Mom to Mila
December 15, 2011
Moreno Valley, California
I had butterflies in my tummy the moment I found out I was pregnant. I knew this would be my baby girl instantly. I am the mother of 2 healthy boys and I was finally going to have my baby girl. In October I had my first prenatal visit and heard the heartbeat of my precious angel. My husband and I had not planned on having another child at this time, but we were ready to welcome a new baby. We made plans instantly, planned how we would reorganize the house to make it ready for our baby, we started saving since we were no amateurs and knew how much diapers and formula cost. We decided together not to tell our families until we knew the sex of the baby and we didn’t want the kids to know until we knew if they were having a brother or sister. I had all of my routine first trimester lab work and ultrasound done and everything was fine. We had a due date on May 20, 2012, right before summer which was perfect (I didn’t want to be pregnant in the dry desert heat).
In December, we had our second trimester blood work done (I opted to have the screening tests done as well), but I was called in to my doctor’s office a week later. I assumed that I would have gestational diabetes since it ran in my family and started to prepare in my mind for a major lifestyle change without sugar. I was completely shocked to find out that they had news about the baby…something about a possible spinal defect, high AFP, needing another ultrasound and possible amniocentesis if it wasn’t looking good. I didn’t understand anything. I went home and went online trying to find answers to my millions of questions. The doctor told me not to worry. I don’t even think that is possible, this is my baby we are talking about.
On Thursday, December 14th I was scheduled with the genetics doctor for an ultrasound. They tried again to explain to me the results and all the possibilities, bleeding, spinal defects, deficiency…nothing made sense, both of my other babies were fine, healthy. I had problems with preeclampsia with my second one, but everything else was normal, no major complications. I just didn’t understand. The doctor began to perform the ultrasound and there was my baby…moving, waving, kicking. The doctor told me it was a girl and I felt all the joy in the world. I already had her name picked out a few days earlier: Mila, it means miracle. She would be named after my grandmother Milagros…how could she have a spinal problem if she was moving around like this? Then the doctor tells me that my placenta looks abnormal and she wants to do the amnio to rule out infection and the spinal defect since the baby was not in a position for her to visualize the spine. Something in my mind tells me to just say no, to walk out and try the ultrasound another day, I didn’t care if there was something wrong with her, she was my little girl and we would figure it out, but when she said infection I did not want her to be sick, so I agreed. They begin to prep me and I want to run out, I am alone and my husband could not get out of work, something felt wrong, I just stared at the ultrasound picture and thought how could my baby have something wrong with her? She looks fine, just like the other ultrasounds I had with the boys, the features so similar, and their profiles all alike. The doctor attempts to do the amnio 3 times but each time there is a problem. On the last attempt she gets blood from my placenta and I begin getting really bad cramps. They told me there was a 1 in 400 chance of miscarriage due to amniocentesis, I started to think what if I was that number. She tells me the cramping is normal and that if I have any fluid leakage to come to the hospital right away, but to rest and drink plenty of water. The cramps did not go away at first, but after getting into a comfortable position I could finally go to sleep. When I woke up a few hours later I felt fine, a little crampy, but it subsided when I started drinking water. I had a follow up appointment with the Geneticist the next day. When I woke up the next morning I had intense cramping when I went to the restroom there was a little dry blood and it looked like parts of my mucus plug were coming out. I went straight to the emergency room. They performed blood work and an ultrasound they told me the baby was fine, she had a strong heartbeat, but my amniotic fluid was low. They told me I could go home, to drink water and call my doctor within 1-2 days. I asked them why I could not be seen by labor and delivery and was told that labor and delivery only looks at patients that are 19.5 weeks…and I was only 17.5 weeks.
On my way home from the emergency room, my water broke and we went straight back to the hospital. It seemed like a bad dream, the whole ordeal, going to the hospital, the delivery, everything. I was so numb so heartbroken. I still am. I just saw her a few hours before at the ultrasound she was moving and had a strong heartbeat how is this possible. I had a baby, but where is she? She is not with me, just a box with pictures of her and the clothes she wore when I held her. I got the results back today January 25th, six weeks after having my baby and my baby was fine, no spinal defects, no infections, she was perfect. I had an abnormal placenta with placental infarctions, my high AFP could have been an early detector for preeclampsia. I had an amnio for no good reason and now my baby is gone. The doctor tells me that sometimes these things just happen, there is no explanation sometimes. I can’t help but feel responsible for her death: why did I get the amnio, why didn’t I just let things be, why wasn’t I strong enough to carry her until she was able to breathe on her own, was she scared, did she feel any pain? She would still be with me if I had listened to my doubts and not done the amnio, but there is nothing I can do about it now. I’m sorry baby girl.
Every day I see her face, her tiny fingers and toes, she was so beautiful at 17.5 weeks, she had eyebrows already and her daddy’s nose. I can’t help but imagine what she would have looked like at birth. Every day I look at my boys and can’t stop help but imagining how great of an addition she would have been to our family. It just feels like something is missing and I feel so selfish for only thinking about her when I have 2 other children to care for. I miss my baby and I don’t know what to do anymore, I thought it would get easier as time passed, but the closer I get to my due date the more it hurts, she should be kicking now, I should be reading to her and playing music for her, my husband should be rubbing my belly and talking to her, but none of that is happening. Mila G. was born on December 15, 2011 without a chance. I miss you so much baby girl.
You can contact Debbie at firstname.lastname@example.org.