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On August 30th, 1997 at 8:20 AM Travis Allen was born still into this world. Just a few days prior, I had been blissfully pregnant with my firstborn. A few weeks before we had found out he was a boy. I was so excited. I could not believe I was going to be a mommy. I had just started wearing maternity clothes and was really starting to show.
On the 28th, I went to work and after work I went over to my mother's to baby-sit my niece Ashley (who at the time was 3) until my mother got home at 10:00 PM. Ashley and I were sitting on her bed watching TV. It was around 9 PM and I started feeling what I thought felt like gas pains. So, I went to the bathroom. Afterwards, I laid down on the bed and rubbed my belly in hopes that I would start feeling better soon. My mother eventually arrived home and I started telling her how I was feeling. We talked a few moments. I decided to try to go to the bathroom again before my trip back to my house. This time I noticed I was spotting. I knew right then something was wrong, but I had no idea how very wrong.

I screamed for my mother and told her I was bleeding. She rushed me to the hospital. At the hospital, I was quickly ushered to the L&D floor. After the initial examination I was told the devastating news that Travis was coming and it was too early and I was too far progressed to try and stop it. The bag was ballooning out of my cervix. After a second cervical check, my water broke while the nurse was examining me. There was no doubting what it was. I screamed and told the nurse "My water broke” and I could tell by the look in her eyes that my precious baby was not going to make it. My Dr. a very sweet and kind general practioner, came in and confirmed this. He wanted to do an ultrasound and told me an uplifting story about a patient that had a slow leak that was able to carry full-term after being put on bed rest. I remember him telling me “Let’s just hope for the best." I wanted to believe him but I knew what I had felt was not a slow leak.

I remember not crying that first night. It seemed so surreal, like I was watching a movie of someone else's life. It did not feel like my baby was slipping away, it must be someone else's. The next day I was wheeled down into the radiology department in a wheelchair. I can still remember the coldness of the table on my back. The male technician was very nice to me and I could see the pity and regret in his face. It seemed like hours passed while he was trying to find Travis. I laid there with tears streaming down my face begging Travis to please be alive. Then I looked up and I could see him on the screen and he was completely still. I asked the tech if he was alive. He told me he could not say. I told him I understood that he could get in trouble for telling me but please just tell me that I would not say anything to my doctor. He told me there was a faint heartbeat but no movement. So, there I was lying on this cold hard table and my son was dying right before my eyes.

I was wheeled back up to L&D and I was informed by my Dr. that I could be induced or I could go home and wait for labor to start naturally again. I chose to be induced. They started the picotin and then they came back in to discuss what "arrangements" I would like to make. I was told Travis was small enough that I could give his body to the hospital or they could have him delivered to a funeral home. At that moment is when my numbness just slipped away. I remember screaming there was no way I could survive a funeral. And no I did not want to see "the baby" when he was born. I will always regret not having a funeral for Travis. I should have been able to put my grief aside to honor him. But, that is all in hindsight and regretablly I was not able to. I remember several counselors coming in to speak with me but I do not remember anything they said or what I might have said to them. As labor progressed, my Dr. told me that he wanted me to be prepared for what would happen. He explained to me that Travis would still be alive when he came out and that as I was delivering him I would feel him moving, but that he would take one breath and then he would pass away. I tried to prepare myself for that reality, but really how does one do that? But, my angel passed away in-utero due to the trauma of labor only a few hours before he was born.

In the last stages of labor I was given a narcotic and drifted in and out between the contractions. I was told that I had an infection (what kind was never explained to me) and I was given antibiotics for that. God was surely watching over me that day because the nurse that was attending me brought Travis to me even though I had said I did not want to see him. If I had not seen him I know that would have haunted me for the rest of my days. The nurse placed him in my arms and at that moment I knew the only reason I had not wanted to see him was because I was scared. He was so perfect. He had absolutely no body hair and his eyes were still fused shut, but he was a perfect little boy. He was wrapped in a blanket and I opened his blanket and he had the tiniest little toes. And for the first time in my life I knew what it meant to love someone more than yourself. I wanted him. I did not want to let him go. I just could not understand why god was doing this to me. Travis seemed so peaceful. like a baby only sleeping. I remember looking up and my mother was watching me and tears were streaming down her face and she walked over to me and hugged me and told me “I am so sorry this happened.” All I could think was “me too mom".


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