Completing Our Family, Part I {A Story of Loss and Hope}

Vanessa from Michigan wrote us the incredible story of her journey to complete her family. Her story is a story of loss and grief, but also hope and persistence. It’s about illness and premature birth, but also survival – and most importantly, about the strength of a loving family.

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We will share this story in three parts – the first today and the next two in the coming days.

Read Part II
Read Part III

“Our first child, a boy we named Jackson, was born in January of 2010. The pregnancy was complicated as I began having blood pressure issues at 24 weeks. I was put on bed rest at 28 weeks and was in and out of the hospital from 35 weeks on. My pregnancy-induced hypertension turned to full blown preeclampsia and after two failed inductions our son was finally born after being induced a third time. He was born not breathing due to the cord being wrapped around his neck twice and tightly.* It had to be cut before he was even out. I was very sick and was on the mag drip to try and control my blood pressure and an infection was starting. The birth trauma caused breastfeeding issues and a longer hospital stay but he was a fighter and we made it through that. He was an amazingly sweet baby so we decided later that same year to give him a sibling. Being an only child, I knew I wanted a bigger family.

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We found out we were pregnant in September of 2010. This time I saw practitioners in maternal fetal medicine because of my pregnancy history. When they did an early ultrasound they saw that the baby was measuring three weeks behind but with a heartbeat. They assured me I must have had my dates off but I knew I didn’t. I prayed a lot and the pregnancy continued – or so it seemed. When I would have been 14 weeks we did another ultrasound because we could not find a heartbeat by doppler and we learned our sweet baby had passed away. I was crushed.

This was in December before Christmas. Since it was a missed miscarriage my doctor suggested a D&C. I had that done which was emotionally difficult and I returned home to be with my husband and son. The next day I fell sick. I went back into the doctor to find out that an infection had started because there was retained placenta. I was admitted and given drugs to help me pass the remainder. They failed so a second D&C was needed. This time it was complete and after a three-day hospital stay I was discharged. I felt defeated and like I did something wrong.

Testing was done since they were not sure if my body was to blame for the loss or not. The results showed that we had lost a baby boy with a very rare chromosomal abnormality called Triploidy. They assured us it shouldn’t happen again and advised we wait a few cycles before we tried again.

After lots of praying and feeling a strong urge to just let nature take its course we actually found out in January of 2011 on our son’s first birthday that we were expecting again. Again, I was monitored closely by maternal fetal medicine. At eight weeks along my mother and best friend was diagnosed with lung cancer and underwent lifesaving surgery to remove the tumor from her lung. Thank God that the beginning of my pregnancy was uncomplicated since I was so scared for my mother. Every day I hoped and prayed that she would survive and that my unborn baby would too.”

*Click for an informative article about nuchal cords (the cord being wrapped around the baby’s neck).

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