In honor of my son Tyler.

April Tilley

A Childless Mother

On June 18 of this year, (1995) I delivered my first born, Tyler Wayne. He was stillborn. June 18 (Father's Day) was his due date.

I had had a perfect pregnancy--no morning sickness, Tyler (although we didn't know he was a boy until I delivered) had always had a strong heartbeat and was perfect in every way.

The day before I was due, June 17, I was out shopping with a friend. I made the comment that I hadn't felt the baby move much. We didn't think that much about it because I had just had a doctor's appointment and everything was fine. Also, they said later in the pregnancy the baby would have less room to move. By later that afternoon, though, it started to worry me. I called the doctor and he told me to lie down on my left side and concentrate on feeling the baby move. He said if I didn't feel anything to come to the hospital. I laid there for 45 minutes. Nothing. I paged my husband and told him to come and take me to the hospital, that I thought something was wrong. He came home, but he wasn't upset. He thought that I was going into labor, and that I was just panicking.

While he was admitting me, they took me into a room and checked the heartbeat. As soon as the nurse couldn't find it, I knew something was wrong. They had never had a problem before. Johnny (my husband) came into the room all happy. He thought he was getting ready to have a baby. I didn't have the heart to tell him. Another nurse came in to check and she couldn't find the heartbeat either. This time I started crying. Johnny knew something was not right. They paged the doctor and he came and did an ultrasound. He told us there was no heartbeat. I felt as if I had been punched.

They put me in a birthing room and hooked me up to petocin. They also gave me morphin to help me sleep. All night I had dreams that someone had taken my baby and I was chasing them. They put a cot in my room for Johnny to sleep on. The next day I started having major contractions and they gave me an epidural. The actual birth process was not bad to me.

At 8:02 PM, Sunday, June 18, I gave birth to a very a very beautiful baby boy; Tyler Wayne Tilley. He was the most precious thing I have ever seen. We got to hold him and take pictures. He looks as if he were sleeping. The nurse put his hand and foot prints in my baby book for me. They also made us a memory box with his blanket and hat he had on.

It has been four months now. Some days are good, some are bad. I think of how much I came to love him in such a short period. I miss him so much. I hope he knows how much he was/is wanted and loved.

We do hope to have more children. My husband is leaving the decision of when up to me. At first I thought maybe around Thanksgiving, but now I think I may want to wait a little while. I think the holidays will be kind of hard this year.

I like to think of him as my guardian angel.

April Tilley

My e-mail address is [email protected]
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email updated 8-10-01

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Crisis, Grief, and Healing: Tom Golden LCSW