stare at every single little feature of hers. I just couldn’t believe we made this, she was ours, every little bit of her was us, she grew inside of me, felt our warmth and our love, heard our voices, everything. It was so incredible finally meeting her. Every fear I had before this completely disappeared as soon as she was put on my chest. After I held her for a little bit, and we all got to stare at her, my husband finally got to hold her, and in that moment I saw him become a father. Even though the room was full of such sad emotions, I could see his face light up, he seemed so proud and full of love. I remember him sitting on the little couch with her in his arms, and him telling me this is what he wants, he wants to badly to be a father and bring our babies home. As much as I wanted to hold her, I wanted him to spend time with her, this was the moment he has waited so long for, this was his moment. She looked so tiny swaddled in his arms, so perfect and little, this was the moment I’ve pictured for months. I watched him walk around with her, talk to her, rock her in the rocking chair. Cody was and still is such a proud dad, he’s so proud of Hayden. All of this isn’t exactly what I pictured, but it was more than perfect. My family, right here in this moment, I knew I wouldn’t get this back and soaked it in as much as possible.

So from what I remember, I think we spent most of the night with her. We took turns holding her, talking about how perfect she was, the nurses and doctors came in and met her, it almost seemed like a normal night with a new baby, except she was silent. There were some volunteers at the hospital that came into our room and took most of these photos I’ve posted, as well as did her hand and footprints, hand and foot molds. All of our nurses and doctors were incredible, we were extremely well taken care of, checked in on, and very loved. The nurses were there for us to hold our hands, give us hugs and cry with us when we needed. After they took Hayden, we were in the hospital for another 3 days because I was so sick. I had to be on magnesium for another 24 or 48 hours (can’t remember exactly) and then monitored for a day or two. Saturday evening we were released from the hospital, which was just as hard as I expected. Leaving without our daughter was unexplainably difficult, knowing I wouldn’t get to hold her again, I wouldn’t get to see her sweet face, kiss her tiny little hands, I would never get to hear her cry, see her grow up and light up the room like I imagined she would. I remember crying all the way home, I was holding a box of her stuff and her molds, and it just wasn’t fair. Why do I have a box of the only memories I have of my daughter instead of MY DAUGHTER.


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