Sunday, May 30, 2010

Closure?

Dear Stevie,
My doctor (who is wonderful, by the way) called me on Friday with the results of all the testing they've been doing to try and figure out why you died. When we discovered you had no heartbeat, my doctor was as shocked as I was. There had been no signs or red flags; up until that horrible day, everything had been perfect. Up until that horrible day, I had your normal, "textbook" pregnancy.

I had been preparing myself for the worst possible news--that you died from some genetic condition that could be/would be passed onto our next baby, if/when we ever get pregnant again. Or that you died from something I did (like taking too much asthma medication or something). Or that we'd fall into the 50% of people who never get any sort of answer to why their baby died.

Here's what they found. First of all, you were perfect. Perfect heart, perfect lungs, perfect brain, perfect little everything. You were even the perfect size for your gestational age, which leads the doctors to believe you hadn't been gone for long when we realized you had no heartbeat. The doctor also told me you were, in fact, female, to which I said, "Um, I had no idea there was any question that she was a girl!" I mean I guess I didn't think to check, but can you imagine if I found out now that you were actually a boy this whole time?? That would mess with my whole world view just a little! Geez!

But anyway, the placenta was also perfect. All the blood work and testing they did on me was perfect.

The only thing that wasn't perfect was your umbilical cord. They found what appears to be a blood clot in the cord, which essentially cut off all oxygen and nutrition for you and caused you to die. Damn umbilical cord ended my perfect pregnancy and killed my perfect little girl.

The strange thing is that they tested me for all the common blood-clotting disorders that usually cause something like this to happen, and I don't have any of them. I guess the next step is to test for some of the more rare and uncommon blood disorders and see if any of them are the culprit. Honestly, I kind of don't think I have a blood disorder because I have never had any issues with this before, but we'll see I guess. Either way, whether I have some weird disorder or if this "just happened" (there's that lovely phrase again!), I will be giving myself twice-daily injections of a blood thinner for the duration of my next pregnancy. Sucks, but I guess at least I'll know I'm being proactive and doing something to make sure this doesn't happen again, right? I guess that beats having to go through 9 months of "hoping" whatever happened the first time doesn't happen again.

Knowing why you died, at least in the medical sense, has helped bring a little bit of closure for me. Having a reason does make this a tiny bit easier to deal with. But even though I now know that is was a freak blood clot in the umbilical cord that made you die, I still don't know why it had to be
your umbilical cord, my baby that died.

I guess I'll never know. I don't think I'll ever understand.

To know you were a perfectly healthy baby is both oddly reassuring and incredibly painful. I miss you so much, baby girl.

Love you,
Mom

6 comments:

Andrea said...

Kristin,

I'm so very sorry...there just are no words. I can understand your anger, as I would be angry beyond measure as well. However, I do admire your courage to write your findings and press forward as an advocate for youself to do further testing.

Honoring your sweet baby girl "with" you today and always. Much love, as I know how difficult this is for you. I lived the no heart beat terror too...*tears*

Much Love and be good to yourself
Andrea
xoxo

Violet1122 said...

I'm glad you felt a little closure - but I know it doesn't really lessen the pain. At least you don't have to wonder endlessly about that aspect of losing Stevie. And it gives you a plan for the future.

Stevie is a really beautiful baby.

I had to chuckle a bit at the doctor informing you that she was, in fact, a girl. Good gravy, that would have been something if that was the moment you got surprising news!

I think about you often, and I hope you are finding some peace throughout your days.

Jillian said...

I'm so sorry that this had to happen to your precious, beautiful Stevie. I pray that this news continues to bring you the closure that you need.

Amanda said...

I was actually thinking about this last night as I laid in bed not sleeping, wondering if you'd gotten any answers as to why this happened. I'm happy for you that you not only have a medical reason, but you also have a possible prevention for "next time". The pain of a million and one injections over the course of 9-10 months will be totally worth it. The fear of the unknown can be a bigger hurdle than just dealing with the truth of the situation. I hope that this helps you heal, and helps soothe your heart some.

I, too, am giggling too about the definitely a girl part! I would hope that someone would have mentioned it at the hospital while you're holding her and calling her your sweet baby girl! What a weird twist that would have been.

Maggie said...

To know she was perfect in every way is so reassuring and painful at the same time. Definitely right about that! And for the confirmation that she was a girl-so funny because one of my fears (other than everything else) was that Alexandra was going to end up being an AlexandER! lol! I was always thinking, what will I do with all the pink stuff I have?!?! I'll have to go back and get all blue things! lol Oh, if that was the only thing to worry about then. (((HUGS)))

Jane said...

Kristin,
I"M new to your blog.. I stumbled across it.
I'm glad you found out why Stevie Joy died- and that it brings you a little closure.

I too write letters to my son, Noah, who died in 2008. My blog has become letters, and regular blog entries, as time has passed. www.letterstonoah.blogspot.com

You mentioned in your post about for the next pregnancy, and 9 months of 'hoping' that the same thing doesn't happen again. I've been there.. it's true- it's a long 9 months. but it CAN happen, you CAN have a baby, who is healthy. I wasn't sure until it happened to me!
You'll never forget Stevie, she'll always be your baby girl, always your first.. always!
You'll learn a 'new normal' that includes honouring her memory... and eventually,finding yourself again!

I love your writing,
Jane

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