In September 2004, I met my fiance. By May 2005, we were living together and talking about marriage and children. In October 2005, we sold my townhouse and moved into a larger home so that we would have room for "the kids". After trying to conceive for 6 months, my fiance and I finally conceived around Christmas 2005. I found out I was pregnant in January and in February my fiance told me he was leaving me. I was devastated.
I felt totally unprepared to be a single parent. To make matters worse, we just spent all our money on this house and now we were going to sell it. So, I had no home, no money and no fiance.
Then, I got sick....really sick. Everyone thought it was morning sickness. I had a horrible cough and would cough so bad I would vomit a few times a day. And in addition to that, I was exhausted. I literally couldn't even go grocery shopping without getting sick and needing to rest. I ended up losing 22 pounds during my pregnancy (ok, I started with a few extra pounds).
Well after 5 weeks of being sick, I finally got to see a specialist who said I had a severe form of asthma, which was caused by the pregnancy. He gave me some medication and by that evening I was feeling terrific. The ironic thing is I called everyone that day and the next day to tell them how well I was feeling. I had the next day off of work and finally had the energy to get out so I went shopping and spent a ton of $$ on maternity clothes. Then that even, I go home and my water breaks (at 18 weeks).
I was stunned, but I was still holding out hope that something could be done for me. I called the doctor who told me to go to the L&D room and I called the baby's father to tell him I was going to the hospital. It took them 2 hours to tell me that yes, my water did break. They had a high risk specialist come in and tell me that I would not be having a normal baby. He said I needed to hope for a miracle.
Best case scenario was my body could hold onto the baby for another 12+ weeks, but even if that happened, the baby would definitely have problems (lungs, skeletal, etc.). In addition, I was putting my body at risk for infection. He recommended I induce, but said it was my decision. If I tried to keep the baby, I would stay in the hospital and my vitals would be taken ever 2 hours to make sure I wasn't getting an infection.
I told him that even though I knew I would lose my baby, I couldn't kill a perfectly healthy baby. His heart beats were always strong and I thought I had to give the miracle a chance to happen.
Well, three days later I went to take a shower and something was hanging out of me. It turned out to be the baby's cord. Apparently he died shortly after the cord came out. I was induced that morning and Austin Karl was born at 7 pm that evening.
Once I realized how things were going to happen, I was grateful that I got three days to except the loss before it happened and even more grateful that I never had to make the decision to induce. It's devastating to know that my body couldn't keep him alive and that if he had been in another woman's body he'd still be alive.
The good news is that planning the memorial service and the burial has brought my ex and I back together. While we are back together we realize that we are still emotional (even two months later) and we are seeing a counselor. We have agreed we want to try again although we are not ready as a couple and my body is not physically ready yet (I know have gallbladder problems as well).
I believe our relationship is worth fighting for and I know that without Austin and his death we would not be together, and I am feel like our happiness together and our future children gives meaning to his short life, and death.
i thought that this was the right place to write my story and hopefully find someone who has gone through this. anyway on july 3 2006 my husband and i went for an appointment and brought our 2.5 year old who wanted to see the baby. well the ultrasound tech kept taking all these measurements of the babies head and neck but not saying anything. i could tell she was looking for something...i had 2 cysts on my ovaries and most the time the tech just measured the baby then more measurments of the cysts. well this time she skipped even measuring them.
they brought me next door into the office and i waited for the doctor to come in. he told us that the baby had what they called a cystic hygroma. and that it was qutie large. it is basically a disfiguring cyst that cannot be treated or removed. he scheduled an ultrasound with a doctor from yale who was more familiar with this type of complication. he did tell us though that he had not seen a case in over 2 years but most time termination was recommended. well we went to the apppointment on july 6 2006 with the doctor he confirmed the hygroma and told us that the baby had fetal hydrops. these are cysts in or on the babies organs and they rupture and the baby dies. he said most babeis with a case like ours has no cahnce of living to birth or ever having a normal life if they survive.
my husband and i decided to terminate the pregnancy knowing that neither of us could stand to see our baby suffer. it was so hard as the baby was moving so much on the ultrasound screen.
on july 17 2006 i went to yale new haven hospital and the doctor inserted luminaria into my cervix(basically little seaweed sticks that expand to stretch your cervix) well it hurt and i cried the whole time still not being able to believe i had to do this. they sent me home packed with cotton and these seeweed sticks to wait till the next day. i went back on the 18th and they proformed a d&e. i can't believe my little angel has gone to heaven.
anyway the doctor sent out tissue samples to find out what exactly the conditon was the baby had if any chromosomal issues were present. we will find out in two weeks when we go back for a follow up visit. the good news is that these hygromas are random and not genetic so our next baby has a slim chance of this occuring.
well that is my story has anyone else gone through anything siiliar even just a d&e. i would love someone to talk to. i was 16 weeks at the time of this procedure.
I posted this in my own thread, but wanted to copy it here as well.
Hi, my name is Sarah, I am 25 and have been married to my husband (Ryan) since May of 2005. We were surprised by our first pregnangy in April of this year. I was due November 25th.
On Tuesday, July 18th I went into labor. The doctors did everything they could to try to stop the labor, but unfortunately nothing worked. At 2:04am on Wednesday, July 19th, my beautiful baby girl, Amaya was born. She weighed 1lb 2oz and was 11 in long. Because I was only 21.5 weeks pregnant when she was born, there was nothing the doctors could do to save here. She was born alive though and was with us for about an hour.
What Went Wrong:
When Amaya was born she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck twice very tightly. As a result, the doctor thinks Amaya was probably pulling on the cord and pulled hard enough to put a tear in the placenta. This is what sent me into labor. At my 4 week postpartum the doctor said Amaya was developing normally and that the placenta and cord looked good. They sent the placenta away to be tested and it came back perfectly normal; no infections or anything like that. The doctor said I can start to try again in 2 months and I should have no problems moving forward. I don't know if I am ready though.
Emotionally I am doing okay. I have my good days and bad days, but the good ones are starting to out number the bad.
Throughout my pregnancy I participated in another board, and everyone there is great, but I wanted to branch out and meet more women who have gone through this. It has really helped in my healing to know there are other people out there who have gone through similar things.
Sorry this is so long. Thanks for reading. I am sorry for all your losses as well. I know together we can all get through the grief.
On Tuesday night, June 20th, 2006, at about 11pm, I went to the bathroom and discovered that I’d lost my mucous plug. I’d been having contractions very sporadically for the last 2 weeks. I’d even called my midwife once before, thinking I might be in labor, but it turned out I was doing my usual “puttering”.
DH and I got ready for bed, but my contractions got hard to handle every time I tried to lie down, so I ended up bringing a big stack of pillows to the couch and propping my upper body on them with my knees on the couch. It seemed to be the most comfortable position to try to relax through contractions. With the excitement of possibly meeting our newest baby soon, neither of us could sleep much, so we made a birthday cake. But, before the cake was done, the adrenaline rush was gone and we both went to try and get some sleep before the birth.
I called my midwife in the morning and since my contractions were still not regular, she said she’d come over to check on me once she’d made arrangements for someone to watch her son and made a few phone calls.
At a round 11:00am, my husband made a run to the store for some labor snacks and a few other things. My midwife (L) came over at about 11:30. L listened to the baby’s heartbeat with a fetoscope and he sounded fine. She said I was dilated to 6cm, but that she felt something behind the baby’s head. She didn’t think it was the umbilical cord because it wasn’t pulsing. After a few more checks and a visual exam, she realized it was in fact the cord and she told me we needed to go to the hospital for a cesarean. She listened to the baby’s heart rate, and it sounded okay, but I needed to stay on my hands and knees during contractions to keep pressure off the cord.
This scared me. I knew this had to be serious or she wouldn’t be talking surgery. I called my husband to come home, but he was already on our street. Meanwhile, my midwife (I’ll call her L for simplicity’s sake) went to pack up her things and grab hospital phone numbers. My husband came in and they discussed our options. We could go to the hospital on the other side of Carson City, or we could try Washoe which would have the most sympathetic staff, but was about an hour away. Our only other option meant driving up the mountain to the hospital at the lake, but the staff there had behaved very unprofessionally in the past, she’d been badly mistreated there only a week earlier, so that was not her first choice.
They decided on Carson City since it seemed like the closest. L went to inform them of our plan while we packed our bag. I could hear L on the phone calmly speaking to the nurse. She got off the phone and told us that the nurse there said they already had a woman in the operating room and it would be an hour before they could perform a cesarean on me. She also said that after talking it over with the other nurses at the desk, they all thought we were closer to the lake. L called our second choice and they told her the same thing. They had someone in surgery too. We were all in disbelief. How could these hospitals that were so very eager to resort to medically unnecessary surgery for my last birth now be giving us every indication that they wouldn’t do it?
DH told me to call a close friend and ask her to pray and to call everyone she could to ask them to pray. I called our friend, told her what was going on and she suggested calling a freestanding E.R. that was close by. I started to feel a contraction coming on, so I had her talk to DH about it. I didn’t hear her do it, but I believe L called. It turned out later they weren’t able to help.
After another quick discussion, it was decided that our only other choice was to head up the mountain. L called there and the response on the other line was something like- well, if we’re the closest, I guess we *have* to take you.
L’s daughter was at work only few blocks away so L called her to come over and watch our children since DH’s parents were still about 10 minutes away.
In the meantime, my contractions had picked up and were coming much closer together. L. listened to the baby’s heart rate one more time and it was very slow. We quickly got into her vehicle with my DH driving, me on my hands and knees in the back seat and L positioned behind me. She let us know that in case my water broke on the way, she would quickly either have to insert her hand up by the baby’s head to keep pressure off the cord or she may even have to do an episiotomy and I’d have to push the baby out as quickly as possible.
Right before DH left the driveway, L had a bit of trouble finding the baby’s heartbeat, and she sounded worried, but I felt a couple of strong kicks. I let her know and she sounded somewhat relieved as she said “good baby!”
L was able to find a good heartbeat during the drive by positioning the Doppler between my legs and onto my belly. “Thank you Jesus.” I whispered when I heard it.
Right before we were going to turn onto the highway, L noticed 2 sheriff’s deputies on the side of the road checking out an abandoned vehicle. She told DH to pull over so she could ask them for an escort. They told her that we couldn’t go up the mountain because the road we planned on using was closed for construction. DH said we’d use the other road and they told him we couldn’t use that one either because it was closed as well due to a big accident. The only other way up there would have taken us at least another hour out of the way to get there.
DH said “how long has it been since you called the first hospital?” L said “about 40 minutes”. He figured they’d be done with the operating room by the time we got there, so that was our new plan. One of the sheriff’s deputies insisted on calling an ambulance for us so we waited several minutes for them to show up. They arrived with their lights flashing, but no sirens.
L explained the circumstances and they all seemed to relax once she told them my water was not broken. She asked to ride in the ambulance with us but they refused. I heard her say to them several times that I needed to stay on my hands and knees. DH later told me that the driver kept nodding his head and saying “uh-huh, yeah, okay” but he didn’t look as if he was actually listening to her instructions. I remember that everyone but L, DH and I were very relaxed and in a good mood, no one was taking L seriously.
DH and I got into the ambulance with L following behind in her vehicle, but the driver never turned on the lights or sirens. In the ambulance, an I.V. was started, the male EMT (I think his name was Roy) tried to find the baby’s heartbeat, but couldn’t find it. I told myself it was because of my position since L had trouble finding it earlier, but it still scared me. I had to remain calm, if nothing else outwardly in order to stay on top of the increasingly stronger contractions
Not very long after we got back on the road, my water broke. I panicked. I told them a few times; trying to make sure they understood. Roy looked for the cord. He said he could see a little bit of it, but that everything was okay because the cord had not slipped all the way through. At first, I wondered why we weren’t going faster, but soon, my body started pushing and everyone began concentrating on getting me to breathe slowly through the pushing urges. DH sounded fearful and I certainly was. He kept telling me to breathe slowly and relax up and over the contractions and that helped a lot. It took everything I had not to push, but a few times, my body insisted on having its way and pushed anyway.
There was a female trainee in the back with us and Roy brought her around to see what the cord looked like because “you don’t get to see this very often”. He also mentioned that no babies had been born and no one had died in his ambulance.
Finally we got to the hospital. A got a short rest from the contractions for a few minutes while I was wheeled into the hospital. Once in the room, the Dr. and anesthesiologist introduced themselves. The Dr. assessed the situation and instead of prepping me for a cesarean, he told me we were going to get me onto a bed and I was going to push. He said I was to put my feet in the stirrups, and lie down on the bed. The thought crossed my mind that it was going to be hard to do since I’d be flat on my back. I couldn’t manage to scoot myself down to the bottom of the bed so 2 people came over to help position me, but they moved me closer to the head of the bed. The Dr. yelled “this way!” and they slid me closer to him.
When I was almost in position, DH came over to my side. He told me that the baby really needed me to push and push hard and fast. I nodded my head and the Dr. began using forceps to prompt me to push. It worked because every time he did, I got an unbelievable urge. It made me yell. I managed to get one foot onto the stirrup and someone was holding the other. I pushed so hard, they almost fell over. I bore down as powerfully as I possibly could after a reminder from someone to keep my chin down. I let out a loud noise that turned into a scream, right into DH’s ear.
The baby was out in 2 strong pushes and was immediately put on a warming bed while several people went to work on him.
I saw everyone rush over there, trying to get him to breathe, trying to get his heart to work. It didn’t occur to me that they would be unsuccessful. I thought God would make him breathe.
DH was crying. He looked so frightened. He came over and I don’t remember his exact words, but he told me our baby was a boy, (we had decided to name him Peter) yet there was so much alarm on his face. I still didn’t understand.
The Dr. was pulling on my placenta and pushing on my stomach. My focus came back to what he was doing since it was hurting. L came over to my side and Roy, the EMT was holding and rubbing my other hand. I started to shake and got very cold. I began whining about it and someone tossed a blanket over me. L reminded me that this had happened after my last birth and assured me I was okay and I started to calm down. But was still shaking so hard I couldn’t keep my legs still and the Dr. kept asking me to try to hold still.
The staff was still working on the baby. What was taking so long? Why wasn’t he breathing on his own yet? DH was crying and holding up his hands behind the people working on the baby, he was obviously praying. I heard the Dr. order pitocin for me.
One of the EMTs was watching the nurses working on Peter. He turned his face slightly in my direction and he looked as if he wanted to cry. I looked at Roy and he looked helpless too. I was starting to understand but I didn’t want to. It was taking so long, everyone looked so sad. Wait a minute, why are they stopping?
Some started to offer condolences as they left the room. Roy gave my hand one last squeeze and he said he was very sorry. Now L was squeezing my hand. I think she was crying. The Dr. came over to the head of my bed and told me I had done a good job, followed instructions and the baby was out in one push. Then he said he was very sorry and that he’d be back to check on me.
Someone asked me if I wanted to hold Peter and I said yes. The tube was still in his throat. I didn’t like it there. I wanted someone to remove it, but I didn’t want to let him go so I just held him. Right now this part is really a blur. I think DH was the one that handed Peter to me, I’m not sure. Peter looked like he was just sleeping. Some air escaped his lungs and for a fraction of a second, I thought he might start to breathe, but he didn’t. He just lay in my arms, very limp.
L told a couple of nurses that she would like to talk to the Dr. and she had my records if they wanted to see them.
A nurse introduced herself to me and said she’d be taking care of me that day. I believe her name was Mary. She brought me something to drink. While she was gone DH and L and I talked. We wanted to take pictures of Peter so L went to her car to get our bag.
It wasn’t very long before two nurses came in, telling us that DH’s parents had arrived and that they already knew. L had met them in the elevator and told them that Peter was gone. MIL came in first, then my FIL. The children came in later. Everyone held Peter and cried. L took pictures.
At 3:05pm, L mentioned that Peter was exactly 1 hour old.
DH read the 23rd Psalm.
We were told we would be left alone to grieve and to hold Peter as long as we wanted to and that they’d come back to bathe and dress him. When Mary came back to do that, she told us that the coroner had arrived and needed to examine Peter in order to fill out a report. DH went with her. L and our oldest DD, Selena picked out an outfit for Peter from the few that we’d packed and L took it to the nursery.
L told me last week that while Mary and DH were in the nursery bathing Peter, Mary told DH “You know this was all an avoidable situation.” She was trying to tell him that if we hadn’t hired a midwife and tried to have a home birth, if we had just had him in the hospital, like we were supposed to, our son would still be alive.
I also learned later that every time L went by the nurses’ station she was glared at. This became so hard for her to endure that she began asking people to walk with her until she got past them. I asked L if the Dr. was polite to her and she said yes except for when she tried to have a discussion with him in the hallway. He was talking to a nurse and when L walked up to him, he held up his hand for her to wait. He continued talking to the nurse for quite a while and when he was done, instead of talking to L, he just walked away from her. She has had this happen several times with the head of OB (Dr. S) at another hospital. Dr. S has even told L to “shut up”.
Our pastor, Dan and his wife Kathy arrived. Dan asked what the baby’s name was and we told him. “Cephas” and “Little Rock”, he called Peter. Dan asked us if we’d like to have our own little baby dedication for Peter right there in the hospital. Everyone gathered around the bed and even though I don’t remember the exact words he used, they brought a lot of comfort. He reminded us that we would see Peter again and that Peter was now with Jesus. When he was done we talked for a while. I was so glad Kathy was there. She had provided a lot of comfort five years ago when I had my first miscarriage.
DH and Dan left the room so Dan could give some help and advice with the funeral arrangements and how to keep the family strong and together.
While they were gone, a local detective from the sheriff’s department and the coroner came into the room and asked L to come with them. I didn’t see L again for a while, so I was starting to worry about her. They wouldn’t arrest her now would they? After they had finished questioning L, they asked everyone to leave the room while they questioned me.
I sat in the hospital bed holding Peter. After offering condolences for my loss, the detective began the interview. The detective stated that she knew nothing about midwifery so she asked why I would choose home birth. “No drugs? Wow!” More questions: Why didn’t I want another cesarean, was I afraid of surgery? Do I take my children to a pediatrician for “well baby” visits, why not? Does L give them their shots? “You know…. so they can go to school?” and “this may seem like an odd question, but was this baby planned?”
Her attitude irked me, so I told her about the no VBAC rule at all the local hospitals, the two years of research I’d done before deciding on home birth, during which, among so many other things, I discovered our country’s high infant mortality rate, the risks of unnecessary surgery and vaccinations. I told her I didn’t see the point of taking my children to the pediatrician if they’re not sick and my children are home schooled so,no, they don't need shots. She probably thought I was crazy…especially since I kept adjusting Peter’s blanket to cover him properly. It was cold in the room, so out of instinct, I guess, I wanted him to be warm. I didn't work. He stayed cold.
The detective was trying to find out what took us so long to leave the house and why L had made so many phone calls to different hospitals and even an urgent care facility.
DH was then briefly questioned and the nurse who took L’s calls was then brought in to give her side of the story. I felt like the detective was trying to turn us against L.
The nurse stated that L was very calm and L said that it wasn’t an emergency. The nurse said that never once did she tell L not to bring me there and that if we had showed up right away, they would have taken me. It entered my mind only later to question why then, if that were true, did she tell L anything about having another cesarean in progress at all? What was the point? The only logical reasons I can come up with is that a) she was playing games because L is a midwife or b) their hospital is really not equipped to handle more than one woman in labor at a time. Also, why did L need to be panicked for her to be taken seriously? Wouldn’t that only have caused more problems? Again, I think this was another case of people in the medical field not taking L seriously and not seeing her as the licensed, trained professional that she is.
The detective then told us that they were investigating L for any negligence on her part. They were going to see if her license was up to date, if she should have been under the supervision of a Dr., what took her so long to get us to the hospital, etc. DH was getting upset about this and he said that what she needed to investigate is the reason why the ambulance driver never turned on his lights or sirens or why he never went over the speed limit. He said that having a baby in the hospital stinks and that even if that was our plan, my labor had not progressed enough by the time L had gotten to our house that morning for us to have left any earlier. We never would have known about Peter’s cord until it was too late. In trying to spend as little time as we possibly could, we would not have left our house for the hospital yet so why was it now L’s fault? I believe the nurse then mentioned that if that were the case, they would have been investigating us for negligence.
The Dr. came back in to let me know he was leaving. He let me know again that I did what I could and did well by getting Peter out in one push and he again offered his condolences. He said a few other things, but I don’t remember what. I thanked him for being decent to us and he nodded and said that it was just too bad that we were so far away from the hospital. Then he left.
When everyone came back into the room, L was upset over the investigation, but thankfully, Dan had been able to talk to her and he told her that an investigation was typical. (Dan had been a sheriff’s chaplain and his son is in law enforcement.) The whole idea is still scary for L. She’d never been questioned this aggressively before, even though she’s lost 2 other babies during her 20yrs of practicing midwifery.
DH’s parents took the kids back to their hotel, and everyone else left. Then it was just DH, Peter, L and me
L gave us some time alone with Peter while she tried to get in touch with her family. They were very anxious about her. Her cell phone battery died right after she phoned her husband, told him that Peter died and that she was about to be questioned by a detective. She didn’t get the chance to tell him which hospital we ended up at. Meanwhile, her DH had been frantically searching for her and didn’t know what had become of her.
DH and I held and cried over Peter. We held each other. We discussed the fact that neither of us blamed L in the least for Peter’s death and that we needed to make sure she knew that.
L came back in and we discussed what had happened. L said that most likely Peter died in the ambulance because that’s when my water broke. It also explained the marks on Peter’s neck. L said that once a baby has died, the blood in the body starts to pool in the lowest parts and since we think his cord was also wrapped around his neck, it left the marks there. We encouraged each other by reminding ourselves that God never left us during the whole ordeal and that even though we didn’t understand it, He already knew what was going to happen.
I’d attended a women’s retreat a few months before and the theme was faith. I believe that God was preparing me for the loss of Peter. All of the scriptures given at the retreat had to do with faith, fear, and the foreknowledge of God. I’d also been reading books on Christian natural childbirth and there was more confirmation in them that God is always in control in every circumstance.
L didn’t want to leave us. She was so heartbroken.
Finally, DH told me he thought it was time to go. I was dreading it. I wanted to leave the hospital, but I didn’t want to give Peter up. I didn’t want to stop holding him. But it had been 6 or 7 hours and I knew someone was going to come for him soon anyway.
So DH let the evening nurse know that we wanted to leave. She said that she would contact the funeral home so someone could come get Peter, so we needed to wait for them to arrive. L went home and we waited. Finally about 2 hrs later another nurse came in to let us know that James from the funeral home had arrived.
He and the evening nurse came in. He had a little carrier that was shaped like a basket. He introduced himself and said he was sorry for our loss. We all talked for a few minutes, then he pulled out a little white blanket with red fire trucks on it. He opened it up and spread it out to take Peter. I handed Peter to DH and DH laid Peter in the blanket. James carefully wrapped Peter up and placed him in the carrier and covered him with the corners of the blanket. When he turned to leave the room, the tears came in a flood. I knew I would never get to hold my baby boy again, at least not on this earth.
The nurse left us so we could be alone for a while. Later she brought the discharge papers and she wheeled me out to the car in a wheelchair. I felt so odd leaving without my baby. I didn’t want to make eye contact with anyone. Thankfully, there weren’t very many people in the hallways. I kept hoping the trip was almost over, but I didn’t know for sure because I didn’t know how we had gotten in to begin with.
Well, that's Peter's story.
I wrote it 3 weeks after he was born. Thanks for reading it.
I wanted Elena's story to be part of this, so I'm copying it over from the general board:
My DH and I have been married for 4 years, and after years and years of impatiently waiting for my husband to be ready, we finally decided that we were both ready to start a family. We started trying to conceive Dec 05, and in February we suceeded. I have never been so happy! Every appointment with my midwife was picture perfect. We heard the heartbeat earlier than expected, I felt her moving at 14 weeks. As soon as we hit the 4 month mark, I started feeling great! She was a very active baby - and almost from the time I started to feel her move it seemed like she was constantly in motion. We felt like we were home free, and we started collecting up hand me downs and even painted the nursery.
My husband was scheduled to go on a business trip for 2 weeks right when I should have had my first u/s at 18 weeks. Because we both wanted him to be there we postponed it until he was back in town - When I was 20 weeks and 2 days pregnant.
I had been feeling wonderful, like everything was going great until the night before the ultrasound. Suddenly I was really really nervous - but I put it off as nothing... just regular old nerves. When we went in the technition right away started measuring our babies head - and making worried noises. Then she left the room and brought in another techition who told us that our baby had Anencephally - a fatal condition where the babies neural tube does not close over the brain and the brain and skull do not form.
In the next 5 hours we bounced from my midwife, to the medical geneticist, to the obstetrition and finally to the hospital. As we were past 20 weeks it was no longer safe to do a D&C and so I was induced. Our baby girl, Elena Gilberstad, was born July 5, 2006.
September 11, 2006
I'm still in shock and don't know if I'm ready to write this yet but I'm going to try because I don't know what else to do right now.
I'm Joey 29 and my husband Jory is 32. We just celebrated our 9 year anniversary last Friday, 1 week after we lost our son Jack.
Here's our story, sorry if it's long but it's all still so fresh.
I have severe PCOS with severe insulin resistance and hypothyroidism. We've been ttc for 8 years, 5 with medical assistance. We moved from UT to AZ in March 2005. I found my new (amazing) doctor in Jan. 2006. In March '06 I had a large tumor removed from my uterus, it came back clear. He also scraped my uterus and drained all of my cysts and found that they will one day become cancerous. After consulting with 6 Oncologists, they agreed we had time to try for a baby.
Our first try after surgery with Clomid, we got pregnant! We were in shock. After 8 years trying, this was unbelievable! I had no morning sickness, but had to get daily Progesterone shots to keep my level up to normal. I had ultrasounds every 2 weeks because this pregnancy was high risk. We heard the heartbeat a couple times at different appointments and had my 20 week BIG U/S set for Friday Sept. 1st.
Tue. Aug. 29th we went to bed and I had a hard time getting comfortable. After a few hours of tossing and turning I got up and went to the couch and thought I was having really bad gas pains. I was burping and passing gas quite a bit so I wasn't worried too much. I ended up feeling much better and fell asleep the next morning. I woke up Wednesday afternoon and when I went to the bathroom there was really weird discharge, it looked like baby or child's snot with a bit of brown in it. I called my doctor and they made me an appointment for the next morning saying it wasn't abnormal and I possibly had an infection of some sort. I felt completely normal all day and was happy that those gas pains had gone away because that coupled with the weird discharge would have worried me more.
We went to bed around 11:30 PM Wed. night and I immediately felt like I was having a repeat of the night before. I couldn't get comfortable and after a short time I moved to the couch. The pains were a little different from the night before, this time they were more crampy, but I knew I had a doctors appt in the morning and figured I would wait it out, since they didn't seem worried. The more painful the cramps came, the more I got worried and jumped online to try and find out what could be happening. I knew at 19 weeks 3 days it was way too early for labor and this being my first pregnancy I had no idea what contractions were going to feel like and from what every pregnant woman has ever told me...nothing is as painful as being in labor. These felt only a little more painful than regular cramps. And they never seemed to go away, they got worse every 5 minutes or so but the pain never ceased.
By the time I found something about preterm labor it was 4:30 AM. Just as I was making a decision to call my doctor, my husband woke up and insisted I call him. I don't know why I was so worried about waking the doctor, but I didn't want to bother him if it was nothing. I will never wait again!
I called the doctor, his on-call operator was going to page him so I jumped in the shower assuming I might be going to the hospital to be checked.
My doctor called back and told me to go to the hospital triage and tell them I was 20 weeks along (otherwise they won't monitor you, I was 19w3d). I immediately knew something was wrong and my husband and I jumped in the car and I cried all the way to the hospital. The pains continued to get worse and more constant. It was then that I started to wonder if these were indeed contractions.
6:00 AM: The Triage doctor examined me and told me that I was fully dilated and the water bag was covering the cervix. She told us that there was no question that I would be delivering and no chance that our baby would survive. She apologized and left to get the sonogram tech to verify. I completely lost it. I cried like I had never cried before. I knew I needed to be strong but I felt this was my fault. I had waited too long to call my doctor and I had wasted time worrying about whether to wake him or not. How could I ever forgive myself?
The tech came in and was quiet the entire time. We saw our baby, the heartbeat was strong he was moving his arms and legs as if everything was normal. She was measuring his organs and showed us my cervix dilated and the water bag making it's way down. The baby's head was also down ready to follow. The tech left, the doctor came back and again said she was really sorry but they can't risk infection and that I would be moved to labor and delivery as soon as a room became available. She also said they would be giving me as much pain killers as needed to make me as comfortable as possible giving the circumstances.
I was in absolute shock, this was not supposed to be happening to us. Our hearts had broken. My husband and I looked at each other in complete disbelief and cried together. This was our miracle baby, why couldn't I be able to carry him to term? Why are we having all these problems? We are the perfect couple, we will be the perfect parents. Why Why Why?
My doctor (the god that he is) showed up a short time later and came in with a little hope. He said the previous doctor was wrong, I was only 3 cm dilated and there was a chance that with medication they can stop my contractions and with a cerclage we might be able to stop the delivery. He said the chance was small but at least there was a chance. I would be in the hospital until I deliver, whether that be today, next week, or months from now. I didn't let myself believe in the hope because I knew I couldn't handle it if I let myself believe then be disappointed again. He put me in the Trendelenburg position (feet above your head). He gave me some more pain killers and we held tight until a room in L&D opened.
Jory called our parents to let them know what was going on and I told him to have my parents come immediately. I knew we would need family with life experience to handle the plans afterward if this didn't all work out. Within 30 minutes my mom and step-dad were packed and on their way from Logan, UT down here to Phoenix.
11:30 AM: Once they moved me up to L&D my doctor gave me an epidural
with much disapproval from the nurses and other doctors because they had me on medication to stop my contractions, an epidural in their minds was unnecessary. But he knew, even with the pain killers I was in so much pain and discomfort as well as an emotional hell that an Epidural would lift some of that pain away especially if they weren't going to be able to stop the contractions. He was right and I could never thank him enough for that decision.
By 9 PM the medication was not stopping my contractions and the ultrasound was now showing the baby's head coming down, it was only time before my water broke. I already knew their attempts weren't going to work so I was prepared (as well as I could be) for the next step. They stopped that medication and gave me another to induce labor and told me I would probably deliver in a few hours. I had now been in labor for almost 22 hours. My doctor left the hospital to go home and shower and then he'd come right back.
9:24 PM I felt pressure and called the nurse.
9:25 PM My water broke. The Nurse came in, verified it had broke and said she'd call the doctor and be right back.
9:28 PM I called the nurse again, I felt really strong pressure I knew the baby was coming. I tried to stay as still as possible because I knew if I moved a muscle he would come out. In those split seconds Jory and I wondered "Why in the hell the nurse would not stay in the room?" Did she not believe us?
9:29 PM I had Jory call the nurse again, we told her the baby was seriously on his way, like NOW!
9:30 PM With only Jory and I in the room, our baby was born.
The nurse came back in the room and was shocked to see the baby was out, she ran out and grabbed another nurse who came in and took charge.
(In a later conversation Jory told me the nurse who never stayed in the room acted like she was new and totally freaked out because when she went and got another nurse who came in and took charge, she pulled off her badge and put in on the desk next to me and stood by the door for most of the time, then left.)
Jory cut the cord and watched as they examined the baby and asked if we knew the sex, we didn't. She announced we'd had a baby boy. She wrapped him in a blanket and handed him to me. I immediately fell into tears and didn't stop bawling for at least an hour. I held him and cried. Every time I touched his skin he would make a fist. His eyes were still fused shut but he opened his mouth and smiled (even though we know babies don't smile that early). Jory said he looked just like my older brother Shane, I thought he had Jory's lips. He was perfect in every way. Perfect fingers and perfect toes.
We named him Jack Kendrick Johnson. Jack from Captain Jack Sparrow in “Pirates of the Caribbean” and my maiden name is Kendrick. He was 9.5 inches long and weighed 9.5 ounces.
My parents arrived about 10:30 PM. After about an hour, I sort of kicked them out so Jory and I could spend some private time with our son. We continued to hold Jack and talk to him. We tried to stop crying and enjoy this time we had with him, knowing it wasn't going to be much longer. The nurses continued to come in and check for a pulse, each time surprising us how strong our little boy was. Somewhere between 12:30 and 1:00 AM on September 1, 2006 Jack passed away in our arms.
The awesome nurses at the hospital let us bathe Jack and brought in some outfits to choose from to dress him in and the most perfect tiny crocheted blanket to wrap him in. She took his foot prints and hand prints for us and later made a plaster cast of both his foot and hand prints. Later she would also take him to get some pictures done that we'll receive 3 weeks after we leave the hospital. We had taken a few pictures of Jack before we bathed him. Although I have yet to look at them, I already wish I had taken more!
We continued to hold Jack until around 2:30 AM, I was so exhausted and couldn't keep my eyes open another second. The nurse came and took Jack to take some photos and create the plaster cast for us. She would bring him back later to sleep in our room with us. I passed out and slept until 6:00 AM when the nurse came in to say she was going off shift. We could never thank her enough for all the mementos she created for us and the memories she helped us create!
The entire next afternoon we took turns holding Jack, I even napped with him next to me on my bed. The nurses continued to tell me that Jack would stay with us until we were ready, but Every time a nurse came in I was scared they were going to say it was time. I couldn't get enough time with Jack, I wasn't ever going to be ready to say goodbye. I expected to be released from the hospital that night so I was on pins and needles knowing I would have to say goodbye soon.
My parents came by and both took time holding Jack. This was the first grandchild in both our families so I know this was hard on them too.
Another nurse came in later and told us that I would be staying another night to make sure there was no infection and because my right thigh was still fully numb from the epidural. They would be moving me up to the maternity ward, but would put me in the area with the neo-natal mothers so I wouldn't have to hear all the babies cry. She told us to let her know when we were ready for them to take Jack with the understanding that we can request to seem him once we are in our new room. Or if either of us did not want to say goodbye twice, the other could go into another room and spend as much time with him as needed. We both held him one more time, hugged him, kissed him and said our goodbyes, not really knowing if that would be our last time. But once the nurse came in and took him, we both lost it and bawled together. It made it so real for me, it was as if he had died again. I knew there was no way I could go through that again so I told Jory that was my goodbye, he agreed.
They moved me up to the Maternity ward and put me in my own room in the corner. I was so thankful to not have to hear or see any babies, but felt so empty knowing mine was gone. This was not supposed to happen to us. We had already been through so much for so long just to get pregnant. This was our miracle baby, what happened? I felt like the life had been ripped out of me. I was only a shell, trying to keep it together for my husband. I felt so close to really losing it, but promised my husband I would hold on for his sake.
Later that night my doctor came by and asked if I wanted to go home. He said the results came back, there was no infection, it was definitely incompetent cervix which can be helped next time we get pregnant with a cerclage at 14 to 16 weeks and extra monitoring. Unfortunately there is no way to know you have an incompetent cervix until you go into preterm labor the first time. He said there was nothing I could have done to prevent this or to stop the contractions from coming. There is absolutely no way I could have known until it was too late. I tried to believe him.
The feeling in my thigh had returned so we agreed to go home. As they wheeled me out of the hospital, what feeling I had left in my heart ached for Jack. We should be taking him with us, instead my arms are empty and we both cried the entire way home.
I don’t think either of us have cried so much in our lives. It was so hard to be home, especially with my parents staying with us. I could never thank them enough for coming because of everything they did for us, but I just wanted to be alone with Jory. Thankfully they were here to help keep us on track of those things we needed to handle like calling the different funeral homes and my work. They left Monday, Labor day to go home.
One thing I expected to be an issue was that fact that we have different beliefs from my parents and Jory’s dad. They are all Mormon, not necessarily practicing but have the belief that we should all be buried in a cemetery to later one day reclaim our body. Jory and I are not Mormon and do not wish to be buried. We want to be cremated and have our ashes spread at predetermined special locations. So why would we want to do something different with our child? Our parents both took their turns letting us know they had family plots we could have in either Logan or Provo, UT. We appreciated their offers, however politely declined. I really appreciate them all for not pushing us or questioning our choices. This was definitely not the time or place to have that conversation. In fact I was extremely surprised and happy with the fact that my parents took an active role in trying to helps us pick out an urn. The funeral home also had remembrance pendants and I fell in love with a silver pewter covered glass vile with screw-on top that could hang on a necklace or in a display case and hold some of Jack’s ashes. Because of the price I knew I couldn’t get it with all the other costs we were incurring. My mother offered to buy it for me, I knew I would later regret saying no even though I would never normally agree to let her buy me something that expensive, so I agreed. And I look forward to having that piece of Jack with me always.
The days following my parents exit have been mashed together into one large blur. I wasn’t lucky enough to skip my milk from coming in though. I was actually surprised when it first happened, in total disbelief actually. I thought I would be spared this additional reminder of losing Jack, but no. It’s been hard wearing a bra 24/7 minus showers. We haven’t purchased cabbage as suggested yet, I’m hoping after a week of constant bra will be enough. I will try not to be surprised when it doesn’t work though.
Jory had mentioned that my brother Shane offered us an escape at his house in Wyoming if we were interested. This was exactly what we needed and were looking forward to getting the hell out of dodge. We wanted to wait for Jack’s ashes and for our apartment complex to fix our A/C, it started leaking the night we got home from the hospital. We’ve also been waiting to be cleared by my doctor for travel which happened today.
I knew going back to the doctor’s office was going to be really hard. I had bonded with all the ladies there during my daily visit for my progesterone shots. They had become like family to me. Let alone the possibility of sitting in the waiting area with pregnant women or children. My doctor had told us how upset all the ladies were when they heard the news of our loss. They had all shed tears and were heartbroken for us. When we arrived, I was surprised to see an empty waiting room. I have no idea if this was luck or if they had scheduled it this way. Either way I was very thankful. The nurse took my vitals and I was a shocked to see I had lost 14 pounds. I knew I had lost weight, I could tell by the way my pants fit. My doctor examined me and found my uterus was still at 8 weeks, but he was not worried.
The day after I was released from the hospital I took my first shower and during it I passed a giant blood clot. We immediately called the doctor and he prescribed me some medication that would help stop the bleeding. He said the medication was going to cause severe cramps so he also prescribed me some Soma for the pain. Because I was unable to sleep since I had been home, I requested some Ambiem as well.
After my exam, the doctor told us all the test results were back and that I definitely, with no question had an incompetent cervix. He said that there was absolutely nothing I could have done to prevent this. He said that you don’t start contracting until well after the cervix starts to dilate so even if I had called the night before or right when the contractions started, it wouldn’t have made a difference. I know this was technically the second time he had told me this, but this time it finally freed my guilt I had been holding since losing Jack. Even though everyone was telling me it wasn’t my fault and that I couldn’t have prevented it, there was always still that question in me. I’m not sure I’ll ever feel guilt free, but this was definitely a freeing feeling and I will try to hold on to that.
My doctor said there was no doubt in his mind when we are ready that a cerclage with extra monitoring will work for us. He also thanked us for allowing him to be a part of "the beautiful experience" it was for him. He said he had never experienced the kind of love Jory and I showed, as well as the love we have for each other. He continued to tell us that he’s never met a couple as close and loving as we are and was honored to share in that with us. He said he’s never seen anyone with the glow I had every time I came into his office, even the nurses had mentioned it. He also shared with us that he’s still having a really hard time accepting that there was nothing he could have done to prevent this. He was just so sorry but wanted us to know there is promise for another miracle.
We told him of our travel plans and he agreed that it was a great idea to get away. We scheduled my next appointment in 8 weeks, I should be mid cycle by then. As we started to walk out into the waiting room, I realized it was full of pregnant women and children and started to tear up, by the time we got out to the parking lot, I fully lost it and collapsed against my car. Jory grabbed me and held me tight while I cried. I then realized everyone in the waiting room could see me through the glass front door and windows. I told Jory I wanted to leave so he helped me in the car and we left.
I’ve been approved for 6 weeks short term disability which thankfully I have that, but it is no where near enough time and I don’t know how I’ll ever feel able to go back. I pray that Jory gets the job with the video game company and they offer him loads of money and excellent heath coverage so I might be able to quit my job and never go back.
I haven’t even been able to talk to my friends on the phone yet. I’ve barely managed to talk to my mother, two of my brothers and my father. Talking business or bills to strangers is easier than someone I know. From reading the book the hospital gave us on losing a child, I know it will help to talk to others, but I can’t manage a 5 minute simple conversation with family without crying. How am I supposed to talk with anyone other than Jory about Jack without bawling? The only thing going for us here in Arizona is that we don’t know many people and don’t see anyone except at my work. I have no idea how it will be to see our family in person on our way to our escape. I can’t manage to ride in the car and see a group of little scouts outside the local market without crying. Or watch TV without constantly flipping the channel every time I see a pregnant woman, baby or a character named Jack. Even a simple episode of Friends comes across cruel when it’s the one where Chandler and Monica get their twins and name the boy Jack. This is exactly why our trip to the secluded woods of Wyoming sound so enticing.
How will I ever not resent my two cousins whose babies will be born shortly after Jack was supposed to be born in January? How will I keep from punching the next person who tells me Jack wasn’t meant to live a full life here on Earth or that it just wasn’t meant to be? Or how about those that keeping telling me we will be with him again one day? How about today? Why not now?
I don’t know how I’ll ever wake up in the morning and not want to cry. I can’t imagine a night where I’ll go to bed and not replay the entire event over and over in my head until I finally decide to take another sleeping pill just to get some sleep. How will I ever feel strong enough to be away from Jory for more than 15 minutes at a time? How will my heart ever recover from losing my perfect precious boy? How will I ever move on?
I’m scared to face the upcoming holidays, Thanksgiving, my 30th birthday, Christmas, his edd of January 22nd. Not to mention what would have been his first holidays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, his birthday and the anniversary of his death. I can’t even think about it right now.
The only reasons I get out of bed every day are Jory and my desperate wish to bring home a baby and give them the world. I miss being pregnant and can only wish we have time for another miracle.
I miss you Jack, I miss you every minute of every day and always will!
I love you forever, Mommy
Our Beloved Boy Jack Kendrick Johnson 8/31/06-9/01/06 @ 19w3d edd 1/22/07
I love you forever, Mommy
I found out I was pregnant the begining of March 2006, 2 weeks after moving out of the house I had shared with my boyfriend of 3 years, 7 months after my miscarriage. I was excited and scared all at the same time. I had planned on moving to Arizona in May but put those plans on hold because I wanted to have a family and work things out.
I had uneventful pregnancy, no high blood pressure no diabetes U/S looked good. Then on August 10th I started spotting which I had not done at all, went to the hospital they said it was a yeast infection sent me home told me I could go back to work. I worked Thursday and Friday night and started having contractions Saturday afternoon. I went to sleep and they went away, I called the midwife later on that night and was told, “it didn't sound serious just stay off my feet and rest.” On Sunday the contractions were every 5-10 minutes and hurt so I went back to the hospital. I was in premature labor. I was started on IV magnesium and given steroid shots to develop the babies’ lungs. I had an amniocentesis and tons of blood work and all the results showed no infection. The doctors told me I would have to stay on bed rest until 34 weeks I was 27 weeks pregnant. I only lasted 72 hours.
Jeremiah Amir Edwards was born on Wednesday August 16th, 2006 @ 2:18pm. He weighed in at 2lbs 3 oz 14 inches long apgar scores were 8 & 9. He came out screaming and breathing on his own. He was perfect. For 14 days he got better and better He tolerated his feedings and was gaining weight. His patent ductus arteriosus had closed on its own with the help of medication, he had no bleeds in his brain and I loved him more then anything in this world.
On Thursday August 31st at his 6pm feeding he started spitting up milk, he was being fed by a tube down his nose. I looked at his stomach and it was distended and hard the nurse took a look at him and had the doctor come look at him I had to leave it was shift change.
I came back at 8:30 and my Jeremiah cried and cried for hours. They x-rayed his abdomen and found air in his intestines; they diagnosed him with necrotizing enterocolitis. I sat next to him in his isolette and held his tiny fingers. I had to leave at 2:30am because I had not pumped in hours and the nurses could not find an extra breast pump set up for me to use. So I live 15 minutes away. I went home and pumped for 10 minutes and called Jeremiahs daddy. My other line beeped and it was the nurse she told me I needed to come back they were intubating Jeremiah.
On September 1st, 2006 Jeremiah had surgery to remove the dead parts of his intestines. The surgeons removed 50% of his small intestines 10% of his colon and created a colostomy. They said they would go back in and reconnect his intestines in 6-8 weeks. Jeremiah never got better. He was unable to maintain his own blood pressure, so he was on 3 different medications to do so. He no longer made urine and was in kidney failure. On September 2nd, he was no longer to breathe adequately on a regular ventilator. He was put on an oscillator ventilator, which made his whole body vibrate with small rapid breaths. They gave him blood transfusion after blood transfusion, assuming he was bleeding somewhere internally but unable to find out where. They believed the remaining intestines had died but were unable to find out since he was unable to have surgery again. If they removed any more intestines he wouldn’t be able to absorb anything, he faced a life of Iv feedings, if he even recovered. That is not the life we wanted for our child.
There was nothing more they could do; it was in Gods and Jeremiahs hands. He never got any better and continued to do worse. We didn't want our child to have that life, we didn't want him to hurt anymore we loved him enough to let him go.
Jeremiah was removed from life support on Sunday September 3rd and died 30 minutes later at 4:45pm in his parents’ arms.
My name is Anne and I'm 24 years old. My dh is 33 years old. We were married in January of 2006, but we started ttc in December of 2005. The first part of ttc my cycles were a mess, probably from the fact that I'd had 4 surgeries from kidney stones back in summer of 2005. When we still weren't pregnant by June of 2006, I decided to try some herbs to help with my cycle (False Unicorn). My cycles went back to normal right away, making us feel like we actually had a chance to get pregnant for once.
On August 25, 2006 I started our 10th cycle ttc. I had UTI's during the cycle so we didn't bd as much as normal. Then, on September 24, I got what I thought was my period. It lingered longer than normal though with spotting and everything. Last Tuesday as I was sitting at my computer trying to write a paper I suddenly went from hungry to nauseated. I figured I was crazy to take a pregnancy test AFTER my period, especially considering that the hpt's before my period (even the day before) were all BFN. But, I took the tests anyways and a BFP showed up within the minute on FIVE different tests.
I was so excited that I called my dh and my Mom right away!! We had been beginning to think that we would need outside help to get pregnant and we were elated. Word spread quickly to all of our family members and friends.
On Thursday of last week I went into the ER for some stomache cramps I was having. The doctor said they were way to high to be baby related and then ordered a vaginal ultrasound. They didn't see the baby on the ultrasound but said it was too early to see anwyays. What they did see was fluid around my right ovary and in my belly. They guessed that I could have had a cyst that ruptured but said they couldn't entirely rule out ectopic pg. My blood hcg levels came back at 500.
On Friday of last week we flew out of town to attend a funeral for my great aunt on the other side of the country. I was so happy because I got to see my Mom and my Grandparents in the very beginning of my pregnancy. My Mom was talking about how she was going to come down in June and stay for a while and help with the baby. My Grandparents were excited too. It was wonderful!
Then, Sunday night, the night before we were to fly home, I started with some brown spotting. The nurse from the ob/gyn office had told me earlier in the week that brown spotting is just old blood and not to worry unless it is red, so I tried not to worry. Monday, on the trip home the blood remained brown but then by evening sometimes had a pink streak in it.
By yesterday morning (Tuesday) it had changed to red flow. I woke my husband up and told him I was afraid that we were losing little one. I cried in his arms. I already had an apointment at the ob/gyn for later that morning so I tried to be patient. After my dh left for work I really lost it though and began screaming and crying to God and telling God not to take my baby and asking WHY WHY WHY??!!!
Finally, it was time to go to my appointment. The bleeding had slowed a little and so I thought that maybe it was some kind of fluke and everything would be okay. I got there and they checked my iron levels and had my provide a urine sample for pregnancy testing.
I waited and waited and finally when the doctor came in she said that the urine pregnancy test had been negative. I asked her if I had miscarried and she said yes. I immediately screamed and began crying and crying. The emotional pain of such news was more than I ever could have anticipated. Joy and elation were quickly replaced with terror and devastation.
The doctor says that she thinks my body is clearing everything out on its own so I probably won't need a D & C or anything. She took a blood pregnancy test (qualitative) just so she can make sure my levels are back down again. If they aren't, she's going to have me come in again in a few days to make sure that they are going down further.
I calmed myself down enough to drive home. When I got home I had to call my husband and tell him the news. After I told him we had lost little one I couldn't say anything else and I was crying hysterically. He told me he was on the way.
Then, I sent an email to my Mother and told her. She called me when she got it and I was still crying hysterically. She stayed on the phone with me until my husband got home.
He just hugged me and comforted me. He also brought me flowers. He was so good to me.
Later last night when I was talking to him he said his main concern was me, and that we don't have any complications with the miscarriage. The poor guy is terrified of losing me. I promised him I would keep him updated on what my body is doing and that if anything at all was out of the ordinary we'd go to the doctor right away.
Today, the bleeding is heavier than yesterday, about like a heavy period. It's really hard to go on those trips to the bathroom and see the blood and remember what has happened and feel so empty inside.
Last night, dh prayed that our little one was having fun with God in heaven, which was really sweet but I just lost it. It is so hard to think that we had already begun to be parents and now we have a little child that we will not see until we meet again in heaven. It feels like someone has ripped my heart out and is stomping on it and tryinig to tear it to shreds.
I know that we will get pregnant again and that someday and somehow we will have a family of our own. But, that doesn't take away the imense loss and devastation I feel right now, or take away the fear I have of this happening again if I am ever pregnant again. That carefree nature I had about pregancy has just been totally mushed.
I know it will be a while before I am really feeling better. I have the week off this week to begin to try to process everything and get myself together.
I am so grateful that this board is here. It feels like such a safe haven. Thank you so much for being here.
My name is Sarah and i am 26 years old. I live with my SO Scott and we will have been together for ten years in May 2007.
I came to preg.org after researching TTC last August. I got my BFP while an addict of the TTC 0-12 months board and graduated to October 2006.
Sadly, after a perfectly blissful and normal pregnancy we lost our son, Zane due to major organ failure caused by fetal/maternal hemorrhage of the placenta.
Writing down what happened has been cathartic for me, if completely upsetting, but i would like to post it here. I understand if you do not choose to read it as it is rather longer than i anticipated it would be and very sad to read.
This is what happened...
On Saturday evening I went to bed as normal hopeful that the membrane sweep I was given the previous day was going to work. During the early hours of the morning I woke several times to go to the toilet and was having contractions, but they were not painful and so I went back to sleep. At about 7.30 I woke up and felt a trickle down below. When I felt and looked at my hand there was blood. I tried to sit up, but had to get a towel to protect our sheets. I hobbled to the toilet where I had a gush of blood and felt a loss of clots. I assumed this was my waters breaking with perhaps a bloody show so I called the hospital and made arrangements to go in.
When I got there I was hooked up to the monitor and the trace showed that baby was active and seemingly happy and although I was contracting labour was not imminent. It was decided that I should be kept in all day and that night for observation, just to be on the safe side. I was disappointed that I wouldn’t be seeing baby yet!
The bleeding slowed down during that day and I went to sleep that night after being monitored throughout the day. I woke at 2.30am and reported a bleed to the midwife on duty who promptly hooked me up to the monitor again for a while. Baby seemed fine again and was moving well and the heartbeat was strong. When they left me to go to sleep I found that I couldn’t so I lay for a while reading and hoping to drop off. I started to notice that I felt wet again and realised that I was going to have another gush so I lay for a while wondering whether to call the nurse or just get up and spoil the sheets. I called for the nurse and explained to her that I wanted to use the loo, but knew that I was going to make a mess getting up. She told me it didn’t matter about the mess and helped me stand, but as I did I had a massive bleed and lost a lot of clots so they brought me a bedpan. After I had gone to the toilet on the bedpan the midwife tried to find baby’s heartbeat with a Sonicaid and could not. I started to worry, but thought that perhaps she wasn’t very good at it. Then a lot of people came into the room and wheeled me on the bed to the labour ward. They took me straight away to a room where a doctor attempted to find the heartbeat with the Sonicaid. When he couldn’t find it either I started to shake uncontrollably and I remember that I couldn’t stop my thighs quivering. They tried to find the heartbeat with the pad from the monitor, but that wouldn’t pick it up either. After that they brought in an ultrasound scanning machine and after a lot of manipulation the doctor managed to find the baby’s heartbeat and showed it to me on the screen. I burst into tears.
They could then use the image to find the heartbeat with the monitor and hooked me up to that again. I could tell immediately that something was not right because where previously the heartbeat had been between 130 and 170 bpm it was now hovering at about 60 to 70 bpm. At this point, though, I was just relieved that he was still alive.
The doctor broke my waters, but then told me that they would be sending me to have a caesarean section and that they would need to put me under general anaesthetic. I was glad that they were working quickly. A lot of people were talking to me and telling me that things were going to move fast, but that it was for the best. I was asked to sign a consent form that I didn’t have time to read and pricked with loads of needles. They told me that Scott was on his way. When I was taken into the operating room I could feel them preparing my belly, but I wasn’t asleep yet. I panicked that I wasn’t going to be under when they cut me, but it wasn’t even five seconds after I smelled the gas that I was asleep.
Literally the next thing I knew I was waking up with something attached to my face that I didn’t like so I pulled it off. Then I noticed that I was in complete agony on my belly and the nurses explained how to use the morphine button.
Most of that day is a complete blur. I remember Scott being there and both sets of our parents arriving. I also remember being told that Zane was very poorly, but the morphine meant that nothing really sunk in. I understood fully, but it didn’t seem to penetrate. He had gone into shock due to the lack of oxygen and this meant that his organs weren’t functioning properly and his blood pressure was very low. He had also suffered seizures and as a result his brain was swollen.
I was wheeled on my bed to see Zane, who was in special care and he was full of tubes, but I was pleased to see him. Scott stroked his side and it tickled him so he kicked his legs up. Apart from the tubes he didn’t seem that poorly if he was reacting to being tickled.
The next day Scott went to find out how he was. I couldn’t go because I was still hooked up to drips and morphine. When he came back he explained that the consultant had advised him that Zane was very poorly indeed and his blood pressure had fallen in the night. I was anxious to be taken off the morphine so that I could go in a wheelchair to see him.
When we got to special care we were advised that they had contacted the Leeds travel team who were coming to transfer Zane to the special care baby unit at the LGI in Leeds. He needed a machine to help his kidneys because he wasn’t weeing. He had, however done a big poo and they were cleaning this up when we arrived. We stayed with him for a while and Scott stroked him and spoke to him. I couldn’t get to him because I was in the wheelchair, but I watched him as the nurses worked on him. When the Leeds team arrived we left to wait for them to tell us that they were taking him so that we could follow in an ambulance. As I was leaving I looked at Zanes face and his eyes were open. They looked for me as I was wheeled out and I hope he saw me.
After a few hours we were transferred to Leeds and taken to see Zane in special care there. He was asleep, but everything seemed under control and we were hopeful. We knew that he would most likely be brain damaged, but we had a renewed belief that he might pull through.
We had been back in our room for a short while and the midwife hurried into the room and rushed us off to special care because Zane had gone into cardiac arrest. We arrived to find he had been stabilised, but the consultant took us to one side and explained that although he had been brought round this time the chances were that he would have another cardiac arrest and that this was his way of saying that he had had enough. The doctor suggested that perhaps it was fruitless to keep reviving him and so we agreed that if he went into cardiac arrest again that they should not attempt to bring him back around. After all he should not be made to suffer and we respected the consultant’s professional opinion.
We decided that Zane should be baptised and after contacting our parents to let them know that they should come straight away we were told that we should baptise straight away as his heart monitor was showing fluctuations.
After the baptism when both of our parents and my sister and Scotts sister had come to say goodbye the consultant asked to see us again. He explained that Zane was only being kept alive by the machines and in his opinion the most ethical thing to do would be to withdraw care. His blood pressure was still dangerously low, his kidneys weren’t functioning and his heart had gone into arrest once and was fluctuating. Worst of all his brain had swollen due to seizures and there was no telling how much damage there would be if he survived, but the bottom line was that he wouldn’t survive and that by continuing care we were only prolonging his suffering.
Scott and I decided that the kindest thing to do would be to withdraw care and cuddle Zane until he passed away. This is what we did. Zane passed away in our arms not 36 hours after he was born.