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My second child and our first daughter, Camille, died and was born on June, 30 2011 when I was full term at 38 weeks pregnant. I gave birth to my rainbow baby, a second daughter, on August 31, 2012. This is me trying to figure out how to be a mother to my living son and daughter and function in society after our tragic loss.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Perinatology Hoopla

Well it was quite a morning. The first part of this post is a side of me I don't like but I acknowledge...We were sitting in the waiting room at the childrens hospital where the maternal fetal center is located. Sitting there with my husband surrounded by a bunch of ghetto obese under-educated people. I felt so out of place and hated myself for judging these people...but their babies are alive and mine isn't and the unfairness of it hits me like a ton of bricks. A woman was speaking to another woman about how she had one miscarriage previously and was currently12 weeks pregnant and farther along than she had gotten last time. She said: "I will feel so much better after I see that heartbeat" Ugh...I started to quietly cry. I wanted to run away. The heart beat THE HEART BEAT! That is all I wanted to see and hear too. She just has no idea...I felt like my asshole self judging these women and families is what caused my baby to die but...alas I know that it just isn't true. AND I am just way less kind than I used to be. I know that this experience should have turned me into a Mother Teressa type or made me love all mankind, but it didn't. Maybe that will come later. Maybe...Maybe Not.

The perinatologist we met with was very kind. I asked him about statistics surrounding full term infant deaths and he said it is hard because in the United States they group statistics for stillbirths after 20 weeks up to the first 6 weeks of life. He said in perinatology land (thats what I call it) they cluster full term still births up to the first 6 weeks of life which he said is VERY different than a baby who dies at 24 weeks. He said they should not be classified together because a full term baby is viable and is like loosing a child who is 18 years old or a child at 47 years old...the pain is just as great because our child died before their time...but their life no matter how brief should be considered precious and valued. (I am sure women who loose their baby at 24 weeks feel like they lost a child too...I am just writing what the perinatologist said.) He said that full term infant death is actually pretty rare, because it is not preterm labor in which the baby was born before they were ready....full term still births with undetermined cause occur about 1/10,000 or even 1/100,000. He said that he thinks they may know the cause in 50 years...right now we call it bad luck but something happened, we may not know why the baby died but there was a reason.

Soooo I asked him his recommendation on when we could start trying again. He said well THE recommendation is to wait a year...that being said, when you are ready, you should start when you want. Your body is healthy enough to carry another baby and I have no doubts you will have a healthy baby in the future. He said he would run a bunch of labs on me to screen for any possible things which would affect subsequent pregnancy. I had about 20 vials of blood drawn. The only thing that he found particularly interesting is the difference in weight between my two children. Kai was 8 lbs 12 oz...a big baby. Camille was 5 lbs 5 oz. She was measuring 2.5 weeks small on the ultrasound but that was still within normal limits. I figured my son was a large baby and my daughter was more the size my husband and I were. I weighed 6 lbs some odd ounces and my husband 7 lbs some odd ounces. Since she looked normal and the AFP screen came back negative (he said this is a good thing), it was probably not a chromosomal abnormality but with no detected heart murmur or fluid level abnormality it is hard to say. Also no cord knot and no VISIBLE infarct on the placenta. This does not mean there was no placental abnormality just that nothing was visible to the naked eye. Sigh....no answers before, no answers still. Not really expecting one, I just want to see what I can do about bringing home a healthy living baby. SIGH....

I am not sure how I feel about all of this. All I could really do is sit and listen, ask a few questions and wait. I feel like at least I am taking the necessary steps in the process.


  1. I've found that since losing Drew I've become much more judgey. I know it's easy for me to say "If Drew were here, this or that would never happen" or "If Drew were here, I would always or never do something" but I believe it's the truth, how I really would act, not just me wishful thinking. I agree, I feel like I'm supposed to be a super nice person, but it's just so hard when you see all of the people who do things you don't do, wouldn't do and they get to keep their baby and you didn't. It just isn't fair.

  2. This is my story too, in terms of six of Lucy and no known causes of her death. She was six pounds at 38 weeks, and my other children were 7lbs. 2ozs and 8lbs 3 ozs at 37 weeks. The midwife told me that cord accidents sometimes straighten out during birth, so they would be impossible to see after delivery (unless you had a C-section, I mean.) It was so scary to try again because of that--not knowing. And about the people in the waiting room, man, I was the same way at times. It is just really hard to quell those feelings, so I just owned them. And see, I don't see that as judgmental, because you immediately chided yourself when you heard the real story, and knew you shared the pain of losing a child. That is compassion. Sending you love. Email if you want to talk about your postpartum stuff. xo

  3. It is unfair and it is hard not to judge. I know I've also become less kind, I'm still waiting for my Mother Teresa type transformation nearly thee years on. Might still happen I guess but I'm not going to hold my breath!

    I can understand what your perinatologist said. As my daughters were so early, I spent a long time in the NICU was preterm babies. It was a shock to me to see a full term baby and an even greater shock to me when one of those 'big' babies did not survive. Although I am very sad that my daughter died, I know why she died. She was born too early and everything, from that point on, was against her. Full term still birth is something that just knocks the breath out of me. So inexplicable and unfair.

  4. No answers in my boat either. Well, sort of. The doctor and MFM refuse to completely assume that it was a cord accident, but there was very little coiling in the cord, possibly causing it to compress more easily. He had just turned head-down from breech and could've collapsed the cord. But again, that's all they can ASSUME because there isn't an answer to define it.

    It's ugly and it sucks-- more for future pregnancies because there is no way to calm the fear of it repeating. It being whatever the heck killed our babies. It's terrifying.

  5. I can remember going to see our OB after our daughter was stillborn... and not know whether having an answer was a good or not so good thing. My heart goes out to you and hope you find that answers you need. I agree with you.. losing a child at any age/gestation is devastating.. and I never realised how devastating until going through it at 20 weeks. Thinking of you always xoxo

  6. I have become a horrible person. It panics me sometimes, because I think: If this happened to make me learn some lesson, or for me to become a better person, it's backfired...bigtime. I am undoubtedly, worse.
    I thought about censoring my judgmental, horrible thoughts, just keeping them to myself, but they're so venomous, I feel I'd end up giving myself a tumour. So, as Angie says, I'm just owning it. Getting it out on my blog and hoping that it's something that I will pass through... I hope that it is not a permanent metamorphosis though, I don't want to be a bitter old hag...I miss my old self.


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