Sunday, February 3, 2013

Soooo....what happened?

I figure there are people wondering what happened to Landyn.

The short version.
We don't know. We won't ever know anything for sure.

I'm sure that brings up questions of, "Well, why not? Especially these days with all the medical technology and knowledge. I mean, people don't just die for no reason!"  When she was born we were offered several options of testing. I decided to go ahead and send out the placenta and umbilical cord for testing. I decided against genetic testing and an autopsy. I knew from other's experiences that even these tests might not show anything conclusive and I was not comfortable with the idea. She was just so tiny, I didn't want anyone taking "just a sample of tissue".  From all appearances she was perfect. No knots in the cord. No visible placental issues. She, herself, was perfectly formed.  The pathology report done on the placenta and cord did show something, but no one knows quite what. It  showed signs of infection, but it is not unusual for infection to develop when that length of time goes by between the baby dying and birth. The placenta also showed signs of fragmentation, this could mean some separating of the placenta from the uterus, which certainly could cause death, or this once again could just be due to passing time.  There also was possible signs of a blood clot, which is why I was on blood thinners for several weeks and still take a low dose aspirin every day. So, really, even though the test results show something it's hard to know when exactly these things happened. Did one of these things cause her death or did they result from it?  Also, given the fact that I've had 4 normal, healthy babies this points more towards "one of those things".

So, that's the dr. tested side. Now for my theories.

What happened, the long version.

Being pregnant again so soon after losing Landyn has had one definite advantage. I can compare.  With Landyn I was having horrible headaches, so bad I was pushing the recommended daily doses of tylenol and still not feeling any better. I also was having very bad leg pains, mostly in my shins.  I actually thought this was my Lyme disease flaring up due to stress on my immune system from being pregnant. This seemed a logical explanation, but I remember thinking that my head hurt in a different spot and it was more my joints then actual bones with the lyme. I also can't believe the difference in movement between Landyn and Ian. I felt Landyn move early, at about 12 1/2 weeks. Just flutters, really, but I knew they were her. I can only think of 2, maybe 3, times I definitely felt her after that and that was in the earlier weeks too. I didn't really think too much of it until later weeks. That is pretty early to feel movement and when they are that small it's more of a wiggly sensation then actual kicking. Plus, it's hard to tell whether it's baby or just digestion and depending on if they are kicking in or out you can feel it more or less. Then, as the weeks went on I just never missed what I never had. Ian, on the other hand, I felt move for sure by 13 weeks and with the exception of a couple days here and there I feel him move several times a day. It really was eye opening to me, and very hard too, to feel his tiny kicks at 16 weeks, the same week Landyn died at. It really showed me how much was not right for her pregnancy. Now, that I've compared the two I really think she was sick...WE were sick.  Between the pain, headaches, and her lack of movement I can see now that something really was not right.  I'll never know for sure what we had, but it really doesn't take much to hurt them. Different mild infections and seemingly insignificant sicknesses for us can be super dangerous to a developing baby. Sometimes I wonder if I gave her something, she gave me something, or if we both just had it....but it was something. I don't feel guilt, I mean how could I possible put together a couple of "normal" things like leg pain and headaches and convince a dr my baby was in danger. But, I do just feel sad over the whole thing. I wonder if she felt badly or had pain. I hate that she was so tiny and had to go through something that eventually killed her. In some ways answers don't matter, they won't bring her back. On the other hand, how can I protect Ian from this unknown thing if I have no idea what it is!?  Even though this pregnancy has been super hard, I analyze every twinge, I know in my heart it's different.  From early on with Landyn I had this feeling, a feeling of something not being right. Really, more a feeling of something bad coming. At one point I wondered if we would be given a baby that wasn't "perfect".  As the weeks went on the bad feeling got stronger. I never seriously considered my baby would die, but I think until you've gone through something like that it's normal to NOT think that way. I felt it closing in on me, I knew, especially in those last weeks that something was horribly wrong. I cried the morning of my ultrasound, before I even knew, because I knew we would be given some kind of bad news that day. My body KNEW.  Landyn's birth weight was 2 1/2 ounces, Ian's estimated weight by ultrasound at the same gestational week was 5 ounces. I asked the dr about this and she said over time a baby that has died will sort of shrink. But, as I think on it more, to lose half your body weight would make you look shrunk...at least I would think. She didn't, she looked perfect. Makes me wonder if maybe she wasn't growing quite right in the those last few weeks. Once again, we'll never know.

And still, even with all  my comparing and wondering, I can't say for sure why she died. There is just no way to prove anything. So, the weeks are long with this pregnancy, the time between kicks sometimes very agonizing. I feel there is no safe zone. I won't truly breathe that sigh of relief until I'm handed a screaming baby. Until then, I do my best to trust, love them both, and miss her more then I can even say.

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