My husband and I had been married for less than a year when I started to think I could be pregnant. Since it was the first time, I wasn’t sure; but, i took a pregnancy test, and it came back positive. When I told my husband, though, I was concerned. I remember saying “um, I’m pregnant, but don’t get too excited because I really feel like something’s wrong.” I had had some pains on one side of my abdomen, so I got a sonogram to make sure the pregnancy wasn’t tubal. The doctor confirmed everything was alright. On our next visit we heard the heartbeat, which was strong at the time. My concerns were beginning to subside, except that I was still having some fairly sharp pains. When I asked about those pains I was told they were normal. At around 18 weeks, I opted to take some blood tests to determine if the baby could have any problems, such as down syndrome. The nurse called me with the results of the test … there were signs of spina bifida. I was scheduled for a sonogram the next morning. Somehow, we made it into the sonogram room the next day, only to hear these words, “your baby doesn’t have a heartbeat.” It took a second for me to translate … my baby was dead. The sonogram technician went on, “there also seems to be some severe deformities.” The next thing I knew, the doctor had called the hospital. I was going in to have labor induced.
After hours of labor and pushing, my baby was born. We had so many choices to make at that point. The hospital nurses and staff kept asking … “Do you want to hold it? Do you want to know if it’s a boy or girl? Do you want a footprint? Do you want a photo?” My husband and I just kept saying “no.” I will never know if those were the right decisions, but at the time, that’s how we felt.
The doctor told us the baby had died from amniotic band syndrome. He said the baby had bands on its neck, stomach, and leg, and that those bands had cut off circulation. It was such a sad day, and I am still trying to get a grip on the “why’s.” I asked one woman who had given birth 12 years ago to a stillborn child if she could give me some hope. She said, “the experience brought me into a close relationship with God, and it sealed my marriage for life.” I hold onto those words with all of my heart.
Thank all of you who have shared your story on this website. Your words have helped me tremendously.