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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 > velamentous cord

I can't believe I'm sitting here writing this as I'm not one to do something like this. I have heard this will bring me comfort and help ease the pain but I'm not convinced.

We lost our sweet baby boy 7 weeks ago. There were complications during the delivery of our Gabriel. It was called velamentous cord. I went into labor with an emergency c-section at almost 39 weeks and he was immediately put on life support. The pediatrician told us he has 0% chance of survival because he was without oxygen for far too long resulting in brain damage. We were trying to be optimistic at first with all the prayers but we finally realized after a while that our prayers weren't going to be answered. I had a normal pregnancy up until 31 weeks when I started having some heavy bleeding. I would stand up and literally blood would just gush out. I went to the hospital right away and they told me this is normal. The doctor told me I had preterm labor and gave me a shot a betamethasone and everything would be okay. Fast forward 3 weeks later and it happened again. The doctor on call (it was a weekend) told me I have a placenta abruption but NOT to worry because when they deliver the baby everything will be okay and taken care of then. He also told me my bleeding was normal.

My doctor told me velamentous cord is rare and it won't happen again. I'm so disgusted with my doctor that I didn't even go to my 6 week postpartum checkup. How did he not know? Everywhere I read says its preventable. Doctors catch it at around 20 weeks and deliver c-section around 35 weeks and everything turns out great. It's my understanding that this isn't detected on an transvaginal ultrasound but rather a Doppler ultrasound (apparently my doctor doesn't understand what this even is) least that is what google has been telling me. It makes me sick to my stomach that I didn't get another opinion. I loathe myself. I should have! What's wrong with me?! I could tell you that I blame the doctor for this but mostly I blame myself. My Gabriel was healthy after all! He would be here if I would have gone and received another opinion. This is something I will have to live with for the rest of my life. Sorry for those reading this and it being so long. I live literally in the middle of nowhere so I have no one to talk to. Thank you for listening to the ones who have read.
June 14, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAdrianna
Sending my love to you, Adrianna. I'm so sorry for the loss of your precious son. We lost our son, at term, to a true knot in the umbilical cord. I too listened to my doctors' advice (That all was fine/normal in spite of questions I had) and questioned what I could have done differently. Your anger is righteous - they can detect so much with the cord if they look, but that's not "the standard of care". Be gentle with yourself. You didn't do anything wrong. I think the what-ifs are a normal part of this heartbreaking process, so I won't try to talk you out of them. Just know you are not alone and you will eventually make peace with this in your own way and time. You loved your baby and this was not your fault. Holding you in my thoughts -
June 15, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJ
I think everything you are feeling is perfectly normal and expected. I went into preterm labor and trusted the doctors when they told me to drink water and rest. The following day I was back at the hospital and dilated and was sent to a hospital that handled high risk cases. They felt that if I’d gone to them originally, they could’ve stopped by labor, but by the time I got there, it was too late.

Two years later and I still resent my doctor for not taking me seriously, but what can we do but trust the professionals?
June 26, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEmily A
I am so sorry for your loss and for the guilt that you are feeling. I just want to be clear- it is not your fault. Not at all. It is not your fault.
I am a midwife and my son died in July, just after labor. I had HELLP syndrome. I remember saying to my midwife a few weeks before the birth "I cannot be my own midwife, I have to trust someone, so I am trusting you." I had a huge fear of hypertensive disorders. She kept telling me to relax. I didn´t have clinical signs in initial testing but I felt "off". She convinced me that it was just paranoia and that it happens a lot with fellow clinicians. I believed her.
Once home from my very long hospital stay in ICU, I spent every night the first 3 months losing sleep trying to identify the moment I could have still prevented it. I blamed myself for the bad choice in midwife, for not listening to myself, for not having paid more attentions to signs of danger during the birth. (as though I could have managed my own birth). Honestly, I still do this a lot of nights.
You can´t blame yourself. You just can´t. It is normal to trust your clinician and you can´t hold yourself responsible for not contradicting them. Maybe the pain and the self-hate is part of the process, but I hope you won´t torture yourself.
November 28, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAnna Maria