Mom to Gunner Cruz

Born still April 19, 2012 at 27 weeks

Morrison, Tennessee

I found out I was pregnant at 5 weeks on November 10, 2011. It was the most exciting day! I took 3 pregnancy tests just make sure I wasn’t imagining it. I surprised my husband when he got home by leaving the pregnancy tests on the bathroom counter. We were both so excited and already making plans for our future with this new chapter of our lives. We told our families we were expecting on Thanksgiving Day, 2 weeks later. I’ll never forget the feeling of telling everyone else, pure joy! [Read more…]

Mom to Baby August, Lost December 22nd, 2009 at 8 weeks
and Baby February, Lost July 22nd, 2010 at 11 weeks
Louisville, Kentucky
I can’t say I am one of those women who have always wanted to be a mom. In fact, before my husband and I got married, we often envisioned our lives together as free and roaming the world. That all changed on Christmas Eve of 2008 as I held my cousin’s newborn baby in my arms. Somehow this tiny little girl reached deep into my heart and pulled a string that I didn’t even know existed. I wanted it and I wanted it bad. At first I tried to ignore it. After all, I had put a lot if effort into dreaming up a life without children. But babies seemed to be following me everywhere. Babies on Fischer-Price commercials. Pregnant women pushing their bright red shopping carts in Target. Babies cooing in radio ads for the local hospital. Even women clamoring to be the next to hold the baby during a wake. Yes, I had Baby Fever.  

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Mom to Jeremy
Stillborn on July 14th, 2009
Cooper City, FL

On February 15, 2009 I found out I was pregnant. I was about to turn 21 in a week and was living away from my family. All through my teenage years I never liked kids and always said I would never have any. Once I found out I was pregnant I changed my mind. On May 15 I went in for my 20 week ultrasound. I found out I was having a boy and that day had decided his name would be Jeremy. At the ultrasound I was told Jeremy had a “soft spot” on his kidneys. The doctor told me it was probably nothing serious and would most likely be cleared up by birth. They went ahead and sent me for a Level 2 ultrasound just to be sure.

In June my husband and I decided it would be best to move back home to live with my parents so we could get some help and have a better place to live. I looked around and found the best doctor in my area and made my 6 month check up with her. She sent me for a follow up on the Level 2 ultrasound just to ease my mind about the “soft spot”.

When I went for the 2nd ultrasound the perinatologist quickly looked over the kidneys said everything was fine and Jeremy looked healthy from the neck down. Then they focused in on his brain and would not give me any answers but I knew something was wrong. He said Jeremy had fluid on his brain and 2 enlarged brain ventricles. The next morning I was being sent for a fetal MRI (that I now regret going to) in Miami. I had set everything up with a lady at the perinatologist office and she told me that all my paperwork and information would be faxed over to the hospital so all I would have to do was show up. Friday morning I get to the hospital for the MRI and they had no idea I was coming in and the doctors office had not sent my information over. I had not eaten because the nurse told me I could not eat and I was waiting around, starving, for my paperwork to get there. The doctors office had sent my medical records to the wrong number. Finally I had my MRI and the doctors doing the scan told me I should have eaten and they never tell patients not to eat for 12 hours before. During the MRI Jeremy was awake and kicking like crazy. I was so nervous and the doctors kept telling me what a happy healthy little boy he was to ease my mind. They sent me home with a cd of pictures of him as well. That afternoon after the MRI I decided to go to my doctors office because I was so dissatisfied with the perinatologist. My doctor wasn’t in but I left a message with the nurse and she was going to get information back to me by Monday about it.

That night I go home exhausted but wasn’t feeling Jeremy kicking. I figured he was tired because of the insane day we were having. The next morning I didn’t get my usual wake up call at 9 am from him either. I thought “Ok, maybe this is normal?” My friend had invited me to go to the pool with her for the afternoon but when I got back I still hadn’t felt Jeremy move. By Sunday morning I was very scared and went to my mom. She didn’t really think I had too much to worry about but said to keep watching and told me to move around and drink lots of water. Monday morning when I didn’t feel him kick we decided it was time to go to Labor and Deliver. I got hooked up to the monitor for about 30 minutes then went down for an ultrasound. The nurses weren’t giving us too much information so we thought everything was ok. The ultrasound tech sent us back up to Labor and Delivery. When we got there the nurse pulled me aside and said “we did not see your baby’s heartbeat we were watching yours”. She brought us back to another room and said to wait there because they were calling my doctor over. After an hour of sitting in a room crying hysterically, no one had called my doctor. My husband went and tracked someone down and with in 5 minutes my doctor was in the room. She set the inducement date for the next morning, 7/14.

Some how we made it through that awful night and went to my doctors office the next morning. She left a note for them to let me in whenever I got there and to have a room open for us. She did another ultrasound just to make sure they were right then admitted me to the hospital. Before they induced, she came in just to see if I had dilated. She told me I was 4 cm already and I was only 27 weeks. She got on the phone with the perinatologist who told her I had started dilating on Thursday, but he never mentioned that to me. The perinatologist had not communicated any of the information to my OB. They started the inducement and epidural at 2 pm that afternoon. By 6 pm she came back to check the dilation, but Jeremy was already out.

Jeremy was born 7/14/2009 at 2 lbs 1 oz and 14 1/2 inches long. At first I was a little scared to see him but I decided I needed to. He was beautiful and looked so peaceful. While I was holding him I kept getting this vibe from him that he wanted me to be happy and not sad about him. The nurses were amazing too. They put his hand and feet prints in his baby book, took pictures for me and gave me this box with his first outfit and a little rattle and pillow they had him hold for the pictures. That box is now one of my most treasured things.

My doctor requested an autopsy on Jeremy that came back normal and blood work from me. At the hospital she saw that I had an incompetent cervix and would need a cerclage in my next pregnancy, but that was not the cause of death. When the blood work came in my OB personally called me and told me that I have a blood clotting disorder called PAI-1 and would need to be on Lovenox for the next pregnancy as well. She thinks that Jeremy had died from a blood clot in the placenta. If she hadn’t pushed for an answer for me I would have never known that.

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Mom to Stevie Joy
Stillborn on May 8th, 2010

Minneapolis, MN  

Stevie Joy was stillborn on May 8th, 2010, at 26 weeks, after a beautiful and perfectly uncomplicated pregnancy. She died as a result of blood clots in her umbilical cord. It has since been determined that I have two rare genetic blood clotting disorders: MTHFR and PA-1. It’s now been 10 weeks since my daughter died, and although the sadness is still there all the time, it’s becoming less and less crushing and all-consuming.

This is a letter to my daughter about her birthday:

Precious little Stevie Joy,
It breaks my heart to have to type this, but I want to remember your first and only birthday forever. You are so special to me and your dad. You will always be our first little girl, and we will love you forever. You made me a mother, a better person, and I know you will always be a part of me until the day I die. I love you so much it hurts.

Here it goes. On Friday morning I called the doctor’s office because I hadn’t been feeling your little kicks I had become so used to feeling for the last day or so. I wasn’t too worried, but I was hoping for some reassurance and peace of mind. I didn’t even bring Dad with me to the appointment because I really thought I was surely over-reacting. I let work know I was going in for a quick check-up, but shouldn’t be more than 30 minutes late.

When the doctor walked in, she looked a bit surprised to see me (my last appointment was just over a week ago, and everything looked great!) “What’s going on?” She asked. “I just haven’t been feeling her move for over 24 hours, so I called and they said I could come in for a quick check. I’m sure I’m just a paranoid first-time mom,” I said. The doctor then had me hop up on the chair for a listen with the doppler. I expected to hear the comforting sound of your little heart, like I have so many times before. She moved the doppler around my belly for what seemed like forever. A couple times she thought she picked you up, but then discovered it was actually my own pulse she was hearing. I started to get a little nervous. “I don’t want to torture you,” the doctor said, “let’s go down to the ultrasound room for a quick look.”

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