Mom to Evan Matthew, January 15th, 2010

and Kayden John, March 6th, 2011

Pima, Arizona

We found out I was pregnant with our 4th child Sept. 2009, two weeks later we found out my husband was going to be deployed to Iraq in May 2010, the same month this baby was due, so he would most likely miss the birth with due date and deployment date being so close together.

I was instantly excited for the baby of course, my husband however, took some getting used to the idea because I delivered our 3rd son while he was in Iraq in 2007, and my husband wasn’t able to attend the birth, didn’t even meet our son until he was 4 months old. He didn’t want to miss another birth. After time, he got used to the idea that we were having a baby whether he could be there or not.

I went to all my appointments, and I remember celebrating after hearing the heartbeat after each appointment. The first thing I would tell people when they’d ask how my appointment went, I’d say, “Well, there was a heartbeat!” This pregnancy felt weird the whole time. I just felt at any moment something was going to go wrong. I went to my 18 week appointment and heard what we thought to be the babies heartbeat and everything was fine. I set up my anatomy ultrasound for 3 weeks later, I would be 21 weeks at the time. Christmas and New Years came and went. My ultasound was scheduled for Jan. 13, 2010. The day came, my husband had to work but was going to “try” to be at my appointment, but wasn’t sure if he’d be able to get off. I got to the office and was pretty nervous, but my nerves were calmed a little because right before we left the house, I felt what I thought was the baby moving.

They call us back to the ultrasound room that was right in with my regular OB’s offices. They get me all situated(by the way, my husband did make it right in time), my husband is sitting behind my head to the left hand side. They put the jelly on, put the wand to my belly, and there was not a single movement on the screen. She moved the wand one way, then another, still I saw no fluttering where the heart should be. Finally, right before I was going to say, “Ok, i’m a little freaked out, can you just show me the heart is beating?!?” The tech put her hand on my arm and said, “I’m sorry, your baby just doesn’t have a heartbeat.”

Those words echo in my mind and still to this day make my heart sink. The doctor comes in to confirm, and it was confirmed…our baby had passed away around 16 weeks gestation. How could I carry my baby for 5 weeks without knowing he had passed away. At the time we couldn’t tell his gender, so after I delivered him is when we actually found out that we had another little boy. Evan Matthew was silently born January 15, 2010 at what would have been his 21 weeks gestational age had he lived past 16 weeks, with no real reason why. It was one of those, “these things just happen sometimes” kind of thing.

I worked through my grief, little by little, moment by moment. It was found from all my lab work that I have a clotting disorder…I have a double C677T mutation in the MTHFR gene. So few people know about this disorder that my ob doctor had to research what it was before being able to tell me. This mutation isn’t supposed to effect pregnancy though, so I was told that if I get pregnant again I should take a baby asprin everyday and that’s it.

It was nine months later and my husband and I decided it was time to add to our family. There was another child waiting to join our family. Not uncommon to us, we got pregnant the first month. Everyone was so excited, I had my reservations because I now know that anything could happen, but I was excited. My husband was positive we wouldn’t lose this one, there’s no way that could happen twice in a row! I wasn’t very sick, which is my normal. I had an ultrasound every 2 weeks, the baby was perfect, growing right on track. Slowly but surely my nerves were calmed. At 16 weeks I had an ultrasound and the baby, who we found out was a boy, was healthy. Measured right on schedule, he was even approximately 4 oz, that is .6 oz heavier than his big brother Evan was when he was delivered…most importantly he had a strong heartbeat of 158. A relief to have that ultrasound at the same gestation they said Evan passed away. I was even more positive this baby would live!

I started getting anxious after that appointment though. Did they miss something in the ultasound? What if his fluid was too low? He didn’t seem to be moving much at the appoinment, but his heartbeat was strong so I chalked it up to him sleeping and me just being worried.

I had my next ultrasound at 18 weeks. This one would be the official “anatomy” ultasound. We would know for sure, boy or girl. It didn’t matter to me, honestly. Yes, I had 4 boys already, but I just wanted a healthy living baby. Same process, get jelly, the tech puts the wand on my belly, and again…no movement, he had passed away at 16 weeks. WHAT?!? The tech knew of our previous loss, and she knew we knew what had happened. She had her student tech go get a doctor to confirm her findings. I was in shock! Even though I was mentally prepared for anything, nobody can be THAT prepared. I got through the doctor going over our “options” but I already knew I would deliver this baby, just like I delivered Evan. I didn’t want our baby torn from my body, I wanted to hold him, to see him, I wanted closure.

This time, I didn’t want to “just get it over with” like I did with Evan, so I waited 3 days before I would go in to be induced. I knew that once I gave birth, I couldn’t get my baby back, so I wanted to hold onto him as long as I could. I went in to be induced, and I had picked to deliver on a day the doctor that delivered Evan would be at the hospital, I wanted her to be the one to deliver our second angel. The doctor came in, sat on my bed, put her hand on my leg and said, “When I heard the news my heart just sank.” Then she made sure we were wanting an autopsy with this one since everyone told us not to get one with Evan because most likely nothing would be found. But to lose two babies both at 16 weeks gestation doesn’t “just happen.”

I delivered our baby, Kayden John at 9:50 pm March 6, 2011. Such a bittersweet meeting….he is my baby, it was love at first sight, but we wouldn’t be taking him home. We spent 3-4 hours with him, but knowing they were going to run all the tests on him, I didn’t want to keep him too long in case I would mess up something with the testing. One week later, my doctor called me and said that the autopsy, and my bloodwork all came back NORMAL!!! What the??? She said they were still waiting on the tissue test to be completed, but said at this point, the only thing they could think it would be is my blood disorder. It just didn’t make sense that for one, I have 3 healthy boys already, and two, there is no protocol for this disorder, it’s not SUPPOSED to effect pregnancies. In having my 2 week follow-up we found out that the tissue test didn’t show any chromosomal abnormalities either. IF I choose to get pregnant again, I will go to a high risk OB, and have to do the Heparin shots. Not really having a definite answer as to why my boys passed away, is proving to be really hard!

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  1. Hi Melani,

    I relate so much with your stories. I have two boys here, no complications with baby or I during pregnancies. We had our first loss of our baby girl, Emily, at 16 weeks in 2013. And then our baby boy, Michael, this past February, at 15 weeks. I have seen a hematologist, rheumatologist, and a reproductive specialist recently. The only thing that was found recently was a homozygous 677 mutated MTHFR gene. It sounds like that is what you have. I wonder if you have found anything else out?

    My thoughts are with you. It is hard to go through this once, and then twice. Something that I knew was possible, I just did not think that it would happen again…


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