Our Sweet Button

Benjamin(Button) Hilburn

January 2, 2016


Button’s Story

We found out I was pregnant on November 30, 2015. I was just over 3 weeks. My hcG never really doubled. I had pains and rushed to the ER at 5w+4d, the ultrasound showed a yolk sac and very small gestational sac that measured under 5 weeks. My first OB/GYN appointment at 7w+2d showed Button measuring just behind at 6w+5d with a heartbeat of 130 bpm. I started spotting maybe four hours after the appointment. An ultrasound the day after the next showed the heartbeat was gone and he(we always felt Button was a boy) had moved to the bottom of my uterus. He was born a few days later, January 2nd, at 8:47 in the morning. His gestational sac stayed intact through the miscarriage process, so we were able to hold him and see him for a short time.

My Pregnancy

I never really had many symptoms while I was pregnant. This caused me a great deal of worry and looking back on it, was likely due to slow rising hcG levels that failed to get very high. The few symptoms I had, mainly heartburn and breast tenderness, completely vanished the day after Christmas. 

I got my first positive pregnancy test at 9 days past ovulation(DPO) with one of the First Signal $1 tests from Walmart. My hcG the next day, 10DPO(3w+3d) was 19.3. The normal doubling range for successful pregnancies is 36-72 hours, but they like to see them around 48. In reality, my numbers not doubling was the first indicator something was wrong. I was terrified. By medical standards my pregnancy was doomed to fail. I worried it may be ectopic or a blighted ovum. I waited and waited, but no signs of miscarriage ever showed up. My hope gradually began to increase. By my ER visit, my doubling time had increased to a much more normal range, and I took this as great news. 

My ultrasound from the ER
hcG Doubling Time
10 DPO


12 DPO


29 78.68 hours
25 DPO


1245 57.89 hours

At just past 4 weeks, we chose to announce on Facebook. Regardless of whether Button would spend 80 years on this earth or only weeks, we wanted him to be as loved as possible. After going through this before, I already knew I would want be open if we ended up losing him, so why not share the good news while it was still good?


The Miscarriage Process and My Labor

When I first started spotting after our ultrasound, I assumed it was from my cervix being irritated. The spotting stayed light until the next day, when it increased to bleeding and moderate cramps. I tried to hold on hope to anything I could. I reassured myself there were many reasons for bleeding in the first trimester and this was just one of them. Then I began to pass clots. I called my doctor, hysterical. They scheduled me for the next morning, told me to head to the ER if my bleeding became severe. I was certain it was over. The connection I felt with the baby, gone. I felt empty.

The ultrasound confirmed he was dead. He looked exactly the same, but his gestational sac was blurry instead of being a clear black as it had been. I assume this was blood since his sac was full of it when he was born. My body had immediately recognized that he was gone, so I was able to avoid intervention via a D&C or any medicine. I looked up what to expect for a miscarriage at 7 weeks. I read that it could be like a bad period; I read that it could be like full blown labor. I prayed that it would be the latter, hoping for some catharsis, some closure, from enduring the pain. I obsessed over how long I had before my body would crush him into unrecognizable pieces, before I would begin to reabsorb him. I wanted something to hold, to be able to see my baby. I tried to find ways to move everything along. 

I didn’t quite get the labor I prayed for. I had severe, contraction like cramps for about two hours, and painful cramps for two to three days. My bleeding slowed down, I stopped passing clots. I worried that my body had totally stopped. A day later, I woke up and went to take a shower. I had no pain or bleeding. I felt a very unusual pressure and decided to try once again to push and out came Button, his gestational sac covered by a blood clot and attached to the start of what would be his placenta. I carefully removed the blood clot from his sac, hoping to get him out. During this process I realized that the sac was full of blood and was leaking. 

 I was in shock, he was perfect. I could see his tiny legs and arms, his already very formed spine. I could see his umbilical cord floating around inside with him. I was so excited. If it makes any sense, I was proud. This was my baby, and he was so beautiful. He was real.

He was really loved.

He is really missed.




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