Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Liliana's Story

It took a while to feel even a little better after losing Maya. I would say after Christmas - so maybe 2.5 months - I started to feel ready to move on with my life. As if losing a child isn't hard enough, losing one through pregnancy means your hormones are crazy. That didn't help at all. But alas, we found ourselves ready to go on and on January 24th, we got another positive pregnancy test. It was an interesting reaction. I was very relieved - but not exactly the light feelings of happiness you hope for. I now had a heavy weight - extreme caution and hesitation to believe this would work out. I felt hopeful about the future finally. But even tho the docs said there was nothing to worry about, I just didn't believe them. I have seen too many stories now - women who have lost 5-6 and more babies. And knew too much about how little the doctors know or try to help.

Regardless, we went to the doctor for earlier ultrasounds this time. At the first one we saw the heartbeat. I was the first to find it. And I can't explain the rush (literally) of relief that ran through my body. But even though I felt good at that moment, I knew all too well that it didn't guarantee a tomorrow. We were planning to go visit my mom and dad in Florida at the beginning of March and wanted to tell everyone at that point rather than lie in their presence - so the day before we had another US. It indicated 8 weeks 5 days and again - a good heartbeat. This time they actually gave me my "welcome to pregnancy" package which I hesitated to feel good about. I didn't like that the 8 weeks 5 days date was the same day I Maya's heart stopped beating. But onward, we told all the family. It was actually hard to tell them. I knew they felt good and now thought we had moved on. But I had not moved on. I had not forgotten Maya, and I couldn't even feel good about this new baby. But I spent lots of time talking to "it" and coaching "it" to stay with us. I didn't want to have to go back and tell my family it wasn't going to make it.
I had my docs schedule one more US for what should have been my 11th week. We went in and I will admit, I was starting to feel hopeful. One more week and I was going to let go of the fear. One more week and we'd be in the 2nd trimester. I even started shopping again for bedroom options. I really wanted a girl so she and Kaelyn could be buddies. I was ready for the heartbeat.

But nothing. And this time we had the technician lady who is like a cold Nazi - she's aweful. She said nothing and we knew exactly what was happening. One frame showed the baby, so much bigger than last time, with it's arms and legs outstretched. But not moving. No movement. No heartbeat. She brought in the doc and it was confirmed - it was over again.

All I could say was - "I can't do fing do this again, I can't do it again." I didn't want to go back to that sad place. I didn't want to be all absorbed in this. I just wanted to be pregnant dammit. And I wanted to meet another little baby with little Kaelyn cries. How can I NOT GO THRU THIS?

I was angry. And so was Mike. We withdrew. We went thru another D&C. I didn't feel good about doing another medical intervention after a Csection and a D&C already. But I wanted the baby to be tested and this was the only way to be sure.
So four days later, it was all over. But this time I was not ready to move on. And I was not going to do this again until I had answers and a promise that this would not happen again. I can't believe women go through this so many times. It is a great waste of life - both of the babies who die as well as the families who are left to struggle through this grief.

So I started the testing. She ran a standard "recurrent pregnancy loss panel." It consisted of 12 vials of blood. I told my doc I wanted everything. And I wanted referrals. I got a referral to a geneticist, a fertility doc, and a perinatologist. Then I started researching. I made an additional appointment with an accupunturist and a holistic doctor (MD). And I continue to research.
She called 3 weeks later with the results of the recurrent pregnancy loss panel. I have MTHFR and Prothrombin Factor II. Both are genetic mutations that increase the chance of a bloodclot and can threaten pregnancies in several ways. They can't draw a line and say this was the cause of this second miscarriage. But it is a good possibility. So that was the start of my answers. And I will continue to get more information as I meet with these other doctors. In the meantime, I am still sad.

Oh. And it's a girl.

We knew we would name her and we decided on Liliana. I found it in a book I was reading and really really liked it. When we found out it was a girl, it just fit. It is nice because my grandma was Lila, and I have an aunt Lilian and Lilah, plus a niece Delilah. Ana links to Mike's mom's middle name Ann as well as my good friend Marianna, who is walking this path to wellness with me.

Here is the only photo of me pregnant with Liliana - in Florida.

Here is a picture of our memorial garden that we planted for Liliana.

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