This is our Angel Baby story...
We found out that I was pregnant January 1st, 2008. It was definitely a surprise. We had to confirm it with a blood test first since home pregnancy tests can give false positives. Less than a week later we had the confirmation but we had no idea how far along except it had to be almost 4 months (less than a week)! The first doctor we saw sent us in for an ultrasound, based on size we were only 8-9 weeks. No way possible. An issue arose and we switched doctors. The next doctor agreed on how far along we were with the previous doctor. No one took in the fact that my siblings and I were small babies carried to full term. Apparently past family history has no bearing on current pregnancies. ~rolls eyes~
So we continue on with the prenatal visits feeling as though something was wrong. We asked when I was supposed to receive the RH- shot and were told I did not need it. I asked why when I am RH- and their reply was that I was not RH-. Not possible. I had been RH- for as long as I remember. It is in doctors records at other places as RH-. How could all of a sudden I be RH+ and not RH-. So they redid the test. LabCorp cannot seem to get my blood type correct. So they would not give me the shot I was sure I needed.
We kept asking questions at every visit but the doctor kept brushing off our fears. I was not paranoid! I was extremely worried and gut instinct told me something we wrong. We are not doctors so we could not tell the doctor what we thought was wrong except that something did not feel right. She kept measuring small even for the due date they gave her.
Two weeks before we lost her, we had a doctor's visit. We requested an ultrasound but were told we would have to wait till the doctor got back from vacation to request one. They did not send us somewhere else to have one done even though they could and should have. So we had gone to the labor and delivery due to a pain in my lower left side. They checked the heartbeat and gave me medications to stop the contractions (yes, apparently I was having contractions at "30 weeks"). They never once did an ultrasound to check fluid levels. They never did any blood tests to check for RH status. Nothing!
May 25th, we had the baby shower. It had been a busy day and very exhausting. May 28th, I had noticed she was not as active but had been told the farther along you are the less they move around. No room for them to be acrobats at that point.
May 29th, I had not noticed movement at all during the day. I got off work, went home, packed overnight bag, and Kaitlin's daddy drove me to the labor and delivery. We had to wait to be checked out. Once they got me back there, they had me change and lay down. They placed the heart monitor across my big belly and started searching for the heartbeat. We laughed because she was always hiding from it in the first place. This time our laughter quieted when we saw the worried look on the nurse's face. She was having trouble finding Kaitlin's heart beat. So they brought another person in and still no heart beat found. Then my OB who was supposed to be on vacation tried the ultrasound to find the heart beat. My fluid levels had dropped and our baby was not moving. She was just lying there. We had lost our sweet little baby at what they had said was 30 weeks. The doctor said, "Sorry, your baby is dead." It was so nonchalant like it happens so often in his life. I mean come on my first baby! Now I would never be able to hold her when she cried or was laughing. I would not be able to help her through heart aches and all the obstacles that life has to throw at us.
We called a few friends and our family to let them that we had lost our baby girl. They arranged to move us to the delivery rooms and said to let them know if I needed anything. I asked if they could bring our baby back to life, if not then I didn't need anything. While waiting for friends and family to arrive I made a request of Kaitlin's daddy, a mother's panicking plea. He agreed. So with that in my mind, I knew I could survive this and that Kaitlin would be watching over us.
They moved us to the delivery room finally where my parents and a few friends joined us late that night. Tears in our eyes, our small laughter sounding hollow, no one wanting to know what the aftermath was going to be like, we sat there with the lights down low. They had not yet induced my labor to help get the pregnancy finished. At that point, I was not sure I wanted it over right away or for it to be finished already knowing there would be no baby Kaitlin to take home with us.
My parents eventually went home and so did our friends. Around midnight they started the induction, finally. Friends and family came back to visit as the doctor said it could take a day or two for me to deliver. A friend had already called my work to tell them what had happened and they suggested taking time off. (Thank you!)
So once again, as the day rolled on, family and friends left again. Imagine my surprise when I felt my water break. Not such a wonderful feeling, that is for sure. I requested an epidural at that point. The, the a/c in my room decided to break and it was horribly hot for me. So they were working on the a/c when it was close to doing another round of the drug to help me dilate. It was around 4:30 pm that we watched them try to get the a/c fixed. If you anyone knows what it is like in Phoenix in late May, they know it is hot!
By 5pm I had a/c again! I was grateful for the cool air. The nurse came back in to check me and to do the next dose. If I could have had a video of her face and what she said, it would be priceless. I had been hitting the epidural button constantly for the past 45 minutes! I did not know that the pressure against my left hip had been Kaitlin's big head trying to shove its way out. How was I supposed to know??? She said it was time and that the doctor would be right into to deliver me. It would not be my OB but a different one.
So we make hasty phone calls to the friends that had been there the night before and that day. No, they did not make it in time for the un-birth of our baby girl. (They do not consider a baby that does not take a breath when it is delivered as being born apparently.)My parents had already been there but had gone down to the cafeteria. Imagine the looks on their face when they came back in to the room and the nurse told them it was time. My dad looked like he was going to pass out.
So as our baby girl was delivered the delivery doctor says that the reason our baby is so thin was due to a Velamentous cord insertion. It is where the cord does not insert into the placenta into the right place. If it had been diagnosed early with an ultrasound (like the one we requested or the one that the L&D failed to do), she might have made it. Based on this they did not recommend an autopsy on Kaitlin. They did recommend one on the placenta so we said okay. What did we know?!
They cut the cord and placed her on my chest. It was the hardest thing a person would ever have to do. See their little one, laying there, not breathing, and knowing that they would never see the chest rise with a breath. She weighed in at 2lbs 5oz and was 15.5 inches long. Her fingers were long and her hands huge. Her feet (I finally knew what had been kicking me so hard) were huge. Her legs were long just as were her arms. I was surprised none of this concerned my OB during the prenatal visits. She was underweight. Would that not have been noticeable during the prenatal visits??? The L&D still had not done a blood test to confirm RH status. So no RH shot.
The nurse took her from me so that she could get cleaned up and they could finish with me. Her daddy followed and took many pictures. She was perfectly normal in every way. My parents got to see her. My friends got to see her, to hold her, and even took some pictures with their cell phones. They did get a couple pictures of Kaitlin with her daddy (thank you!) since the nurse did not take any of Kaitlin with her daddy (which annoyed me when I found out).
The nurses finally left us and Kaitlin alone. All we could do was cry. Here we were, together, holding our sweet little angel, and could not take her home. All those times she had made me sick, kicked me, and made it hard for me to sleep. Now there would be no waking up to her cry, feeding her, dressing her, changing her diaper, and no birthdays. Now there would be only memorial days for her birthday.
Eventually they moved us to the recovery room, placing a flower card on our door. It was sign that our baby had been stillborn and to not bring in congratulations stuff and what not. It was hard. You could hear the babies in the other rooms on either side of us. My heart ached so badly. We still had her because we were having a hard time letting her go. I did not want to let her go. I wanted our baby to be breathing, alive, wiggling, and being a baby. Seeing her in her daddy's arms made it hurt worse. I felt like a failure. The one most basic thing a female does in life is give birth. It seems I could not even do that right; I had given him a baby that was dead.
We had chosen to have her cremated so that we could keep her close to us. We both wear small amulets that contain her ashes besides the angel urn on the bookshelf that is belongs to her.
Kaitlin does have a living sibling (a big half-brother that is great) and a baby angel sibling (miscarriage in Sept '08).
Six months after her birth, I miscarried. We are pretty sure it would have been a boy (my intuition). I ended up in the emergency room at 4 weeks and 5 days along. The doctor had said that my pregnancy hormone levels had dropped and that I was miscarrying. I once again felt like a failure. So the doctor comes back in and says he needs to make sure I get the RH shot before I am discharged. I explained to him that the ex-OB for my pregnancy less than 6 months prior stated I was RH+. He said that is not possible because they had done the test right there in the blood lab and it came up as RH-. I asked him if that would have caused a stillbirth and a miscarriage. He said it was highly possible. He called the ex-OB. I could hear the conversation through the curtain and opened it up to listen. Everyone around him listening to the conversation had weird looks on their faces. He asked what my charts showed and it was confirmed that the OB said I was RH+. He said that according to the labs right there in the same hospital I delivered Kaitlin in that I was RH-. Everyone around him was in amazement. Some did not look thrilled at all. It means a doctor and a lab made a mistake during my pregnancy with Kaitlin. So I opted for the RH- shot. I went ahead and had my primary confirm the RH status. The emergency room had been correct, it was RH-. So that means the OB I had when I was pregnant with Kaitlin should have believed me when I told him other doctors had done the test and it came back with RH-. My mother is also RH-.
Now we knew about the Velamentous cord insertion problem thanks to the delivery doctor. Now we could add RH status as being wrong to the list. Also based on Kaitlin's length and us knowing we had to have gotten pregnant before October 2007 (doctor would not believe us), due date had been wrong too. We believe it was wrong by a month or two. I have a stack of medical records with all this information but have yet to find a lawyer to actually stand up for us. We had till May(2010) to get the doctor charged and have failed.
We wanted her story told so that other mothers-to-be (especially first time mothers-to-be) know that they can question their doctor and not to assume it is just paranoia. As the days go by, we hope that her story is read and that other babies will be saved, even if only just one or two.
Warning: Some images may seem graphic to younger audiences.
who was taken from us way too soon.
Always in our hearts, now and forever.