I am the community leader for the Genetics & Down syndrome Forums. I am so used to giving out help, advice, support and encouragement and yet I now realize there always comes a time when we ourselves find that we need the same help, support and words of encouragement.
Some of you may have read, I lost my pregnancy last week Monday June 7th, at 9w3d. Our little angel stopped growing and a heartbeat which was found to be extremely bradycardia (low - 64bpm) stopped at around 6w1d. We were told to expect the worst, when we found out that the heartbeat was so slow, and yet we tried to remain positive and hoped for the best. There was a lot of confusion with my several ultrasound scans because I have a retroverted uterus, and it caused so much obscurity and difficulty with seeing a clear picture. For that reason, we held onto hope that what we weren't seeing was hopefully a result of the obscurities. Unfortunately, even though all my ultrasounds (5 in total) were internals/trans-vaginal, we learned that the next 3 scans after the low heartbeat were sad, and no heartbeat could be found, as well as no further growth.
We held out for three weeks, hoping that the various technicians at 3 different clinics were wrong, and also waited for a high level ultrasound. But by the time we had the high ultrasound, we knew the worst was upon us. What made it worse for us was the lack of miscarriage symptoms. No bleeding, no cramping and an over abundant amount of hCG and nausea to make things appear normal.
This was my 2nd pregnancy. My first son is currently 10 months old and was prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome. I felt very strongly about having a sibling close in age to our son, so he could have the motivation and closeness that a sibling could provide. Also, we wanted to ensure that our son had a sibling to look out for him as he would them and not be an only child as I was. There are many reasons we TTC so soon after having him and it took us five months to conceive the 2nd pregnancy because suffer with a tumour in my Pituitary gland. It causes excessive prolactin (the same hormone responsible for milk production, and thus stops ovulation) Without a certain medication, I was unable to conceive and so I started taking the medication when our son Hunter was six months old. After that it took two more months and we did conceive.
I was hoping, after the scares we had with our first son and the worries I had throughout my first pregnancy of the possibility of loosing him due to having Down syndrome, that I would be maybe given a "freebie" on not having a potentially problematic next pregnancy. Unfortunately Murphy's Law did not see it the same way.
After the D&C on 7th June 2010, I was finally able to start the grieving process which I seemed to be unable to do before that. (Mind you, the entire process of arranging the D&C from the Saturday before and the actual date of the D&C was an extremely long and unforgiving process. The doctors at the ER were less then sympathetic and my Husband and I waited an excruciating 8 hours to have a doctor reluctantly make the decision to allow me to have the surgery and another 5 hours wait before the surgery - 12 hours in total.)
I have always known how truly difficult losses were. I remember the first time I had ever heard about loss, I was only 5 years old. My mother was 12 weeks pregnant (with my future sibling who I had begged for) and told me one day, she had lost the baby. In the only way a child could think I had come to the conclusion that it was not possible for a mommy to lose a baby, and I demanded that she go and find the lost baby.... A young girls first experience with sadness regarding loss. I have had many friends who have lost baby's and one close friend who lost her baby at 8.5 months from umbilical cord strangulation. I can never and will never forget that, and because of that, I constantly believed that I too would lose my first baby, and when I nearly did during labour because the cord was wrapped around his neck I seriously reasoned it was going to be my destiny also. Murphy again. But my son survived because I had an emergency C-Section. I thought selfishly that I would possibly be spared such pain this time around, but unfortunately, this time I was not spared. Fate does not spare anyone - and in the end I did suffer the loss of my second pregnancy.
I am now putting the pieces back together, and I do honestly believe what doesn't kill us will only make us stronger, if not for ourselves, for someone else. I know that in this madness of sadness - I have been able to help others, and I do believe I can use this experience to help and hold other's hands.
Because of other friends here on MedHelp, I was able to order a "My Forever Child" pendant, which has the date we lost our tiny angel, and while at first I thought my doing this was a tiny bit eccentric, I realize that it was not eccentric and it was a matter of being finally able to heal. Grieving is one thing I did, and now I am finally able to start the healing process.
I hope that soon my body will give us the chance to be able to TTC once again, and that I will be lucky enough to do so. I don't want to rush, and I never want to forget about this angel who now I believe watches out for my son and for his Mom and Dad, but my age is a factor in losses as well as genetic problems so I hope that it doesn't seem callous for us to want to try again when it is physically possible. I am also adding this angel below my son Hunter's name on my arm. I believe this angel deserves the same recognition as much as his siblings get.
For me this message is also a healing process and I hope that anyone who goes through this very same thing (loss), or has gone through it in the past can find some solace in what I (or they) have written. When we stand together, it makes the pain seem less threatening.
All my love,
MedHelp Genetics Community Leader;
Down syndrome Community Leader & Ds Group Forum Founder/Moderator