To our dear son, Adam Christopher
by Karin and Mark Trauman
For six years we dreamed of you and
Love Always and Forever,
Our story starts much the same as others. We waited several years to have children in order to take time for our marriage. When we finally began trying to have a child, it did not come so easily for us. FINALLY, we conceived. We were filled up with emotion -- joy, excitement, and a little nervous. My husband was the first to begin spreading the news -- to everyone he would meet, he tried to fit it into the conversation that he was going to be a DAD. I waited a little longer to spread the news at work. Mark went to all my doctor's appointments to be sure he didn't miss a thing. He talked to the baby every night, rubbed my tummy, and felt the baby's kicks.
In the fifth month, I started to experience some swelling in my feet. The doctor's checked for toxemia several times throughout the pregnancy and sent me for counseling on sodium intake. None of which made much difference. By the seventh month, the fluid retention was everywhere in my body--feet, legs, hands, face. Still no positive test of toxemia -- I was miserable.
My friends had a baby shower for us on March 23, 1996. I was describing to some other moms what I learned to be Braxton Hicks contractions. I called my doctor on Monday and he had me come in to evaluate me to be sure that these were not REAL contractions (I have another condition which puts me at risk for pre-term labor). The nurses hooked me up to the monitor and the baby was fine. They said the baby was active and the heartbeat was 160 beats per minute. RELIEF! They sent me home. The contractions continued at quite intensity throughout the week, but I kept to my normal schedule. On Friday, I told Mark that I hadn't felt the baby move. He tried to reassure me and reminded me I had just been to the doctor. The next morning I woke up and didn't feel well. The baby still hadn't moved. Mark jiggled my stomach, as he had done so many times before to feel the baby kick, but this time nothing happened. By later that morning I called the doctor. He told me to go into the hospital to be put back on the monitor -- thinking that I am just overreacting.
At the hospital, the nurses tried to find the heartbeat without success. I still wasn't thinking the worst. The radiologist was called in to do an ultrasound and apparently the doctor was called at the same time. The doctor first led my husband out of the room and when the radiologist left the room without saying a word to me, I began to cry. I knew then that my worst fear had come true, our baby had died. We were crushed! If that wasn't bad enough, we learned that we would have to go through labor and delivery nonetheless.
I was transferred via ambulance to another hospital for a second opinion on MY health. I looked like a blow-up doll I had so much fluid retention. As it turns out my kidneys were not functioning properly for all this time.
My cervix was softened and labor induced. Our son, Adam Christopher, was born just five hours later. We were encouraged to see and hold our son and are so grateful that we did as that was all we would have with him. We took some pictures and the hospital took some pictures too, provided us with his footprints and hospital bracelet.
Adam was so perfect, but very small, he was born two months prematurely. He had a round face like his daddy, his daddy's nose and his mommy's blond hair. His hands and feet looked so big compared to his thin body. It was so heartbreaking to give him back to the hospital staff. So many questions...what had gone wrong? why couldn't I keep him safe? why did this happen to us?
We would not receive any answers until about 3 weeks later. Adam was fine, as far as development, no defects or anything. But the many blood tests run on me told a different story. I have been diagnosed with an auto immune disease "anticaridiolipin antibodies". My body saw the placenta as a foreign body and attacked it -- slowly compromising Adam's oxygen and nutrition. The good news is that this condition can be treated in subsequent pregnancies. When we are ready, we will try again.
Our hearts go out to all of you who have had similar experiences,
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