From the Anthology 

Beauty for Ashes: Stories of Maternal Hope

No Heartbeat

By Marva Mims

I was about  29 years old. So, this was in 1999. I lived in Kent, Ohio to raise my children go to school, and I thought moving from Cleveland would, you know, help better them. And I met someone. We ended up having a relationship and I got pregnant. He wasn't in a good state himself. But I didn't know that at the time. But at any rate, I got pregnant.

Gestational diabetes is something I always had. Well, this particular pregnancy they wanted me to go in for something. This was my third pregnancy. And I had problems with the previous ones with diabetes.

I went to my doctor's appointment. When they put the monitor up to your stomach,  I worried I was full term.  I was to have him on March 27, 1999. This was on March 10th. I was like, wow, that's real quiet. And they knew it. They knew it. The nurse practitioners and doctor looked at each other.  And they said, “Well wait a minute, wait a minute”.

They tried every which way and then, they cut the machine off.  I was informed that there was no heartbeat, and that they were going to have to, you know, induce my labor. I was going to have to have him, you know, naturally. I had natural childbirth. The next day, they induced my labor.

I think I went in that night at seven. And, you know, they start inducing my labor. I would have him within the next 24 hours. And I went on and went on in the labor room and everything like I was having him. But he was deceased inside me. He didn't help. I got an epidural because it hurt it so bad. He wasn't pushing, I was pushing him because he was deceased. When I got the epidural, he came right on out.

They said he was dead inside of me about seven to 10 days. And yet when I think it was that long, it's so crazy.