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Amorette, the love of our lives ...

by Sonya Hardebeck

Date: Mon, 18 Oct 1999

I would like to submit my story for the readers out there.

My husband and I experienced a loss of our first baby together on 9/28/99.
This is my second marriage. I have two beautiful healthy daughters, Nikolette, who is 10, and Allyson, who is 5, from my first marriage.

Richard and I had been married 11 months when we found out we were pregnant. We were excited to be having a baby to call "Ours." The girls wanted a baby brother. As the pregnancy progressed, we got more excited, of course. I never expected that anything would be wrong. After all, I had two perfectly healthy daughters. I guess I just took it for granted that the baby would be perfect and healthy, as most of us do, I'm sure.

We were scheduled for our first ultrasound at around 21 weeks gestation. I was measuring a little smaller than I should have been for 21 weeks, but we didn't think anything of it. My first daughter was only 6 lbs. and 3 oz.full term. We went in for the ultrasound with much excitement, we were going to find out what the sex of the baby was. We never once thought beyond that, we never expected to find out something was wrong. However, it was discovered during the ultrasound that there were problems detected with the baby's heart and brain. The baby was also retaining a lot of fluid in the abdomen and on the back of the neck. There was also a lack of amniotic fluid surrounding the baby. So, with further ultrasounds and with a PUBS (Percutaneous Umbilical Bloodcord Sampling) test, it was determined and confirmed that the baby girl I was carrying had Trisomy 13, along with major heart and brain defects. The prognosis was very poor for the survival of the baby over the next month, much less to term and we were faced with the very difficult decision to terminate or to continue with the pregnancy.

Trying to deal with the news that we would not have a healthy baby to love and to hold, was hard enough, but then being faced with this most difficult decision on top of it was the worst possible emotions you can ever imagine.
We thought at first that we would carry the baby and let nature take it's course. But finally, after a couple weeks of going back and forth with our decision we decided that it would be better for us and the baby to terminate, rather than cause any potential suffering on her part or any further emotional stress for us. We did not know from day to day whether or not she would survive and that was taking it's toll on us, on me. Just being asked everyday when I was due or what I was having, was too much.
Deciding to terminate was the hardest decision I've ever had to make and ultimately to live with. Even though we realize that it was for the best, it is hard being without the baby we love so dearly.

I was induced via oral medication, Cytotec, at home as an outpatient on Sunday afternoon and every 6 hours, 9/26/99. There was hardly no progress by Monday afternoon, so I was admitted to the hospital at 4:00pm and given the same medication again at 7:00 p.m. and every 4 hours thereafter, only it was given vaginally and orally. Our Amorette Elise, which means "little love, pledged to God," was delivered Tuesday morning, 9/28/99 at 7:05am, she was about 23 weeks gestation, however, she was small, she was 15 oz. and 8 inches long. She was stillborn and had passed sometime during the previous 2 days, which is what we had suspected would be the case, since her heart was very weak. We were able to spend a few hours with her and have her baptized following the delivery, which we will be eternally grateful for.

We had her cremated and have her with us all the time. I have created a web site with photos of her as well, http://www.hardebeck.net/amorette.htm.
Even though it is still difficult to handle every day, it is getting easier and we feel that trying again, as soon as possible, is a good thing. I know others will see the bad in that, especially since it has been so hard and the emotions are still so strong and getting pregnant so soon can only intensify those emotions. We certainly don't want to take away from the feelings that we have for her or away from any feelings we will have for a new baby, but we do feel it would be good to try again soon.

We will always love her and miss her, no matter how many children we are blessed with after our precious Amorette.

I also have one of the poems that I have written for her, they are also on the web page.

To the baby girl we will never know
and have the joy of watching grow.
To the baby girl whom we will always love
and will give us strength from up above.
To the baby girl that God has chosen,
may you join him in that place called Heaven.
To the baby girl who has briefly graced our lives,
you will always be perfect in God's eyes.

Sonya Hardebeck

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