Monday, October 26, 2009
The eternal question. WHY????
Could I have done something to catch it on time? Did he have pain as he was dying in my womb. Did he know how much I loved him? I miss him so much. I see his face in Lauren's face. The resemblance, at times comforting, other times agonizing. I'm happy she's a girl, and still I see him in her. At times, my mind plays games on me, I see her and I feel him. Crazy. They are so much alike.
Lauren. She is beautiful, sweet and growing so fast. We are all so happy. I am so blessed to have her here, alive and well.
I get a call the other day, one of the doctors I work with wanted to ask a favor of me. She asks me if she can give my information to one of her friends. She delivered her baby girl, born still that day. 38 weeks gestation, another damn cord accident. It angers me, why? Why does it keep happening. Babies born still, I hate it.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Thank you all for all of your support during the last few days of my pregnancy. There were some days that I had no clue how to survive. Thank you again.
Will post pictures relatively soon.
Much love to all of you.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
I am amazed and shocked and saddened by how often this happens. WHY??? I hate it. It made me think how much we are more similar to one another than not. Everyone knows of someone who has suffered the loss of a child due to stillbirth. I HATE IT!!!!
In the meantime, I will be praying and hoping for all of us mothers who have once again (thankfully) are pregnant and ready to deliver. May WE all have safe and healthy deliveries. Thinking of all of you. And wishing everyone strength and peace.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
The amnio was very, very painful. Now I know what a contraction feels like. OUCH!!! It was difficult to obtain because her head was wedged in my pelvis and she couldn't find any other pockets of fluid. I'm glad that's over. It hurt like hell, but at least I know now that we should be relatively safe for delivery Saturday.
Amazingly, I feel quite comfortable with this. Perhaps it's my background, Peds emergency room nurse, I know what RDS looks like and all that it can entail. I don't want to see my little girl on a ventilator or any other assisted breathing device. I want her well and alive, I want to hold her in my arms once she is born, not whisked away to the NICU and poked and prodded. But, then on the flip side, the thought is there. Lingering. What if something happens in the next couple days until Friday. It's a no win situation. I just hope we've all made the right decision.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
I knew something was different yesterday. I woke up and was able to walk without the round ligament pain, the pelvic pressure, all in all I was feeling great. I called and told my husband I thought she was breech because the pelvic pressure was gone. Then I felt something in my ribs and thought, well maybe she isn't.
Well, she is breech. One week away from scheduled induction. Oh well, if I have to have a C section, I'm OK with that. I just want her alive and well.
Oh and her estimated weight, 6 lbs 10 oz, 77th percentile. Wow! She's pretty big isn't she for 35 weeks 3days.
I'll keep all of you posted.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Here is the plan per my OB, amnio next week Tuesday to assess lung maturity. If lungs are mature, induce the next day. One more week, I can't wait. I hope her lungs are mature. Although, I do enjoy feeling her kicks and movements inside my womb, I am ready to meet her.
Also, her lovely head is now resting in my pelvis and boy does that hurt. When I walk I feel the pressure of her in my pelvis, I feel my round ligaments stretching and let me tell you, it's no walk in the park. I was checked on Friday, and yes I'm already dilated 1 cm, but my cervix is long, not effaced at all. She said she wouldn't mind if I went into labor on my own. She's not the only one.
I've also become quite sensitive these past couple weeks, I cry at the drop of a hat. And the fatigue, it's come back with a vengeance. I just have one more day of work, of course after today and then I'm officially on FMLA.
Uggg, I want this week to fly by, I want my baby girl here. I can't wait, then I think of all the things that might go wrong. And I begin to tremble in fear. I don't want to go there, but I know it can happen. I feel like I'm losing my freaking mind at times. How have you guys done it, the deadbabymamas, during a subsequent pregnancy. How do you hold it together?
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
I wake up, it was a dream.
Monday, June 8, 2009
This morning, I woke up and listened to her heartbeat. It was there...exhale. I don't know what I was expecting, but she's alive. Thank God, I have a NST today at 9:30am. It's reassuring. I love listening to her heartbeat. Although at times, it's difficult to differentiate hers from mine. Lately, my heart is beating so fast, it can easily be mistaken for a fetal heart rate.
She's moving and kicking right now. I love her, keep on moving is my mantra these days. I am now having NSTs twice a week and a weekly biophysical profile every Wednesday. Does it help, yes somewhat. But, I just want her here, alive and breathing.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
My beloved son, a year ago you were born. You were born silenty at 1:29pm. You weighed 4 lbs 3 oz. and were 18 inches long. It was the hardest thing I had to do, to deliver your lifeless body into our awaiting arms. But it was also one of the best things I have done. It was one of the happiest days of my life, we finally were able to meet you. To see your beautiful face, we felt your beautiful curls. My precious Ethan, you looked just like Mommy. You were alive in my womb for 32 weeks, and they were the best weeks of my life. I still remember talking to you in the elevator at work. I remember how you would move and wiggle during my meetings, presentations at work. I love you and it comforts me to know that you felt this love. This I know for sure.
Today we celebrated your life, and as your big brother said, "We are celebrating his life and birth". Your big brother woke up today happy and excited, his first words this morning were "Mommy today is Ethan's birthday". It was a bittersweet day my love. Oh how we wish we would be able to blow out your 1st birthday candle with you. We were not given that opportunity but we thank God for allowing us the time we did have with you. We cherish those 32 weeks.
Your grandparents also came to visit for this very special day. It was a nice day, although a bit cloudy. We sat there and ate cupcakes to celebrate YOU. Your big brother blew out your candle after we sang Happy Birthday. Earlier in the day, he told me, "Mommy, it's kinda hard to celebrate a birthday when the person has died. I just want to be able to tell Ethan Happy Birthday, but he's not here". He's absolutely right. He also said you were going to have a big party in Heaven for your birthday, and you were probably playing the baby limbo with all of the clouds stringed together. He misses you tremendously.
I'm glad you entered our lives, and baby you continue to have a place in our family and will live forever in our hearts. You are my baby, my precious Ethan. We love you so much. Happy Birthday my love!
Thursday, May 21, 2009
He arrives, he's worried too. We are interrupted by an old college acquaintance, she's there with her son. We talk to her quickly. We leave the hospital premises, we are on the way there. I tell my husband to stop and pick up something for Jason to eat. In my mind, I'm thinking we will have to go to the hospital perhaps for a non stress test or something. It enters my mind that perhaps something is wrong but I'm not thinking he has died. I just couldn't imagine it, not on the way there. We arrive, the nurse greets me. She tries to listen to his heartbeat, NOTHING. I am taken over to the ultrasound room, and there he is, lifeless. No heartbeat. I knew it then, Ethan had died. I hear talking, my head is spinning, I'm crying, asking for my husband. The ultrasound technician brings him in, we are taken into another room, shortly after that Dr. J walks in. I don't want my son to see me like this, I ask them not to bring him in. I can't comprehend what is going on, it doesn't feel real. I'm asking her what happened, she's sitting and telling me she doesn't know. I don't know how long we are there. We finally leave, Jason was sitting in the nurses station coloring. He looks terrified. I try to gain composure for his sake. We manage to drive home.
Upon our arrival, I am greeted in the living room with all of the shower gifts from a few weeks ago. We take Jason into the family room and tell him his little brother has died. He doesn't look at me, he braces me and doesn't let go. I hear his sobs, he's crying uncontrollaby. My then 5 year old has just entered this hellish nightmare as well. He's asking why did our baby died. We have no answers.
The nightmare has begun. We have phone calls to make, family to tell, arrangements to make. We try to maintain normalcy for Jason's sake. We take comfort in our mundane tasks, giving Jason a bath, bedtime routine. We finally go to sleep, hoping to be awakened from this nightmare. Only that never happens. I am wide awake at 2am, sobbing, looking at my belly asking "WHY????"
Saturday, May 9, 2009
On to other news, I had a bit of a scare last week, I was directly exposed to H1N1 virus. One of my patients coughed on my face as I was bending over to take his temperature. And of course, he tested positive for the flu virus. Just my luck huh. I'm on antivirals right now, I'm sure all is well, since I just passed the incubation period and nothing, no symptoms. Just one more day of the antiviral. I'm telling you, I must be a shit magnet. Then my employer informed me that I have to be reassigned to another area because the CDC recommends that pregnant health care workers be reassigned to non patient contact areas until further recommendation. I'm OK with this, I've already been exposed and don't want to take any chances.
I've had a rough past 2 weeks, lots of stress, Ethan's anniversary just right around the corner and oh yeah, my parents are on the verge of divorce after 45 years of marriage. I don't even want to get into the whole thing. I just wake up every morning and pray that I can get through the day. It's getting better, I'm here, surviving once again. I realize that although my parents impending divorce is difficult, NOTHING compares to the pain of losing your child.
Today on the eve of Mother's Day, I remember Ethan. I remember last years Mother's Day, all of the joy, the anticipation of holding my baby boy. I was 30 weeks pregnant last year, how I wish I would've known I only had 2 weeks left with him. I would've caressed my belly more, I would've told him how much I loved him. There's so much I wish I knew then. I would've tried to save his life.
To you my friends, I wish you a HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!
Monday, April 27, 2009
I remember so clearly, the warm wind on my tear moistened cheeks, my swollen eyes, I looked like a boxer the day after a big match. I wanted to be away from it, away from the sunlight. I wanted to recluse in the solitude of my bedroom, but I couldn't. I had Jason to look after. He kept me going. He was also broken. After the funeral everyone returned to their lives, me I was just beginning my new life, the life of a mother of a dead baby.
Not was I just learning how to function in my new reality, I was also experiencing engorged breasts. My body apparently didn't know I had no baby to nurse. My boobs were hard as rocks. I had to wear nursery pads, I remember when my husband returned from the grocery store with the box of them, I broke down. The box had a chunky, smiling baby being held by his gleaming mother. I grabbed the box and threw it way, took out the pads and placed them in my sanitary napkin pile. I wanted nothing more than to nurse my baby, nurture my Ethan. I had the constant reminder of physical pain that indeed there was no baby, but the milk kept flowing as if trying to keep up with the tears I was shedding. I remember sobbing in the shower, this was my safe place to cry, and looking down at my breast release the milk. It was one of the worst reminders of what I should have been doing, nursing my child. I did look up on the Internet how to dry out your milk and would find all of these nursing mother websites. Eventually, I managed to read a couple of them and concluded that tightly bounded breast would slow down the milk production, I did, with a huge ace wrap I had my husband bind my breast. I also read along the way that frozen cabbage leaves applied to the breast would lessen the pain. I tried this as well, did it work? I'm not sure, but the coldness did soothe somewhat. After about 1 month, the milk did stop flowing. Although, I continued to leak for quite some time after that.
May sweeps came and went, I didn't have the TV shows I was used to watching put me in a trance. Everything was changing, school was out, kids were playing outside, the sun was brighter and our days were painfully long. Outside everybody was happy, smiling, lives continued. Yet, mine and that of our family halted to a complete stop. We were all lost. We didn't know what to do with ourselves. I remember feeling completely at a loss. My house was in shambles, I was barely able to take care of Jason's needs. I didn't want to cry in front of him, yet I was crying all day long. Eventually, my husband returned to work. And I was home with Jason, alone with him. I didn't have the energy to take him outside to play, I didn't want to see anybody. But, I had to do something. I had to take care of him. So, my days consisted of searching and reading blogs, I started my own deadbabymama blog. I let Jason do the unthinkable, vegetate in front of the TV. Then I slowly began to get a routine going again, I started going to the YMCA. This was my way of letting Jason play with other kids while in the kid watch area. And I began walking then running. This was the only thing that would release the pressure building up in my chest, I wanted to scream, I felt as if my head would soon burst. I would blast the music in my ears and run, run and run. I was sweating and the sweat would mask my tears. I would listen to all of the music that I'd listen to during my pregnancy, and I would think of Ethan and cry because he was no longer here, he was dead. We'd stay there 2 hours a day. And this is how I spent those painfully long days of summer.
As the summer winds begin to make an appearance once again, I fear going through the same kind of summer I had last year. I fear the milk engorged breasts with no baby to nurse, I fear the long, dreadful summer days. I fear the look of Jason's eyes looking into mine and asking, "Mommy why did our baby die?"
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Am I having a baby shower? NO
Have I picked out the nursery decor? Again, the answer is NO.
Where will I deliver, am I having an epidural? I will deliver at the same hospital where I delivered my other son. Where I delivered my dead son. Usually, that's enough to stop the pregnancy questions.
I know these are all part of the pregnancy interrogation, and they are not ill intentioned questions, but they bug me. I want to scream, "I'm freaking terrified, I'm afraid of this baby dying as well, I don't really know if this baby will live!" I had the baby shower last time, I had the nursery decor picked out and he still died. I know those things are not important. What's important, my sanity for starters. Controlling my gestational diabetes, monitoring my blood pressure, ask me about that.
The other day at work, one of the very pregnant respiratory therapists, came down and I cowered. I hid, I didn't want to see her nor did I want her to see my bump. I've been doing this a lot more, in public I hide my pregnant belly. Am I ashamed, no, I'm just trying to protect myself. I don't know if this makes sense, but I don't want people to see me pregnant again and ask me questions about this pregnancy, and if the unimaginable happens I don't want to explain why I don't have a living baby again. I know I sound crazy huh.
As my sister asked me a couple weeks ago, am I not happy. Well, of course I'm happy. I love this little girl so much. Of course I do she is my little girl, my little Lauren. Yes, I do get excited and actually let my mind go there, to the possibility that she will live. But, then my grief kicks in, the doubts, the fear all of it, it comes crashing down and I go back to my reality. I have already lost a son, he's dead and I'm not immune to the same thing happening again.
I am praying that this doesn't happen again. I am hopelessly in love with her. She is quite the kicker and mover. I am amazed with her movement. I love her, and love feeling her move inside. I have life again growing in my womb. But, I am scared, my womb proved to be a deadly tomb for Ethan. My body killed Ethan. I don't want it to happen again, actually that is an understatement I am begging my body, the universe, God to stop it from happening again. I am approaching 22 weeks this weekend, just 10 weeks before my world came crashing down on me last time. It is a constant countdown, 16-15 more weeks before I can be induced. But, will I make it? And Ethan's birthday is quickly approaching, May 23rd. It will be one year since I said Hello and Goodbye to Ethan. One year since I met him, held him, marveled at his beautiful face, his beautiful nose, his head full of black curls. There are times when I want to go back to that day, just to be able to hold him again. I wish I could go back to that day to take a picture of his feet, I saw them and I have footprints of his feet, but I never took a picture of his toes, his tiny feet.
The other day, I was able to talk about Ethan's birth without crying. I found myself wanting to tell Ethan's birth story. Someone made a comment about my pain tolerance and this impending birth and I stopped her in her tracks and reminded her that I have been through labor before. I labored to bring Ethan into this world, yes he was born, silently he was born into my awaiting arms. I've been through it before. I had given birth. Although, I didn't push him out, no he was taken from my womb, just the same way he was taken from us.
Monday, March 16, 2009
We are first cousins, shouldn't they somehow be protected with statistics since it happened to me already. Of course not. We've all been there, the wrong side of the statistics. I hate when another baby dies. I wish Ethan would've been the last baby to die this way. It's horrible, and it happens all too frequently.
And what is the medical community doing about this? NOTHING. Every doctor I have spoken to, with a few exceptions, make it sound as if stillbirth is a thing of the past that happens sporadically. And I hate the phrase, "It was a fluke".
I just can't believe it. Our family has been struck again. Why???
I also had a mini freakout Saturday. She was moving... a lot. It scared me, it took me back to night before Ethan died. I checked her heartbeat and she was thumping nicely in the 150s. But, all the movement, it flooded my body with emotions I haven't felt recently. The grief came pouring in. Followed by the guilt. Could I have done something about it. Maybe if I had a doppler then, could I have detected a change in heart rate.
As if that wasn't enough, I thought what if all the doppler hearings are forcing her to move in such a way to get her cord tangled up into a true knot. Am I causing a true knot now? I was a mess. I'm just so scared. I'm scared of losing another baby. I don't know if I will survive. Then I think of little Jason, what will it do to him if this happens again. What will it do to my family?
Saturday, March 14, 2009
However, I am definitely looking very pregnant these days. I do marvel at my changing body once again, but only in private. Yet, now strangers are asking the ever present, question "Is this your first?" They all mean well I'm sure. But it stings so much, on the one hand, we have Jason. He's 6 years old, not biologically ours, but there is just no difference. Second, no this is not my first pregnancy, I also have a son, Ethan. Such a simple question, yet it elicits so many emotions.
As far as the pregnancy, all seems to be relatively well. I have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes again. But, it is diet controlled and I'm doing pretty well. Dr. J wanted to test me early since I had GD last time. My hypertension is under control. Even at 32 weeks pregnant with Ethan, I was running systolic blood pressures in the one teens. I haven't gained much weight this time around, only 5 lbs. I attribute it to my diabetic diet. NO FUN :( But, overall all seems well.
We had our 18 week extensive ultrasound, and all looks well. 4 chamber heart, 2 kidneys, 10 toes and 10 fingers. And the baby weighs 9 ounces already. My parents came to visit the night before to accompany us to the ultrasound. It meant so much to me. The night before, my Dad bought a dozen roses and gave them to me. He said they were not for me but for his GRANDDAUGHTER ! Well, he was absolutely right. We are having a GIRL!!! We have decided to name our little girl,
Lauren Daniella. Daniella after my Dad.
Friday, February 20, 2009
I'm relieved! Now I'm off to my scheduled massage appointment.
Friday, February 13, 2009
On to other news, I am now a few days from being 16 weeks pregnant. We just recently told my parents the news and it's out at work as well. I had my OB appt. today. The heart rate was 160, I've gained 3lbs and all seemed to be going well. Then my OB told me my blood test revealed positive antibodies. It caught me off guard. Antibodies. WTF? She went on to explain that I have antibodies present on my red blood cells but not in sufficient quantity to be able to determine what specific antigen they are reacting to. She said at this point, the baby is fine. But she went ahead and we had a redrawn done. It took me a while to absorb all of this information. On the drive home, I realized that if she said the baby is fine RIGHT NOW, that could change if I continue to have these antibodies. I am Rh positive, and so is my husband. So there is no way the baby could be Rh negative. So, what else could it be. Then I googled it, and there is so many different antibodies. I had a mini freakout, but had to stop to take care of Jason.
So, for now. I am going to cross my fingers and pray that the repeat blood draw doesn't reveal anymore antibodies. It's so frustrating, just when I began to actually allow myself to feel hope. This happens. Although, Dr. J didn't seem to concerned. She said sometimes the blood work will reveal these antibodies and they mean nothing. I hope this is the case.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
And of course, I'm walking along with you, walking through the journey of infertility, injections, IUIs and IVF. I hold you all dear and close to my heart. Wishing you well, sending baby dust your way.
My pregnancy is going well so far. I am now 12ish weeks pregnant, past the "safety" mark. Is it ever safe? No, I think not, but I will pretend it is. I need to be in oblivion again. Only, I can't, I've traveled through that treacherous path before, I know there is never a safe time in pregnancy.
I had my first OB appointment last week. It went as well as could be expected. Of course, being there brought back all the painful memories of discovering that Ethan had died. But, I survived. I made it through the appointment without crying the entire time. Since it was my first appointment, I first met with the nurse, Michelle, she was great. She initially put me in the room where we could not hear his heartbeat, and I just lost it. She moved us into another room immediately, she was sympathetic and didn't make me repeat my whole history. That, in itself, is also very painful. Finally, I met with Dr. J, I just love her. She was elated to have us there. As was I, I can't imagine anybody else treating us. We heard the baby's heartbeat. I love that sound.
Which brings me to my confession, I bought a fetal doppler and absolutely love it. I am officially addicted to it. I am listening to the baby, first thing in the morning and before I go to bed. Wow. I just love it.
Back to my appointment, we did talk about the whole course of action for the pregnancy and she said most likely I would deliver early. She suggested maybe 36-37 weeks, depending on an amnio to determine lung maturity. But, no longer than 39 weeks. I have predisposing factors which can contribute to poor placental function. I have hypertension and lupus anticoagulant. She also said I'd have weekly ultrasounds and biweekly stress test and biophysical profiles. So, there you have it. I'm OK with this, I would feel better. At the end, I just want to hold a live baby in my arms.
This Friday I have my next appointment with the MFM doctor. Where I have elected to have the first trimester screening. I'm excited, and of course cautiously optimistic. I didn't do any of these test with Ethan, but I opted to have it just to get the detailed ultrasounds early on. Of course, they measure the nuchal fold. But, I know for sure, I will not do an amnio or CVS. If there is a risk of miscarrying, I will not take that chance. I've been on the other side of the statistics and don't want to be there again.
Now, I just have to visualize the ultrasound machine. I have to remember to breathe. I think I will need to have a pedicure or massage before the appointment. Just thinking of the ultrasound, I get panicked. I go back to May 21st, when it was confirmed that Ethan died. But, I will get through this, I will do it. I can do this. I have no choice.
Monday, January 5, 2009
The phone is ringing, I'm still dreaming. I finally manage to wake up. It's a familiar number, I think. I just missed it, went to voicemail. Yes, I'm wide awake now. I look down, no blood, it was just a dream. I call my voicemail, and to my surprise it's Dr. J. My OB, she's left me a message. She tells me she was so happy to find my chart on her desk upon her arrival from vacation. She's calling to tell me how excited and happy she is for me, and how she knows this will be very scary but we will get through it together. Her voice is full of glee and optimism.
That was the best wake up call I've ever had. A good way to bring me back to reality, to drag me out of that hellish nightmare.