It all began on the morning of Saturday May 8th, 2010. I had been having continuous leaking of my amniotic fluid since that previous Monday and upon doing morning checks of the babies heartbeat, the doctors were growing more concerned. Throughout the day there were several monitorings done of the babies heart rhythm, where they looked at the little tick mark paper to see its fluctuations. After spending that afternoon chatting and relaxing with my mother in law, the nurses came in to tell me they were transferring me to labor and delivery. The doctors wanted to monitor me more closely there.
So we went to our new room and waited while the on call baby doctors came in the check the babies heartbeat. They explained that they believed I was having contractions, (which I was experiencing pain and pressure) and that everytime I did, the babies heartbeat dropped dangerously. They were also concerned that I had an infection in my uterus and that if they did an ultrasound on the baby and he did not do a “breathing” movement, they were going to have to do a c-section to retrieve him. We agreed to this approach because we wanted to do all we could to give Jack the best chance possible, no matter what it did to my body.
Thanks so much to everyone who subscribed to our official mailing list! We can’t wait to keep you in the loop and updated with exciting Faces updates (but don’t worry, we won’t update you too much!
Congrats to subscriber #141, Ana Owusu-Tyo, the winner of the $50 Amazon gift card! Ana, please look for the gift card at the email address you provided when you signed up!
There is a LOT of background to this story, but I really don’t think a lot of it matters at this point. All I know is that I had an instinct that something was really wrong with my baby. I had it for almost five days leading up to his birth. I was in L&D triage at University of Chicago Hospital twice within that period of time. Once because I just didn’t “feel right” and the second time because I woke up the morning of his birth around 4 a.m. soaked in blood.
I already had an ultrasound and appointment scheduled with my MFM doctor that day. After leaving L&D with a clean bill of health (as far as they could see after monitoring me for a few hours, everything was okay with me and okay with the baby) I went to have my ultrasound at the clinic then waited to see the doctor.
We were so excited to find out that we were expecting Rose. We’d begun trying when our oldest daughter turned one, and just a few short months later, got the happy news of a positive pregnancy test. When we learned another girl was going to be joining the family, we were over the moon excited. Two precious girls almost exactly two years apart – everything we could have dreamed for was going to come true.
The pregnancy went smoothly, all our tests came back normal, baby was growing on target, Mama was healthy, baby was healthy and all seemed well. Later in the pregnancy, I had a few high BPs at the OB appointments, but it was always resolved within the visit after a few minutes of rest. Then at my 38 week appointment, my BP was high, urine proteins and worsening edema, so I was sent to L&D to check for hypertension. Because both of my pregnancies had been so uneventful, and ‘normal’ I was nervous about being sent to L&D, and started to cry, but the nurse practitioner assured me that everything was fine, it was just precautionary. So off I went to L&D for a NST, blood work and monitoring. For nearly two hours on the NST, our baby girl was healthy and strong, kicking and moving up a storm – the hospital sent me home with a clean bill of health & to check in with the OB in four days.
The doctors that day had me decide what I wanted to do and I knew I was going to have my son and give him the best chance at survival I could. This meant delivering my son in Ann Arbor, MI at the University of Michigan Mott Children’s Hospital three hours from my home. I had many appointments during my pregnancy and Ethin was growing well and was truly perfect with a very special heart.
On January 9, 2009 at 4:01pm Ethin entered this world by c-section screaming like a normal baby. I remember just feeling elated when I heard him cry, but sad that I did not get to see him. Ethin was whisked off into the neonatal unit to begin his medical testing to see how bad his little heart was. In the meantime I was doing everything I could in the recovery room to just prove I was well enough to be wheeled in to meet my son.
I don’t even know where to begin! I guess a good place to start is THANK YOU! Thank you for submitting your stories, for reading other’s stories, for leaving encouraging comments, for helping get the word out about this new resource. Thank you, thank you, thank you! When I had this little idea, to create a place where women like us could come together, share our stories, and feel, well, normal, I had no idea how quickly it would take off. Thank you again, from the bottom of my heart, for your amazing support.
We are so fired up and excited around here to see all that the future hold for Faces! I just know it in my heart that Faces is going to make a huge difference, and bring hope and reassurance to so many hurting people in the months and years to come.
But we can’t do it without your help!
Every single day, in the US alone, nearly 2,000 women find out that their baby has died. Many of these women leave the hospital or clinic without being given any resources at all. Then there are those like me, who were lucky enough to receive a grief packet, but found the materials out-dated and unappealing. Finding a community of other babyloss moms like me literally saved my life, but unfortunately, I had no idea it existed until weeks after my loss.
Our goal is to get information about Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope into the hands of women who have had a miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss, so that they leave the hospital or doctor’s office with a place to turn. So that when they are sitting at home, recovering on the couch, they can find friendship and support right away…when they need it most. So they know they are not alone.
A year later, we still weren’t pregnant, so my doctor sent me to someone in the women’s center of my hospital. She immediately diagnosed me with PCOS (Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) after looking at me and listening to my symptoms. She gave me one month’s worth of the lowest dose of clomid and said we’d go from there.
On January 4th 2010 my husband left for Army Basic Training, I was so sad to see him go, he was going to be gone for 4 months, but I did look forward to his return because he would be home right as I was about to give birth to our daughter. I had a perfect pregnancy, I had very minimal weight gain, my stomach always measured perfectly, and my little girl’s heart was always beating away. Literally after each visit my doctor would say I was perfect.