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My Story

by Melissa Boote

Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2000

I can't remember when I found this site, but have read through all
the stories, and felt the compassion help to start me heal. My
story is no easier to write than any of the ones I've read, so
please bear with me...

I have a wonderful almost 3 year old little boy named Martin, born
Nov 9, 1997. In January of 2000 we discovered that I was pregnant
again. It was not planned, as my husband, David, is just finishing
up his PhD studies, and we didn't know where we'd be in September of
this year. However, the baby was welcomed, as life throws us curve
balls on occasion, and everyone was thrilled with the news that
Martin would be a big brother in September. My pregnancy with
Martin was pretty uneventful - I had awful morning sickness and lost
12 pounds, but it cleared up at 13 weeks, and I was fine after, I
was Group B Strep positive, but didn't end up on antibiotics through
labour because once he decided to arrive, 11 days early, he came in
a huge rush (4 1/2 hours) and they had no chance to administer them.
We both came through just fine. I didn't think this pregnancy would
be any different. I had the morning sickness again this time, but
it was far more nausea and complete inability to eat rather than
throwing up constantly as I had with Martin. We heard the heart
beat at 11 weeks, 13 weeks (when I was in to see her about something
for Martin, and she kindly took the time to let him hear the baby's
heart beat again) and again at 15, and scheduled an ultrasound for
May 1. Martin thought it was fantastic. The Doctor let him listen
to his own heart beat with her stethoscope, but that confused him
and he was convinced he had a baby in his tummy too! The morning
sickness didn't ever go away this time, and at 15 1/2 weeks I
finally gave in to my Doctor's request to try some medication. That
was Monday April 10, 2000. By Wednesday I was feeling ever so much
better, and we all went out for a walk after dinner to get some
fruits and veggies. On the way home I felt the same very distinct
pop that I had with Martin when my water broke. It broke my heart.
I was only 16 weeks pregnant. We slowly walked home, and drove
straight to the hospital. The staff were so very kind, and did
their best to get the room ready quickly. I was in no pain, just
emotional shock. The Doctor there was confused that there was no
pain, and his pressure on my tummy didn't really bother me. So he
decided to do an internal exam to see what was up. As he did, my
son delivered right into his hands about an hour and a half after my
water broke. I was in such shock that I never asked to see him,
though I've wished a million times since that I had. I know he was
a boy, and the autopsy results say he was 93 g (about 3 oz.), and
16.5 cm (about 6 1/2"). It took us a couple days, but we named him
Daniel Patrick. We're not really sure what the course of events
was, but the results showed that he had pneumonia, which would cause
intrauterine death of the baby, and hence the miscarriage. All the
rest of the results from the autopsy came back perfectly fine.

I've had to deal with so much anger from this. The week before the
miscarriage, at my 15 week appointment, I had been spotting a bit.
My Doctor wasn't concerned as there was no pain and my cervix tends
to be easily irritated, and neither was I. She did a vaginal swab
just to see what was up. The results that came back from that were
inconclusive. The lab that I took the sample to was a small lab,
and a lot of their work is delivered to a main lab downtown. The
small lab did some work, and there was yeast present. But then the
sample was lost on the way to the main lab, so we'll never know if
there was Group B Strep there again. And it's unusual for an
infection to cross intact membranes as well. The obstetrician I saw
at the hospital (my Doctor is a family practitioner) said it's
likely that my cervix was incompetent to some degree in order for
the infection to have gotten to my uterus anyway, which is also
unusual since my pregnancy with Martin went to term. My last anger
was directed at the hospital. No one in particular, as I just
seemed to slip through a whole bunch of cracks. The miscarriage
happened so quickly that I was never transferred up to labour and
delivery, but stayed in emergency. If I had been transferred, I
would have been able to hold him and say hello so that saying good
bye would have been easier. If I had been transferred the
counseling department would have come to see me to let me know what
support services were available, and how I could create some
memories for him. I didn't find this out until a week later when I
saw my Doctor again to see what would happen to his body. I'm glad
I asked, since we were able to have him cremated and brought home to
us. I just wish, and will probably wish forever, that I had been
able to see him and hold him. My mother and sister in law are
shocked that we have him at home with us. I just can't let go of
him that way yet. We knew when we moved here that it was not a
permanent move and that we'd be going elsewhere when my husband
finished his studies, and I just can't leave him where I'll never be
able to visit him.

My husband is mostly supportive. He was more luke warm about the
pregnancy to begin with, and hadn't felt the baby move yet. He
doesn't understand that some days are still very hard, even 15 weeks
later, and that I'm dreading seeing my best friend next week. It's
so hard to talk about it with him, as he is frantically trying to
get his defense ironed out, and our new apartment and utilities
sorted out, and helping me pack and such. Luckily he'll just give
hugs on demand, and spontaneously to help me through the days.
Having Martin has been a huge life saver as well. He's so very
cheerful and full of energy and full of need for me that it's hard
to be too very depressed when he's about.

My Doctor was absolutely fantastic. When the hospital called her to
let her know that they were admitting me, and why (the placenta
never came, so I had to have a D&C the next morning), she came
straight away, even though it was 10:30 at night. I saw her 3 times
in the next week, and then every week or two for a couple months.
It's been 15 weeks now. Some days it feels like yesterday, and some
days it's hard to remember that I was pregnant, and should be 32
weeks along now, not waiting and hoping for another baby. The first
few days are a blur to me. I spent a lot of time waiting to feel
the little one move, then remember why I wouldn't. Martin still
talks occasionally about the baby in his tummy and my tummy. We've
just told him that the baby was born too early, and died, and it
wasn't his fault in any way. He was so looking forward to being a
big brother, and still tells me some days that he's sad, and wants
to be a big brother.

One of the hardest things coming up is that my very best friend is
due the same day I was. I'm going home to visit next week (we're in
the middle of a move) and it's going to be so very hard to see her.
Several other friends, here and at home, are also expecting. My
husband and I decided that we wouldn't really try for another baby,
but we're not taking any precautions to not have a baby either. My
cycle has been odd since the miscarriage - 27 days, then 25, then 23
(I'm usually 27 or 28). I'm on day 23 of this cycle, and nothing
yet. I saw my Doctor today to say goodbye (Oh how I wish she could
move with us!) and a urine test there was negative, but it could
just be this was a longer cycle. I did have some spotting on
Monday. So, I'm going to try and wait until Saturday to do another
test at home.

Thank you for listening to my story. If anyone wishes to email me,
they are welcome to at I'll keep you all in my
thoughts and prayers.

Melissa, David, Martin and Daniel

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