Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mom to Alexis Grace Stow
Stillborn on June 8th, 2010, 1:10pm
Lansing, MI

Hello my name is April Stow. I am 31 years old and Alexis Grace was my first child. I had always wanted children, but didn't find the right man to make those babies with. Until I met my husband, he is a wonderful father to two older step-children, and a wonderful uncle to my nieces and nephew. We got married on June 20th 2009 on a beautiful summer afternoon. We waited a little while to start the TTC process. I was trying to get my thyroid under control and various other reasons. We got the go ahead to get off birth control in October, and it was suggested that I wait a few cycles to start trying. Well, that didn't happen. I was waiting for my period to show up in November and it never came. The doctor did an HCG test at the end of November. It was negative. I was told to wait another week to see if it would show up, and retest for the HCG. The first test my husband didn't know about, but the second test I told him what was happening. They had me get my blood drawn on a Friday and I wouldn't hear back from my doctor until the next Monday. But the way the laboratories work here, we are able to call after a certain amount of hours to get the results. I ended up calling at 10 that night, and it was positive! Surprise! My husband was surprisingly calm about it. I had my first doctor appointment early because I didn't know any dates. They did an ultrasound, but couldn't find anything yet (way too early).
We decided to tell our parents on Christmas. We always go over to my mom’s house Christmas morning, and we traveled to his mom’s house the day after Christmas. I made some teddy bear ornaments, painted them white and wrote "Baby's first Christmas 2010" on them. I made one for his mom, my mom, my grandma, and my aunt. Christmas morning we went over to my mom’s house and did our normal routine with everyone there. My brother and his wife and kids were there, my sister and her partner, one of my Aunts and her daughter and my grandma. After everyone opened their presents, we game my grandma and mom their presents with the ornaments. My mom could only stare in disbelief at the ornament; I had been lying to her about still being on birth control.
A few days after Christmas we go in for another ultrasound, and we see a little blob that they said was a baby, but it sure didn't look like it! Due date was August 15, 2010.
It was a pretty uneventful pregnancy, some days I didn't feel pregnant! On March 22nd we had the big ultrasound! Surprise it is a girl! Husband wanted a boy, but after a while he got used to the idea. At night he so wanted to feel her kick and stuff, so he would rub my belly and talk to her. She was never strong enough to kick hard enough for him to feel. At the ultrasound we found out she might have a club foot, so we were going to get a recheck in 8 weeks. During that time, I thought everything was normal. The only thing I thought was weird was that nobody could feel her from the outside. I didn't think there was a problem.
On May 20th we had a recheck done at my Ob's office. Yes she definitely had a club foot, but also she was measuring a couple of weeks behind. The doctor referred us to a perinatologist. We had an appointment the next Friday on May 28th. We had our first and only prenatal class the night before. We were feeling great! They did a bunch of measurements, and said the doctor was going to come and talk to us. He comes in and he is a very matter of fact doctor. He said he was a worst case scenario doctor. With the growth and the club foot, he was afraid of Trisomy 18, basically incompatible with life. It was a Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend, so we scheduled an amnio on Tuesday morning. He also suggested I start doing kick counts. Well Saturday my husband was at a side job all day (he is an electrician) and I went to help him. Did the kick count and got 10 in 30 minutes. Then we went up north to an uncle’s cabin to do some work at his pole barn. Did kick counts on the way home and got 10 in 45 minutes. Monday was a catch up day on house work and laundry, so I wasn't able to do kick counts until later. Sat down at 8pm and only got 4 in a 2 hour period.
We decided to get checked out at the hospital. Ended up staying over night to see the doctor in the morning, whom we had an appointment with that morning anyway. Alexis was on a downward slope of her placenta not working. Doctor said we had about 2 weeks before it completely stopped working. Still did the amnio and was officially put off work until after baby was born. We had daily NSTs and BPP at 2 different doctor's offices. Then on sat and sun we had to go to the hospital to get them done. We got the FISH results back the next day and everything looked good, no Trisomy 18. She never passed the NSTs, but she passed the BPP every time. Saturday roles around and we went to the hospital to get the tests done. She of course doesn't pass the NST, but she also didn't quite pass the BPP. Only got 6 out of 8. If she had gotten 4 out of 8 she would have done a c-section to get her out that day. So we go home and wait for one more day and one more test. Sunday the same results.
On Monday June 7th, we go into the perinatologist's office and get the tests done. My mom has been driving me to these tests everyday so she was with me. I had been complaining to her that I woke up this morning not feeling pregnant. I wear a huge shirt to bed, so it hid my bump very well! We get called back to the office and get hooked to the NST machine. The nurse searched for a good 10 minutes for her heart beat. Finally she said to come into the ultrasound room. We sit there for a minute while the nurse got things set up. We were joking about something and laughing not even realizing what happened. We get to the ultrasound room, and she puts that warm jell on my stomach. It is kind of faced towards me, and she did a few measurements of the placenta and her head before she searches for the heartbeat. Bam, no heartbeat. My mom instantly starts crying and hugs me. The doctor was in the room within a minute, and tries to comfort me by saying that he doesn't know why these things happen, but they do. He was so sorry, and I could tell he was beat up about it.
I tell mom to call my husband and to tell him what was going on. While we were waiting for him, we were escorted to a conference room. We sit there until the hubby gets there, then the doctor sits there and gives us options of what we can do. We can either wait until labor naturally starts in a couple of weeks, or get induced right away. We choose to get induced.
I started the induction process that afternoon. They put some lumeneria strips in my cervix to loosen things up. That left them in for 12 hours. The next morning they take the strips out and start the pitocin. She was born at 1:10pm that afternoon. We had all sorts of family around to be with us. My mom, his mom, my sister and my aunt. She was perfect, my DH said she had my nose. We held her for quite a while. Then we had them take her to get dressed, they said she wouldn’t be able to get a bath because her skin was so fragile. While we were waiting for them to bring her back, I was trying to deliver her placenta. It took 5 hours to get it out, to the point where the doctor had to pull it out with some long handled tweezers.
We were discharged the next morning. We had the placenta analyzed. They didn’t find out why it happened, but that it had several infarctions and a few contusions. Mom said the cord looked very short to her. All we can guess is that the placenta pulled away. I had no bleeding no cramps or anything to warn me that it was happening. We are in the process of getting ready to TTC. I am scared out of my wits.
You can contact April at


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