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My Baby Zachary

by Amy Morin

Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998

I guess I should count my blessings, however it is really hard to at this point. You see, my husband and I lost our baby son Zachary, a stillbirth. He was 24 weeks gestation. He was not our first child nor was he our first loss. My second pregnancy ended in a miscarriage at 10 weeks. We have 2 daughters who were born premature at 30 weeks (2/2/87) and 35 weeks (10/31/89), respectively. I had pre-eclampsia with both of them. They both stayed in the NICU for extended lengths of time. Fortunately, by the grace of God, neither of them have any residual effects from being premature. They are both healthy and very intelligent, and I count my blessings for them everyday.

Zachary came to us all as a very big surprise. We were not planning to get pregnant, however neither I nor my husband had done anything to permanently take of this possibility. So many years with nothing and then suddenly he's here, we considered him a Gift from God and that he would be extra special and that God had something planned for him. My girls could hardly wait till the day the baby got here.

Since, I had been ill with the first 2 with pre-eclampsia and had just been diagnosed with chronic hypertension and began medication just prior to finding out I was pregnant, I was to be followed in a military Complicated OB clinic. I was also being followed in the cervical clinic there. I was scheduled for weekly appointments until 20 weeks and then every 2 weeks after that. At 20 weeks we had the big ultrasound and everything looked good and we found out it was a boy. Up to this point my husband would only say he wanted a healthy baby, but when the doctor told us it was a boy his face lit up. He was finally getting his son, not that having daughters bothered him, because he loves them very much.

At my 24 week appointment (Sept 8, 1998) we went in and talked with the doctor. He measured my stomach and then went to his office to do some paper work. He hadn't listen to the heart beat. When he came back in I asked to listen. He got out the Doppler, and couldn't find anything. This didn't really surprise us because the doctors usually couldn't find the it with that and would have to get an ultrasound machine. He did the ultrasound but only Zachary's body was there not his little heart beat. He continued for a while, then he told us he would get another machine and another doctor. I knew there was something wrong and that he was gone. I began to cry, however my husband was in denial until they were absolutely certain The other doctor came in with a new machine and looked she couldn't find anything either. She said she was sorry. She left, my husband and I cried together. It was the worst day of our lives. Another doctor, the head of the clinic came in and did yet another ultrasound and confirm what the other 2 had told us, our baby was gone. They gave us the option to go home or be admitted to L & D. I took the latter. I could not have possibly gone home for I truly didn't believe I had the strength in me to return. I was devastated.

I had one more ultrasound done to make absolutely sure of the results. I then underwent the beginnings of induction. I had several rounds of medication by mouth and vaginally. The last medicine made me very sick. I began to throw up, but it was finally working. Almost 3 days later on Sept 11, 1998 at 2:25 AM Zachary came into the world. He was so tiny. He weighed 15. 8 ounces and was 10 inches long. We held him and took pictures. We loved him. Well, unfortunately this was not the end of my pain. The placenta would not deliver and was given 3 shots of a medication, which did nothing. I then had to have a D & C. The recovery room nurse got me transferred to a med/surg floor, which to me felt better than listening to babies cry and mine would never.

My husband was wonderful through out all of this. He never once faltered or complained. When I left the hospital almost one week later, we began to think about funeral arrangements. Since my husband is in the Army, we are stationed far away from family, we took Zachary home to be buried. I could not believe how much pain I was in for this little baby. Healing will take time, I am aware of that, but the process is hard. Babies and pregnant women still bother me.

Thank you for letting me tell my story.

Amy Morin

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