October 21, 2020 | My story, Kristi Love | Justice Love Omar
October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month #NeverBeStill
“If you were 23 weeks we could do this. If you were 23 weeks we would do this.”
She said that too many times in her lazy attempt to comfort me after arriving at the emergency (labor and delivery) room. She confirmed that my water broke and the more I think about it, we just sat there for such a long time. All they said was that my baby no longer had a heart beat, but nobody checked her heartbeat until my sister showed up about 2 hours later.
This is my story of experiencing pregnancy loss at 20 weeks (5 months).
On July 10th 2019, I found out I was pregnant. It crossed my mind that I may have been, however, I didn’t think much of it. Well, I left a 3 hour training, sat in my car and felt like I was about to faint. I was getting dizzy, scared, and not understanding why. I did not think I was hungry because I just demolished the snacks I had during the training.
I called my significant other and told him I didn’t feel well and almost not sure if I could make it home. Thankfully, I didn’t live far from home. Got home, made a sandwich and started making phone calls.
Y’all, at that moment, I did not want to spend money on a pregnancy test and because I live in DC, I just knew there was a free service around. So, I found that service and it was confirmed I was pregnant.
“Oh lord, really?” I just wasn’t sure how to feel about this. No plans for having a child. It wasn’t something we really talked about. Honestly, we didn’t think it could happen, yet still saying, “If it happens, it happens”.
Ok, so we’re pregnant, great. Let’s take the necessary steps to have a healthy pregnancy, baby, and delivery. We decided on George Washington University, just because it seemed like the best place to go. I also asked friends and GW was the common theme.
Fast forward. I was 38 at the time. I’m a Black woman who is overweight with a high BMI. I also had a missed abortion the year before. Therefore, alll of those factors gave me the label of “High risk”. Ok, cool, carry on. I was told that I should only gain about 11-15lbs. Sure, we will see.
Now, all summer leading to October, I was all over the place. I was out in about in these streets. Summer 2019 had a lot going on and I was at the free events, the entertainment events. I was volunteering, eating, walking and exercising. Sure I gained my 15lbs real quick, lol, but I was chilling.
I had my pregnancy symptoms, but overall y’all, I was good. There were NO problems. No pains, no bleeding (spotting), Baby Omar was good. We called her Baby Omar because we didn’t want to know the gender just yet. We were joining the club of Gender Reveal and were planning a gender reveal baby shower for December in TN.
Fast forward again, now to October. I was just about to start showing. Otherwise I was just Kristi gaining weight, lol. If you knew I was pregnant and really paying attention, maybe. Otherwise, I was just getting round.
Our last appointment for Baby Omar (Justice) was Oct 7th. She did not like the ultrasound (sonogram). She had the Wakanda Forever up, she had a leg up and her at times one harm. She was blocking it saying, “Stop it”. Her Father has never liked them and was against them all together, but he was there saying, “No more of these”.
So, cool. Justice is fine. Now, let’s talk about October 19th.
I flew to Chicaogo for a Black Girl Ventures Event on October 18th. The day went well, the pitch competition went well. I wore tennis shoes and I was moving around, fine. Again, no problems. That night the group was hungry and we looked for places to eat and settled on a seafood place. No biggie, but I knew I wasn’t going to eat too much seafood because that Mondy we had crab legs and shrimp from the Wharf (for his Birthday).
That night, I had a salad, fries, and some calamari. Cool. No biggie. Now, here is what I remember moving forward.
Saturday morning, my stomach was hurting. It felt like constipation. It felt like I had to use the bathroom, but nothing was coming out. It was sort of sharp pain, but I ignored it (that morning) as just constipation. And the person I shared the room with said her food didn’t sit well with her and she had an upset stomach. Still, chopped it up as constipation.
On the plane, I was so uncomfortable. Y’all, I usually avoid the bathrooms on the plane. I went twice and nothing happened but I peed a little bit. I was hurting at this point. Once we landed and I was in the car, I don’t remember if I told my SO about my pain. One reason is because I already committed to going to two places that day and I knew he would say, “No you need to rest”.
The two things I wanted to attend included; my colleagues’ house for a late lunch and an engagement party later that evening. After arriving homeI was in bed. I then talk about the pain and I’m also tired. However, stubborn Kristi. I’m like, no I don’t want to disappoint my colleague. I’m going to her house.
I got there and I told her I was pregnant before the other folks came. Y’all, I was in pain and again I thought it was normal pain feeling like constipation. I ate when I wasn’t really hungry, but the food was good and I hadn’t had much to eat that day.
Once I left her house, my plan was to go to Target to get a weeking gift. Naw, my body and mind said, “Go home”. I called my sister and she said it was ligament pain. But then said, it shouldn’t last that long. By now, it’s around 6:30pm. I’m crying, it hurts to sit, and it hurts to walk. It only feels good to lay in the bed. FInally after going to the bathroom and nothing happening, I called the Midwives of GW. The one I spoke to was so kind and also said ligament pain. However, she recommended that I drink lots of water and if after two hours goes by and still in pain, call again.
Well, at 11:00pm (yes stubborn and ignoring my pain), I’m finally like, “Let’s go to the ER”. We go and my pain has decreased. My significant other and I are cool, laid back, sort of laughing but still wondering what’s happening.
To keep it moving I will say this. The doctor and the midwife at that time (not the one I talked to earlier) totally dismissed my pain. They checked the heartbeat and I (for the life of me) don’t rember hearing a good heartbeat. They put the device on me that checks for contractions for only 30 minutes, high about my navel. The last thing I remember is the Doctor leaning into my room, half way behind the curtain saying, “Everything is fine. Go home and take some pain medication.”
He and I said, nope we won’t be doing that. Looking back, we didn’t ask enough questions. If you know me, I asked lots of questions. This time, I was just a patient going along with what they were saying. The pain was ALL DAY long and I was told to go home and take meds.
Go home, still in pain but not as bad. On to Sunday, October 20th.
The day was cool. I’m having pain but not like Saturday. My SO goes to an appointment, comes home, and we watch some football. I’m doing work on the computer and I fall asleep. I wake up and have to use the bathroom.
I sit on the toilet. I’m laid back on the toliet, chiling, legs wide open and feeling constipated. Then…my water breaks. I yell his name and say, “It happened”. He jumps out of bed and now I’m scared. I call my sister then the midwife.
He kept asking, “Now, you sure you didn’t pee on myself”. Sir, I was sitting on the toilet and a quick gush hit the floor. I have never missed the toilet, sitting on the toilet and it hit the floor.
Now, I’m leaking and giving him this look, “This isn’t good”. We probably didn’t leave the house till 20-30 min late. Too long. Anyway, we get there. My pants are wet and it feels like I have on a diaper.
The same doctor from Saturday night is still the doctor on duty. She does this quick check to see if my water broker. Yes, it did. She tells me there is nothing they can do at 20 weeks. Goes on to say, “If you were 23 weeks….” After the 3rd time, I said, “I am NOT 23 weeks, I am 20 weeks. Talk to me about that’
I was angry now. No other checks were done. They just concluded that the baby’s heart stopped beating and there was nothing they could do. “This happens all the time and we don’t know why”.
I was given these three choices
- Have a DNC- have an abortion where they suck her body out. There are some dangers there
- Delivery my still born daughter. Go into labour via induced labor
- “Stay pregnant” with the danger of infection from allowing a deceased fetus to stay in my womb.
I went with option 2 because this was my reasoning that I said out loud. “I will go into labor because I may never get to experience this again.”
Once my sister came, we listened for a heartbeat, even though we knew we wouldn’t hear Justice’s heartbeat. Then finally at about 2am (after asking for hours) I see the sonogram of her still body. I just needed to see it.
Monday October 21st around 7:30, the induction begins. After several hours, the pain starts really kicking in. I could not take the pain around 12:30pm or so. I was trying to avoid an epidural, but listen. The pain. I don’t like pain and it was coming quick.
After the epidural, I’m laying flat on my back. I feel something (Justice) and I say, ‘I feel something”. The doctor comes in, sits on the bed at the bottom and at 1:16pm, Justice Love Omar gently sides out onto the hands of the doctor.
I didn’t want to see her until they cleaned her up. I knew going into labor my baby was with the Lord. I knew she was lifeless. I knew she was still. Yet I wanted to hold her.
I held her….many many times from Monday afternoon to Tuesday afternoon. Such a pretty girl looking like her fahrer, lol. His lips and nose. She was long. She is my daughter and I miss her. I was mad, angry, sad, scared, and still blessed.
The nurse that cared for me on Oct 21st was so awesome that I did not think about how I was treated Saturday night and Sunday evening.
The only conclusion (if you can say that) is that the membranes of my placenta ruptured and caused Justice’s support to dissolve and my water broke. She was no longer safe.
My story. I am 1 and 4 women who had a still born. I delivered my baby girl. Her time in my womb was great. She was good and healthy. She is my angel daughter. She is forever in my heart. I talk to her often. I thank God for our time together.
She is Justice. Love. Omar.
Statistics 1 and 160 pregnancies’ will end in stillborn
1 and 4 women will lose a baby during pregnancy, delivery, or infancy
Today, 70 babies will be born still today
Opinion-End Implicit Bias in Maternal Health. Black women should not experience pregnancy and infant loss at higher rates. Our health matters. We matter. Black women experience real pain.