An Earthy Mother sharing her experiences in today's world....

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Birth of Zeke Connor Jasper- Born Still. Guest post by Pia Legge

The Birth of Zeke Connor Jasper- Born Still. 
Guest post by Pia Legge

In January of 2009, I had a dream that I would be birthing a babe at home in our bath, that’s where my idea for a homebirth came into my head. I had no idea how close to the mark I really was.

This pregnancy felt different from the beginning. It took us longer to conceive you. At the mind, body and spirit expo, I asked a psychic about you and she said that you were having trouble connecting body and soul and maybe the spirit guides had not talked to you yet. This worried me too. I was also worried about miscarrying from the beginning and thought it was because I knew more about it and how sadly common it was. I was sicker for longer and was bedridden for weeks at a time. I was also finding it hard to get a solid connection with you. That happened at our 12w scan where you were wiggling and waving to us. I now have that DVD to cherish forever. I believed you were a boy in the beginning but kept getting mixed messages about your gender and then felt you were more a girl....well mummy was wrong I am sorry to say.

I struggled with hyperemesis for 12w and was starting to feel great improvements around 16w. I spent from 10w to 13w in bed and only got up if I really needed. This was a huge struggle for us all. I felt quite down and started to wonder if I was happy about having another baby.....this feeling I regret and will continue to for the rest of my life. I could feel movements from around 11w if I was really still in bed. That feeling is truly the most wonderful thing a mother can have. I would lie in bed stroking my belly and talking to you. I will miss that feeling.

We were all ready to go at our 12w scan and I was excited about seeing you. Did you look like your brother, were you as busy as he was, would you behave for the Yes you did behave but you didn’t really have the same activity as your brother but you had a fantastic strong heart rate of 164bpm. I felt really reassured that things would be great. I started planning your home birth with much excitement as I had dreamed about. I would sometimes feel more excited at the prospect of birthing you at home instead of having a baby. I couldn’t get my head around the prospect of having you.....for this I didn’t know why.

I was booked into the BC at Monash in the beginning as I didn’t know if DH would agree to a HB. We talked about it after I had been getting some pains in my groin at 9 + 3w and we were in the hospital overnight in emergency. I decided that a hospital was for sick people and giving birth is not a sickness so I found a wonderful IM and set up a meeting and we connected straight away. I made DH ask her questions and raise the fears he had. After she left, we agreed that it would be for us. I asked questions and read info and watched Youtube homebirths and hoped mine would be as amazing and beautiful as some of those women. There were also some terrible losses but is it wrong to think that it would never happen to me?

I felt everyday was getting better and better. The hyperemesis became ‘morning sickness’. It was easier to tolerate and I was becoming more excited about your presence. I started looking at nappies and baby clothes and even ventured out of the house to the shopping centre at 16w to look for some things for you. We were not finding out whether you were a boy or girl as the surprise after all mummy’s hard would be far more rewarding and your daddy wanted to tell me what had surprised us. I was looking forward to that.

The weeks seemed to be flying by. I loved sharing my progress with my Due In February Group and reading birth stories and couldn’t wait to share mine, if it was half as good as my dream then I was going to love it and you would come into the world with ease and joy. I had it all planned out but as far as planning a birth...well nothing is predictable. My birth plan was written that I was not to be touched and wanted to birth pretty much without any intervention.Our IM was happy to be in another room till I was ready to have her present. We could wait till after the birth if we felt ok. Being my 4th babe, I could see no reason why I would need any help, but again every pregnancy and labour is different.

We were borrowing a pool from a lovely friend and I was so excited and had envisioned my birthing space. I was looking forward to shopping for my candles to burn during labour and have the smell remind me for a long time afterwards. I would be having a blessingway in Dec when I would be meeting a lovely new friend whom I had been chatting to online for over a year. She was over in WA and was coming to my side of town. How wonderful to be sharing this journey with some amazing people. The hype and excitement everyone felt was rubbing off on me. I was getting excited. 

 I went shopping with my MIL on Monday 24th August. I was excited to be getting out and bought DS2 a new car seat so we could put you in his car seat. We had a coffee and a chat about things and I said that I had been getting some cramping type pain so things must be growing in there. I was worried I was not as big as I thought I should be at 16 + 4w. I barely had a pot. I had taken pictures of my growing belly from 7w as I didn’t document with any other pregnancies. I had a Dr’s app on the Wednesday so would ask her then. I was feeling movements so was at ease with the whole thing.

I went to my app and forgot to ask her about the pains I was getting. My BP was good, fundal height measuring normal and we tried to listen for a heartbeat but I knew that it was too early to hear anything. Before 20w is quite hard on a Doppler so wasn’t worried at all. Neither was she. My MS was getting better so we both thought that things were looking up in the second trimester. I said that I was getting movements and was reassured by those. I was sent on my way. I posted a thread on Births and asked whether anyone else had the same AF type feeling.....yes was the consensus. Ok nothing to worry about.
I went to see a girlfriend who was due to have her little one the next day and was hoping to go into labour asap. This was the most I had driven in months and was happy to get home after lunch. I was feeling quite tired. My appetite had picked up too so was thinking I on the home straight with morning sickness.

  • Thursday 27th August 2009, I will never forget.

I was playing with DS2 and needed to go to the toilet. Nothing abnormal there.....typical pg symptom right??? I went and when I wiped there was blood....not bright red but as I had never had spotting before I was a bit worried. I rang my Dr and spoke to the nurse there. She was not worried till I mentioned the cramping. It was suggested that I visit the hospital to get an idea of what was happening via US. I rang my mum to take me and look after DS2 and then DH to see if he could come home from work and off we went. Talking to my mum on the way, we were trying to think of why I would have some bleeding. I think at that point every woman is looking for reasons why she is having problems.
Once at emergency, I was told I would get through a bit faster than others. I sent a txt to a few friends asking them to keep us in their thoughts and send sticky vibes. I was shit scared at this point.
True to their word we were brought into the examination room about half an hour later. The lovely nurse there had a feel of my belly and asked the usual q’s. She then repeated that an US would be the only way to determine the cause of the bleeding. They would try and get us in as soon as they could. As DH and myself were sitting there I could feel the ‘pains’ coming more frequently and then moving around into my back. I know in my heart of hearts that this was the beginning of the end. I was in denial. This wasn’t happening. I had just exerted myself the day before and pulled something away to cause the bleeding...I was not losing my much loved and now anticipated babe...surely not. As I was lying there waiting for the US, I was sure the babe was moving around. I even kidded myself that there was kicks and bumps.

We were taken into the US room and I couldn’t see the screen. DH was sitting across the room and had full view. The sonographer asked how far along I thought I was and I replied 17w today. I was hoping to get a glimpse of our babe wiggling around in there. She seemed quite agitated when moving the scanner around. I thought maybe she is grumpy as she had to fit us in on a busy day. I wish that was the reason. She said that she would have to take some pics then she would tell us what she found. Sounds reasonable to me. She typed things in, moved the scanner, and pressed hard on my belly. I was starting to feel nervous and uncomfortable. She was taking too long. She checked my kidneys. I just wanted to see my babe. I couldn’t see DH’s face at all throughout this and had no idea what he could see.

Finally she turned to me and as she did I already knew. I didn’t want to hear her words. I wanted to get up and leave and not hear what I have read so many times and cried before. “I am so sorry, but there is no heartbeat” Your babe is smaller than your dates. Approx 14ish w. How could this happen.....No this was not happening. She had made a mistake. I have felt movements....WTF. She asked whether I wanted to see pics....Of course I did but had no idea what I was looking at. There just seemed to be a blob on the screen. There was no flickering of a heart beat. The screen was silent. Not the babe we saw moving at our 12w scan. NO NO NO. I am numb. She went to get someone to confirm what she said. He came in and asked the same crap and said I am sorry it doesn’t look good. OMG no way....this is not happening. I read about this but no this is not happening to us. How can I cry for women who have been told the same thing but when I am told the same, I feel numb? I start crying then, sobbing really and keep asking the same thing.....why, why, why. Did I do something wrong? This is not right, this is not how it’s meant to be. DH is hugging me and telling me it’s ok. We will be ok. How can we be ok...our baby is gone. I am really struggling for words and can’t get my breath. I am numb.....I can’t comprehend what I am to feel. 

  • The realisation.

How can my body be so cruel? I am still vomiting in the morning and feel nausea on and off. Why am I still ‘feeling movements’? I am sobbing in the emergency section and don’t care who hears. I have lost something that I can never get back. My body has failed me. There are no signs apart from the cramps that something is wrong. There is no more blood. People come and go. Nurses come and talk to us. I don’t understand what this means. What happens next? Tissues are everywhere on the bed and my nose is raw and my eyes are burning. This is not right. DH is trying to be strong for me. I feel for him. He has lost his baby too today. I tell him I am so sorry, and he tells me there is no need, I am not to blame. More nurses come in and check obs. I am numb. Autopilot kicks in. I am so tired. I want this to be a dream. I tell DH to wake me when it’s all over. To tell me it’s not happening and I am dreaming. I am lying there rubbing my belly and it feels hard. The pains are coming more frequently. I am offered pain relief which I refuse. I have not taken anything before and won’t start now. The pain makes it easier to ‘cope’ with. I am told that if I want something then just ask. They can ease my pain.....not even close I think. The pain hasn’t even started. I have no idea what is to come.

The head GynOb comes down from the ward. She is lovely and by this stage I ‘pretend’ its not happening to me. I ask questions, she answers, DH asks questions, she replies. It is suggested that tomorrow I go to another hospital for a D&C. Something happens within me. I agree, ask more questions. I ask how it’s performed and what the process is. She explains it as delicately as she can. I know what’s involved and can’t imagine my babe fitting through a tube no bigger than a pen tube. I know my babe won’t be born this way. I won’t allow it. I take the envelope with the tablets I am to insert at 10am to soften my cervix. I know I won’t be using them. How I know this, I have no idea.

We leave and make our way to my parents place. We still have to tell my 2 older children who are aged 15 and 13. They know I had to go to hospital but have no idea why. DH picks them up and brings them over. We sit and tell them that there will be no baby. Something has happened that we have no control over and our babe is no longer with us. I am to have ‘surgery’ tomorrow to remove ‘it’. The responses are as I expect shock then tears. Is it something we have done or said? No of course not....this is not anyone’s fault. It just is. We will light a candle for our special babe and remember ‘her’. We called ‘her’ Grace just so we have a name and not just ‘it’. Dinner is served but I am not hungry. I eat because I have to and try to ignore the pains coming every 20mins. Denial again. I tell DH we need to go home.

At home I ask for my wheat bag for my back. The pain is getting intense and I pretend it’s not happening and search the internet to take my mind off things. I then decide to have a shower and rub my belly and tell my babe that it’s ok to go now. We know that the time has come and understand. I am sobbing in the shower. I give DS2 booby and he is asleep in no time. This encourages more pains. Everyone goes to bed around 11.00pm. I know I should be sleeping but the pains are now 11 mins apart.
  •  The Birth

I go to bed around midnight and know our babe will be here by morning and I am still timing the contractions. They are still 11 mins apart but are getting more intense. I can’t sleep but don’t want to walk. I am holding on as long as possible. I am scared. Do I want to have my babe at home? Should we head to the hospital? There is no more blood so there is no need to panic. I was told to head back in if there is heavy bleeding. I put a towel down on the bed. I try and snooze but at 3am DS2 wakes. This is not what he normally does. The chemistry has changed in our house. I can feel it. My uterus is hard as a rock and is the size of an orange sitting in the pit of my stomach. I touch it and marvel at how the body works. This is really happening now. There is no backing out. Instinct kicks in. I trust my body. This is what we are made to do. I breathe through the contractions that are coming on top of one another. This is really labour, but how can this be? The pain is intense and I can feel myself heading towards transition. It’s been less than an hour since the contractions ramped up a level. DH holds my hand, kisses me and tells me he loves me. He is here with me. I apologise after each contraction and again he tells me there is no need. Our babe is ready to leave us.

I feel a pop and know I have to get up. I grab the towel and rush to the bath. I place the towel on the bottom of the bath and DH helps me take my undies off. There is blood and I have left some on the tiles. I say I hope there is none in the bed or on the carpet. He tells me he doesn’t care. I am crying, breathing, panting, and shaking. I can’t help myself. I know the end is near. We will be meeting our angel before too long. I instinctively get on all fours and DH gets me a warm washer and places it on my back. DS2 is calling out and crying. DH is torn between us. He asks whether I want him to call for an ambulance. I don’t. I tell him to go to DS. He trusts me and my body and shuts the door and I know that I am ready. I am at peace with this and the first push a clot come away. It’s not big. I wait a minute. There is barely the urge to push but away comes our Zeke Connor Jasper L.egge. He is lying on his side. I have no idea what to do. I am still on all 4’s but need to sit. I am shaking from shock. I want to sit and hold him but don’t want to squash him. We are still attached and I see the cord. I know he is lifeless but still hope even though I know there is none. I sob, our baby, our baby. I am so sorry this has happened.

I call for DH to come and get me a cloth to put him in so he doesn’t get cold. His body is perfect. 10 fingers, 10 toes, and everything as it should be. His eyes are open and so is his mouth. His eyes are dark like his dad’s and brothers. He looks similar to his brother. His fingernails are perfect. He is tiny and perfect. Between 3-4 inches long and he fitted perfectly in the palm of my hand. We are crying, DH has called the ambo’s and my mum. DH is telling I am amazing to have done this and holds his tiny baby and together we check what the gender is because I am moving the legs. We see that it is indeed a boy and I kick myself that I didn’t trust my intuition. We sob and cry together and hold our son. We both lost him. He was born at 3.58am 28th August 2009.

The ambos get there just after my mum. Mum comes in to the bathroom to see me and can’t believe what she is seeing. It was quite confronting. I was contracting still but the pain was not as bad as before. I think the pain is numbed by shock. When the ambos arrive, they come in to see me holding Zeke and sobbing. I thank them for coming.

Out come the scissors and I ask whether dad can cut the cord. He does and I feel so glad that we are making this as ‘normal’ as possible. DH takes Zeke and places him in a container as we will have to take him to the hospital with us. I am helped out of the bath. I don’t have much blood loss as yet. For this I am thankful. Mum gets me out of the bath and we get me dressed. I am shaking so hard that my teeth are rattling. I can’t stop. This is shock. I am feeling so proud that my son was born and not removed from my body by strangers. We saw him, held him and touched him. I have faith in my body to birth but feel such loss that I didn’t carry him to term.

We arrive at the hospital and we are given a private room. I am sobbing and touching Zeke. He is so perfect. I spread his fingers and hand across my thumb nail and they still don’t fit across. They are so small. There is a blur of dr’s, nurses, more nurses, gyno’s and a social worker. DH keeps looking at me with tears in my eyes and saying I am amazing and he loves me so much. We talk about what happens next regarding Zeke. He can come home with us and we can organise our own funeral or they can organise part of it and we can do the rest from home. He is less than 20w so it’s still classified as a miscarriage. We know he is so much more than that. We decided to cremate so we can scatter his ashes as a family. The kids didn’t wake through the night so have no idea what has happened. I did warn them that if something does happen through the night we will be leaving for the hospital. We ask them to think of a name each so we can all take part in naming him.

We will bring him home at the end of next week. We will have a small service with family and friends and say our goodbyes then.

Well if you made it this far you’re doing well. Thanks for sharing this journey with me. I am sorry it was not longer but I got my homebirth, even if it was just too early.

Zeke, you will never hold your mummy’s or daddy’s hands but we held you in ours. We love and miss you and will meet you again some day. Thanks for being a part of our lives even if it was for such a short time.

Love always Mumma, Daddy, J, B, J.


  1. :'-)

    Thankyou for sharing this with us.

  2. wow, thank you for sharing. you are a brave woman and amazing earth goddess. your beautiful son will never be forgotten, I will always remember your story. much love and healing-

  3. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story. You are an amazing woman.


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  5. Wow. I read this whole post with tears streaming down my face. Momma - you are an incredible, amazing woman and a true birth goddess. I have the utmost respect for the kind, gentle, loving and peaceful way that you brought your sweet baby into this world. What you went through for him is no small task. I believe with all my heart that they way we bring our babies into this world really and truly does matter. I am in awe, really. Much love to you and your family. <3

  6. Thank you for having the courage to share.
    I lost twins in 2006 and it is still so very raw to me, reading your story and the similarity to mine, it's an awful thing for me to be saying but it comforted me to know I'm not alone in experiencing that. My babies, Chip and Pip, were our first. We have been blessed with our beautiful son Jack in 2008 and have been trying for another.
    Nothing a person says can heal the hurt, but know you're not alone xxx

  7. Thank you for sharing. Your story is similar to my own, with our third child. I was further (21w 4d), and we found out at the routine sono to check size that the baby had passed and was measuring smaller. We had heard fetal tones at 20 week appointment, thought all was fine. I birthed her in the hospital, though. She had apparently stopped growing around 14 weeks, but continued to develop, so was perfectly formed, just in miniature. She fit into my hand, so tiny and perfect. They said it was a fluke and she had likely passed the day before the sono appointment. I am so sorry for your loss. Blessings.

  8. painfully beautiful. Tears and prayers for your family as you hold Zeke in your hearts.

  9. Thank you for sharing your story. My daughter was stillborn too. She died during labor at 37wks.