Mom to Angel Mae
Born still January 6, 2012
I went to the doctor for a simple UTI…or so I thought….I learned in Sept. 2011 I was pregnant with my 3rd child, the 4th between my spouse and me. I am classified as a high risk pregnancy from the start since I am a type 1, juvenile diabetic and have been for over 25 years. I immediately told my spouse, who could not quit smiling. We knew we had risks, but this was my third…this should be a cake walk. We thought we knew it all: I would have a repeat c-section and knew the baby would come early (my 5-year old was born at 30 weeks, her sister at 34 weeks). We knew we would probably deal with a NICU stay and all. We could handle it. I am a firefighter/EMT, so we knew I would be limited at work. We could do this…
Around week 8 I noticed a little blood when I went to the bathroom, just some brown color on the toilet paper when I was done. Alarmed, I called the OB and was told brown color is not a worry, if I start to cramp, blood turns pink or bright red to call them ASAP. I continued to have this for another 6 weeks. Finally, one day at work, there was blood, red in color and lots of it. I left work and headed to the ER as the doctor instructed me to do. After multiple tests, everything seemed ok and I got to see our baby on ultrasound. They did note my placenta was low lying, so this needed to be watched. About another 2 weeks passed and I finally quit bleeding…Hey I’m in the second trimester I’m good to go, or so we thought. I took a blow on Dec. 28 when I lost my job…worried about finances, I figured this would be a way to focus on the family and baby.
At 24 weeks I was headed in for a routine high risk, maternal fetal medicine appointment. I went to these appointments every 2 weeks to watch blood sugars and baby. I was impatient and had a super busy day, so was just ready to get this appointment over with. Everything went smoothly through the appointment, but then the doctor couldn’t find the baby’s heart beat…I was not concerned because this baby was a hider. Baby was always low lying in my pelvis. I am 6’0″ tall and weigh 130 lbs., so this baby didn’t have many places to hide but always found a place. They decided to do an ultrasound…Perfect, or so I thought…I could take a peek at the baby again! (This would have been my 18th ultrasound this pregnancy.). As soon as the ultrasound hit my belly, I saw the flat chest, no heart beat. I knew before a word was said…Here I am, at a doctor’s appointment, alone and freaking out. Nothing like taking a blow like this solo. So many questions ran through my head…I called my mom, who lived less than 5 minutes from where I was. She immediately came to be with me. They completed a scan and I was told I had to go to the hospital for delivery.
My mom drove me home where my spouse was with the kids. He ran to the door and opened it as I was standing there crying so hard I couldn’t talk. I walked right past him and went to bed. Not sure why, but my bed was the only place I wanted to be. My spouse came in and just lay down next to me. We both cried uncomfortably. My mom left with the kids to take them to my grandparent house so she could be with us.
We grabbed a few things and headed to the hospital. Not a word said the entire way. We arrived at the hospital and were taken to a room. We were given so many options. First was to try a vaginal delivery, since I had 2 prior c-sections. They decided that since I was less than 29 weeks, a c-section would not be immediately needed since my uterus was not stretched to the max and chances of rupture were slim. As bad as it sounds, I had no idea what a contraction felt like. Both of my other children were emergency c-sections and I had never been in labor before.
I started to get some back pain about 6 hours after we arrived at the hospital. All my family had been stopping in throughout the course of this; I am so glad all my family is close (I am the youngest of 5 and have 14 nephews and one niece). The pains kept getting stronger and stronger by the minute. By this time, I was begging for an epidural. The anesthesiologist finally arrived, epidural attempt 1- failed, epidural attempt 2- failed, during epidural attempt 3 I felt a huge gush. I looked at the nurse and said, “Either my water broke or I just peed the bed.” Blood was going everywhere. Finally, the 3rd epidural went in. As they started to lay me back down, I felt the baby coming out. Complete silence. I was begging for her to cry or something, but silence…My worse fear was confirmed.
We learned we had another sweet baby girl. Angel Mae was born at 0115 in the morning, with her mom’s feet, her daddy’s belly…perfect in every way. We decided to do an autopsy in case we decide to try for our rainbow baby. We learned we lost our sweet, perfect-in-every way Angel due to Placental Vascular Disease. We learned this had nothing to do with my diabetes; nothing could have been done to prevent this. Apparently, it is extremely uncommon in the 2nd trimester and usually only seen in the 3rd, and they catch it as it is happening and deliver the baby. The placenta couldn’t function properly, which explains the bleeding earlier in the pregnancy as the placenta was starting to fail.
We left the hospital with heavy hearts and a box of pictures, a blanket she was wrapped in, and a few other gifts. I joined a group of moms I never knew existed. I’m still trying to figure out how to keep going on. Even with her footprints tattooed on my arm so she is always with me, this changed my life forever.
You can contact Lindsey at LindseyMaselli@aol.com.