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The Loss of our Child

Mary Stafford
(in memory of Rayna)

Date: Fri, 25 Dec 1998

I have visited your Web site on numerous occasions. Sometimes for no reason and other times for comfort. We lost our child 5 years ago this December. Her death was, to say the least, difficult to cope with.

I suffered from Toxemia (Pre-eclampsia) early in my pregnancy and consequently as the disease progressed, my health deteriorated. My OB/GYN did all that was humanly and medically possible to save me and our child, but so much is unknown about this disease.

Several months ago, I asked if I could contribute our story to your Web site and was welcomed to do so. As I began to compile my thoughts and write our story, I realized it wasn't "what" happened to us that needed to be communicated, more so it was the "cause" of our tragedy that was most important. During our grieving process I looked for a focal point to place blame. I struggled in my efforts and always came back to the same place, the Toxemia/Pre-eclampsia.

What I know about Toxemia: The symptoms can mimic the flu, blood-pressure rises, protein count in the urine rises, and the body retains fluid. Pre- natal care is vital in determining if signs of Toxemia are present, however, the only known cure is delivery of the placenta. As I stated, symptoms showed up early in my pregnancy. I was monitored at home and through office visits, yet the disease escalated so rapidly. Within 24 hrs, fluid collected in my lungs, breathing became labored and during emergency delivery, I suffered congestive heart-failure. Due to lack of oxygen, our child was unable to survive.

Many doctors and hospitals are co-sponsors of the "Baby your Baby" program in the community where we live. I am not aware of what other communities are doing in the efforts to promote Pre-natal care.

I feel it's important to make the public aware of this disease and it's ramifications. I ask only that you consider researching all that is known of this disease and publish it on your Web site. My intentions are pure, yet selfish. My hope is to someday make sense of this and if along the way a child's life can be spared, then our loss was not in vain.

Thank you for allowing me to voice my concerns and share our loss.
Mary Stafford
(in memory of Rayna)

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