Mom to Hadley Elizabeth
August 4, 2010
Vine Grove, Kentucky
I was 6 weeks when I found out I was pregnant. From the moment I found out, my life changed forever. I wanted to make sure that I did all that I could to have a healthy baby and pregnancy. I really lost all appetite, but made myself eat for the sake of the baby. I would not go around people who smoked and I didn’t eat anything unhealthy. I was really ridiculous but I wanted everything to be perfect and to have a healthy baby.
I went in for my first ultrasound where the midwife dragged in the old time sonography machine to hear a heartbeat. We all waited; the nurse, midwife, my boyfriend and myself to hear a heartbeat. We all thought we saw a flicker of movement and we were very happy to see our first child. The midwife then told us that to get a better idea of how far along I was that I would have to schedule and appointment with the imagining center within a week. She figured that the baby’s due date was going to be February 18th or 20th, 2011. This was very exciting because February 20th is my dad’s birthday!
I was able to get in that Saturday. All excited, my boyfriend, his step mom and I went to go see our baby again! His step mom brought the camera and was going to take pictures and a video to send to my family and my boyfriend’s mom of the ultrasound. While I am laying on the table with my boyfriend and his step mom at the foot of the table, the technician comes in and starts to do her job. She started to move the probe around my stomach and then we saw the baby again. She said that I was about 10 weeks along and that the baby would be due on Feb. 20, 2011, but there wasn’t a heartbeat. And that was it; that was when my heart dropped.
I was trying to keep myself together, but as soon as I felt my boyfriend squeeze my foot, I looked at him and saw them both crying. I then couldn’t keep strong. I said, “Excuse me?” The technician ran out the door and said that she needed to go talk to the main radiologist to be certain. There in this room with our baby on the screen, we all just sat there and cried and hugged. The technician came back in and said, “Your doctor will be calling you in a few hours.” We left the imagining center heartbroken and hoping it was just a misread. We went home and three hours went by and still no call from my doctor. I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to know more, so I made a phone call to my doctor.
She answered and said that she had no idea that I had knew about the loss or she would have stepped out of her surgery to call me. She said that she is the only one who is supposed to tell me the ultrasound results and by the imaging center’s policy, they are not allowed to share that information. She said that when they called and told her, they told her that they did not tell me and that I had no idea. I told her all about what happened earlier that day. She apologized multiple times and was very unhappy with the situation. She asked me if I have had any symptoms of a miscarriage before going into the imaging center. I told her I hadn’t, I was actually continuing to grow like normal. If it wasn’t for the ultrasound I would have thought I was still growing a healthy baby.
She gave me three options: let nature play its roll, use a vaginal cream to help speed up the natural miscarriage or have a D&C done. I chose option three. I was so hurt already I didn’t want to go and see how long nature took to take over. Since I was still growing, it made me wonder how long it would have taken that to happen. We sent up for me to go into my midwife to just double and triple check, as I was not going to have a D&C with hopes of the readings from the imaging center being false.
We all talked and I had another ultrasound done. The technician at the doctor’s [office] was very caring and was answering a ton of questions as to what parts were what inside there. She offered me a few pictures and the midwife confirmed it was indeed a miscarriage. While I was setting up my appointment to have my surgery done, this girl was sitting next to me at the other desk scheduling someone who was about to pop. She was on bed rest and due any day now. She was fighting with the doctor about how she needed pain medications and how she couldn’t be doing this without drugs. The doctor told her that there was nothing that she can give her right now as she was to far along and it would hurt the baby. The girl then proceeded to say, “Well, if you don’t give me something then I will get stuff off the street.” The doctor tried to help her realize the danger she could be putting her baby in, but she didn’t care. It was all about her.
As I am sitting there with my boyfriend hearing all of this going on, my heart was breaking. Here we are, a couple who would do anything to have a healthy living baby who would want for nothing, scheduling our D&C. It was just killing me to see her acting like that, to the point I couldn’t bite my tongue anymore and said to her, “Here you have this healthy baby you are about to give birth to and you are complaining about how much pain your child is putting you through to the point you are willing to risk your unborn child’s life? I am sitting here in [emotional] pain, because I have lost mine and would do anything to reverse that. People like you make me sick. Think of your child and not yourself.”
I then turned back to the receptionist and made my appointment for my D&C on August 4, 2011, and of course it was the day before my youngest brother’s birthday. On the morning of my surgery I was so nervous and had hopes that we would happen to hear a heartbeat and the miscarriage was just a bad dream. That was still not the case and my bad dream was still reality. The doctor came in to talk to me. Before I went in, my boyfriend’s mom and dad were in the room with us and stayed by my side until they were no longer allowed. The doctor explained to us exactly how the procedure was going to go and how long the surgery was going to take. We talked about how miscarriages happen and how common they really are and how most women have miscarriages and don’t even know that they are pregnant and just assume that it is their natural menstrual cycle.
She said that she could do a chromosome test to see if they could find out why the miscarriage occurred because our blood types (my boyfriend’s and mine) were a compatible match. We chose to do the chromosome test. After my surgery, everything went perfect. I was given a teddy bear from my boyfriend’s parents for the baby, and flowers. I felt great. Not emotionally, but physically I was good to go and run away from that hospital. The doctor explained to my boyfriend things I would be feeling for the next couple of weeks and told him exactly how to take care of me and to give her a call if he had any questions. I guess they talked while I was in the recovery.
We scheduled an appointment to talk about the chromosome test. We went into the doctors office and she sat below me as I sat on the table. She read off to us what was on her paper of results. In the results box, I saw “27, XX 18.” Sadly, back in biology I paid attention [and remembered] the the sex chromosomes and recognized that XX was for female. The doctor never mentioned the gender, nor did I ask as I saw. She said the cause of the miscarriage was Trisomy 18 – Edward’s Syndrome. She said that Edwards Syndrome is rare and that she would have to do more research on it herself and that with Edwards Syndrome a miscarriage is common, along with stillbirth. She also said that most of the time, the child does not make it until their second birthday. Some of the symptoms are: clenched hands, crossed legs, feet with a rounded bottom (rocker-bottom feet), low birth weight, low-set ears, mental delay, poorly developed fingernails, small head, small jaw, unusual shaped chest. I asked what I could have done differently and how it happened. She said it had nothing to do with me and that I went above and beyond what most mothers do to keep their children and themselves healthy during pregnancy.
She highly recommended that when we go to have another child to have chromosome testing done to try to see where the extra 18 came from. She said that when we decide to go have another child that she is sure that the next baby would be perfect and that we would unlikely have the same outcome. After we left the doctor’s, I told my boyfriend that [the baby] was our Hadley Elizabeth, she was a girl! Again, we both started crying and tried to tell each other that she was in a better place now and that she was healthy.
After my D&C I had to have blood draws to check my hCG levels until I was down to zero. After a whole month, they finally got there. If my little Hadley would have survived, we would have just celebrated her second birthday [at time of writing]! To look back on that day each year and think of where she would be at in her personality and growing stages still makes me wonder and I’m sure it will for the rest of my life. The dates are not going to be dates to forget since they are birthdays close to my dad and brother.
It has gotten easier and it will. Just because I don’t think about Had every single second of the day doesn’t mean I don’t love her. I keep myself strong thinking I need to keep moving forward for her, because of her. We all have our perfect little angel looking over us everyday. When I think about her, I do cry, as I did this entire time wrote this. But I am here to tell you that no matter how many people tell you, “It’s OK” and “I know what you are going through,” it doesn’t make it any easier, especially if they have never gone through it (and I hope they never do). I know when I go to have another child that I will be extra careful and protect and love them with everything. Hadley will never be forgotten and she will always be in my heart. I have my two pictures of her and those mean so much to me.
You can email Liz at: firstname.lastname@example.org