The story

4 Oct

It all seems so insane.  Every morning I wake up thinking to myself, did this really happen? Was it a nightmare? Am I still pregnant?  And when reality sets in, it’s so hard to bear.

On Friday the 24th, I had a regular checkup at the OB’s office.  I had a little list of questions to ask and my only thought was booking a prenatal massage for the weekend.  When they took my blood pressure though, they told me that I had to go to the hospital immediately.  Do not pass go.  As I was leaving, my husband called and through tears I told him to meet me there.  I was scared but thought I’d go on bed rest for a few months and then see how far I could get.  My blood pressure was a ridiculously high and they admitted me overnight to do a 24 hour urine test to test for a protein in my urine.  Basically they thought I had preeclmaspsia and wanted to know how severe it was.  Over 300 g of protein would have put me in the severe category and I had 1300.  They basically told me I couldn’t go another 48 hours with this baby in me or I would probably have a seizure and I could die.  Since I was at a little over 21 weeks, there was no hope the baby could live. And there was no way to extend the pregnancy without the possibility of it costing my life.

I was hooked up to a magnesium sulfate IV to prevent seizures.  They tried to induce me so I could deliver the baby vaginally.  For 48 hours, I had pills crushed up and inserted into my cervix.  It was painful and I cried through each time.  And each time I was barely dilated so they kept doing more.  Apparently while all this was happening, I swelling up an alarming amount.  My entire body swelled up. My husband said you couldn’t see my eyes because my eyelids were so huge.  And still I wasn’t dilating.  So they had to prepare for me a d&e which was essentially my worst nightmare in all this.  Twice they inserted sticks made of seaweed into my cervix that would expand and dilate me, hopefully enough that they could do the d&e.  I prayed that I would go into labor while they were doing this and still deliver vaginally.  And give my baby some hope to be baptized and buried.  Unfortunately, this didn’t happen and I had to have the d&e.  The doctors told me I had no choice.  It was that or keep waiting and die.  And then it would be both me and my baby that were gone.  The doctors have told me time and time again that I had no choice.  I had to do it to save my life.  But it still feels horrible and awful and guilt wracking.  The baby I tried for four years to have. My little miracle that stuck through asburdly low progesterone levels.  That stuck through a car accident.  That stuck through random bleeding.  My body was killing him.  And killing me.  Having no choice doesn’t make it any easier.

The doctors say there was nothing I could have done. There’s no way to prevent preeclampsia.  When it hits, it hits and it doesn’t give you any warning.  It is rare to have it so early and so severely.  My husband and my family were terrified that I would die.  I didn’t even think of that.  I just wanted my baby back.  I would have done anything to keep him.  But like my husband keeps saying, if I had died, he would have died too.  And my baby wouldn’t have wanted for me to die, too.

I have no idea how I’m going to get through this.  My husband keeps telling me that I already am getting through this.  Everyone is saying how brave I am. I don’t feel brave.  I feel heartbroken and hopeless and guilty and confused.  My doctor today told me he was proud of me.  I don’t know for what.  It would be one thing if I had just been horribly sick.  And it would have been one thing if I had just lost the baby.  But both on top of each other – it’s just too much to bear.

Mornings are hard.  When I have to remind myself that my belly is empty and my baby is no more.  Evenings are hard. When I’m trying to fall asleep – while the Ativan is still working its way through my brain to let me sleep and the thoughts come.  Of how much I miss him.  Of how I was so close to having a baby boy in my arms.  Of how I’m back to square one.  I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to have another baby – will this happen again?  Do I adopt now?  Hire a surrogate?  When will this pain end?  And when I’m having a better moment, the horrendous guilt of not hurting for a second.  Am I doing him a disservice by smiling or laughing?  I should be remembering him instead.

I wonder why God would do this.  Why let me get pregnant at all?  Why let me have him for five months just to take him away from me? Am I being punished?  Did I not take care of him enough?  I know the doctor says there is nothing I could have done but I feel as though my body failed him.  This is my fault. It was my job to take care of him and protect him and my body couldn’t do that.

I was stupid and deluded.  I thought that after four years of suffering and trying to have a baby and making it to the second trimester, I was somewhat safe.  I thought what kind of a God would take this away from someone who had suffered for so long?  I thought it was going to be ok.  My big worries were gestational diabetes.  Or having an emergency c-section.  Or preeclampsia 37 weeks in.  I never in a million years could have imagined this nightmare that actually happened.  Maybe that’s why they tell you that you shouldn’t worry.  Because the things that happen are all too horrible for you to ever imagine.  You’d never be able to imagine that something this bad could happen.

Everyone says that the only thing that will heal me is time.  I hope so much that this will get easier.  Someday.


12 Responses to “The story”

  1. Tee October 4, 2011 at 7:38 pm #

    I read your post in absolute disbelief. I dont know why infertility isn’t enough, surely that is enough heartache and pain in itself. I cannot believe you entered your appt with simple preg questions, and then you are faced with this.

    Im terribly sorry and praying for you. Im here again after being referred from MyPathToInsanity& I couldn’t just leave one comment and not come back to see how you are. Heart goes to you..xx

  2. janet October 4, 2011 at 9:04 pm #

    Anna, my heart aches for you. I am so, so sorry you experienced this.

    There is so much pain and sadness in your heart, but also love for your sweet baby. Please don’t let the guilt take over. You didn’t do anything wrong. You loved and love your son so much. And your husband and family and friends love you and I know they wish they could take the pain away from you.

    Please know you are in my thoughts. If there is anything I can do or if you just want to talk, please reach out to me. I understand so much of what you are feeling right now.

  3. Jay October 4, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

    God, I just can’t believe this. I’m so very sorry. Please, please feel no guilt, if there had been any way to save him, you would have taken it, no matter what the cost was to you. But it was just not possible, just as the doctors said. Don’t lose sight of that.

    About pre-eclamspsia- I’m an immunologist. People in my field study the causes of preeclamspia, which is brought about by the immune system. Certain ‘risk’ genes have been identified in the woman. Men contribute ‘risk’ genes too, and its becoming more and more clear that sometimes their contribution can be much more powerful. When men and women with the ‘danger’ genes get together, it can create a perfect storm. Before you try to figure out a path forward, both you and your husband should get genotyped. Finally, I think science is starting to find the cause of the problem here- it can at least tell who is at risk for preeclampsia and whether such a condition is likely to repeat. Please, email me ( is you have any more questions, whenever you are ready to deal with the next steps.

    This is not your fault. Its not your husband’s either. We are NOT responsible for the genes we carry. Its not our fault. I come across this so often with my work- ONE gene can have one bad pinpoint mistake, and that destroys EVERYTHING. Who can you blame in such a situation?

    So please, be kind to yourself. I’m going to be here reading, ready to virtually hold your hand. (((((((((((((((((hugs))))))))))))))))))))))

  4. Elizabeth October 4, 2011 at 11:25 pm #

    I’m so sorry–this is astoundingly unfair. I sincerely hope you can find some semblance of peace as you begin to work through it all.

  5. silvermari October 5, 2011 at 9:30 am #

    Oh, I’m so sorry.

  6. Jen October 5, 2011 at 9:51 am #

    Anna, I’m so incredibly sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine the pain and heartbreak you must be feeling and it’s incredibly unfair that anyone should have to go through something like this.

    I can understand where the feelings of guilt come in – you’re his mother and you felt it was your responsibility to protect him – but as the others have said, this is not your fault. You did the absolute best you could for your little boy. It’s cruel, but there are so many things in life that we have no control over.

    I know there are no words that can comfort you at this time, but please know that you, your husband, and your little one are in my thoughts. Take extra special care of yourself.

  7. cinderelly October 5, 2011 at 11:23 am #

    I’m so sorry you and your your husband had to go through something so heartbreaking. I wish I could say or do something to make you feel better. You just have to take it one day at a time. If that doesn’t seem bearable, then every hour or minute.

    I don’t believe anything you did brought this. It was just a case of really shitty luck or as Jay says, maybe one bad pinpoint spot in your genes.

    Just remember to cuddle up to your husband each and every night, tell each other “I love you”, and talk to each other. You will get through this. It will probably be the hardest thing you go through, but one day, you will smile, laugh, enjoy yourself and even hold your child in your arms. {{{{HUGS}}}}

  8. Emily Erin October 5, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

    Take care of yourself, be gentle and remember that while you didn’t have long with him, your little boy was very loved. It’s not enough, the whole thing is so bloody unfair, but it’s the best that you can do. Sending love, light and prayers.

  9. New Year Mum October 5, 2011 at 4:02 pm #

    I’m so sorry to hear what you had to go through… and for your life to be in the balance the whole time. You had no choice and you did everything that you could for this baby. It is such a cruel thing to go through after TTC for so long… I still don’t understand how the universe works if it allows all these nightmarish thing to happen to mums that want a baby so much. Be gentle on yourself and know that we’re all here for you. My heart bleeds for you… thinking of you from afar xoxo

  10. chon October 5, 2011 at 6:31 pm #

    This was not your fault, it was never your fault. I am just so fucking sorry.

  11. FCblacksheep October 5, 2011 at 8:37 pm #

    I keep thinking about how scared you must have been and in how much pain. My heart aches. You shouldn’t have had to go through that. You just shouldn’t have. One day a time. That’s all you can do right now. And like Chon says, I am just so fucking sorry.

  12. Whitney October 6, 2011 at 8:47 pm #

    I’m so incredibly sorry. Life is so unfair. My heart just breaks for you. Just take it one hour at a time.

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