Mom to Braxton Wayne
July 28th, 2011
Asheboro, North Carolina
I never dreamed that something like this would ever happen to me. To me, this was something I would have read in a book or heard about from someone else.
On April 12, 2011 I noticed that I was having allot of cramping and was way over due for my period, so I thought I would take a pregnancy test, they’ve always turned out negative so it wasn’t a big deal to me. After waiting the 3 long minutes, I never anticipated for it to turn out positive, but in bold italics it said Yes! With this being our first pregnancy, I did not know what to expect, being excited was the last thing on my mind. After my fiancé got home from work he reassured me that we were going to be fine and we had nothing to worry about.
May the 5th was our first doctor’s appointment and I did not know what to expect or what emotions I would be feeling. We went back and had our ultrasound done and it was the most amazing feeling I have ever felt! He didn’t look like much at the time, but hearing his little heart beat for the first time took my breath away. We scheduled a follow up and started preparing for the baby. I went crazy on a food diet, making sure I was taking in all the right nutrients, exercising, and taking plenty of vitamins. Our next doctor’s appointment was just a check-up, we heard the baby’s heart beat and we discussed my morning sickness being so bad. We set up our next and last doctor’s appointment for July 19th; we were going to find out what we were having!
The night of the 18th I didn’t want to fall asleep, I was so anxious to find out what we were having. I knew in my gut it was going to be a boy, but everyone was positive it was going to be a girl. That morning, my fiancé, my mom and I sat in the waiting room and watched all the pregnant people walk in and out of the office. We were finally called back, but just to do a kidney test, get all of his measurements, and listen to his heart. After about 30 minutes we were finally able to find out….we were having a boy!!!!! The ultrasound tech couldn’t tell us if everything looked normal, just that he was the right weight and length.
We were notified that the doctor wanted to talk to us, I thought just to congratulate and see if I was still sick every day. He cut right to the chase and told us the ultrasound came back abnormal. It felt like a knife had gone straight into my heart. I didn’t hear allot of what he was saying, I was too busy wondering what I had done wrong to make this happen. He suggested we go and have a more advanced ultrasound done and an amniocentesis.
For the next 3 days as we waited for our appointment, everyone was trying to tell me that this kind of stuff happens all the time and it did help calm my nerves for a while. That Friday the 22nd my mom, fiancé, and his parents went with us to our ultrasound appointment. We went into the room and a TV screen was above the bed so we could watch the baby while they looked at everything. The doctor then came in and peeked around a bit to see things for herself, she then turned the machine off and told us what she had found.
He only had 2 vessels in his heart, instead of 3, his stomach wasn’t keeping any fluid, both arms were missing 1 bone each, his mouth appeared to have a cleft lip; his brain was not as developed as it should have been and had tiny cysts on it. She then told us it was also known as Trisomy 18 and baby’s don’t make it there full term or after birth. We were left alone and given 2 options; continue my term, get more attached, feel him move around every day and never be able to hold him or give him the love that he so much deserved or terminate before my 22nd week. While we were there, we decided to have an amniocentesis done in case the ultrasound was wrong. It was one of the most painful experiences I thought I would ever go through and could not wait for it to end.
That weekend we had a cookout for our birthday and the doctor called us with the results from the test. Not only did he have an extra chromosome 18, but he also had an extra 15 and 21, 15 being Autism and 21 being Down syndrome. We had the weekend and the beginning of the next week to decide what we were going to do, because I was already in my 19th week. That Monday we called and had an appointment set up for July 26 to do a consultation and talk about the terminating procedure. The thought of being in the same room with women who go and have abortions on a regular basis because they don’t want the responsibility killed me! I felt like I had to explain my situation to everyone so they wouldn’t judge me or think that I didn’t want him. We talked with the best group of doctors and they told us how long the procedure would take, what I would feel like afterwards, and that he would not feel a thing. I couldn’t believe I was having this conversation and felt like the most horrible person on the planet. They then had to start inducing me for the procedure that would take place in 2 days. They put 8 tiny seaweed sticks in my cervix and said I would have mild cramping and possibly bleeding. They should have used a stronger word than mild; I was in the worse pain I thought I would ever be in.
The next day that followed, the 27th, was mine and my fiancés birthday, what a way to remember how you spent your birthday. He was starting to get a cold and I was on the couch with the heating pad all day, unable to get comfortable or eat anything.
That Thursday the 28th we took the hour and a half drive to have the procedure, thankfully we were not alone, my mom, his parents, and my close friend were there for our support. At 8:00am they took me and my fiancé back into the preparation room, hooked me up to an IV and talked about what kind of anesthesia they would use. Our doctor came in to try and lighten the mood, made small conversation, and then asked if we wanted to have his ashes. I didn’t even think about what my fiancé wanted and just said YES! I thought by not taking them, it was like throwing him away in the trash and acting like this had never happened. By 8:30 they were ready to take me back into the operating room, we said our goodbyes and that would be the last time we would ever feel him move.
I don’t remember much after being brought back there, I remember crying, one doctor holding my hand and another rubbing my leg telling me “It’s for the best”. The procedure lasted about 20 minutes and still being a little out of it I asked what my baby looked like, they said he had allot of deformities and would not have made it. I slept for most of that day and for the next 3 weeks they said I would have severe cramping and bleeding, well they were right!
It has been 3 weeks and 1 day since I lost Braxton, the cramping and bleeding has faded away, but the pain and emptiness I feel in my heart will never fade away. Some days are easier than others and I know the anger and sadness I feel inside will get better in time. I wanted to share my story with others because everyone that I have talked to has had a miscarriage or still born and I couldn’t relate to anyone. For the rest of my life I am going to have to live with the decision I made and keep reminding myself I did what was best for my situation. I am hoping one day down the road it won’t bother me to see babies, pregnant women, or anything that reminds me of that.
One day we’ll try again, when the time is right and I know it will be perfect!
Katie can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org