Mom to Isabelle Skye

Stillborn February 13, 2013

Schenectady, New York

To make a long story short, I had finally conceived after 2 years of trying and was so happy, but it sadly ended in miscarriage faster than I ever imagined. I literally found out I was pregnant and lost the baby a week later. It was devastating for me . Thankfully, my husband was by my side the whole time and was very supportive. After that, we gave TTC a little break as I could not handle it emotionally. After a few months, we decided to go ahead and keep trying and two more years later, nothing still. I was starting to get discouraged and bummed out. Also my cycles started to become a little off and I would skip a month here and there, or sometimes two. Well, in September we really put all effort into this baby-making thing and we tried every day. I was drinking some herbal teas to enhance fertility and really just trying to not have any stress.

Around late September, I decided to test as I really thought this was my month as my breasts were starting to get tender, but it was negative. I thought, “Well so much for that,” and I was so sad to think that we gave it our all and no cigar. We resumed just trying every other night or so and I was just waiting for my cycle to show, but it never came. Here we were around October 10th and still no cycle, so then I was thinking, “Well isn’t that lovely… I did not even ovulate in September, so it was all for nothing,” kind of like a cruel joke. Well played ovaries, well played. I figured we might as well wait until the end of October and prepare for the worst. Around October 15th, my breasts got very tender and then suddenly they stopped, so I even told my husband that my cycle was on the way. But, it was not, so I just played the waiting game and a few days later my breasts really started hurting again. By this point, I was just sitting there thinking, “C’mon cycle… any day now.” Still nothing.

Fast forward to October 30th and I made a late night run to Wal-Mart to get some last minute things for my Halloween costume, and while I was waiting to cash out at the register. I saw these 88-cent cheap Wal-Mart pregnancy tests, and thought, “Well it’s cheap and it’s here, maybe it’s a sign,” so I bought it. OF COURSE I could NOT wait until the morning because I am very impatient, so I went to the bathroom and did my thing, set it down on the counter and just thought ,”Oh well. That was a waste of 88-cents. I don’t even know why I took it.”  I grabbed it and watched the test process and then I saw a second line forming and thought, “Wow it’s just tricking me. What a crappy test.” I waited another minute expecting the second line to disappear, and low and behold it did not. It just got darker. I kid you not, I ran out of the bathroom with my undies around my ankles to show my husband the test and said, “O-M-G look, it’s a pink line! OMG, I’m PREGNANT!!!!!!” I was so over the moon happy that I ran into the closet to grab a t-shirt I had custom ordered a month or so ago to give to my husband once he found out he was going to be a daddy. I was happy to give it to him finally!

Husband was happy too, but he of course thought because it was so cheap that it could be wrong. At lunch time the next day, I went to CVS and bought an EPT digital and it confirmed everything with the word “Pregnant.”

Then we made our first appointment and got an ultrasound to confirm dates since I ovulated so late. We got to see the baby’s heart beating, it was so amazing. I was 6 weeks and 4-5 days.

Everything seemed so perfect. We celebrated Thanksgiving with family and then Christmas. Christmas was a special day for me, it was the day I turned 12 weeks. The day I thought I surpassed the worry stage in the pregnancy. We had a fetal heart beat monitor at home and we listened to her heart often. We thought everything would be perfect and were starting to get excited knowing we were finally having the baby we dreamed of. Our next ultrasound was on January 2nd. They told us we were actually a week further along, so I was now 14 weeks, and the due date was changed to July 3rd 2013, the day before my sister was due with her baby. I was over the moon. We watched our baby turn around and kick about and it was just amazing.

We could not wait to find out if we were having a boy or girl, so we decided to book a private elective gender scan. It cost $70 out-of-pocket, but was worth it to us. We arrived to our appointment and were so happy to finally find out. The place was so beautiful inside, it was like a spa. I laid on the table and felt the warm ultrasound lube hit my belly, then within moments we saw our sweet baby; she was moving her arms and hands around and we were so in love. She had her little legs crossed, so I had to get up and walk around to try to get her to move, but that did not work. Then I tried drinking orange juice and eating some chocolate, but still she would not move! We received a picture of her and made another appointment for the following Saturday to go back. We had no idea that in a few days, everything would change…

We received a call from my midwife and she told us that the woman that did the gender scan noticed some fluid around our baby’s abdomen and she said we needed to have an ultrasound done the next day by a specialist. My heart sank right away. I cried and I felt so helpless for our baby. The next day we went to the appointment and again saw our baby. I saw her waving her little arm as if to say ‘hello’, and we saw her little mouth opening to yawn; so many emotions were running through me at that time, it was so hard not to cry. I asked the technician if there was fluid around the baby and she quietly said ‘yes’, and the way she said that, I knew it was not good. She would not tell us any more and said we would have to call our doctor.

As soon as we left, I waited about 10 minutes and called my midwife. At first, the receptionist said we would have to wait a few days for the results and I got very upset; I said we needed to know an answer now and we needed to know if our baby was going to live or die. She said she would have the midwife call me back as soon as she could. We left and were on our way back to work and my phone rang. It was my midwife. She said she was so sorry but the baby had a lot of problems that are not compatible with life. I will never forget those words and how they made me feel. She said the baby had a lot of fluid and possibly a heart defect. She said they thought they saw something wrong with the brain as well, but she could not go further into it until she received the final report. She said we would have to go see a high risk specialist at Albany Med. At this point, I was barely able to speak and I could not believe what I was hearing. I felt like the world just crumbled at my feet. I remember I was shaking and I told her, “ok.” I asked if we had to go then and she told us we didn’t, that she would schedule the appointment and let us know. She again said she was sorry and I hung up the phone. I cried like I’d never cried before. It was such a deep pain and my heart literally hurt. Through my sobs, my husband asked what she said and all I could say was that she was going to die and we were going to lose her. His eyes filled up with tears as well and I knew I could not go to work and neither could he. We went home from there and cried together. I stayed home for a few days to try to cope.

A few days later, my midwife called with the appointment for the specialist. It was for Wednesday, February 6th. We went and received our ultrasound first. They took so long to do it and had 2 doctors come in. They found out she was a girl and showed us everything. Our little girl had a very large Cystic Hygroma on the back of her neck and she had Fetal Hydrops. They said her brain looked perfect along with her spine, but they could not see all of her heart because there was too much fluid around it and they suspected she had Turner’s Syndrome. They scheduled us for a Fetal Echocardiogram for March 4th, that way they could see if there was anything wrong with her heart. We saw the genetic counselor after the appointment and they explained Turner’s Syndrome to us. They offered an Amniocentesis to confirm this, but we declined as we were not terminating the pregnancy either way, and the testing could be done after she was born. I did not want to risk causing a miscarriage. We held onto hope and faith that she would get better, but sadly a week after that appointment she went to Heaven. I went into labor naturally on the 12th and delivered her on February 13, 2013 at 8:14 a.m. She weighed 15 ounces and was 8.5 inches long. She was so beautiful. We held onto her for 13 hours and took lots of pictures. We now hold on to her memory and try to make it through each day. We do plan on trying again as soon as we get the okay from the doctor.

The Sunday before she went to Heaven, we sat in church and I prayed to God because I knew in my heart she was ready to go; I just didn’t want to accept that. During that prayer, I told God I was ready (emotionally) for him to take her and that it was okay because I understood. I knew she would be loved in heaven. I said, “Amen” and listened to the pastor’s sermon. That night, my husband and I went grocery shopping and I had this nagging cramp and pain in my stomach. I ignored it and thought that maybe I just overdid it walking around. I went home after and went to bed early. The next morning when I woke up, it was worse and I had a lot of lower back pain that was radiating into my legs. I could barely walk. I started to feel mild contractions, too, so I called my doctor and they suggested I go to the hospital. I told my husband and we got in the car and drove there. I rubbed my belly and knew in my heart that this was it and soon she would be gone.

We got to the hospital and walked to the Labor and Delivery unit. They took my information and put us in a room. By this point, I knew I was having definite contractions as they were about 5-minutes apart. They checked my cervix and it was still closed. They put me on a contraction monitor for a few hours and sure enough, I was in labor. They told me they could not stop it and said that the contractions were not strong enough to open my cervix. It could take days to open and it would put me at risk due to the baby’s condition. Her heart was still beating, but they said she was already in the beginning stages of heart failure. They said they would place tablets around my cervix that would help open it along with the contractions. They did the first dose and told me to expect more cramping. I did not feel much with the first dose but was already in pain from the labor. They gave me some pain medicine that took the edge off of the pain. I laid in bed and still felt her moving. We watched some movies and tried to stay calm. We didn’t know when she was going to come, so we cherished every moment we had.

I tried to sleep a few times, but the pain made that impossible. They offered me an epidural, but I declined. Around 11:00 p.m., they came in with a portable ultrasound machine and gave us one final ultrasound. We saw her swollen body and we saw her move her hands. Her heart was not doing well and we knew she didn’t have much longer. They gave us some pictures and quietly left the room. A few hours later, the pain became intense. I asked for pain medicine and within ten minutes of taking the medicine, I had to vomit. I knew I could not have any more medicine and the pain was so bad, so I asked for the epidural, as I couldn’t take the pain anymore. The guy that did the epidural was amazing and he did a great job. He told me stories of he and his wife and the loss they had and he gave me such comfort. After about 20 minutes, the pain was gone. I was able to relax and sleep finally. I woke up around 6:00 a.m. as my husband had to briefly leave to go let our dog out at home and get the baby book. Around 7 a.m., I shifted a little bit in bed and felt a small warm gush of fluid come out. I didn’t know if it was urine or if my water had broken. I felt between my legs and it didn’t feel like wetness from urine, so I had a feeling my water had broken. I called for the nurse, and after 15 minutes no one came. I called again and finally someone came in. Sure enough, my water had broken. She changed my bedding and said the doctor would be in to check me. My husband then returned and I told him what had happened.

Shortly after, the doctor came in and checked my cervix, looked at me, and told me I had to push in a few minutes. I was fully dilated and her tiny feet were already coming out. They set up the bed and then told me to push. I pushed 3 times and she was born at 8:14 a.m. The first thing I asked was if she was alive They told me she was not and asked if I wanted to hold her. I of course wanted to and they warned me that she did have some abnormalities, but I did not care. They placed her in my arms and my husband and I cried. She was so tiny and swollen. We now knew just how sick she was. They weighed and measured her. She weighed 15 ounces and was 8-and-a-half inches long. They dressed her in her dress and hat and placed her back in our arms. We held her and loved her all day. We took so many pictures and a video so we could forever remember her. We kept her until around 9:30 p.m. It was so hard to say goodbye knowing we would not see her again…

Tricia blogs at: https://lovingsweetisabelleskye.wordpress.com/
You can email her at: TMercogliano@gmail.com

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  1. Thanks for sharing your story. I am so sorry for your loss. I wanted to comment because my due date with our fourth child was also July 3 (but it was 2016) and we delivered him on February 13 after we found out at his 19 week ultrasound he wasn’t alive anymore :(.

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