Mom to Eli Walker Weatherly
Born still April 18, 2012
After 3 years of marriage, and serious struggles with infertility, my husband and I finally conceived our first child together. He was a boy, who we named Eli Walker. We could not have been any happier to find out that the week of our 3rd wedding anniversary we had finally been given the answer to our prayers. A baby. A baby boy, nonetheless. We went through the first 13 weeks as happy as two clams in our shells. There was nothing that could bring us down off of the high that we experienced knowing that we were going to finally start a family after such a tough journey with infertility. At 14 weeks we got a call from the maternal-fetal specialist that my OB had sent me to for a preliminary Downs Syndrome scan. The results of that test showed that our baby had a 1 in 11 chance of having Trisomy 13 or 18, but no risk of Downs. Trisomy 13 & 18 are little more than a death sentence of the chromosomal deficiency type. We did every test available, with the exception of an amniocentesis, to determine if he was going to be affected with T 13 or T18. After 4 weeks of tests and waiting for results, we got the answer that we were hoping for. No evidence of T 13 or 18 with Eli. Praise God!
That is, until the first Monday in March. This was only 4 days after the great news that there were no chromosomal abnormalities with the baby. That is when the specialist told us that Eli was suffering what is called Reverse Diastolic Flow with the placenta. I was 21wks 4 days pregnant and handed what would be a worse outcome than what T 13 or 18 could bring. Reverse Diastolic Flow is a situation in which there is abnormal resistance in the placenta, which results in a marked decrease in blood flow from the fetus to the placenta. The resistance causes cardiac stress on the baby’s heart. We were told that he would not make it to 24 weeks and that we should “terminate the pregnancy” to reduce the harm that he would suffer in the long run. Really? Really? How is that going to reduce any harm suffered? I had to go home after the appointment and cry. I sat in the living room with my husband and cried for the rest of the day. We had just purchased baby furniture the day before, and now you’re telling me that my baby is going to die? And to keep him from suffering we should terminate him in the next 2 weeks to keep the suffering to a minimum?
We decided that was not for us and continued carrying and caring for Eli. And in making that decision, we had to continue to see Mr. Personality (as I like to call him) until the end of the pregnancy, when ever that would be. At one point, my OB, who is probably one of the strongest, most compassionate woman I have ever met, called me and said that she was going to sit in on an appointment with Mr. Personality and answer our questions. It turned into an opportunity to express our wishes for care and Eli’s care once L&D becomes necessary. We truly did not believe that we would ever need to utilize those plans, but we did need and want things done a specific way, and that included the ability to hold our baby for as long as we wanted.
At 27wks 5dys, we lost our baby boy, Eli Walker. I woke up that morning and knew that things were different. I’d been told that it would happen that way and it did. I had an appointment with Mr. Personality late that afternoon and saw on the ultrasound monitor that Eli did not have a heartbeat. I was sent to my OB’s office 1 floor below to start the L&D process, which did not end for another 26 hrs. We buried our baby 2 days later, in a cemetery where my family has been buried since they came to Dallas.
As I sit here in grief that is almost unspeakable, and as J. R. R. Tolken says, “the end is truly dark”. There will be light again, and Harold and I have no regrets about the decisions that we made. I knew that when we decided to carry on, there would be this possibility, but the reality is more than I can talk about. When we begin things, as people, we rarely know how they are going to end, but end they do. And we pick up. And go on. Even though we really don’t want to.
Amy blogs at http://clownalley.tumblr.com.
You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.