One of the possible outcomes of carrying a child with Trisomy 18 is that they will not make it to birth or die during delivery. Whilst we knew this was always a possibility we never imagined it would be our reality.
This weekend I began to feel unwell with a persistent headache and was still experiencing very sharp contractions 10-15mins but never getting closer. Sunday afternoon I also realized that I hadn’t felt Poppy move in a while, with all this combo I felt it best I get assessed and so called the hospital. With my symptoms, along with blood pressure being a little high and protein found in my urine the midwife felt it best the DR come check me over. Whilst we awaited his arrival she tried to listen in to baby – I say tried because she wasn’t successful in finding anything. As she put the doppler to my stomach and moved it around my heart sank; “theres no heart beat is there?” – She thought faintly there was or maybe it was babies positioning…”the Dr will do a scan and we will see whats going on”…Nathan and I just stared at each other and held hands, we both knew but hoped so much it wasn’t!
There are not many words to describe the sheer sadness you feel staring at a scan, looking at your perfect little baby but then seeing no activity. Seeing no heartbeat in the chest cavity, no blood flow in the body…she had already gone! What a blow! Our beautiful special baby taken already, it just felt a little too soon. The room was heavy and quiet and we just hugged each other fighting back tears!
The hardest part of this is that of having to give birth to her now knowing what we know. This was always my fear and sadly it is our reality. The next step is induction , where I will be sure to be asking for an epidural or something VERY strong – I cannot bear the thought of so much physical pain entwined with the sadness and emotional pain we will feel. We plan to take lots of pictures, for our family to hold her, for us to have some time before we say goodbye for good. Life seems so cruel doesn’t it? as if the emotional grief of loosing your baby too soon isn’t enough you have the physical event of delivery to have to go through. I do not know why this is my experience, I do not know why I never got to hold her alive and I do not know why I felt to fight so hard when all along she was never meant to be born alive… but then with that I think it doesn’t matter though what I don’t know or what I can’t answer right now because what I do know should be my focus and that is I know God lives, that he has purpose in all things, that he will strengthen us as we face this massive pain and loss, that the darkest of days ahead will still have a glimmer of hope because of those around us and that we were still the parents of a precious miracle that defied the odds of her diagnosis by making it this far.
None of us could have got this far without the love, faith, friendships and prayers of so many. The next part of the journey will be the hardest, I cannot bear to think of the pain I will feel, the grief, the emotions and thoughts I will experience. Its such a sad sad thing to be told. I touch my belly and push on it and she doesn’t push back…I will hold her knowing shes already gone, knowing ill never hear her cry, never get to feed her, never take her out anywhere. But I will see her again and I take comfort in the knowledge of a Saviour that holds her and will hold us all and grant us peace!