Life Can Change on a Dime

Mar 9, 2015 | Induction/L&D, Stories

I still can’t believe what has happened in a few short days, though each day feels like a lifetime now.

By A.E.

I have always heard your life can change on a dime, but I really never believed it until now. My husband and I were excited to see how our baby was growing and we contemplated finding out the sex. I was 22 weeks along.

The ultrasound technician asked how my pregnancy was and I said fine, she then began the ultrasound. Her next question sent me into a blind panic.

“Do you have a doctor appointment today?” She fell silent and stayed that way through rest of the exam. When it was over all she said was, “A doctor would be in shortly.”

I looked at my husband. “Something is wrong.”

“Everything looked fine on the ultrasound.Don’t be silly.”

“No. Something is seriously wrong. Where is the damned doctor?”

The doctor pushed through the door and before it even shut she said “There is a serious problem with your ultrasound, it is not good not good at all.”

I wanted to curl up and die.

What followed next was an absolute nightmare. I was going to have to deliver a dead baby at 22 weeks through an induced labor pregnancy termination. There was nothing else they could do. My baby had many abnormalities, including severe brain damage.

In a way we were lucky to be spared a choice—our baby would never be able to live outside the womb. I was devastated. I still can’t believe what has happened in a few short days, though each day feels like a lifetime now.

We named him Trey. He was 10 inches long and weighed 10 ounces.  We held him, looked at him and loved him. We still love him. When the ground thaws in the spring he’ll be buried next to his cousin Sean, who suffered the same fate.

This affliction is hereditary in my family and our boys are rarely born healthy—they inherit the same afflictions as Trey and Sean. I’m extremely fortunate and thankful that my first baby, a boy, is normal and healthy. He is two years old and keeps me sane through this grief. He’s is a miracle and an incredible joy.

I am consumed with the idea of having another baby, but at 38 with this hereditary issue I am petrified of trying. This experience has left me dead inside, terrified, empty, lost, hollow. Each day I just go through the motions, unable to feel anything except the sound of my little son speaking to me. Now I find I’m consumed with worry that something will happen to him too, and this makes me have panic attacks.

I read and read the other parents stories on this web site, and see that the feelings I am going through should become less intense. My immediate goal is to get through each moment of each day, praying sleep will come at night, and get out of my own head, although my dreams are not comforting either.

I understand grieving is a process.

I spoke with Sean’s mother (my niece). She understood exactly what I am going through. Her experience was four years ago, at the very young age of 20, with her first baby. She has gone on to have a healthy daughter. She tells me there is hope and not to lose it completely. I told her I’m not there yet. Sometimes it feels like I will never get there.

I miss my baby. I want him back. I want to change what happened, but life doesn’t work that way. There is nothing I can do but keep trying to get through every moment of every day.

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