Cassie

Mom to Isaac Lee
Miscarried April 4, 2011
(EDD August 24, 2011)

and

Kinslee Nicole
Born and died February 24, 2012
(EDD June 29, 2012) 

Crooksville, Ohio

June 22, 2012. This was supposed to be one of the greatest days of our lives. Instead it will be another day out of the year that’s filled with tears and sadness for my husband and I. This is our story.

When we saw the positive pregnancy test we were overjoyed. The heartache of losing our son Isaac Lee back in April of 2011 was indescribable. He had a birth condition known as an omphalocele, which is where all of his abdominal organs were on the outside. I was just before 16 weeks when we miscarried. Our doctor had told us that sometimes when things aren’t right the body will terminate the pregnancy but he had absolutely no doubt in his mind that we would be able to carry another child full term. He advised us to wait a couple months before trying again and assured us that the next time we were pregnant he would be sending us to OSU for a level two ultrasound to ensure the baby was checking out okay. We decided to stop our birth control in August and by the end of September we were pregnant. We truly felt like this time things were going to be different. To say I was nervous was an understatement. However, my husband tried to reassure me all the time that things were going to be fine, that there was no way God would put us through that again. So I tried my best to not stress myself out about the situation and to just enjoy the pregnancy.

Really nothing about this pregnancy was abnormal. I experienced the normal nausea and vomiting and of course tiredness but nothing unusual. We made it past that dreaded 16 wk mark without difficulty and had our 18 week ultrasound at OSU. We found out then it was a girl and decided to name her Kinslee Nicole. And she looked GREAT! I mean everything checked out perfect with her and she was so active throughout the whole ultrasound. At one point during it she even “looked” right at us and was moving her perfect little mouth as if to say “look at me mommy and daddy!”  After our consult with the doctor he even assured us that everything looked perfect and to relax. After hearing that great news we finally felt comfortable telling our extended family we were pregnant again. Everyone was so excited for us and we were excited too! We were well into the 2nd trimester and felt like we were definitely in the clear now. At about 19 weeks I finally felt her kicking me like crazy. I was so happy to be feeling all those little movements! I work nightshift at a nursing home on weekends so it was wonderful to have my little sidekick inside keeping me wide awake throughout my shift.

My 21st week of pregnancy started out a little bit different than the rest. It was a Sunday at work and I had noticed a little more discharge than usual. However, it was all the mucus drainage and no actual fluid so I began to reassure myself that this was normal as I got further along in the pregnancy and not to worry, I had also experienced stomach pains that weekend at work but they truly felt like gas pains so I never second guessed them because they felt that distinct. Monday and Tuesday were normal as well, still experienced the drainage but still all mucus so I didn’t worry too much. Wednesday was uneventful. I called my OB just to run through with him what I was experiencing and he too said this was normal. As long as there was not clear fluid leaking and it wasn’t abnormal in color than not to worry. Ryan and I went to bed that night with Kinslee kicking me in full swing. That was the first night she was kicking so hard that Ryan could actually feel it as well and boy was he excited. We both fell asleep with our hands on my belly soaking up every movement she made. Thursday came and I decided to go shopping with my mother and daughter. We had a really great night and even bought a good bit of things for the girls. By the time we got home I was exhausted and plopped myself down on the couch. This is when everything changed. I began to feel my stomach tightening about every 9-10 minutes. After about the 7th time of this happening I looked at my husband and said “Grab me the phone, I’m calling the OB because I’m pretty sure I’m having contractions!”. Our OB advised us to get to labor and delivery to get checked out just given our history and he would check in with us there.

I tried to stay calm the whole way to the hospital which felt like the longest drive imaginable. I was going through everything in my head and had come to the conclusion I was possibly dehydrated and would maybe need to be on bed rest for a while. At least this is what I was hoping for. Once we got to Labor and delivery they took us to our room and went through the whole slew of questions with us and got my vitals. TO my surprise I had a fever of 100.3. After about 5-10 min. of being in our room another nurse came in asking if she could help. My nurse wanted her to check my discharge since I had said it was more than normal this past week. I laid back and almost immediately after beginning to examine me the nurse asks “And you said there was no bleeding??”. Instantly I answered “No..why?! Is there blood??” She replied with “Yes, there is. Actually…I can see fetal parts.” Immediately with that answer my whole world came crashing down. I looked right at Ryan and we both began to cry. How on earth could we seriously be going through this again not even a year later??

The rest of the night is a blur. My doctor came in and offered his apologies but at that point I didn’t even care. In hindsight I had no right to be mad at him but I couldn’t help it, I was furious with him. When something like this happens you begin to question every decision made throughout the pregnancy and are furious for the things you didn’t do. I had a c-section with my first birth but he informed me since I was only 21 weeks we were going to be having this baby vaginally. How on earth did anyone expect me to go through full blown labor knowing my baby wasn’t going to survive?? The anestheologist didn’t want to give me an epidural in fear I would have the baby as soon as I sat up on the edge of the bed. So instead I got demerol through my IV, which any of you reading who have been through labor knows demerol does absolutely nothing for pain after a certain point. And not to mention I can’t handle anything through an IV so between the contractions and the bawling here I am vomiting as well. With the nurse telling me she could see fetal parts and not getting the epidural I was thinking this was going to be a pretty fast process which in the long run it was, but not fast enough for me. I wanted it all to be over as soon as possible.

Kinslee Nicole was born at 6:54 am. She weighed 1 pound and we were told how beautiful she was. Mentally and emotionally I was not ready to see her as soon as she was born. Thank God for my mother who was more than willing to go back to the ICN and rock Kins and sing her lullabies. She will never understand how truly grateful I am she did that. After she was born my placenta was still pretty attached to my uterine wall so I had to push for another half hour or so and have the nurse and my OB push so hard on my stomach to get it to come out. That was by far some of the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life. The rest of the day was spent crying, sleeping, and talking to family members and the nursing staff. I went the whole day without seeing her, I just didn’t think I could do it. It wasn’t until after speaking to a bereavement nurse late that night that made me change my mind. She encouraged me to see her and didn’t want me regretting it later in life. I talked it over with my husband and he agreed as well he wanted to see her. The next morning our parents met us at 9 am in my hospital room to meet baby Kinslee. There are no words in the English dictionary that can give that moment any justice. She was so beautiful! She looked identical to her sister. They would have looked almost like twins for sure. She was perfect in every way. It was so hard because you look at your child and hope and pray they will open their eyes, that you’ll see their chest rise and fall, that their skin won’t be so cool, that they’ll grasp your finger back. And they don’t. There are no words to describe that feeling. That feeling of hopelessness. I would have given anything for God to switch me places with my daughter. And I truly mean anything. As a parent you want your children to outlive you, you want God to take your life before ever even considering taking your child.

We spent about an hour with Kinslee and I am so happy we did. That is a moment in my life I will never forget. Not long after that moment I was ready to go home. One thing I will NEVER understand is why at my hospital after you have just lost your child do they continue to keep you on labor and delivery?? Those walls are paper thin almost and to hear the heart monitors in the room right next to you is enough to drive you completely crazy. The next few days at home were empty. All I wanted to do was sleep because at least while sleeping I didn’t have to think of it all but at the same time every time I woke up I had to go through the reality of it all over again. We had to go to the funeral home and give all of our information and go over what we wanted the obituary to say. I don’t think I’ve ever cried so many tears in my life. Her funeral however was beautiful. We only had close family at the service and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I even wrote her a little letter to be buried with her. I know she will be with me every moment of every day and will hear all of my thoughts but I wanted her to have something with her. I can only hope and pray she knows how much I love her.

So, here we are. Really no answers as to what happened. I ultimately had an infection called chorioamnionitis. However, an infection can cause preterm labor and preterm labor can cause an infection. It’s not fair. For a little life to be taken away so quickly with no reason as to why. I know a lot of things will always be unanswered until I get to Heaven myself but that’s so hard to understand. My feelings of sadness, anger, and fear for the future are unexplainable. When you get pregnant you never imagine an infection in your uterus to turn your whole life upside down within a matter of minutes. One thing I do know from all of this is I am thankful God choose us to be Kinslee’s parents and I am so thankful she was brought into our life for even a brief amount of time. She definitely has a huge part of her momma and daddy’s heart. We also met a nurse throughout this whole process that was the true meaning of a nurse. If it wasn’t for her I truly don’t feel Ryan and I would have made it through. She made us a beautiful memory box and even came to Kinslee’s funeral. I believe 100% that God sent her to me. She is an angel on earth and I am so glad she was the one taking care of our little angel. All of her actions have actually motivated me to go back to school in the fall to obtain my BSN and hopefully start a career as a bereavement nurse for families going through situations like ours. Whenever we do and can get pregnant again I will be considered high risk so I will be going to OSU throughout the whole pregnancy to be monitored very closely.

One thing that provides me comfort is Kinslee is buried right next to her brother Isaac. And if they are anything like their sister then God will definitely have his hands full! I just can’t wait for the day until we can all be together, in the same place, as a family.

  You can contact Cassie at swingle.cassie@yahoo.com.

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Comments

  1. Jessica says:

    Cassie,
    I am so sorry for your losses. I understand your situation completely. My membranes ruptured prematurely at 21 weeks… however I didn’t go into labor. I was on complete bed rest in the hospital for 3 weeks attempting to save my son. He eventually passed away and was born still at 23 weeks and 5 days. My heart breaks for you … I cannot think of any worse heartbreak than losing a child, especially two. I will keep you in my prayers. My whole story is on my blog http://www.stillloved.blogspot.com and I’ve also created a group on facebook called Parents of Stillborns.

  2. Megan says:

    Hi,
    I had almost the exact same thing happen to me with my first child, my son. I was 20 weeks when I suddenly went into labor. I had the same infection and they gave me the same speech about how infection can cause preterm labor and preterm labor can cause the infection. My son was perfect. Just that stupid infection. So sorry for your losses.

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