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Welcome to the Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss Directory. This blog is maintained by volunteers to act like a "telephone book" for blogs dealing with the loss of a baby. It is open to anyone who has ever lost a baby in any way - we do not discriminate by age of your baby or circumstance of your loss. If you think you belong here, then we think you belong here.

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Though there could be literally thousands of categories of loss, we have created 4 broad categories: before 20 weeks, after 20 weeks, after birth, and medical termination. Please note that most blogs dealing with extreme prematurity are listed in the "after birth" category even though the gestational age might suggest a different category.

As a warning to those feeling particularly fragile, many of the blogs listed here discuss living children or subsequent pregnancies. In the sidebar links, those blogs are usually marked with an asterisk(*). However, the circumstances of individual bloggers will change, and sometimes the listings do not get updated. It is possible to encounter pictures of living children or pregnant bellies on the blogs listed here.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

The benefit of hindsight

This post is for those whose babies died silently in utero before the onset of labour.

As I have read blogs of bereaved parents over the last year, I have come across several posts which relate observations which only became clear with the 20:20 vision of hindsight. I thought it might be helpful and potentially even save a life to gather those together in one place. I will relate my own hindsight observations here. If you would like to, please post yours in the comments.

My son died in utero at 40 weeks + 4 days, 3 days after a full check-up with heart rate monitoring and ultrasound.

  • In the last week of my pregnancy, I awoke pretty regularly three times a night - at 1am, 3am and 5am. I remember sleeping well on one of the last nights. It's hard for me to recall which one. But I remember waking up and thinking, "that's good, I needed a good night's sleep". With hindsight I think it was a very bad sign and that my son was already in severe trouble.
  • Again I don't remember which day exactly this was. But I had a funny "feeling" for about 15 minutes. My legs went suddenly weak and I felt a bit flu-ey. I even mentioned it to my mother who was there. But the feeling passed by and I didn't think it important. Now I wonder whether that was a change in blood circulation or something like that.
  • I wasn't doing kick counts. But with hindsight, I strongly feel that my baby's movements slowed down significantly in the last day. Since I wasn't monitoring them, I didn't really notice until it was too late.
We never found out why my son died. It's possible that taking these observations as alarm signals might have saved him. It's possible that it would have made no difference and he would have died anyway. But you all know that you would take that possibility of changing the world around in an instant, no matter how slim.

8 comments:

Megan said...

Hindsight sucks, doesn't it.
I slept through the night for the first time in months the night before my baby was born still at 39w4d.
Two days before, I called the MW because I was worried she was moving less. The MW came and listed to the heart beat – which was fine that day and the next day at my regular appointment – but should have sent me for a NST.
I will definitely do kick counts if I ever manage to get to that stage of pregnancy again.

Jenny said...

My son Mattew died 3 wks before his due date.

I did kick counts faithfully every night at the same time. Kicks were fine the night before he died. Went to do kicks the next night and there were none. There was no warning my baby was going to die. Kick counts did not save Matthew. Cause of death was the cord wrapped around his neck tightly.

Monica said...

We lost Jimmy at three days past his due date after hearing his lovely heartbeat only two days before. I wish I had done kick counts, or had my doctor induce early since he had a known umbilical cord defect. This kinda thing keeps me up hours at night. I wish it didn't.

Megan said...

Sorry to post again - I can't stop thinking about it. When the MW listened to the heartbeat, I didn't feel reassured. I was scared but I chalked it up to normal jitters - and the MW didn't seem worried. It sounds so naive to me now that I'm a compulsive reader of medical journal articles about fetal-maternal hemorrhage, but I didn't even know what a non-stress test was. If the MW had explained that it was simply having a fetal monitor strapped to my belly, I would have gone. And maybe they would have heard a sinusoidal heart rhythm and done and emergency c-section. And maybe Georgia would be with me...

Julia said...

I did kick counts every night. The night before he died, my son did his kicks in record time. The next morning I had a doctor's appointment, and his heart beat was fine, although he was not moving much or at all. I thought he was tired from the acrobatics of the night before. Sometime that day he died. He pulled shut the two true knots he had on his cord, and autopsy showed acute oxygen loss. But the autopsy also showed bacteria-- group B strep-- and the pathologist thinks that he might have been going septic, and thus was moving a lot the night before and then pulled his knots. We won't know, but my OB said that I will have 2-3 NSTs and an ultrasound each week towards the end of my next pregnancy, and that every time he will find GBS, he will give me antibiotics.

kari said...

I was on a tour of the maternity ward, two days before my scheduled c-section, when I had a sharp, prolonged pain in my stomach. I didn't say a word to the tour guide or nurses. I thought it was nothing. It went away. The next morning, I went in for an ultrasound to check my daughter's position and there was no heartbeat. I can't remember the last time she moved. I'm convinced if I had said something about that pain, she would be alive today.

Michelle said...

The thing about kick counts - it didn't work for me, either. We were having twins - very VERY active twins. Even after we had an u/s & found out Lydia had died, I could still feel her move, every time her sister moved.

We have no explanations why she died. Nothing. Everything looked normal & as it should be. We'll never know, just as we weren't able to do anything to try to save her.

Olive Lucy Kawecki said...

My name is Christine I lost my daughter during labor on Aug, 27, 2007.
I had gone into L&D the night before because i had been having contractions for most of the day but i was only dilated 2cm and effaced 50% so they sent me home after a few hours. when we went to the hospital that evening, at that time everything was perfect, my heart rate the baby's, everything- I was progressing. I wasn't just yet far enough along to stay so they sent me home. I returned home around 10:30 pm.
Through the night I continued to have contractions and time them. I felt the baby move at regular intervals the last 2 that i remember being 4:30 and 5 am. I labored at home until 5:45 am when we got ready to return to the hospital, bag, and baby things in tow we left our home ready to go have our baby.
We arrived to the hospital L& D at about 6:30 am and at that time they were no longer able to find a heart beat. More and more Doctors tried to find it and soon our room was filled with so many that we knew that things had gone very wrong. We were told that at some time during the night our precious baby's heart had stopped beating. There is no explanation that could be found at that time.
we named her Olive Lucy Kawecki.

I was lucky enough to give birth to a beautiful and perfect child that unfortunately was not breathing nor had a heart beat. she did however change my world and continues to do so.

Hindsight is always 20/20 but in my case there was no indication that something was wrong. NOTHING.

Will i be even more attentive and head over to L&D if i am concerned, you bet. do i think i missed something absolutely not. I think something really crappy happened that was beyond my control.