I still remember the nurses words to me as she wheeled me out of the hospital into the dark of the night to embark on my new journey of healing, of starting over. It was September 23, 2008. I had just miscarried my Bella, I was 12 weeks pregnant. Carless and I had decided to try again one year after we lost Caelyn to SLOS/Stillbirth June 27, 2007. We were happy to find out we were expecting in July of 2008. There is always the possibility that we would have another baby with SLOS, but the odds were with us, our hopes were high and we had great Faith in God that this was the road we were supposed to take. It was a hard road, but it was our road, our journey through life... our journey to happiness.
We decided to do the CVS at 11 wks along to test for SLOS. It is an invasive procedure, one that I don't ever want to do again. A sample of my placenta was taken to test for SLOS along with various other abnormalities. There is a slightly higher % of miscarry than that of an amniocentesis. I lay on the examining table watching the ultrasound of my baby, praying for her the entire time. I believe she is beautiful and healthy, but I am scared for her. I ask the doctor to measure her Nuchal Fold. If the skin on the back of her neck is too thick, it could indicate heart problems. He did not do the test, giving some reason about the CVS giving us a more accurate account of our baby's condition. I was not convinced. I saw her neck and thought it was "thick", although I am a lay person and did not know what to look for...so I brushed it off as paranoia.
The procedure took forever, it was uncomfortable, scary and they took more placenta than I had expected. Now it was a waiting game. The following Monday is a day I will never forget, but a day I never want to remember. It was one of the hardest moments of my life. I felt like we had a "plan A" and there wasn't a "plan B"...all of our eggs were in this basket, so to speak. I was laying in bed on Monday morning when I got the call. It was R, my genetic counselor. Not only has R been a wonderful geneticist, but a loving friend through our ordeal. I remember her words, "It's not good" and at that moment I fell apart, everything just spun out of control and my whole world had fallen apart. I was like egg shell that had been put back together slowing and carefully, only to be shattered all over again...healing wounds now torn open. How could I survive this again, how could I go on?
My mom and Carless both rushed to be with me. My doctor made room in her busy schedule to see us in the afternoon to discuss our "options". None of the options are good. I didn't want to have anything to do with the "options". Option #1. Continue on with the pregnancy like with did with Caelyn, only to have another still born and bury another baby. Option #2. End the pregnancy. Both options suck! We didn't have to make any decisions. Our Heavenly Father knew what we needed, our precious Bella's heart had stopped beating somewhere between Sept 17 and the 22, after the CVS. Her condition was just too complicated, her little heart couldn't handle to stress involved in the CVS procedure. I often wonder if we had not gone through the procedure would she have made it full term like Caelyn? We may never know, but I do know that God knew and he never turned his back on us...he was carrying us the entire time.
The following morning, September 23, 2008, we arrived at the hospital to prepare for the delivery of our second baby girl. I basically went into labor and had Bella around 6 or 7pm that Tuesday evening. It was terrible and something I hope to never experience again, but I know it is a possibility every time we conceive.
As the nurse wheeled me down the hall, I felt an overwhelming sadness and emptiness come over me. She said, "You will be back"...those 4 little words gave me the courage, confidence and hope to continue. I am so glad I did.