My fiancee and I decided to start a family in February 2006. We were excited when I got pregnant in March. At eight weeks I had an ultrasound done to determine how far along I was, because we thought I might have been further along. During that ultrasound everything looked great. Things were going fine. I had morning sickness the first month and a half, but never got “sick”. I was feeling so good, I didn’t know why pregnant women complained so much. I went in for my 16 week checkup. Still, everything looked great. We heard the heartbeat and it was strong. At 21 weeks, we went in to find out the sex. We were so excited. At the end of our visit, she told us it was going to be a girl. She then told us she was going to find my doctor. When we went into the doctor’s office he proceeded to tell us that I “MIGHT” have ABS. He then explained what ABS was and told us that she had a band around her waist and possibly around her right foot. We didn’t know if we should worry or not because the doctor decided to sugarcoat it. He said that most of the time ABS was misdiagnosed. He referred us to a better hospital.
A week later, we went to a specialist. They confirmed that I had ABS. They asked me if I had any pains or bleeding early in my pregnancy, but I told them no. They found a blood clot in my uterus. They could not tell me what the outcome would be, but they told me to get a second opinion. So, they referred me to another doctor.
Before I could make that appointment, I had went into labor. On August 25, 2006 at 4:20 a.m. I woke up suddenly, feeling wet down below. I ran to the bathroom gushing blood. My fiancee rushed me to the hospital. They told me I was in labor, but I had not dilated. Then, they rushed me by ambulance to the “better” hospital. When I got there they put me in L&D and gave me steroids to strengthen Lilly’s lungs. They put me on medication to stop the contractions. They told me if I could hold off until the next day when I got the second steroid shot then Lilly would have a better chance of surviving. Everything stopped, but they hospitalized me, until I had her.
The days went by fast and every time they checked on Lilly they told me she was doing great. They told me they were so impressed with her breathing. At 26 weeks she was breathing as if she were 30 weeks. Everything was going great. The 21st of September I went into labor. They ended up stopping it again for the second time. And since I was 28 weeks they gave me two more steroid shots. At 6 a.m. on September 23rd I woke up with sharp pains in my stomach. I knew then something was wrong. I called the nurse and they came in and hooked me up to the monitors. They eventually moved me to L&D. The contractions were ten times more painful then before, but I expected them to stop like they had done before.
The specialist came in and told me that they were prepping me for and emergency c-section. They told me that from where I had been losing so much amniotic fluid over the past month, Lilly was uncomfortable and was ready to be out. At 12:23 in the afternoon I got to see my baby for a split second before they rushed her off to the NICU. They told me she was doing great.
From the bands she had a small indention around her waist and the last three toes on her right foot were formed together. They sent me back to my room and told me I could go see her when the anesthesia wore off. Around 6 p.m. I finally got to see her. As soon as we walked in a doctor approached us with bad news. They told us that she wasn’t breathing right. I got to see her for about ten minutes then went back to my room. Around 11 o’clock the doctor came in and told us that she had no white blood cells and no protein. He told us there was a very low chance of survival. At 12:10 a.m. the nurse came in and got us to go see our baby for the last time. I finally got to hold my daughter. She was still hooked up to tubes and IVs as we watched her heartbeat slow down faster and faster on the monitor. At 17 beats a minute we decided to unhook her. It was the hardest thing to do, because the selfish part of me wanted to keep her breathing, but the mother in me did not want to see my baby in pain. So at 1:15 a.m. I watched my daughter take her last breath. I sat there and held her until they took me back to my room. I had them bring her to my room so my family could see her. Calling my parents to tell them their first grandchild did not make it through the night was very difficult. We all held her and said our goodbyes. I was in the hospital for a total of a month and one day only to come back home to bury my daughter.
The one thing I have learned over the past few weeks since her death is that no matter when they pass away, it being 6 months old, stillborn, or even less than a day, they are still your child and it still hurts more than anything. And, there are no words that will comfort you, it just takes time.