the LOST ones


Antony, my son

The day I found out I was pregnant was one of the best days of my life. My partner and I had decided that we wanted to try for a baby and so we stopped using contraception. Two months later and we had the positive pregnancy test we were hoping for.

I didn't get very bad pregnancy symptoms. I had no morning sickness, just a vague feeling of nausea. The only real symptom I had was feeling tired all the time and needing a nap in the afternoons. The pregnancy was beautiful.

At 13 weeks I saw my baby for the first time. He looked so beautiful.
At 16 weeks I had a small amount of bleeding but even though my midwife warned me that I had a higher chance of miscarriage, I didn't worry too much. Things would be all right.
Later that week I sneezed and felt the first kick. I was awed by it. It was the most amazing feeling I had ever had in my life. There was a baby growing inside of me and I could really feel it!

Everything was going really well until I had the 20-week scan. My baby was fine, great development and a perfect heart. The problem was with me. My cervix was funnelling. The doctor doing the scan said that wasn't a very good thing, but the good news was that my cervix wasn't dilated at all. It was still tightly closed.

My midwife talked to me after the scan. She said she had talked to an OB at the hospital and the OB had recommended against a stitch in my cervix as it could cause me to go into premature labour. My midwife gave me a list of things to watch out for and wished us the best.

That was on the Monday.

For the next 3 days I was consumed by worry, but tried not to let it overwhelm me. I knew my baby was fine, was healthy and there were no problems with him, I just prayed that I could hold him in long enough.

Thursday 1st April I woke up, and walking to the toilet I felt something run down my leg. Sitting on the toilet I saw it was blood and I burst into tears. I knew I was going to lose my baby.
I woke my partner and told him, sobbing. He was instantly awake and hugging me. He drove me to the hospital and we spent the agonising wait in the ED together, holding hands.

After an hour and a half of waiting, testing and scanning, the doctor told us that our baby was fine, still had a heartbeat and there didn't seem to be anything wrong except the bleeding, which can be quite normal in healthy pregnancies. The only thing the doctor didn't do was an internal exam and if he had, he wouldn't have sent me home.

I was discharged and went home feeling slightly relieved. Everything was all right, right? A cup of hot chocolate later and I felt the need to pee. In the toilet I could feel something not right and feeling around, I found the amniotic sac starting to bulge out of me. Back up the hospital we went, half an hour after being discharged.

At the hospital I was seen by an OB/GYN and when she examined me she saw instantly that there was no hope. I was too far dilated and the sac was bulging out too far. She told me how sorry she was and I burst out crying. It was too much for me to take.

I was admitted to a ward and, thinking back on it, I could quite possibly have pushed my baby out then without much trouble. I certainly felt like pushing a few times.
By the time I was transferred to the ward I had contacted most of my family and let them know what was going on.

Early afternoon I was finally transferred up to the ward and settled into my room. At this point I was barely getting mild cramps, without induction.
The hours passed and the cramps grew stronger and I sat and cried, and lay there with my partner and we talked, and we held each other and we coped. Every once in a while my baby would give a kick and remind me that he was still there, still alive.

I felt so drained by the whole day I had had, and yet I felt I couldn't go to sleep for fear of something happening without me being awake enough to notice. I finally got some sleep from 5pm to 6:30 pm and I slept again from 10pm until 1am.

At about 3am the cramps were getting hard for me to handle so I finally accepted pain relief. The Severadol helped with the pain and calmed down the contractions some so I was more comfortable. Unable to sleep, my partner and I talked. We both decided that rather than delaying the inevitable, we should try and get things moving a little faster, because the longer I spent in the hospital, the harder it was for me to cope.

6am my partner and I dozed off again and at 8am we awoke. I asked my nurse if there was anything I could be given to speed things up so she talked to a doctor, who talked to her superior, who came and visited. I had only one question for the doctor. Because overnight there had been no change except for a slight increase in pain, I asked the doctor if there was any chance that I could remain in exactly the same condition for another 5 weeks until my baby would be viable. The doctor would not answer the question, so I asked it several more times and he eventually came out with "Miscarriage is just natures quality control"
That comment really hurt me, as I knew there was nothing wrong with my baby, my cervix just wasn't up to the job of holding my baby in.

The other doctor examined me and agreed with the doctor in ED, there was nothing that could be done to prevent my baby from coming. I asked what my options were and I was told I could either wait for things to happen naturally, or I could be given a medication to help my uterus expel the baby.

The decision was hard, my baby was still alive and I had to decide whether to possibly take days longer to deliver naturally, or have the medication and speed things up so I could go home and be comforted by my family sooner. The decision was complicated by my nana asking me not to give up hope.

I knew that if I spent too much longer waiting for things to happen by themselves I would hurt myself more than if I concluded things quickly so I could begin the grieving process.

At 12:30pm on the 2nd of April 2010, I requested that I have the medication to speed up the birth of my son. At 1pm I was given the first dose of the medication. At 3:30pm I was given a second dose of the medication and at 4:30pm I gave birth to my son. I watched his head emerge, still with the membranes intact. I looked down and saw his face and started crying. I was sobbing out my loss. The first thing I said was "I feel so empty"

My partner cut the umbilical cord and we held our son in our hands and shared a moment of absolute loss. My mum and my nana arrived while I was holding my baby in my hands silently weeping, tears dripping onto my sons tiny, beautifully defined legs. Slowly I bathed my son and examined his little body. His heart was still beating, so it makes me happy that in his last minutes he knew that he was loved and cared for.

We named our son Antony James. He was 408 grams and 28cm long. We dressed him in a tiny little gown, booties and a little woollen hat. He was perfect in every way.

Approximately an hour after he was born, my son, Antony James, died, surrounded by loving family.

We didn't have a formal funeral. Antony was cremated and on the day my partner and I picked up his ashes, we mourned his passing with family, placed him in his wooden ashes box and set him on the shelf. Every day I look at his box, and the picture of him beside it and remember my little boy who was too good for this world.

By Lisa


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