At 17 years old, about to turn 18, I found out I was pregnant. It was a really tough thing to accept and deal with as we were still living in my partner's mothers house and it wasn’t really suitable for a child. I also had always suffered from PCOS, and doctors were always telling me that I would have trouble with fertility. For a whole year I was unprotected because I figured if I was to get pregnant, I’d let it happen because my chances were low anyway. Then I was studying and decided I’d rather wait until I got some sort of degree and set my life up before thinking about children. The doctor put me on the pill to regulate my hormones and to prevent pregnancy at the same time. Under a month later, I was pregnant.
To be honest we were considering all our options because I was so worried about bringing a child into the world that I couldn’t support. We then decided to look into how we felt about our lives. My partner had been brought up poor and by a single parent, I had a sick mother who couldn’t look after us to the full of her ability that caused my life to mess up a lot throughout childhood. Considering all that, we came to the fact that we’d still want to be here, no matter how hard life got because we grew up, found each other and life went on. We knew we’d love our baby and would treat her right. So of course, we decided to go along with it.
Pregnancy caused my platelets to go extremely low. The normal person has anything from 100 to 450. Mine got down to 6. So I was covered in bruises and rashes. I got onto medicine, but my health was continuing to suck. I always felt awful, my back ached like crazy, I started to swell up. At every midwife appointment they’d check me and baby and it would all be great. At 24 weeks pregnant I found out our close family friend had cancer, and was going to die. He passed away days later. I was so upset I couldn’t make it into my appointment. Then a week later, my friend committed suicide. Again, I was too ill and upset to go in. But I was going to my doctor appointments, my doctor there was silly. She was nice, but didn’t check me well enough.
I went in and told her I was swelling, my blood pressure was high. She brushed it off. Three days later in hospital, the midwife gets me to urine in a cup and tells me I have +++ of protein in my urine. I have preeclampsia. Then she takes me into a room and looks for a heartbeat on the monitor, can’t find one. At this point I know in my gut that something is terribly wrong. She takes me into the scanning room where they do an ultrasound and talk among themselves while doing it, they don’t say anything to me. I know this is bad. My baby isn’t moving. The lady who’s doing it tells the other lady my baby is in breach. I know that means the wrong way for birth, but what has that got to do with me? I’m 26 weeks, days off being 6 months pregnant. They don’t turn yet.
The lady turns off the machine and looks at me with sympathy. I already know. She tells me that she’s sorry, and that she couldn’t find a heartbeat. I’m devastated but too shocked to cry. My partner Zach is in tears. I’m a zombie. She then explains about me going to another room to be talked to about my options, after that her words are a blur. Basically they tell me I have to birth my dead baby girl. I feel like they’re being cruel to me. It took about 12 hours before she was born. I was too scared to look.
Her name was Emily Jane Cassandra Chapman and she was delivered on the 24/10/2012 at 5:45am. She was beautiful. Zach, my partner, cut the umbilical cord. He’s glad he did that. So am I. I was in hospital a few days, they asked me what I wanted to happen. I got her an autopsy scheduled to see if there were any other problems/complications, and to have her cremated after and brought home.
After leaving the hospital, I’d never felt so empty. Even today, nothing feels right. I’m waiting for this baby, but she isn’t coming. It turns out Pre-eclampsia is rare under 32 weeks, and I’d had blood clotting in the placenta. Even if we’d caught it earlier, they doubt she would of made it because of her small size. (575grams & 31cm long.) I want a baby. I want them to survive. Because as far as I know pregnancy is an awful thing that ends in pain. I see newborns and I don’t understand why they lived or why they’re so big. But that’s normal, just not to me.
The doctors didn’t monitor me properly and didn’t tell me I had a higher risk for Pre-eclampsia due to my age, PCOS, weight, among other things. I should of been told, and not just brushed off. Because of it all, I feel cheated. I will never be the same again.
So if you ever feel that something’s wrong, don’t wait. I’m living proof that not all pregnancies are beautiful and work out well.
Listen to yourself, because the doctors can’t feel what you do.