4 weeks since I lost my daughter

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4 weeks since I lost my daughter

Postby flori » Mon Apr 11, 2011 07:07 pm

Hello everyone. Unfortunately I am new here and sad to make my first post in the grief and loss forum. This is my long story.

I have chronic hypertension and PCOS. My dh and I conceived our daughter after my second round of Clomid, with timed intercourse. Going into the pregnancy I thought being overweight (5'2, 205) was my biggest concern. I was so nervous about gaining 50+ pounds because it was my first pregnancy and it seemed like that's what happened to all of my friends during their firsts. Noone counseled us on the dangers of high blood pressure during pregnancy, if so I think I would have tried to lose more weight before conceiving and made sure my bp was normal. I did lose about 15 pounds while I was on Metformin before my bfp though.

I never really started to "show". I was one week ahead of a girl at work and she started showing at around 13 weeks. Dh and I thought it was just because I was eating better- you know, gaining baby but losing fat. My 18w anatomy scan showed us a baby girl, but the tech said that I wasn't 18w, I was closer to 16. I knew that wasn't possible because I knew the exact day I ovulated because I was taking OPKs with the Clomid. During a vacation to Hawaii I was hospitalized (19w5d) because my bp was 176/128 on my home monitor (I brought it with me on vacation because my bp was creeping up before the trip.) They gave me medicine through an IV to lower it and it finally came down to my normal range, which was 130s/90s. They increased my medication and discharged me. When dh and I got back to California, I saw my peri that day. He checked baby and said that everything looked fine but did say, "Oh, she's going to have your height. She's small." Apparently she was measuring less than 19w and I was at 20w3d. He said it was fine.

That night I started having the worst pain ever. I thought it was contractions, but dh thought it might be gallbladder pain. They triaged me at L&D and gave me pain medication. After the pain subsided they still had me fast all day until I had an ultrasound, which confirmed the presence of a large gallstone. I was told to watch what I eat and they discharged me a few days after monitoring my bp, which had soared to over 220/150 (I thought it was due to pain). I was given that week off of work and the following Monday I had my follow-up anatomy scan. The tech seemed sketchy the entire time. He never said much and seemed hesitant to show dh and I the baby. Afterwards he had me to to see an OB nurse where they said I had to go to L&D because my amniotic fluid was 4.64. They checked to see if my water was broken, it wasn't, so they sent me home and told me to rest.

That Wednesday I had another follow-up with another peri and another ultrasound. While the tech was performing the US, the peri said that the decrease in fluid may be kidney problems with baby or caused by an increase in my bp medication. After the tech finished the US he saw how far behind in growth she was and diagnosed IUGR. He explained that she also had absent diastolic flow and told us what could happen and what our options were. Because it was still too early for steroids because she was so small, dh and I decided to go home so I could at least be comfortable. I stayed on bedrest that entire week and dh did EVERYTHING for me, he's so wonderful. The next appointment the following Monday was fantastic- fluid doubled, her heartrate was holding steady and she was catching up in size, now only a week or so behind. My dh and I were so excited. I continued bedrest the next week, but I had what I thought was gallstone pain every night that entire week, though not as severe as the previous time. I figured because it wasn't as severe, it may be heartburn or indigestion. On Thursday night, the pain intensified and kept me up all night long. I finally fell asleep around 7am while watching the news about the Japanese earthquake. When dh came to see if I was okay, I decided to eat breakfast so I could take my bp meds. Bad idea. The pain started again, but stopped by the time we got to L&D. We went home and semi-fasted the rest of the day. I was pain-free the rest of the weekend.

Although the next appointment on Monday wasn't as spectacular as the week before, we were happy that things had stayed the same. Her growth was continuing and fluid stayed the same. My peri was even optimistic that we'd make it to at least 28 weeks. That night the pain returned. I finally let my dh talk me into going to the hospital. I figured I'd get a pain shot and sleep a night in the triage. Wrong. Around 530am the morning of my 25th week, a doctor came in and explained that my liver enzymes were very high and that I had too much protein in my urine. An ultrasound machine was wheeled in and she said she had to check the position of the baby. I lost it because I knew what was happening- they were going to take my baby. The peri I had been seeing came in to consult with me and I begged him to let me wait. He explained to dh and I that we would be risking my life if we did and that by looking at my labs, they were going to have to do a c-section as soon as possible. I asked about steroids for baby, but my peri and Dh were adamant that we did not wait. The worst part of it all? While I was crying and begging them to let me wait I felt her moving from the outside for the first time. She was on my left next to my bellybutton and was pushing out. I put my hand on my belly and in my mind I was convinced she was also asking me to wait because she wouldn't make it if they made me deliver that day. I cried right up until they made me walk into the operating room.

The surgery is a blur. I remember the epidural, I remember them putting the catheter in, I remember vomiting several times during surgery. March 15, 2011 at 5:27pm, my daughter was born. I remember hearing her cry the tiniest cry. They took her away and she was in the NICU until I finished surgery. Dh went to see her and took pictures. All of the nurses said we should name her Miracle because she was doing so well for being so small and premature. She even breathed on her own for an hour! After recovery I was so uncomfortable and incoherent from the magnesium and anesthesia that I couldn't see her that night. The next morning I was wheeled to the NICU where I saw her for the first time. I cried because she was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. She was so small, but absolutely perfect. She had daddy's eyebrows and long fingers and my dark hair and Filipino nose. She moved her arms and legs when I called her name. The nurse who watched her overnight told us how strong she was, so did the other nurses. I was in so much pain but we stayed with her for an hour before we went back to my room. Dh and I started making plans to visit her everyday after I was discharged. We talked about packing picnic lunches and spending all day with her, everyday.

Later that morning he went back to see her. She was still doing fine so he decided to go home to shower and shave (so he looked his best for her) and pick up supplies since we'd be staying the night. I called my mom and told her about our miracle baby and told her about how almost everyone was amazed with her. I called my job and stepped down from my position. I tried to nap but couldn't because the family in the next room had a crying baby. I was so anxious to see my baby again. When my husband returned I sent him to see her again. I figured the hour he was gone was just daddy/daughter time. I knew from the look on his face when he returned that I was wrong.

She stopped letting the machines breathe for her and they were having a hard time intubating her. We cried and prayed for over an hour until the NICU doctor finally came. He said she wasn't doing so well. One of her lungs collapsed. The other was too small to keep her alive. Her oxygen had dropped dangerously low for too long. Her heartrate was slowing down. He gave us more options. My husband and I knew what we had to do. After the nurse took me off of the mag and took my catheter out, we rushed to the NICU. My little daughter was surrounded by doctors and nurses who were about to give her another shot to get her heartrate back up. We asked them not to, that we wanted to let her go in peace. They unhooked all of the wires and tubes and wrapped her in a blanket. The first time I held my daughter was the last. One day after I became a mother, my firstborn daughter was taken away.

I cried while writing this. Tomorrow will be 4 weeks since she was born. Sometimes it feels like years since it happened, other times it feels like it was just yesterday. I thought I did everything right during this pregnancy. I didn't eat fast food, stopped drinking soda, I didn't even take Tylenol. I exercised up until being put on bedrest, I slept at least 8 hours a night, I read tons of books. I'm not sure why this happened to me and my husband. I'm terrified of the possibility of having it happen again, but I still long mother a baby. I want to experience all of the beautiful things mothers do. I almost lost my mind when my milk came in because I knew it was the perfect nourishment for a baby that I no longer had. I still have a few weeks of leave left but I am not looking forward to returning to work. I am afraid to see the woman I worked with who was pregnant a week behind me. I am afraid of answering questions that people will ask. I am afraid of how I will react when Gracie's due date comes around.

I hate myself. I hate my body for betraying my Gracie. I hate that my wonderful husband was only able to father his daughter for one day.
Flori, 30
Mommy to Gracie- born at 25 weeks 03/15/11, 11 inches, 1.1lbs, and absolutely beautiful. Became my sweet angel the next day.
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Re: 4 weeks since I lost my daughter

Postby kerisue » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:04 pm

Oh Flori, I'm crying for you and Gracie! My baby girl was born at 24.5 weeks and she too passed. It's the worst, worst thing. I remember begging the doctors not to make me deliver, just like you. I have blamed myself and my body just like you. I had a coworker who was just a few weeks behind me too and when I finally returned to work and had to watch her getting more and more pregnant it was torture. It's not fair. Nothing I can say will make the pain less, but I hope you can find some support here. Unfortunately there are too many of us who have lost precious babies too.
Mama to Millie
born June 2010 @ 24 wks. gestation due to my severe PE and CHF
lived 25 days, loved and missed
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Re: 4 weeks since I lost my daughter

Postby holly3372@msn.com » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:14 pm

I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful baby girl Grace. I can relate to so much of your story,reading it tears fell. We too lost our only baby this past August to severe preeclampsia and IUGR. Benjamin was boen at 26 weeks weighing what a 24 weeker would. He lived for 4 months in the nicu fighting for his life. We too had to decide to turn the machines off as we knew his little lungs could not make it and were now also damaged from being on the vent so long.It is the hardest thing to lose your baby. Each day is different now,some good some not so good. We miss him terribly. I too felt such guilt and shame. I felt it was my fault that my body was supposed to keep him safe protect him. Looking back I realize I truly did all that I knew at the time to have a healthy pregnancy. Watched my diet went to my prenantal appts took my vitamins,did yoga,cut my workday in half. In the end I still got so sick and nothing could stop it. I am trying now to be kind to myself,to honor my feelings. No matter what I am and will always be Benjamin's mom.In his honor I go on each day now.This site and others have been so helpful to me. My husband and I also found a local support group we go to once a month which has been great because a few of the women and I exchanged numbers and when it's really bad for one of us we call and talk sometimes meet up. Only someone that has been through this can truly understand the magnitude of it. It is not easy at all and everyone is very different in how they grieve.April 28th Ben would have been one. We are doing the march of dimes walk in his memory. It is a hard hard month for us,my emotions are all over the place. I do finally feel ready to try again. I just want to let you know again how sorry I am for what happened to you and your family. You are not alone. Sending love and strength to you. xo
Benjamin Spider Reeves born 4-28-2010( 1lb 6oz 26 weeks to severe pre-e and Iugr) we lost you after 4 long months in the NICU. You fought so hard,and were so brave.Our first baby .We miss you everyday and love you forever xo

Expecting ,dreaming, and hoping for our baby Girl sometime in January 2013
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Re: 4 weeks since I lost my daughter

Postby rosemary » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:30 pm

Flori, I am so incredibly sorry for the loss of your sweet Gracie. What you have been through is just heartbreaking. I found this website shortly after losing my son to PE/HELLP. I wanted and needed answers, and the information on the site about PE helped me. But what was most important, was to find others who understood what happened to me. The lovely women on this site helped me through some of the most difficult days of my life. We're here to listen and offer support. Please try to be gentle with yourself and know that we are here for you. Wishing you peace and healing.
Rosemary - 47 - Central, PA
Momma to Kayleigh 8/25/88 - 36 weeks
Elliott 8/29/04 - lost at 20 weeks due to severe PE/HELLP
Proud Grandma to Max Allen 10/19/10.
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Re: 4 weeks since I lost my daughter

Postby flori » Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:00 pm

Hello everyone,

Thank you so much for the kind words. It's funny, everyone has been telling me that no one blames me and that it wasn't my fault. It seems that I have been the hardest on myself. I can't help it, I guess. I want someone to blame, no I NEED someone to blame and after replaying everything in my head over and over, I'm the logical choice. :( I watched five 19-20 year olds get pregnant by accident within the last 3 years. One of them didn't even find out she was pregnant until she was 6mos along! All of them went on to have healthy pregnancies and now have beautiful children.

I prayed for so long to have a child and was so thrilled when God finally answered, only to be completely heartbroken later. Life seems so unfair.
Flori, 30
Mommy to Gracie- born at 25 weeks 03/15/11, 11 inches, 1.1lbs, and absolutely beautiful. Became my sweet angel the next day.
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Re: 4 weeks since I lost my daughter

Postby m » Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:18 pm

I'm so sorry for your loss, and like so many other ladies here I can relate to how you feel. It really is so unfair. But try not to blame yourself. The first thing my doctor said after he told me that I had pre-eclampsia was that it wasn't my fault and that there was nothing I could have done differently. I'm sure that's true in your case too. You will have many hard days; just take them one at a time and you will get past each of those difficult milestones.
DS 2/5/09 - 2/13/09; severe PE at 28 weeks
DD March 2010; PIH, preterm labor at 36 weeks, 10 days NICU
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Re: 4 weeks since I lost my daughter

Postby angieb » Tue Apr 12, 2011 00:51 am

I'm so sorry for the loss of your daughter. I love her name.

My first pregnancy was similar to yours except I was only 23 weeks when HELLP set in and we had to deliver (I also have PCOS, we didn't use clomid to conceive our daughter but did 6+ months of fertility treatments to conceive our rainbow baby.) I personally believe that weight really doesn't make a difference as far as this disease, I was about 20 pds lighter when I got pregnant with our daughter (at my ideal weight) and that pregnancy ended very badly. I'm pregnant again and started off 20 pds or so heavier than I was the first time, yet I'm 34 weeks today, no growth restriction, no signs of HELLP or pre-e. I didn't exercise this pregnancy (doctors did not want me to), this pregnancy I drank soda after the 1st trimester, there's not really a rhyme or reason to why the first time went so badly but it clearly had nothing to do with my weight or this pregnancy should have been much worse. (We also have members here who are really skinny, marathon runners, etc. who still developed pre-e and HELLP.) Anyway, I just want you to know that losing more weight would NOT have prevented this from happening to you...you did not get sick because of your weight. I have been there on the guilt and blame thing. It mainly just takes time to get over the guilt and blame...and it's easier said than done. You did the best you could. Your body did the best it could. I know that's not really much consolation, but spending much time feeling guilty and angry with yourself will not fix anything, it just makes you feel worse.

I agree with finding a support group. Many hospitals have them. It helped us a lot and I've made several new friends.

As far as the milestones, don't think that far ahead. Just worry about getting through today. And tomorrow worry about getting through tomorrow. Your due date and other milestones will come whether you worry about them in advance or not, but I highly recommend just forgetting about them for the time being and just focus on getting through one day at a time. When you start thinking too far ahead, it becomes overwhelming. As for going back to work, is there a way you can go back slowly, starting a few hours the first day back/ part time the first week? If you can do that, I recommend it. The questions and discussions are tough, but luckily you usually only have to get through it once (at work at least), and hopefully you will find work to be a decent distraction from grieving. (That being said, working + grieving is exhausting.) Give yourself permission to take time off when you need it (don't work on your due date if you don't want to!) Most of all, be gentle with yourself.
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Re: 4 weeks since I lost my daughter

Postby cmccaffrey » Tue Apr 12, 2011 02:10 pm

Flori, I am so sorry for everything you have gone through, especially the loss of your daughter. Just like so many of the members, I came here after getting sick and losing my baby, looking for any information I could find on preeclampsia. I agree with what Rosemary said, the most important part in joining this site was to find others that understood what happened to me. I am still grieving the loss of my son who would have been 6 months old yesterday, but these women have been so helpful in getting me through some rough days.
Sending you prayers of peace and understanding.
Christa (25) & J (26)
Mommy to:
Mason born 10.11.10 @ 30+3 wks due to Severe Pre-E. Only lived 2.5 days
Noah born 2.1.12 @ 38 weeks thanks to lots of doctors visits, LDA, Lovenox and no preeclampsia!

learn more about our story... http://tinyurl.com/7a979vy
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Re: 4 weeks since I lost my daughter

Postby riehlism » Tue Apr 12, 2011 02:28 pm

Flori, I am very sorry for your loss. Many of us here have lost babies. I lost my son just a few days or so before Kerisue at 24+6. I had preeclampsia and HELLP. I shared your concerns: going back to work, dealing with questions, milestones, the funeral. In my experience it all happened so fast, that to even understand what happened to me was hard to digest.

After about 2 months of trying to cope with our loss together, my husband and I decided it was time to seek professional help. We wanted another baby, but we also wanted to be emotionally prepared for another child. We saw a grief counselor, who was fantastic. She really helped both of us get through the most difficult periods and helped to prepare us for awkward situations like: baby showers, people asking how many kids I have...you know, the mundane questions we used to take for granted.

I also strolled through this site a lot. I learned a lot from the ladies here and really took charge of educating myself, and asking my providers the right questions.

It's been 10.5 months for me, and there are days where I still cry about my son. The events of that day and the days leading up to the delivery still play in my mind every day, especially when I'm alone and it's quiet. But the sting is not as intense, and this hurdle has brough my husband and I closer than I thought possible.

I wish you and your husband strength in the coming days and weeks ahead. Please ask us as many questions as you need.
Jasmin: Severe PE/HELLP and delivered at 24+6 & PCOS (29) Hubby Bubby, Frank (29)
Baby Blue stopped in to say hello and goodbye on 6/3/10
Baby Lucas was born on 10/13/11, PE and HELLP-free! Thank you baby aspirin and Lovenox
http://www.ehd.org/pregnancy-calendar.php?id=18192
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Re: 4 weeks since I lost my daughter

Postby jules2 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 02:50 pm

Flori,

I am so so sorry for the loss of your daughter. I too lost my first daughter to pre-eclampsia at 26 weeks nearly 2 years ago now. Like you, I had pre-eclampsia and HELLP, my stillborn daughter was also IUGR at 1lb 4oz. Its a horribly deep pain and grief that none of us should have to go through. Its hard to believe it right now, but life will get better for you and you will find a way to deal with the pain and loss in time. Losing my daughter still hurts like mad but I can now live with that and enjoy life again --- and make the most of the good things that have happened to me too. I can't offer much advice that others have not already but keep posting on here - there are sadly many of us here who will understand your pain and grief, and that's something you may not find readily elsewhere. Try to get support where you can - from family or support groups. Take one day at a time and don't worry about the future right now.

Oh, and I am one of those slim fit marathon running women who still got pre-eclampsia early and very severely. I spent a while afterwards wondering if I should have stopped running before getting pregnant! Don't blame your weight or anything you did or did not do ... this just seems to happen to a few of us and no-one is that sure why. It definitely wasn't your fault and I doubt you could have done anything more than you did to help your daughter.

I am thinking of you and your little girl x
May 2009 - Alice stillborn at 26 weeks due to severe PE and HELLP post-partum

2 early miscarriages

And then 4th pregnancy baby girl due 29th December 2010! Born safely after totally normal pregnancy on 17th December.
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