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Parents of lost babies and potential of all kinds: come here to share the technicolour, the vividness, the despair, the heart-broken-open, the compassion we learn for others, having been through this mess — and see it reflected back at you, acknowledged and understood.

Thanks to photographer Xin Li and to artist Stephanie Sicore for their respective illustrations and photos.

ttc | pregnancy | birth after loss > Introduction

I was pointed this way by a fellow loss mom. I thought perhaps I should introduce myself and tell my story.

A bit over four years ago I gave birth to my son at 34 weeks via emergency c-section. It had been a problematic pregnancy - high blood pressure, suspected IUGR, random bleeding. The day I had him he stopped moving, and I suddenly started bleeding heavily. They suspected a placental abruption, but during surgery didn't find an abruption. I never got a reason for the bleeding. Tristan was born with an apgar of 4 and low blood oxygen. His placenta was extremely small. After 3 weeks in the NICU (with its own challenges), he came home and has been happy and healthy ever since.

We tried for two years to get pregnant. We had the referral for infertility in our hands when I finally got a positive test. The pregnancy proceeded so much more smoothly than my first. I had borderline high blood pressure again, but I was already considered high risk and was already being seen by OBs rather than midwives (we're expats living in the Netherlands, where midwife care is the norm for most pregnancies). There were no signs of problems this time. I was on low-dose aspirin for the entire pregnancy. Our daughter was growing well, and there was no reason to expect anything was wrong. My treatment plan indicated we'd consider induction at around 40 weeks. I had several scans and growth scans - at 34 weeks she was again growing well, but was transverse. At 36 weeks I went for my regular appointment. They did a scan to see if she had turned (she was now breech), but during the scan they were unable to find a heartbeat. She was gone.

I was induced the next day, 2 February. They warned us it would probably take several days, since I wasn't dilated even a little bit. All told, it took 9 hours from start to finish. I had a breech VBAC, but ended up having to go under general anaesthesia after she was born for a manual placenta removal. She was much smaller than expected or estimated, and her placenta, like her brother's, was much too small. It was my second baby with placental insufficiency, but unfortunately for us there were no signs with her. We named her Eilidh, a Scottish name we liked but wouldn't have given to someone who had to spell/pronounce it all the time. We figured for her it didn't matter.

We have been told we can try again as soon as we'd like, which for us is as soon as possible. We want to give our son a sibling, and we want to complete our family. Any future pregnancy would have a lot more monitoring and would not go past 34 weeks. It sucks that my body apparently doesn't know how to grow placentas, but at least we have a reason. I know a lot of people don't even have that, which must make it even harder.
March 15, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterkiaulune
Hi kiaulune, I am so sorry for your loss, it is so terribly sad that it happens to any baby and their families.
My daughter died a few hours after she was born almost 4 months ago. It is the most difficult thing to get your head round. I miss my beautiful Eleanor every minute.
I am Scottish and so think Eilidh is a fabulous name and definitely spell able and easy to pronounce!
I am sure your daughter was also gorgeous as mine was.
I am also new here but feel a kinship with this place and it feels like a safe haven to express feelings.
Wishing you love and peace
March 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKE
Eilidh's father is also Scottish, which is one of the reasons we liked the name. :) Here in NL and back home for me (the US) it's definitely not an easy name, but I'm glad we got to use it. She was a beautiful little girl - dark hair, which we didn't expect at all. Our son is a little blondie. I'm so sorry for your loss of Eleanor - I love that name too!
March 16, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterkiaulune