Mom to Alexys
Born and died August 1, 2012 at 22 weeks
I have never wanted anything more than to be a Mom. After several years, it finally happened. It was quite unexpected and the situation not ideal, but I was excited all the same. I had blood tests done for something unrelated but because I’d missed a period (that had happened many times before), and they decided to do a blood test to make sure. That night I got the call saying I was pregnant. I had so many emotions all at once, but was so excited. It was finally happening! I was only 5 weeks. I promised myself I wouldn’t buy anything until after the first trimester. I kept my word. After the second trimester started, I couldn’t wait. Then I realized it was hard without being gender specific.
On July 13th I finally had my ultrasound. I was so sure the baby was a boy, but to my delight she was an active little girl! I was ecstatic. I finally bought a couple of items. The crib was purchased, and I was given a bassinet. I was waiting for a nice paycheck to go crazy.
On July 30th, I noticed some excessive fluid. I just thought it was excessive discharge. I saw a small bit of blood the night before but did not think anything of it. I went to work the next day and it did not seem to change. When I got home, I Googled “excessive discharge during pregnancy” and it brought up leaking amniotic fluid. Fear set in, but being as I Googled it, I thought I was overreacting. That night there was more blood and I had to wear a pad because there was so much fluid. I finally called my doctor that next morning. They told me my doctor was out and to go to the hospital and go to Labor and Delivery. I cried the entire way there, and at that point I had the feeling everything was going to go wrong.
I got to the hospital and was immediately checked in. I tested positive for amniotic fluid, I was dilated 3 cm and my white blood cell count was elevated. They admitted me at around 10am on July 31st and put me into a delivery room. At that point, I was 90% sure my baby girl was going to die. I was only 22 weeks, and I knew it was next to impossible for her to survive if she came out. I started having cramping, which I later realized was the beginning of contractions. They did an ultrasound and she had plenty of amniotic fluid still inside. I could still feel her moving. The doctor came to see me. He explained that my placenta had torn. They could feel it bulging out of my cervix, as well. The elevated white blood cell count meant that an infection could have gotten inside, which means my body would start labor to expel the infection and the baby. He seemed to still have hope, or at least wanted to convince me. He said if she didn’t come, then I would be on bed rest and would still probably have her in a few weeks. I was extremely high risk at this point.
The rest of the day went by, and friends came, my mother, my pastor. I was feeling what I didn’t know were the last movements I would ever feel from my daughter. The contractions began getting stronger. It was confirmed that I did in fact have an infection in the placenta. Then around 9pm my water broke. It was nothing like I expected. I got up to go the bathroom and blood just went everywhere. I had no idea what had happened. I was put on bed rest after that and finally knew for sure that my daughter was not going to make it. I had contractions through the night with pain meds that after 2 doses no longer worked. I had back labor which as painful as I imagined. The next morning the doctor checked me and could feel her extremities coming out of my cervix. They gave me something to induce or speed up my labor, I’m not sure which, and gave me an epidural. At around 10:30am they went to check how dilated I was. When the nurse checked, I hear a noise that still haunts me, but have no idea how to explain. The nurse immediately told another nurse to get the doctor: I was delivering. I asked her, “Was that her?” She said that it was. She had me push, and my beautiful Alexys was born at 10:39am on August 1.
I originally did not want to hold her and watch her die. But I am so grateful that I did. She was so small. She was 15 oz and 10 3/4 inches long. Her eyes were still fused shut and I could see her heart beating through her chest. I was able to feel my baby’s heartbeat and see her respond to my touch. She was incredible, but there was nothing to do to save her…she just simply was not developed enough. I held her until she took her last breath, which was about 45 minutes later. I let them take her from me then. I regret this so much. I wish I had hung on longer. They dressed her up in some clothes they had for preemies. They took pictures of her for me and brought her back. Again, they wanted to leave her and I said no, something I also regret. I couldn’t believe that my little girl was gone. They gave me a memory box with the outfit she wore, the hospital bracelets that she would have worn, her foot and hand prints, and a SD card with the pictures they took. The nurses also made me a bracelet with her name. I had the most incredible staff with me that day.
It’s now just been over 2 months since she was born and she should not have been born for another 2 months, on December 5th. Some days it is so unreal, and I still cry myself to sleep some nights. She has given me some strength that I never knew I had. I also have gotten the motivation to go to nursing school; I want to work in pediatrics or obstetrics. I want to be there for other women that have to go through a terrible loss like this, like I had for me. Both my doctor and my nurse the day I lost Alexys had experienced the loss of a child.
My baby girl was born just 2 days before my own birthday and will forever be remembered. Sometimes I think that if I had called the doctor as soon as I noticed fluid, that the infection would not have gotten in and she could have had a chance. I have so many what if thoughts, but I know it’s not healthy to dwell on that. Sometimes it is so hard not to. It’s hard not to think that I would be approximately 32 weeks now. I just think of her often though and hope to make her proud and know that she is watching over me. Thank you for letting me share!
Rest in peace my sweet Alexys!
You can contact Melynda at firstname.lastname@example.org.