We chose to not have an autopsy performed, but later discovered that I almost died, too, due to a systemic infection. One of the bacterias was e-coli. I also had an intrauterine infection . . . again, e-coli was one of the bacteria present. We believe that these infections caused the placenta to shut down within minutes, for there were no signs of Kadin's impending death. His heartbeat was good and strong throughout and after contractions. Fifteen minutes after the last check, there was no heartbeat. I showed absolutely no signs of infection until approximately six hours after transporting to the hospital. Tragic. But I don't believe Kadin was meant to be here, no matter what path we'd chosen for our birth. I believe he needed to know love . . . fully and unconditionally . . . and that's all he needed from me and his short life. I hope his need was fulfilled. I hope he knows that every decision we made during my pregnancy with regard to his birth was made because we loved him and wanted the best start for his life. I visit his grave often. I talk to him daily. I miss him. And my heart hurts as I know it will forever. I'm learning now how to live forever with a broken heart.
Paula Long lives in Texas with her husband, Scott, and their daughter, Alexandria. Her son, Kadin Scott William Long, was born still on July 29, 1998.