Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Happy New Year

So we spent the early hours of 2009 in the emergency room of our local hospital. My nurse wore a "Happy New Year" tiara. Cute.

During an hour long ultrasound, I saw what had happened immediately. Our child looked like he was wrapped in cellophane. There was little to no amniotic fluid left. You'd think this would be reason for the on-call OB to come down. But no. The ER doctor said there was nothing they could do and I should go home and take it easy. Drink lots of fluids. That might help.

We were sent home with directions to call my obstetrician's office the next day. Or come back if something changed. Like if I started having contractions. Or if I developed a fever or other signs of infection. There was nothing they could do.

I drank obscene amounts of liquid. Slept on the couch. Only got up to pee. Leaked fluid like crazy on an irregular but frequent basis. No position helped, not lying down, not sitting up. We scoured the Internet. Even on line things appeared dire. I felt desperate. My husband continued to carry some hope.

On January 2 I finally got to see an OB. Turned out to be the same one who told me it would be "very unusual" to leak amniotic fluid at my stage of pregnancy. She said, I just talked with one of our perinatalogists and they said there's a very low chance of this pregnancy continuing. She said, I didn't have the number before but they said less than 2% for a healthy baby. Then she put the doppler on my belly. We heard our child's heart beating steadily, 155 beats per minute. She said, let me arrange for you to consult with a perinatalogist. We were then scheduled to meet with one.

The perinatologist explained the situation to us. No fluid means poor lung development and poor kidney development, let alone the distinct likelihood that other systems would also be severely affected. Unlikely to survive and profoundly disabled. The peri had been in practice for more than 40 years and had seen one healthy baby after a pPROM this early. And that pPROM was due to amniocentesis, not due to some random event that caused mine. And I would likely develop infection which could jeopardize our chances of ever having a healthy pregnancy.

We chose to end our child's suffering by not trying against all odds to take him home with us. We loved him too much for that.

Now I'm sure that there are people out there who have made a different choice than we did. That would be your business. We wanted this baby more than life itself and his father and I made the best, most loving decision we could make. The most unselfish. And while I miss him every day, I have never regretted putting his needs before ours. Even though sometimes the pain I feel is almost more than I can bear.

So keep your judgements to yourself.


  1. I am so sorry for your loss. You made a tough but loving decision.

  2. I can't imagine having to make that decision. The image of your child being wrapped in cellophane is very powerful. I'm so sorry for your loss.