Angel of Our Dreams
19 June 1998
We expected our first baby in January 1998. Although I knew, and informed my doctor, of my anomalie prior to getting pregnant, there was no discussion of the high rate of preterm labor and miscarriage associated with it. Being a relatively older first mom, I was intent on eating and doing everything that was best for the baby. But in September, at 21.5 weeks, I went into the hospital for preterm labor and left three days later without our baby. We were crushed and just couldn't understand why this happened.
After researching my condition, I changed doctors and we took a more aggressive approach with my next baby, conceived within days of the first baby's due date. We were cautiously optimistic - I didn't want negative feelings to interfere with the baby's well-being. But again, at 21.5 weeks, I went into labor. I kept thinking "this isn't like last time, it must be false labor" but soon realized that I couldn't keep ignoring it. We went to the hospital and I received two shots of terbutaline, but the contractions continued to come every 4-5 minutes. After three hours, the nurse told me that the doctor didn't want to administer magnesium sulfate and there was nothing more they could do but send me home with a prescription for the drug that already didn't work. I still believed that this baby would make it, but at home the contractions still didn't slow down and I discovered a pink, mucousy discharge. I called the doctor, but she said a mucous plug was insignificant since I had a cerclage and said I could take the terbutaline more frequently. After a couple more hours and more pink, mucousy discharge, I called again and said in addition to the discharge, there was fresh blood and pain with the contractions. She told me to return to the hospital, and my water broke while I was waiting to be admitted. As soon as that happened, my husband and I just froze. We knew this, too, was not going to happen. Then came that interminable wait for the baby that wouldn't be. I had kicked my husband out of the room last time, but he insisted on staying with me for this delivery although he could not bring himself to look at our baby girl.
I think this time I feel more sorry for these poor little babies, perfectly healthy but in a hostile environment which won't allow them to mature and live. I have the baby blanket and little knit cap she was wrapped in for her pictures stuffed in my pillowcase and sometimes I take it out and cradle it. They weren't sure of her sex when she was first delivered, so my husband suggested we call her "Angel" which could go both ways. We'll take her ashes out to the ocean, where her big brother is, and say goodbye, all too soon.
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