"Life isn't about surviving the storm...it is about learning to dance in the rain." anonymous

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

chromosome results came in...why don't I feel better?

So, our chromosome results came in. For those who don't know, my doctor failed to submit any tissue for genetic testing. I didn't know until my 2 week follow up appt. and just assumed it would be done since I discussed it with him before surgery. Anyway, his words: "You don't need to know that anyway." Well, of course I need to know that information, especially since all my doctors kept saying there was something wrong with her. So, after talking to the pathologist at the hospital, he agreed to do an aneuploidy screen, which involves counting the chromosomes to make sure the number was normal. Because the tissue wasn't submitted by my doctor correctly, he was not able to do a full study, but he said he could at least tell if there was an extra one.
I got the report 2 days ago...she was genetically normal. This should make me happy and it does in some way. But, now I know the problem was me. I am so sad about that. I am even sadder that no one gave me any progesterone or tried to find out if I had any clotting problems that could be treated.
It has been 4 weeks since we lost Elizabeth and it still hurts very much. I would do anything to have her back.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Hello...my name is Melissa. I am a wife to Glenn, mother to Ansley, age 8, and Baxter, age 6, and also to Elizabeth, our angel baby who left us on Tuesday, December 1, 2009. I want to start by telling you her story. First of all, we were not trying to conceive when we found out we were expecting. Obviously, we weren't preventing, but the pregnancy came as a bit of a surprise for both of us. While this pregnancy was unexpected, it was very much desired. I work in an Ob-gyn office, so have access to an ultrasound machine, which is both a blessing and a curse. I began spotting at 5 weeks and was found to have 2 large subchorionic hemorrhages surrounding the sac. But, there was a strong heartbeat...she was hanging on, if only by a thread. I was offered the opportunity to terminate, which I declined. I wanted her to live, not die. So, we waited. The hemorrhages went away and our baby grew. Several weeks passed by and in November, I saw blood on my panties...bright red. The bleeding got worse, sending me to the ER. Our baby was fine and we were sent home. The heavy bleeding started again 2 days later...we went to the office. The ultrasound showed a strong heartbeat, but a placenta previa. The placenta had attached over the cervix, which can cause bleeding. I was put on bedrest. Saw the maternal specialist, who confirmed the previa and had the first trimester nuchal fold test and labwork done. The next week, we found out that the screening test showed a higher risk for Down's Syndrome and we were told we should consider termination. Again, we wanted her to live, not die, even if that meant that she wasn't what the medical world considers "perfect". So, we scheduled the amnio and I continued on bedrest.
I consider this time such a gift. I came to a peace with the idea that there could be something wrong. I don't believe this was the case...after much research and the opinion of the specialist, the labwork was probably abnormal due to my bad placenta. I started feeling her move, found out we were expecting another daughter and the bleeding slowed to occasional spotting.
We had an ultrasound 2 days before Thanksgiving which showed normal growth, movement, and normal heartbeat.
On Monday, November 30, I had the distinct feeling that she was gone. I can not explain this...only can say that I felt God's presence and I knew that she was with Him. I spent the night crying and saying some sort of "good-bye". I went in the next morning and had an ultrasound, which showed that she had died.
I will never be able to explain the pain of that minute. Even though I knew in my heart, hearing the words, "The baby has died" is the single worst event I have experienced. I hope to never experience that again.
Elizabeth was with us for 17 weeks, 4 days. She is loved so much and missed everyday. We are trying so hard to come to peace...I have stopped waking up at 5am in tears, so am taking that as a good sign. When I see her ultrasound pictures, I hurt in my heart. I wanted to meet her and have the chance to be her parent.
My children pray for her every night and I know she hears them. Our priest says she went straight to Heaven, that we were given the gift of feeling God's presence when she died. I believe that to be true. One of my favorite quotes: "The will of God will never take you where the grace of God cannot protect you." I know that the good in this is that we are surrounded by God's grace every minute...myself, my husband, my children who are here with me, and our sweet Elizabeth.