Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Melissa
Mom to Rachel and Rebecca, 18-22 weeks, TTTS, September 1st, 1999
Brock Edward, 21 weeks, May 22nd, 2006
Erik Justin, 18 weeks, October 25, 2006
Baby Joe, 15 weeks, February 11, 2008
Noah Micheal, 15 weeks, June 25, 2010
Glendale, AZ


Rachel and Rebecca

While on birth control, a year after we married, I discovered I was pregnant. We were both very shocked, but also very excited. Things were great with us, and we were ready to expand our family. Sadly, the joy was short lived, when at just 5 weeks, I started bleeding heavily, and my HCG numbers were dropping.

I was devastated. Then a miracle happened. My numbers started to go back up, and very fast. I was told I was likely pregnant with twins, and one died, and the other should be just fine. I was filled with mixed emotions. Grieving for my baby that died, yet having hope for my baby still alive. At about 7 weeks, it was confirmed. I still had a live baby in my womb. We started making plans to buy a house, and move into a safer place.

When I was about 16 weeks, my doctor called to tell me the results of my AFP test showed the baby had a very high chance of having spina bifida. She set up an ultrasound for the next day with a high risk clinic. I was very nervous as I didn't know what to expect, but I knew we could handle any special needs baby. We were very shocked to find out that we were having twins! Identical girls. The doctor and ultrasound tech kept whispering about placenta and membranes, but I didn't understand any of it. They told me I should hear from my doctor the next day or so. I never did. The only thing they told me is they couldn't tell how far along I was, because the babies were measuring very different sizes. And they mentioned fluid issues, but I was still processing twins.

A couple weeks had passed and I never heard from my doc. I kept on working in the vet office and just tried to lighten my work a little. Then on Aug 31, 1999, I went to work feeling off. I didn't know what it was so I just kept on working. I started having bad cramps, and I called my doc and she said it was normal with twins. So I ignored it and went to lunch. While walking through the grocery store, buying my lunch, my water broke. I started crying immediately. I drove across the street to my work where I was driven to the hospital by a co-worker. Someone else called my husband.

When I got there, we discovered that one of the babies cords had slipped through my cervix and was pinched. That baby had died. I was so scared. I wanted to save the other baby, but they kept telling me that there was no chance of the baby surviving, and they wouldn't even try. Because these babies were monoamniotic and monochorionic, there was no chance of me delivering one baby and then trying to stop labor. I was devastated. I didn't want to be induced. But labor was not happening. I felt scared, and like no one was talking to me, telling me what to expect. After several hours, I started to run a fever and they were worried I would have an infection in my uterus. They convinced me to let them begin induction. Several painful hours later, my girls entered this world. Both silently. Rachel was born at 1252am and Rebecca was born at 1254 am. Both beautiful. Rachel was much smaller that Rebecca. It was obvious there was a problem in the placenta they shared. It wasn't until 8 months later I heard the term twin to twin transfusion syndrome. It was confirmed that TTTS took the lives of my girls, and a big part of my heart.

Brock Edward

Brock was a baby that we had been trying for for 15 months. We never had fertility issues before this, and I was beginning to lose faith in my body. When we found out we were expecting again, we were both very excited. We had planned a home birth for him. We had also planned on moving into a larger home with more space, because we were starting to feel closed in at out current home. We put our home on the market and bought another home. This was at the end of the good housing market, so things were not going great.

My pregnancy was going very normally. I was feeling sick like normal and very tired, but it was all part of it. I didn't mind it at all.

At a regular prenatal appointment, I had to go thorough the agony, of not hearing a heartbeat. We had heard is beautifully 2 other times, and I knew something would be wrong. The appointment was on a Tuesday, and I hadn't really felt the baby move since Saturday. I just thought I was really busy, and that is why I wasn't feeling him. My midwife ordered an ultrasound, and it was confirmed our baby didn't make it. The pain I felt was incredible. I never thought I would feel the pain of losing a baby again, and there I was, with all the same emotions and disbelief rushing in.

I decided I still wanted my baby to be born at home. My midwife and I talked frequently, and I started taking herbs to help my body catch up to what had happened and do what it needed to do. I was continuing to grow, because my placenta was working, and it was so hard to see my growing belly, knowing my baby was gone.

I spent a lot of time planning my baby's birth, and also funeral. I talked to so many people to find out what I needed to do for a baby born still at home. It was a way for me to stay busy. 3 weeks and 6 days, after we found out that our baby had died, I finally started labor. 530 am on May 22, I woke up to horrible back pain. I went to the bathroom, and my water broke. There was so much blood. We called my midwife, and a friend to come get my kids. I labored, scared out of my mind. The labor was hard. The pain was unbearable. About 3 hours later, my son entered this world. He was so perfect. I lay on my bed with him. No tears to be had. I looked at him. Took pictures of him. Even took pictures of him with my husband and I. We measured him and kept him close. After a couple hours, someone asked if I was ready for the funeral home to come get him. I said yes. When they arrived, I couldn't go out there. My midwife took my son and carried him out. I heard them exchange a few words, then I heard the front door close. I started sobbing. All my emotions came to head, and reality hit me my son was gone. Gone from my womb, gone from my arms, and gone from my home.

I have never regretted the wait to have him. I have never regretted the choice to have him at home. It was his path, and I am so blessed that I was able to stay on that path, even after he had gone.

Erik Justin

About a month after Brock's birth, I found out I was pregnant again. I was so shocked. But hopeful. My midwife didn't want to take me on, until I was 20 weeks, so I went to a high risk clinic. They told me that Brock probably died from a cord accident, and there was little chance of it happening again. My pregnancy was going great. And I felt strongly that all would be perfect. I started talking to a different midwife, and she said she would take me on, and we set up and appointment. I had seen the baby so many times on ultrasound that I knew I only had one, and I would be low risk.

I set up my midwife appointment for 18 weeks. She came to my home the evening of October 18, 2006. I had been listening to my baby on a doppler I had, so I wasn't worried about not finding the heart beat. We talked for about an hour, and then the midwife did a physical exam. Then she said it was time to hear the baby. I lay on my couch, and she put the doppler on my belly. It was silent. There was a faint echo of my heart beat in the background, but no fast thump of a baby. She searched for an hour and still nothing. She told me not to worry, and we would go to the doctor in the morning. And she said she would go with me.

When she left, I began begging and pleading with God to put life back in my baby. I was in a heap on the floor, and I could only sob, and beg. I knew my baby was gone, but I also knew that if God wanted to, he could put life back into him. I was up all night, trying to find the heart beat of my baby. I had no luck. I was so stressed, and sad. My husband told me not to worry, and he was sure everything would be OK.

The next morning I had to take my kids to my friends house so I could go to the doctor. We walked into the doctors office, without an appointment, and everyone was very rude. I knew if I had called, they would have told me to go to the hospital, and because I was not 20 weeks yet, I would be stuck in the ER.

Finally the nurse called me back and she couldn't find the heart beat. She rudely rattled off about the Ultrasound tech being busy, and not able to do an ultrasound, but she would check. She left the room. Then the tech came in and said she would do a quick check for me. I lay on the bed, and she turned on the machine. It didn't take long to see how still my baby was. He was gone. She looked around for a few minutes, then went to get the doctor. The doctor came in and told me what my options were, and I felt a strong need to be induced. I was told it would be a while, but they would put me on the list. A few days went by, and I started to run a fever. I called them again, and they told me to just go to the hospital, and they would get me in. So we did. My husband, my midwife and myself.

Everyone there was very nice, and let me do things my way. No IV's no pain killers, nothing. Just meds to help get contractions started, then leave me alone.

It took a couple doses of meds before I was in labor, but once I was, it happened fast. My water broke at 130 am on October 25, and baby was born around 3 am. Then all the craziness started. I was bleeding a lot, and my placenta was coming out in tiny pieces. I had passed out a few times, and after failing to remove it manually ( with no pain medication), they decided I needed surgery. I was taken away for a d and c. This was around 9 am. I had lost a lot of blood and I needed lots of treatments for that. I needed to stay in the hospital a while. They put me in antepartum,so I didn't have to hear babies cry all the time, and they offered to bring me my son, anytime I asked. I spent a lot of time holding him, and talking to him. I was so lost and broken that my baby, another baby, had died.

Joe

After losing the Brock and Erik, I knew something had to be going on. I spent a lot of time, and money, seeking answers. I went to a naturopath that my midwife suggested. He worked a lot with fertility issues in women, and it seemed he would be able to help me. I spent months getting blood work done, taking specially compounded medication, and being seen to compare data. I was taking my temps, monitoring my cycles, eating different foods, all in the name of becoming a healthier woman, and having another baby. When we thought all was well, he put me on a trial run. He had my inject HCG hormone, into my body, and then do blood work to see how my body was reacting to it all. He determined, all seemed to be better, and gave us the go ahead to try again. I felt so confident. I was taking baby aspirin everyday, because of a “benign” MTHFR gene mutation, that was dismissed by the high risk docs. When I finally got my positive test, I began injections of heparin. This was sure to help. I started seeing a midwife, that did hospital births. I knew I would have a home birth, but I felt the need to be seen and followed by someone else at first.

The first visit I was referred to a doctor in the practice, because my case was too complicated just to be followed by a midwife. I had an ultrasound at 8 weeks, which confirmed my dates. Baby looked great. T hen at 10 weeks, everything was still going perfect. We started talking to the kids about the baby, and they were so excited. My 4 year old at the time kept telling me the baby was Joe. We asked about Joseph or Joel, and she would say, “just Joe.”

I started being able to hear the heartbeat at 11 weeks, on my home doppler. Listening to my baby gave me such joy and comfort. At 12 weeks and 5 days, everything changed. I couldn't find the heartbeat. I was panicked. It was a Saturday afternoon. I called my home birth midwife, and asked her if she could do an ultrasound. I went to her home, and she tried to do one, but we couldn't see much. She called a local clinic that did ultrasounds and they were able to get me in. I went and found out my baby died. My midwife was with me and all I could do was cry. I was so upset that this was happening again. I didnt understand why I kept losing my babies. I was doing everything right. I have a great husband, a stable home, I don't drink, or smoke, or do drugs. I take care of everything that needs taken care of. I am a good mom. And my babies keep getting taken from me.

I called my doctor on Monday morning and told them what happened and they got me in to see them. The doctor was horrible and mean to me.. I asked for an ultrasound to confirm what was going on, and he told me they would get me in next week. So I had to wait. I told him it was horrible to make a mother wait for something like this, and I thanked him for nothing.
A week later, I went to get my ultrasound. I sat in the waiting room, with my husband. There was a young girl in front of me. She was being squeezed in, because she needed to confirm dates, before her abortion. I was irate. There I was, wondering if my baby was in fact dead, and I was listening to all the office staff talk to and about a girl, that was headed for an abortion. All I could think was it is not fair. She is going to kill her baby, and mine was taken from me. Both my husband and I thought about asking her to have the baby and give it to us to raise. of course, we didn't, but the thought certainly crossed our minds.

It was confirmed that my baby had died. I knew it, but hearing it again tore me up. My husband and I had an appointment in the afternoon with a midwife to go over the “findings” of the ultrasound. We decided to medically induce with misoprostil. I took the medicine over the next couple days, and nothing happened. I had no spotting or anything. I decided just to wait. A couple days later, when i would have been 14 weeks, I found out my grandfather was killed, and I needed to go to California to be with my family. I just prayed that I would not start my miscarriage while I was there. I was there for 4 days, and right before I was heading home, I started bleeding. It was a 6 hour drive, and I was in a lot of pain the entire way. I made it home in the early morning, and was able to sleep for a while. Then I woke up in even more pain. I tried to spend some time with my kids, and we even went out to eat. While we were eating the pain got unbearable, so we came home. I still seemed to be in early labor, but it was very painful. The next morning my husband got up to take my kids to school, and then come home and help. I got in the tub to try to relieve some of the pain. I called my friend and she talked to me, and I started bleeding very heavy and I started to panic. The tub was filled with blood, my husband was an hour away, and I was alone. The pain was too much to take. When my husband got home, he helped me out of the tub and into our bed, and I started to push. Our tiny baby, just 3.5 inches long, was born just a few minutes later. My husband wrapped him in a piece of fabric and laid him down. I started to bleed quite heavily, and the pain was still intense. He called my home birth midwife to help. As soon as she arrived, the placenta was delivered. She gave me some meds to control bleeding and some glucose tabs to help my blood sugar. I was exhausted. 44 hours of labor for a tiny little man. We took the placenta in to be tested, and buried our son in our yard. I didn't want him to be messed with. He was too perfect. We decided to name him Joe. Just Joe.

Noah Micheal.

In the spring of 2010, we discovered were were expecting a big surprise. We had not planned on having more kids right now, but more kids were OK with us. I remember the week before I found out, my 11 month old son was in the hospital for a week. While there, I mentioned I wondered if I was pregnant, but hubby said I was not allowed to be pregnant, because we had to move this year. We both laughed it off. When my period was over a week late. I decided to buy a test, and I just knew I was stressing and once I saw it was negative, I would start.

Well, the test was positive.

I had a wonderful experience with an OB, and we were very tight on money, so we went back to the same OB. He told me I was due Dec 20 or Dec 25. But he would stick with the Dec 20 due date, because I was pretty sure of when I ovulated. And my babies have always measured small.
We had a couple of great appointments, and I was feeling baby move a little. I was very very sick, and I was thinking that this would be our last baby, because I was getting to old for this. And 5 kids is plenty.

On Fathers day, June 20, I started having horrible back pain, while at church. I couldn't get comfortable at all. It was very sudden and very painful. After a couple hours, I started feeling less pain and we decided to go out for lunch. I wasn't hungry. I told my husband I felt like something was off, but I didn't know what. He told me to not worry.

On Monday, I started having a panic attack every time I thought about the baby. It was strange. This had never happened to me before. On Tuesday morning, the morning of my OB appt, I called my husband and told him that my cousin was over and could babysit and that I needed him to come with me. He agreed, and I picked him up on the way to my appointment.

In the room, the nurse couldn't find the heart beat. She told me her wrist was hurting and she couldn't press very hard. I told her I was scared because we had heard it GREAT at 10 weeks. And she said she just wanted to move us to an ultrasound room. The doc came in and asked how we were. I told him I was freaking out, and he said he was too. He put the doppler on my belly and said “ looks good” then he got quiet. His face changed and I said there was no blinking light. He said that the resolution wasn't great, but the baby was the right size, so he just wanted to reassure me and do a vaginal US. Well, he didn't and there was no movement, no blinking light. Yet again, our baby was gone. He mentioned that there was bleeding, and placental separation. I told him about my back pain and he said he couldn't confirm that was when it happened or not, but it is a high possibility.

Because of my history with bleeding and the fact that I already had a placental abruption. He deemed me too high risk to attempt a natural miscarriage at home. He told me my only option, for my health, is to have a d and c. I hated that. I hated that was my option. I told him I wasn't ready to decide and he told me to call. Later that day, I felt like it was what I needed to do for my health, even though it killed me inside.

Surgery was set for June 25. Everything went “great” as they say, but I started having horrible nightmares. My panic attacks were out of control and I told my husband I cant forgive myself for having a d and c. I have birthed every one of my babies. I have faith that my body knows what to do, and I hated that this was my option. I went 3 weeks without sleep, without any more than minimal food, and water. I was a zombie. I just cried all the time, and had panic attacks that had no rhyme or reason. I went to the doctor and he told me that what I am feeling is normal. I demanded drugs. He reminded me there was no pill, and grief needs to be worked on. I know that. I have grieved sooo many times, sooo many babies. I just wanted to feel nothing for a while. Against his judgment, he gave me meds and I started feeling no pain. Just numb. But very productive. Everyone says I am doing great, but really, it is like I am not even here. I am just a robot. But at least it doesn't hurt right now.

I don't know what the future holds for us. I don't know if we will ever try again. I do know that I love each and every one of my children and I do not regret a single one of them. I know that I will grieve for them, until the day I die, and I am reunited with them. I am active in a child loss support group, and have made a bunch of friends tho get it, and who do not try to rush me through my grief. My marriage is strong and has survived many trials, and for that I am grateful.
I hate that I am a face of grief. But I know I will survive. Somedays it doesn't seem “worth it” to keep fighting, but I know I want my kids to be proud of me. Living and dead. It is in the face of grief, and absolute sorrow, you learn what is really important in life.

2 comments:

Brittany said...

With everyone my heart broke even more. It is not fair for a person to go through this loss so many times. I wish none of us knew this pain. I am so sorry.

Lara + Chris said...

I cannot even imagine going through this so many times. I'm so sorry.

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