Wednesday, March 11, 2009

No more sister for my boy. Baby's death before birth.

I didn't plan to get pregnant so quickly after my baby boy was born but I was very excited when I did, just 4 months later. Their birthdays would have been only a few days apart. More I thought about it, the more I was getting excited.

When I was pregnant with my baby boy, I somehow knew from the start that it was a boy. I don't know how, I just knew. Most of the mothers do, I believe. Even when we went for the ultrasound and the tech said that it was a girl, I asked her to look again because it's a boy. And sure enough - it was a boy.

This time around I knew that it is a little girl. Little sister for my boy, it would be just awesome to complete my family with a little princess. Life was perfect.

6-7 weeks. I went for the ultrasound with my twin sister who was visiting from Italy with my whole family for Christmas. She was so excited for me that she filmed on her videocamera a part of the procedure... before she was told that she is not allowed to film... oops. I remember that the tech commented on how strong the heartbeat was in that little blob that it's hard to even call baby. It was there and she was growing... 12 weeks passed and I was delighted that everything is fine and I am in a safe zone. If anything would happen, it would have happened by now, in the first trimester. And every time we would go for the ultrasound they always would comment on the strong heartbeat.... There was no reason to worry. I could already see us all going to Disneyworld to see Meckey, and invisioned all the cute pink outfits I would dress her up in, and all the girly things we would do together...

12-13 weeks. NT test. Everything measures fine, I could see her move on the screen of the ultrasound machine. Even though the gender wasn't visible yet, I knew, my little nugget-girl was growing and I couldn't wait to hold her in my arms...and kiss those little hands she was showing me on the screen.

15 weeks. I started spotting... what's wrong? I didn't even want to believe or realistically accept that something could go wrong, being over the 3 months mark, I've just saw her few weeks ago and everything was fine. Hoping for the best I went to the doctor. The ultrasound has shown a lower amount of amniotic fluid as well as baby not measuring up to the correct size for her gestational age. They've sent me the next day to the Perinatal specialist for second opinion. Even though my doctor said that it was only for the second opinion and there is no reason to worry yet, I somehow knew that something isn't right. I could sense it. I always was able to read between the lines. I have not experienced anything like that with my first pregnancy when I breezed through it without a glitch. This was the first time in my life when I had doubts whether Google was a good thing, I was a royal mess. Everything I've researched about these symptoms that night, wasn't promising anything good. But I still had hope that everything would work out and be fine, it's just couldn't be any other way. The next day ultrasound has shown pretty much the same thing but the doctor said that my dates could be off so there is no reason to worry. Sure, that would make some sense, so I decided not to worry for the sake of my baby. Her heartbeat was strong as usual. Coinsidently my bleeding stopped and I had a sigh of relief.

Week 17. After going out for lunch with my girlfriend few days ago and finally setting myself back in peaceful order, I suddenly started bleeding again. Not sure whether it had something to do with the slight fall I had while out, but my worries have poured right back in and this time I couldn't just shake them off. I tried to go through every possible scenario in my head but whether it was denial or what, but I couldn't and didn't want to accept that there is a possibility that there was something wrong with my baby. I tried to be positive. I even remembered that I had a psychic reading a few years ago, after a misscariage, and she said that I would not have any more misscariages. As stupid as it sounds, I even tried to seriously rely on it even though by then I felt dizzy pretty much all the time. So I called my doc again and made an appointment for the next day. Since all this started I prayed so hard like I never did before, put together.

Friday, March 6th, 2009. I still hoped that everything would work itself out and tried not to stress and find excuse for my constant dizziness, bleeding and weakness... I tried to attribute it all to the "normal" sighs of pregnancy and silver line it in my own head. I even tried not to think much of it, when my doc couldn't find a heartbeat with doppler, since she couldn't locate it even before. But the truth, no matter how much you try to deny it will show her ugly head eventually. And smack you right between your eyes if you try to ignore it long enough. Thank God my husband went with me to this visit. On the ultrasound session that's followed, the tech started acting a bit strange when I asked her about the baby. She took off the get the doc. That's when my husband (who is in ultrasound business himself) took my hand and said "There is no heartbeat, baby". It slammed on me like a ton of bricks. My world was on the brink of biblical annihilation and it didn't feel real. As much as I tried to prepare myslef for everything, going through all the possible outcomes before, nothing can prepare you enough to hear the worst. The floodgate opened and I don't even remember when was the last time I cried so uncontrollably and unstoppably. Why me, why again? It was not supposed to happen. I was on my 5th month of pregnancy. What did I do to deserve it? A thousand questions were rushing through my mind with sonic speed. No answers, and nothing I could do about it. There was no light in the end of the tunnel, just darkness all around. I was upset and even angry that my prayers weren't heard, and how unfair it is that some people have 14 kids and no problem ( infamous octo-mom) and some, like me can't be blessed with just one more little one. And a lot of others, like my sister, can't have even one. Life is so unfair. I wasn't able to deal with the world so my husband had to do all the arrangements for my D&C while I was trying to find strength and reason, while hugging my 7 months old son, who was there with us too. I am very grateful for having my baby boy in my life and my awesome husband, they are giving me hope and reason to be a fighter and looking forward. But all I wanted to do then is to get deadly drunk and forget for a while who I was and why I am there. My husband took me for D&C the same day, I couldn't face the possibility of knowing that my dead baby is still inside of me for few more days. I wanted to get it done and over with, as soon as possible. At the clinic I've asked them to put me out of my misery as quick as they possibly could by law....

When we were leaving, the nurse asked us if we wanted to see the baby. It was surreal to see this tiny little, very thin grayish-yellow body laying there on the tray. Little soul that went to Heaven before even being born. It was a little GIRL, I was right. Her little hand was smaller then half of the nail on my pinky finger, little hand that I will never get a chance to kiss. I've found myself in a strange numbness and hardly remember the next few hours.

Few days passed and I am regaining my consciousness and constantly hugging and kissing my baby boy, which helps enormously. There is someone little who needs me, who loves me and gives me the reason for moving on. Great news is that the world is NOT coming to an end as it felt earlier, and I am recovering faster, then I thought I would. Time heals. My sweet baby gives me daily and much needed dose of giggles, positivity and optimism and one day, I am sure, he will have a baby sister and maybe a brother too. I am finding solace in believing that everything is done and happens for a reason and God has chosen this outcome as the best. I am sure after all, my prayers were heard. I've prayed for a healty baby, so I am sure whatever happened, she is healthy and happy in Heaven and I will meet her one day.

Why babies die before being born, nobody knows. It happens more often then thought. March of Dimes puts significant efforts in research of those unknown reasons. Sweetsation Therapy supports their efforts and will donate a portion of sales to March of Dimes to help this important research. All babies should be born healthy and we all can help. There are a few ways how: donate, shop to help, participate, volunteer.

Natalja Millsap
Sweetsation Therapy

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