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Our Son Matthew

by Matthew's Mom, Donna

Update 4/5/00

Update 5/11/00

Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2000

Found this website, and found it comforting to read other stories. I, too, feel like some of our family and friends have forgotten about our little Matthew.

I knew I was pregnant when my period was only 4 days late. We live in a small town and with my previous pregnancies, which involved infertility treatments to conceive, we drove 100 miles from home for my OB care. The drive was nothing and the care was the best. From those pregnancies, I delivered 3 healthy children, 2 daughters and 1 son. With my pregnancy with Matthew, we decided to stay in our small town to doctor as my labors with each child went faster and faster, with the last one going very quick with induction. We didn't want to chance having a child on the interstate. We chose one of the best Drs in our town. At 13 weeks I started to bleed. I was taken to the hospital for an ultrasound and everything was fine, so they said. I continued on, feeling great and becoming very large. I have large babies, so the Dr kept putting off my largeness because of this. We had an ultrasound at 20 weeks and they said everything looked great, the baby was developing normal. However, I continued to grow and grow. Finally, I asked the Dr if he was sure I wasn't having twins!! At my 35 week appointment, he decided to do another ultra sound to check the size of my son. It was this day, March 30,1998, that our dream of another child was shattered. The only thing the Dr told in that little room was that they could not find one of Matthews arms and that I had a lot of extra amniotic fluid. They would refer us to a perinatologist in the same town I had my other children. We left the clinic and came home to pack a few things and line up care for our other children. We called family and told them what we had been told and I phoned my sister to ride with us on this horrifying 100 mile journey. We talked of the possibilities of having a son with a deformity and decided we could handle what God would give us and we would teach him how to do things with only one arm. As long as he was healthy was all I prayed on our journey to the specialists.

At this other hospital, we were introduced to a wonderful Dr. She searched and searched with her machine, and said that maybe she seen his arms, but she was going to do a full scan of our baby. The room was very quiet for what seemed like forever while she scanned Matthew. Her next words were that there was a lot more wrong than just his arms. She found a hernia in his diaphragm, his chest cavity was misplaced with what should have been in his lower abdomen and that because of this, his lungs could not form and his heart was also pushed to the right of his body. With this hernia, he could not swallow the amniotic fluid, therefore, I was holding it all. A heart specialist was called in and confirmed to us that once Matthew was born, he would not live. He had only one lung, that which was very small, and his heart was severely deformed. They suggested an amnio to withdraw some of the fluid so they could be more certain of the heart defect. With this done, everything was still the same, Matthew would not live outside the womb. We were told to prevent more fluid build up, that it was necessary to induce labor. We came home to tell our other children and the rest of the family the fate of Matthew. We also did something I never thought we'd have to do. To go to the funeral home and plan a funeral for our son. With all this done, April 1, 1998 we returned to the hospital to give birth and then death to our son. Labor was induced and it went quickly. I was very scared during this delivery. And from all the extra fluid, I had placenta abruption and dropped my blood pressure to an alarming low. So much of the birth, I don't remember. I do remember seeing my son. Here's this beautiful little boy, lots of hair, eyes closed, tried to take a breath and, no arms. He still was very beautiful. He weighed 4 pounds 12 oz. We held him for hours before we had to kiss him goodbye. They wanted to do an autopsy to determine what went wrong. We agreed. On April 4, 1998, we buried our son. That was the worst day of my life and I miss him terribly. We did find out he had Corneila DeLange Syndrome, a very severe case of it. We will never forget him nor will we ever forget that his problems should have been detected at a very early ultrasound.
Thanks for letting me share my story. It is going on 2 years since we lost him, and it still hurts. Our house is filled with only his pictures as we didn't even get a chance to start memories.

Mother of Matthew, our precious angel
e-mail de65347@alltel.net 

Update: Date: Wed, 5 Apr 2000

Well, Matthew would have been 2 years old April 1st. On March 27, 2000, I found out that I am pregnant. I was very excited, but also very worried and very scared. I'm finding it hard to believe that with the Good Lord's blessings, we will bring home a child in November. I have been to the Doctor and everything is too early to see much. However, we are not staying in our small town for our Doctor. We are driving 100 miles each way each visit to the Doctors in Omaha, Ne. We have our testings all planned out and I feel comfortable with them. But for right now, we will take one day at a time and pray for the best. Thanks again for this site, it is truley comforting.
Donna de65347@alltel.net 

Update: Date: Thu, 11 May 2000

Hello. Well, we were taking it one day at a time, and on May 6th, I started spotting and an ultra sound showed that our fetus had died.

This news was very sad and hard to understand, and even harder to tell our children at home who were so looking forward to this child.

After losing Matthew at 35 1/2 weeks, this was easier, but it still hurts so deeply. Before we know of this loss, we had decided that no matter what the outcome, that this would be our last child, or pregnancy in this matter. This is the third time since 1995 that I have become pregnant, and the third time it has ended in heart break. I know I do not want to go through this again. If there were such things as a guarantee of a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby, I would definitely try again. But as we know, this just isn't possible.

So, at 12:05 a.m. May 9th, I miscarried our child only at the precious age of 11 weeks. To say goodbye to what will be our "last child" was a hard thing to do. I just hope the day, weeks and years will someday end the pain.

Thanks for this site of understanding people and a place to express the feelings of losses like this and others.

Sincerely,
Donna, Matthew's and baby's mom

 

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