Susan
Mom to 
Jordan Donise, July 27th, 1996
Alexander Michael, May 28th, 1997
Alisia Noelle, November 27th, 2009
and Gabriel Ryan, September 7th, 2010
Lilburn, Georgia

It all started the morning of July 27, 1996.  When I woke up, I noticed I was bleeding pretty heavily and then the pains started.  As I was laying in the back seat yelling in pain, I could hear my mom in the driver’s seat wishing that a cop would pull her over (she was speeding) so that we could get to the hospital faster than the 25 minutes it normally took.  
When we finally got to the hospital, the emergency room tried to get me to sit in a wheelchair.  I tried, but the pain was horrible and I couldn’t do it, so up we went in the elevator and walked to the labor and delivery floor.  When I finally got into the hospital room, they went to examine me and saw a foot – I was only 27 weeks…
10 minutes or so later, Jordan Donise was born.  She was beautiful, head full of hair already, but it was too early, and she wasn’t crying.  Her lungs weren’t developed and the hospital informed me that she wouldn’t make it.  They cleaned her up and brought her to me so I could hold her until God called her home.  She died 56 minutes later.  There was a nurse at the hospital named Char; she was great.  She dressed Jordan up in a little white bunting and took pictures of her for me, brought her to me whenever I wanted so I could hold her before I was discharged.  I was diagnosed with having Chorioamnionitis and the only treatment with an infection that far along was delivery. 
Months went by and I was finally able to go to sleep without crying.  I found out I was pregnant again the beginning of 1997.  I was nervous because of having just lost Jordan and we still weren’t’ sure what could’ve caused the infection.  I had the normal prenatal care and everything was going great.  I was at work on May 28th, 1997 and noticed I had started bleeding.  Not again…that’s all I could think!  My fiancée worked 3rd shift and was sleeping and couldn’t hear the phone, my mom was out of town on business.  I was finally able to get a hold of my friend and she raced me through town to the hospital.  My doctor showed up, examined me and found out I was already started to dilate and my cervix was open; they had to induce me because I was already too far ahead to have labor stopped.  I had such a great doctor; he sat at the end of the bed until I delivered.  At 4:30pm, Alexander Michael was born sleeping.  Once again, the nurse Char was there and gave me a camera so that I could take my own pictures and she let us spend as much time as we wanted with him. 
At my post ob appointment, my doctor ruled it that I had an incompetent cervix and that I should see a specialist should I get pregnant again.  He would be there for me if needed, but thought a specialist would be better for me because they would be more familiar with high risk pregnancy. 
In 1999, I found out I was pregnant again.  I was soo scared that the same thing would happen again and I didn’t and couldn’t go through that again.  I found a great high risk pregnancy doctor that was 40 minutes away.  I was put on Zithromax to fight any infections and was also taken out of work at 20 weeks to be on moderate bed rest for an incompetent cervix, and I had cervical checks and ultrasounds every week or two.  We weren’t sure what caused Alex’s birth so my doctor was trying to cover all bases.  My pregnancy went great, cervical checks were always perfect!  I passed my own personal goals of 20 weeks, then 27 weeks!  At 38 weeks, Madyson Leah was born weighing 6 lbs, 14 oz, headful of hair, crying at the top of her lungs!  She was absolutely perfect and I was finally able to bring a baby home! 
Fast forward to 2008.  I found out I was pregnant again.  I had moved to Georgia in 2007 and wouldn’t be able to go to the same doctor so I had to find a new doctor and put my trust and baby’s life in their hands.   At 10 weeks, we had an ultrasound and found out that the baby never formed or grew.  I was diagnosed with a blighted ovum and was scheduled to have a D & C. 
2009 – Found out I was pregnant again and started prenatal care immediately.  Pregnancy was going good.  I started seeing an Infectious Disease doctor so that I could start taking an antibiotic like I did with my daughter.  Because we thought it was an infection and not a cervical issue, I was able to work.  It was Thanksgiving Day and we had family over for a big dinner.  After dinner, I noticed I was bleeding and I was only 22 weeks.  Off to the hospital again we went.  I was already 100% dilated and labor couldn’t be stopped.  November 27, 2009, Alisia Noelle was born.  I wasn’t far enough along for her to be viable or sent to NICU, so once again, I was left with holding my baby that I knew wouldn’t live very long.  God called her home 36 minutes later.  Doctor ruled it as incompetent cervix again because of the way labor progressed.
May 2010, found out I was pregnant – we were excited; we had a game plan;  Cerclage placed as soon as possible (13 weeks), on the antibiotic, bed rest, cervical checks every 2 weeks…we couldn’t go wrong.  We were doing everything that we could.   I had decided that this would be my last pregnancy no matter what the outcome was.  I ended up in the hospital at 12 weeks for spotting so we moved the cerclage surgery up 1 1/2 weeks.  July 22nd, I had a cerclage placed.  Was on bed rest; was taking azithromyzin, was having ultrasounds and cervical checks and everything was going great.  September 7th, I had just woken up and felt a weird pressure like I had to pee.  Went to the bathroom and heard a splash and felt a gush of water…I was scared to wipe fearing I’d see blood.  I saw nothing but a mucousy discharge.  Off to the hospital again.  No pain and I could still feel the baby moving, so I thought everything would be ok.  Tests revealed that it wasn’t my water that broke (which I told them it was), so the doctor ordered an ultrasound.  It was revealed that the baby had no fluid left.  I wasn’t worried because I had heard that the fluid could be replaced…I was wrong!  Since I was only 20 weeks, there was no way the fluid could be replaced, I wasn’t far enough along for him to be viable and if I could possibly make it to 24 weeks (which was a full month away), he would have an array of health problems and the chances of him living would be slim.  Along with hearing all this, I also learned that if I didn’t have the cerclage removed and get induced; there was a great chance of my contracting an infection that could kill me.  We made the heartbreaking decision to induce.  It was the hardest decision of my life! 
We had done everything we could with this pregnancy and once again, I had Chorioamnionitis.  This has been in every one of the autopsy reports and is a recurring virus that I don’t know how I keep getting or what I can do to get rid of it.  I can’t go through another loss; I don’t think my mental health and sanity can handle it so I have made another heartbreaking decision and getting a tubal.  My daughter is almost 11 and she’s been through 2 sibling losses and I can’t do it again to her either.  I have to learn to be happy with what I have!  She is truly my MIRACLE baby!  
You can contact Susan at susfranks@hotmail.com 
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Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi Sue,
    As I read through your story, I started crying- because I have been through almost the same thing as you- I have had 3 losses- 2 due to incompetent cervix, and 1 thro no heartbeat at 8 weeks. I applaud you for trying so many times, and never giving up hope. I was the same until I had my daughter 14 months ago. But I am too scared to try again, and my husband and I have been thro so much due to the losses. So our painful decision is just to stay with the one God blessed us with that is alive.
    May you continue to have the strength to care for your 11 yr old daughter.
    The losses changed me- for the worse. I am not as friendly and open as i used to be. Infact, I find that I am a slightly bitter woman. I dont like to socialise too much, and I find that I cannot be open and free enough to make new friends. I basically discarded the old friends I had because i felt like I couldnt share with them what I was going thro. So to me they were useless.
    Let me know ramble on, I use these forums as an outlet because I feel like no one else understands what horrible pain I have been thro. May God bless you, and thanks for posting your story.
    Anne

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Anne for your comment. After my loss last year, we had a game plan so I knew that I could try again and there was a procedure (cerclage) that we could do that would help otherwise I probably wouldn't have gone through it again. Now I know that there isn't anything that can prevent the infection or a for sure thing that can help me carry so I have made the decision.

    I am lucky to have a great group of supportive friends, most that have been with me from the very beginning loss. I am soo sorry that you don't have that wonderful support. If you need to chat, you are more than welcome to email me. I also know it's easier to communicate via email!

    Thank you for sharing your story with me also!

    Take Care!
    Susan

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