We became pregnant in April 2012, my first pregnancy – and I had read everything under the sun. I booked my Doula the minute the test was positive. We were so, so giddy.
It wasn’t an easy pregnancy. The nausea was never ending, but our baby was progressing well. I started having more seizures than before. I decided this baby would be an only child. I was very closely followed medically; I waited until we were 4 months along to announce the news – we were cautious but still drunk with joy and love.
The second trimester things got harder. I stopped being able to sleep. I was having 6 seizures a night. But the baby was doing really well – the nurses told me to eat ice cream, to put on some extra weight. We went to the twenty weeks scan and found out we were having a little boy. This was good, as we could not agree on a girls name at ALL.
One day while standing in a shop, I collapsed for no apparent reason. And still, I didn’t think that this was going to go so, so wrong.
I went to the hospital the evening I collapsed – I had a seizure in the waiting room. I had never, ever had a seizure while I was awake. I knew this was very bad and tried to fight the fear. I went to the hospital my care was based out of – the local hospital was at a loss what to do with me. I remember them calling my name, I remember looking at my sister and saying “thank god”. I was irrationally worried the people in the waiting room would give me a flu or cold bug. That was mid August; I woke up in September.
I was awake for a day or so before I asked about the baby (“awake” does not mean alert or fully conscious”) – I was told “the fetus did not survive” and that is when the world stopped spinning, for me. I didn’t remember having thousands of seizures. I didn’t remember being in a medically induced coma, to save my brain. I was not conscious when we learned I was allergic to the medication used and that Thomas’ heartbeat stopped when my vitals were crashing. I delivered him while in the coma. I woke up to a tiny, tiny box of ashes and the most precious pictures, taken by the hospital and my sister. I have no memories of my son. I had no memory of dialysis, pacemakers or fear. I woke up to grief, loss and confusion.
I came out of the hospital in October – having just endured my first October 15th as a bereaved mom. I used a walker and had little energy. PAIL Network set me up with a phone support mom, since I couldn’t walk to get to meetings. For months, I survived day by day, trying to make it through another day without my baby. Knowing if I could survive until Wednesday night, M would call. M understood the horrific path we now walked. M changed my world several times, in our time together. Between my amazing family, counselling and M – we survived.
Pregnancy is a fatal condition for me; it remains to be seen if a child is possible in our future. But there is a beautiful, wonderful baby woven in the fabric of our story and we feel his love often.