Our story that has led me to writing this blog, begins with my husband and myself with our two beautiful boys and the wish to complete our family with a third child!
My first pregnancy was easy up until 32weeks. I became pregnant before I even started trying and I was ecstatic and a bit frightened. I followed all the rules.....don't do this and do it this way etc.....I researched every book I could and read every baby magazine with all the advice I could ever want to know. I had a great pregnancy up until the 32nd week when the placenta decided to pack it all in and stop nourishing the baby. At 36weeks for the safety of the baby, we delivered a small but wonderful baby boy. After two weeks in hospital new born unit, we brought him home and began parenthood, learning as we went and laughing and crying through it all. He is a great, energetic, sensitive kid.
When the time came that we felt ready for another baby, we started trying and trying.....then finally after one year, tests and our name on the waiting list at the fertility clinic we discovered that we were pregnant in the midst of the stress of building a house and living at our parents house! The second pregnancy went well and once again I followed the rules....progressed and got to the 34th week when once again I had a placenta failing. Our second baby boy was delivered at 36weeks due to IUGR (Inter-uterine-growth-retardation) and he was healthy so came home straight away. He is a bouncy, fun and challenging little guy.
When we decided it was time again to have another baby there was no real questioning it, we wanted another baby and a sibling for our children. We love kids and although they present many challenges and our two boys were hard work, they were worth every minute of it.
We started trying for our third baby and after 7months, we became pregnant again, telling everyone early on in the pregnancy. Everything was going smoothly.....12 week scan all was healthy with the baby.....at about 16weeks I noticed I was not getting much bigger in the belly and my pregnancy was barely noticeable......
The journey of our third pregnancy turned our world upside down and has left us questioning so many things and reminding ourselves how precious life really is.
When I was 19weeks pregnant the anatomy scan of the baby revealed that there were abnormalities. Further investigations revealed that our tiny baby had stopped growing at 16weeks and there were complications with the brain, heart and bowels. After hearing the devastating news and hardly believing what we were hearing, the decision had to be made about what to do. I was advised to have an amnio to investigate things more closely and this was an ordeal in itself. I could not stop shaking from the news we had just been given and was in total shock, so being asked to lie completely still while a needle draws fluid from your belly was rather tricky! Once this was completed we discussed further plans with the specialist and were sent home to think about what we were going to choose to do.
The next few days were horrific and heart wrenching and I cried the most I ever have without hardly stopping and at times finding it difficult to even breathe. We came to the decision that a medical termination was really our only option and the option that the hospital was advising us to go ahead with also. Our tiny baby was given little chance of living, if the baby carried inside me through until 28 weeks that would be considered a miracle and basically the amount of brain damage the baby would have along with the growth restriction gave our baby a grim life with continuous battles, operations and that was even if the baby survived long after birth. Based on the fact that we were lucky enough to have two healthy boys and that we couldn't turn their lives upside down and also that we did not want to put a child through any type of suffering, we agreed to the medical termination.
It made me sick what we were doing, I felt like a murderer and felt like I was the worst mother. I said sorry over and over again to the baby and could not believe what was about to happen.
Tests came back from the amnio and that was clear so good news as far as not having any chromosomal complications, however the blood test revealed the cause of the damage to the baby, and it was from an infection. A simple bloody infection that I had caught early in the pregnancy, about the tenth week and that presents itself as a cold. I had no immunity to this infection and it passed through the placenta and causing the terrible damage to the baby. The name of the infection is Cytomegalovirus (CMV for short). So we had an answer to the cause but this still did not make things any easier. I searched the web for other families that had been affected by this virus and found many stories with children who either survived and were very handicapped or children who did pass away very early on in life. I felt better knowing slightly that we were making the right decision but still felt awful about what was to come and what I had to do.