Not All Babies Come Home

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“It is a very sensitive period for us, especially with my older sister passing away from malaria when she was with child. My mum is really protective and she is on board with my keeping this pregnancy a secret”. TV personality, Osas Ighodaro

“I appreciate everyone’s well wishes, but I am very superstitious,” said singer, Mariah Carey. She didn’t want to announce her twins’ pregnancy back in 2010, because she had suffered a miscarriage two years earlier and didn’t want to jinx this one.

For Osas’ mom, it must have been very painful not only to lose your child but also your grandchild. Worse, the loss was due to a preventable condition, so I can imagine just how paranoid she must have been when Osas got pregnant.

For Mariah Carey, she just exhibited the classic signs that most moms expecting rainbow babies show. It’s not easy not to worry, and that is the honest truth.

From the regular moms who are not celebrities, quite a lot of mothers have had to deal with the loss of a new born due to many reasons.  Like the young lady, Tara, that I recently met through my sister.  She lost her baby at birth.

Even though it was her sister who narrated Tara’s labour experience, tears didn’t stop flowing from her eyes.

Tara was seated on the bed that had her baby’s cot set up by the side, the wardrobe she had bought was filled with pretty little onesies she had lovingly bought for her princess.  The diapers were stacked in a brown basket close by. Tara was ready for baby; baby was ready too, only she didn’t get to bring her daughter home.

It had all started in late December, when she went into labour. Being a first timer, the doctor had, at her last ante natal clinic, urged her to come whenever she started feeling some symptoms which he listed out for her.

She started seeing the signs the doctor had mentioned in the middle of the night, but with the knowledge that she had close to 18 hours of labour ahead of her, she stayed back at home, praying for the break of dawn. Her mom’s presence also calmed her a bit.

The next morning, Tara and almost her entire family went to the hospital, and every single one of them was chased away, except for Tara and her mom. Tara’s husband was sent on some errands, and then told to go to his work and come back later.

That did not go down well with Tara, but there was nothing she could do about it, so she focused on what was happening in her body and how she could breathe her way through the pain.

It was a long wait; the nurses kept doing the pelvic examination and telling her how many centimetres dilated she was.  The numbers weren’t encouraging for the stage of labour she was in.

Finally, the doctor on duty showed up, examined her and decided they needed to do an emergency C-section for the baby’s sake.

Tara’s immediate reaction was, “Doctor, no. I can push.”

With her answer, the doctor tried to convince her by bringing in some of his other colleagues in the hospital, and the verdict was the same, Tara needed an emergency C-section.

At the end of the long wait, Tara was delivered of her baby, but the baby wasn’t breathing. Attempts to resuscitate her failed, and she was declared a still birth.

 

It turns out that as Tara is mourning the loss of her child, she is also dealing with guilt of not agreeing to a c-section immediately it was suggested. She wonders if the difference in timing could have made a difference.

In the mind-space where Tara lives now, nothing much gets through, but as they say, time heals all wounds. Some day, she will be able to forgive herself, pack away the baby paraphernalia that reminds her so much of her loss, and move on. But that time is not now.

For Abiodun, the loss hurt her on a deeper level. From when she was much younger, she had known that conception was going to be a challenge. When she met and fell in love with her husband, she didn’t hide her fertility challenge from him, and he was fine with it. He was also willing to explore the ART options available to them.

They got started with fertility tests and such, before they even got married, and started the procedures right after did get married. It was an emotionally draining journey for a newly wedded couple, but they kept the goal in sight.

Her premature ovarian disorder meant that the quantity and quality of her eggs were lower than a woman of her age.  However, she insisted on using her eggs.  The first few cycles failed.

And then, for one last time, she decided to give it a try. She got about four eggs and all of them fertilitised, two made it to blastocyst stage and they were transferred into her gently.

Implantation happened.

Weeks later, she was able to view her baby on the screen and she was overjoyed. Weeks later, she heard her baby’s heartbeat and it was music to her ears. Truly, she was pregnant.

However, it wasn’t smooth sailing.  One of her many scans revealed that the baby was growing very far down in Abiodun’s uterus and had decided to grow in a place where she would likely grow into Abiodun’s body, if she hadn’t already. Obviously, it was a very dangerous pregnancy.   The choice was either continue with the pregnancy and put Abiodun at risk, or terminate the pregnancy…and terminate a dream.

Abiodun was willing to put her own life on the line for the sake of the baby, as long as she had assurance the baby would survive. Unfortunately, the doctor couldn’t give her this assurance.

And it was in this state of limbo that she suddenly miscarried, and thus the end of their dream…at least for that baby.

It was also the last time Abiodun would be able to use her eggs. From here on, her only option is donor eggs and that itself is taking some getting used to.

Both Tara and Abiodun carried babies who had lived in their hearts, their bodies…but lost these babies. They didn’t get to bring home these babies they had already created space for in their lives.

Certainly, TTC It is not a road for everyone, and one can only pray that God grants these mommas and many other moms in their shoes, peace over this matter.

Sending lots of babydust your way.

 

 

Join the conversation with any of our TTC and Pregnancy Groups here

Photo credits:

1. https://pbs.twimg.com/

2. Mademoire

3. http://cdn.sheknows.com

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