It is with great sadness we announce the birth and death of our baby Declan around noon yesterday at 13 weeks gestation. There are no words to express what I'm feeling now. Mostly shock and disbelief. This has been such a hard pregnancy from the very beginning with the subchorionic hematoma, the restricted activity, and most recently the ovarian cysts. But as hard as it was for me, I took comfort knowing that at every ultrasound (5 or 6) and as recently as Tuesday, baby looked great. Perfect heartbeat, very active. No signs of trouble.
Having had two losses before, I knew I was high risk to lose this one, too. Every day when I woke up still pregnant, I thanked God I had This Day to be his mother. And when things were scary, I took extra care to cherish the moments I did have. But as things got further along and baby looked great throughout, I was starting to look forward to the future.
[Medical details warning for the squeamish]
I started feeling sick Friday. I thought I had a stomach bug. At no point did it cross my mind there was anything more serious going on. And then on Saturday my water suddenly broke and less than a minute later I was holding him in my hand thinking what just happened? It can't be what it looks like, because he was fine on Tuesday. Thankfully, Papa Runner hadn't left for his errands yet (and the kids were at my parents). He called 911, and we spent the afternoon in the ER waiting for the placenta to come.
I've heard horror stories about how some women are treated during a miscarriage, but I had wonderful care. From the ambulance crew to the hospital staff, everyone showed utmost concern and compassion. My nurse Courtney was particularly wonderful, making sure I had as much time as I needed to say goodbye. She even arranged towels around him so we could take a few pictures.
When it first happened, I was afraid I had mistaken labor for a stomach bug, as some of the same symptoms happen in labor. But I'm actually still sick. Now I wonder if I have an infection that triggered the miscarriage. Or if one or both cysts ruptured and released enough toxins to both make me sick and cause the miscarriage. Or it's possible they're completely unrelated and coincidental. The baby and placenta were sent to pathology to be examined, so we may get some answers, but I know in many cases they don't ever find a cause.
We chose the name Declan because it means "full of goodness". It was already on our short list because it fits well with our other kids' names.The kids didn't say much when we first told them, but they all had some questions last night. Grief for kids can be so different from adults, and I'm sure they will have many more questions in the days and weeks to come.