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

Today, we continue a story shared with us by Vanessa from Michigan. Despite many challenges and deep loss, she knew she wanted to carry more children. This is the story of her journey to complete her family.

Read Part I
Read Part III

“We found out just shy of 16 weeks that we were expecting a rainbow baby girl and from many ultrasounds she appeared strong and healthy. That was amazing news. At 22 weeks I was placed on blood pressure medicine as my blood pressure was getting quite elevated. My appointments became more frequent and I had many ultrasounds to track our daughter’s health. At 32 weeks we learned that our daughter had IUGR (intra-uterine growth restriction) and was measuring weeks behind. She also had low fluid and poor blood flow through the cord. My blood pressure was rising more as well. That is when we started my twice weekly NSTs and once weekly biophysical profile ultrasounds to watch her.

Despite everything, our daughter, whom we had named Eva {means giver of life}, was strong and doing well. At 35 weeks her rate of growth had slowed down to under the 10th percentile and I had protein in my urine. I was sent home on bed rest for the weekend. The next week I was admitted due to dangerously low fluid, preeclampsia and IUGR. After yet another scary induction where her heart rate kept dropping and required an amnioinfusion, Eva was born after only one push and weighed in at 4 lbs 8 oz and 17.5 inches of pure perfection. She was born at 36 weeks and three days’ gestation. She required no help with anything, was amazing at breastfeeding and was discharged with me at two days old. She was our miracle peanut baby girl. We felt so blessed.

Image2, Eva

After the birth of our daughter in September 2011 (shown at age three in the photo below) my family urged me to be done. They worried about my health both physically and mentally if I were to get pregnant again. We sold everything because after a miscarriage and two complicated pregnancies and deliveries and now a preemie, other people thought we should be done. After a lot of soul searching, I knew that I was not done. I knew in my heart that God had plans for another baby to bless our family. So with our families’ support my husband and I embarked on the journey to finish our family. When our daughter was 17 months old we learned we were pregnant again.

This baby, like our second, was called home to God but at 6 weeks instead of 14 weeks. Again, I was devastated but also knew that after a loss would come a rainbow. We waited 6 months to try again this time because I wanted to give my body a little bit of a break.

Eva turned 3

In late August of 2013 we were elated to find out that we were indeed pregnant again. Once again, I was monitored closely by my doctor at maternal fetal medicine. He was such an amazing doctor. My blood pressure, as in every other pregnancy, was an issue again. I was put on meds just shy of eight weeks this time to control it. I also had a subchorionic hematoma that did resolve itself and spotting throughout my pregnancy.

At my 15 week appointment we had difficulty finding the heartbeat so I was sent for an ultrasound. We learned that this rainbow baby would be a boy and were so excited! We named him Lincoln. At 22 weeks I had protein in my urine and was evaluated for preeclampsia and luckily I did not have it. Shortly thereafter at 26 weeks we learned that, like his big sister, this baby was beginning to measure small. At almost 32 weeks he definitely had IUGR.

He was estimated at only 2 lbs 9 oz at that point. Then started my twice weekly NSTs and once weekly biophysical profiles again to watch over our sweet boy. His fluid was also lower but we did not seem to have the blood flow issue this time around. I had always dreamed of a water birth where I would go into labor naturally but that didn’t appear to be in the cards for me. On Monday March 31st I had a scheduled growth ultrasound and biophysical profile ultrasound with our doctor. We had known that Lincoln was measuring small since 26 weeks and that he was diagnosed with IUGR. We knew at that point there was a chance we would be induced early, possibly at my next growth scan.”

Professional photo by Tera Ward Photography of Michigan.

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