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George's Story
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George Edward Jenkins II

Read more about what happened and things since the birth, chronological order...read about the funeral near the end.



Birth Story:

My edd was 9/17/01 and we were planning a homebirth after having 2 vaginal hospital deliveries.

The last 4 weeks of the pg I had had some trouble with my blood pressure and protein spilling. But everything had been going very well. My bp was doing wonderful with medicine and the last protein count I had dropped quite a bit which was wonderful, every NST and U/S we had (weekly) showed baby doing great, good fluid levels, etc.

I'd been having some prelabor type stuff for awhile. On Wednesday I was 2 cm. Thursday evening came, the contractions were a bit stronger - the midwife and apprentice came about 11pm - I was 4 cm & baby had good heart tones. After my water broke we checked for heart tones again and they were dramatically lower, with no improvement we went to the hospital. We called 911 on the way, told them to call the hospital (small town) and have a doctor and anesthiosologist waiting for us. No one even met us at the ER entrance, and no dr was there. My dh and I tried to convince the nurses that it was much more of an emergency than they were treating it, but of course they tried to do their usual paperwork/admitting stuff. The baby still had a decent but fluctuating heart rate when we arrived, but quickly plummeted just as the doctor entered the room - probably about 1/2 hour after we arrived. At that point he called for an emergency csection, it still feels like it took a terribly long time to get downstairs to the operating room. Everything seemed to go quickly after that, I was put under general anesthesia. It hurts terribly to listen to my husband talk about what happened in between the time he was born and I woke up. A lot because it is just simply tragic and a lot because I wasn't there to help him with it either. The pediatrician came and told him the baby died, had probably been dead for about 10 minutes or so. No one has said for certain what it was that caused his death, I don't think anyone can or ever will. We are blaming ourselves for a million different reasons, the hospital for being so slow and unprepared for us when we arrived and various other what ifs and should haves. The pain is absolutely horrible, we are going through a million different emotions. The csection itself is quite painful and the medicine doesn't seem to help much.

We are going to bury him tomorrow, Sept. 4th. We are having a short viewing and a graveside service. I am dreading it, I can't wait to go so I can hold my baby again but knowing I have to put him back into the casket is unbearable.

He was so perfect and it is so unfair. He was born at 37.5 weeks, August 31st at 12:32 am approximately one hour after my water had broken. He was 8 lbs 9.4 oz and 19.5" long. He had lots of black hair like his daddy. All of our children have had completely different hair color at birth. I'm so sad I never got to know him and he never even cried. Everything has happened so fast and sometimes I still don't believe it, maybe because it is easier that way. We changed his name also, he was going to be named Otto to go along with our Olivia and Owen, but I thought it best to name him after his daddy - George Edward II. Update July 2002 near the bottom, pathology report and a guess at what happened.

After the birth:

We will be visiting my regular doctor on Friday the 14th. My incision and abdomen is still quite sore and I am running out of pain medicine. We picked out the baby's grave monument today, that was hard. It will be nice to get it in place. I was glad I could be there to help George do that since I wasn't able to help pick out the burial plot. We never imagined we would be doing these things, after all it is our kids who should be doing this for us.

The funeral/visitation was Tues., Sept. 4th. I was so anxious to get there, it would be the first and last time I got to hold my baby since Friday, the day he was born. We got there early, he was laying in the casket, so beautiful, in the sweetest little outfit his daddy had picked out by hisself several days before with a matching blanket, I told George to make sure he bought something comfortable for him. It felt sooo good to hold him again, but it was only for two short hours, not nearly enough to last me the rest of my life. We had a family member bring over our other children before the visitation started, Olivia held her brother...it was so sweet, she was so proud. She has so many questions and they are so hard to answer, for many we do not know ourselves. She asks us now for a baby we can keep, we hope in the future we will (but this time she says she wants a girl baby!). Owen is young enough, 17 months, to not know what has been going on. It was nice to see him a bit jealous when he saw me holding his brother, he hadn't wanted much of anything to do with me since I had been in the hospital, fear I suppose, but he hopped right up on my lap. The hardest part was when my time was over, George had to take him from me and put him in the casket - that was one of my most terrible moments. I felt if I could just hold him forever everything would be ok, it was just like having a sleeping baby and so fulfilling to hold him. When I got myself together I placed a little blue hat on him I had brought from home, wrapped him tightly in his blanket and gave him a kiss goodbye. The director tucked his casket blanket around him and closed the lid. George carried his son in casket to the hearse, and from the hearse to the burial spot after we arrived. George's grandfather led the funeral service, we had him keep it very short. Anything too long would have been too hard to sit through. Everyone was dismissed and we stayed to see the baby laid into the ground. There was a shovel close by, George saw it, took off his jacket and proceeded to close George II's grave. One of the last things he could do for his son. It was very meaningful for both of us. We bought 5 plots, so there is space for both of us to be buried next to our child when our time comes. It's hard to believe it has just been over a week now, at times it all just seems like a terrible dream and still hard to believe something like this has happened to us. Our children keep us occupied and smiling.
 
July 2002: I haven't updated for awhile, even though I probably should have since we've had a lawyer look into our case and have gotten back all of our medical records. A few other details: from the time I arrived at the hospital until the time he was born was 52 minutes. Almost one hour for an emergency csection, granted it is a smaller hospital but still too long, which goes to say they are not well equipped for any birth emergency. Most doctor notes cite hemmorhage (sp?) as reason for csection/fetal distress, I did have some bleeding but not any worse than I remember with second son not to mention the manipulation to my cervix while checking for prolapse cord, etc. Anyway, the pathology report came back clear. No sign of placental abruption or any other clinically significant problems that would have lead to his death. Dh and I suspect it was some type of hidden cord compression that ultimately caused his death, although we will never know for sure. But seems to be the best guess and most likely since it happened after my water was broken and heart tones two minutes before were good. The lawyer would not pursue our case unfortunately for several reasons, the first one being we would not let them subponea the records from our direct entry midwife and she would have ended up with massive legal trouble in return. Concluding from their letter to us in general it seems I am too much of a liability, wanting a homebirth, making my own medical decisions, etc. and my medical records wouldn't be helpful in proving ther case. I could go on and on, the lies and half truths in medical charts are unreal and disappointing.