Incompatible With Life...

October 11, 2015

My husband and I decided to try for our third child. After only two months we were excited to find out I was pregnant. Trouble began soon after. I had some significant pain and after an ultrasound it was found either my dating was wrong, or the baby didn't develop (blighted ovum). I had my blood drawn every two days to determine HCG levels. Mine were extremely low and typically of a non viable pregnancy, however, they did increase slightly. I began to have spotting and cramping, now experiencing a threatened miscarriage. At about 6 weeks I had weekly ultrasounds, each proving the baby was alive and growing. I had a new due date, two weeks later. My HCG levels were still low, but at 11 weeks with continual progress and growth the doctor seemed optimistic, as most miscarriages occur early in the first trimester with risk decreasing as the later weeks occur.

 

At the 13 week check up, I made it through the first trimester. Yayy, we announced our pregnancy. We were ecstatic, as a miscarriage at this point is statistically low. We bought a mini-van to prepare for our new addition. We began to shop for baby items and work on creating the baby's room. At the 17 week appointment the doctor couldn't find the heartbeat. I was nervous given my threatened miscarriage early on. She got me in for an ultrasound appointment that afternoon. We drove 40 minutes away. I had dread and panic inside me. I knew it was bad. The ultrasound tech completed the procedure and immediately called the doctor. We saw our baby, moving, hands, feet, head. OUR BABY!! He was still alive. Phew. The doctor came in, took more measurements, investigated. I asked if he saw something concerning. He did. I had extremely low amniotic fluid and the baby seemed to have several abnormalities (heart defect, hole in spine, small brain, deformed face, clenched hands, and more). He went over a list of possibilities. Trisomy this and that. But the prognosis, the baby would not make it to term.

 

I asked for an amnio to make sure. I wanted to know for sure my baby who I see right in front of me and feel inside me is going to die before I hold him and see him. The amnio proved the baby had a devastating chromosomal abnormality. Triploidy. Normal babies have 46 chromosomes, our son had 69. "Incompatible with life." It can be dangerous to carry a triploidy baby to term, if the baby survived. Most triploidy babies miscarry before 6 weeks. Nature failed. Our baby was nearly 18 weeks. Our choices: wait for him to die, have a D & E (google it, its scary), or induce labor and deliver our son. My husband and I discussed in length our choices. I wanted to make a choice that I knew I could live with. Inducing labor was the one. I waited one week to deliver. In the mean time I continued to feel my son kick and move. I felt guilty, sad, angry, and felt it was unreal.

 

I went in a week later to be induced, my son is almost 19 weeks at this point. I was in labor for 18 hours, during this time I was cared for by some of the most compassionate staff I have ever experienced. I read a book that helped me to think about things I may want but didn't think about, like holding my son, burying my son, taking pictures, inviting family to see him, and so much more. The hospital provided this book to me which was provided by other mothers who lost their children. I delivered our son at 6:19 am on 8/8/14. He was small 5" long and only a few ounces, unhealthy, and stillborn (technically miscarried since he was under 20 weeks). We had more choices to make: would we bury him, cremate him, or send him to pathology. Again I needed to make a decision I knew I could live with. We choose to bury him in a garden of angels. We spent the day with our son in the hospital. Looking at him, holding him, saying goodbye. We had a memorial service with close family. We laid him to rest. The physical recovery has been difficult, but the emotional recovery is unbearable. It has been nearly three weeks, and the grief is oppressive.

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