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Philip

by Peggy Kerner Pereira

I would like to add to your "First Person" page - my story and my poem. I have found comfort in your site, and thank you for maintaining it.

March 3, 1997

Hello.
My name is Peggy Kerner Pereira, and I lost my first child. His story follows:

Just before Thanksgiving 1992, I found out I was pregnant with our first child. LMP was October 27. We had an ultrasound at 12 weeks, and because of his size, the radiologist adjusted my due date - she said I was only 7 weeks. A 5-week difference that early in the game should have been a huge, glaring, neon red flag to me...but I was so naive! Nothing could possibly happen to my baby. Anyway, all seemed to go well other than that size oddity. On February 4 (13 weeks according to the revised dates, 18 weeks in real life) we had an OB appointment and heard a heartbeat. All was well. Within a couple weeks, I began feeling the flutters of first movement. Then, I don't know if I didn't feel them at all, or was just too busy to notice them but at any rate, they stopped. On Tuesday March 2, at night, I felt a little squirt of blood. Straight to bed! When I got up in the morning, there was a lot of blood...but my mental defenses told me that it was only because I had been lying down all night, and the blood had just "collected". I was one of the required 2 people to open our bank that morning, and our HMO was not open yet anyway...so I went to work (which was only 5 minutes from our HMO building). I called the doctors as soon as their offices were opened, and told them what was happening. They didn't have a doctor in until 1:00, so they would have to call me back. The bleeding was not too terrible at that point. Then a really snotty old lady came into the drive thru where I was working. Her ID didn't make it in with her check (which I couldn't cash anyway) and she sat out there for 10 minutes accusing me of taking her work ID. I was thinking, "Lady, I have bigger and worse things to deal with right now than your ID." And I said, "You are a short, fat 60+ year old woman with white hair....I am a tall, fat, 23 year old with brown hair. Why would I want YOUR ID?!"...Well, she found her ID - in her car- and pulled off. About that time, I either sneezed or coughed (the only unclear detail of the experience) and the blood just poured. Just then the doctor's office called...they said to go to their urgent care...35 minutes away, when I was only 5 minutes from their regular facility and another hospital...My husband came and took me to the urgent care. They did an ultrasound, saying nothing throughout except, "When did the doctor say you are due?" a few times. An hour later, we were in an office with one of the OB's and he asked us if the radiologist had told us anything. We said no.

.......................Well, I'm sorry. There was no cardiac activity on the ultrasound...." NO CARDIAC ACTIVITY!!! The words bounced around inside my head, echoing again and again..then during the echoes the doctor continued, "this is usually God's way of dealing with an unhealthy baby..." Well, at least he said "God's, instead of "nature's". We were told we would need to go to the hospital to deliver the baby. so, my husband called my dad at work and he came and took us to the hospital. We walked up to the maternity ward, past the nursery full of living babies, to the nurses station. The ob's office was supposed to have called ahead. Well, when we reached the nurse's station, they said "when are you due, honey?". ....."Well, now, I guess that would be today, wouldn't it?!" Oh, the fantasies I had about strangling that woman!! Anyway, they got me set up in the room. The on-call OB from our group came in to talk to us about delivery options. I chose to go through "natural" delivery rather than D&C. So, I was to have prostaglandin to induce labor. Thus far, I had no cramping at all...no textbook miscarriage for me! When the doctor checked to see if I had dilated (before giving prostaglandin), he accidentally broke my water...and little Philip Daniel Kerner Pereira came out. It was 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 3, 1993. The problem, as it turned out, was growth related...(Trisomy 18). I saw him but was not able to hold him because he was so fragile. My husband did not want to see him - he wanted to remember him as a perfect little baby. The hospital took a bunch of pictures, and when I was ready for the pics they were ready for me...regular baby pictures, and some others...and the negatives....I thank God that the hospital staff knows enough to do that for mothers. I have since encountered many people (as I'm sure we all have) who haven't a clue what to say...and say either nothing or the wrong thing, instead of finding out what the right thing to say would be. I have become a woman on a mission...I refuse to let Philip's death be in vain, and am in the process of writing some books for the general public and medical community about how to deal with parents who have lost a child. If anyone would like to contribute anything to the book, (do's and don'ts, experience, etc.) or would just like to chat, feel free to email me at p@buckeye.cb.lucent.com........

Happy Birthday, Philip

It's been 4 years today
since you slept away
Asleep in the arms of Jesus, they say.

How I wish you had slept in my arms first,
Never holding you makes me miss you worse

Watch over your brothers, your mom, and your dad
You were the first child I ever had.

I love you, baby Philip.
Your mommy,
Peg

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