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My Angel Adam

by Kristin

Date: Sat, 5 Sep 1998

It has been almost six weeks since I delivered by stillborn baby, Adam. There are some days that I almost forget that I was the person who delivered a baby at 31 weeks gestation and then other days I weep for the baby I will never see grow up.

I got pregnant on Christmas Eve, 1997. I had been having problems with ovulation and so when I missed my period I assumed that once again I would be put on drugs to make my body have a period. When my ob/gyn came into the exam room and told me that this time I really was pregnant I was in total shock, yet very relieved. This was only the second cycle my husband and I had tried to get pregnant and it had worked!

My pregnancy went along fine. I had an ultrasound at 22 weeks and the baby looked very healthy. I knew that I should start feeling the baby move any day and finally in the 24 week I was able to feel flutters. In my 25 week I got out my books and read everything I could about movement. I realized that I should be able to feel kicks. I did the 10 minute test and I felt only 1 movement. After an hour I gave up and told myself that I was being paranoid.

I went for my 7th month check-up and told my doctor that I wasn't really feeling much movement. He listened to the heartbeat and told me that everything seemed fine. He scheduled me for a second ultrasound as he had promised back in the 5th month.

On Tuesday July 21, 1998 I went for my second ultrasound. The first thing the technician asked me was whether I had drunk any water before coming to the exam. I told him that of course I had drunk the prescribed water. He then said "Oh yes, now I see the water." (In truth there was no fluid and he was very concerned.) He proceeded on with the exam and at the end he said that the baby just hadn't grown very much since the last ultrasound. Immediately the nurse came in and said that we should go home and she would page my ob/gyn . Two hours later my ob/gyn called and said that he wanted me to go straight to the hospital and a perinatologist would meet us there.

My husband and I rushed out of the house and within 5 minutes of us arriving at the hospital the perinatologist had an even more powerful ultrasound machine hooked up and he was saying that our baby was very very sick. He told us that the baby would not live more than another 4 or 5 days due to a congenital viral infection. I immediately wanted the baby out of me. At the time I didn't realize that if that baby was born alive they would be obligated to keep it alive as long as possible. The best thing for me and for the baby was to let nature do its thing. Once I had time to think I realized that this baby was going to die either inside me or outside of me and to protect the baby from a lot of invasive procedures it was better for him to die inside me.

They sent me home and told me to be back at the perinatologist's office the next day to do tests to see what might be the problem. After a very hard day of incredibly invasive tests on the baby and me I went home and talked to my baby. I told the baby that the best thing for him was to die and that I would hold onto him as long as it took him to die. I asked God to take the baby and protect him until I was able to join them in heaven. My baby most likely died that very day from all of the tests. We had been warned that the tests might cause a death although the death was imminent.

I met with my perinatologist two days later and the baby had died. He scheduled my vaginal delivery for the following Tuesday, exactly 1 week since we had found out our horrible news. After my last appointment with the perinatologist it occurred to us that we still didn't know the sex of the baby. Our minds were so focused on our emotional state we never thought to ask anyone what the sex of our baby was. We were able to track down the doctor's nurse and she told us it was a baby boy. She also told us we would have to name the baby and make funeral arrangements. At first I was angry that I would have to carry my dead baby for another 4 days, but in truth my husband and I needed the time to think about how we wanted things to go after the delivery.

My labor was very short and the delivery was thankfully easy. With four hours of labor and two pushes I delivered a 2lb. 2oz. baby boy named Adam.

It was determined that Adam died from Cytomegalovirus (CMV). We haven't received the autopsy reports as of yet so there may be other problems that we are not yet aware of. The doctor has determined that there are no chromosomal defects and that we should be able to have a healthy baby in the future.

After the Oklahoma City bombing a rabbi said that when a child dies you grieve the future, when a spouse dies you grieve the present and when a parent dies you grieve the past. This thought has helped keep me focused during my grief. I think about all the things that could have been for my child and try not focus on why this happened.

The most comforting thing during this process has been the care we received from my perinatologist and his staff. We feel that we got the best medical care possible and we were always given a choice before anything was done. We believe that the timing of each process was exactly what we needed in the end, even though during the process we sometimes thought differently. We truly feel for those of you that do not feel that you received good care while experiencing your loss.

There are many details that I have left out of my story and I would be happy to share those details with anyone who is interested. It has helped me tremendously to read similar stories on the Internet and I hope my story will help someone else. My e-mail address is kcargu@wt.net.

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