by Jennifer McLeod
Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2001
I have been very touched by reading the stories on this page, and gained a lot from
them. I am now ready to share my own story, in the hope that it will help somebody else
deal with the tragic loss of a baby.
I found out I was pregnant in November 1999. My husband and I were thrilled, and waited
the requisite 3 months before letting anybody know. I had terrible morning sickness, but
otherwise, was progressing normally, and was eagerly anticipating a new baby around mid
July of 2000.
Valentines day I work up and felt slightly nauseated, but went to work anyway. I figured
that since I was in 2nd trimester, nearly halfway through that very little could possible
go wrong. After work, I still felt like something "wasn't right". I called my
husband and told him that I was going to the after hours clinic just to ease my mind. At
the clinic, they reassured me that the heaviness I was feeling was normal, and that it was
just first time pregnancy jitters. Relieved I went home, ate dinner and planned to retire
for the evening, but when I went to the bathroom, I quickly dilated, and my bag of waters
began to bulge.
We called 911 and I was rushed to the hospital, where my water broke that evening. The
worst part of the experience was a very callous and unfeeling doctor on call who stated
matter of factly that I would lose this baby, and next time they would be able to do
something for me. I did not want to think about next time - I was in shock and still could
not quite grasp that I was losing this baby. They expected I would go into active labour
within 48 hours, and when I didn't they took an ultrasound. It revealed a perfectly
healthy baby, but with no amniotic fluid. For two weeks I lay in hospital hoping for some
sort of miracle. It finally got to the point where I became so infected, and the
antibiotics they had been giving me were of no effect, the infection was spreading to the
baby, and was beginning to threaten my life as well.
Sadly we were forced to induce labour, and our son Andrew was born February 27, 2000. His
heart stopped beating just a few minutes after delivery - he was perfectly formed, except
for his lungs. We were able to hold him, and name him, and the hospital took pictures,
footprints, and gave us many mementos to remember him by. The doctor who delivered him
said nothing, but the nurses were fantastic. They had a grief counsellor in the delivery
room, and she insured that our son was baptized and that she was available over the next
few months to help me cope with this loss.
The next few months were so difficult. I struggled to understand why this had happened.
The clinical name is incompetent cervix. I immediately turned to finding out more about
this condition, and found this wonderful web-site by accident. I read the first person
stories, and wept for all those who like me had lost the most precious of gifts - that of
a new baby.
It has been just over a year now, and I often think of our little boy, and wonder what our
lives would have been like if this hadn't happened. Luckily for me I have a wonderfully
supportive husband who in his own time of grieving made sure that my needs were looked
after. I thank God for him everyday, because I would not have been able to cope were it
not for his strength and love.
We are thrilled to be expecting again. This time I had a cervical cerclage put in to
prevent early dilation, and had it removed at 37 weeks. I am currently going on 39 weeks,
and looking forward to a healthy baby sometime next week. We don't know if this one is a
boy or a girl, just that it kicks an awful lot, and I'm not complaining one single bit! I
know our little Andrew is safe in heaven, & I'll see him again someday.
To all those women who have lost children -- it seems like the world has caved in, but the
sun does shine again. There is hope.
Blessings to all
Jennifer - Andrew's mum.