Saturday, October 17, 2009

From Mourning to Dancing: Part V

(apologies in advance for the funky paragraph spacing)

From Mourning to Dancing: Part IV

Sept 16th, 2005

We  met with an obstetrician this week to discuss the option of early induction around 37 weeks.  We feel that this will give us the best chance to meet Nathaniel alive, while also making it possible for our families to make the necessary arrangements to be with us. 

To be honest, the meeting was quite frustrating. Beyond frustrating, actually. The doctor didn’t have a problem with my being induced early, but when we started discussing the option/possibility of needing a c-section, she was less in agreement with us. Basically, we want the whole labor and delivery treated like a normal pregnancy -like any other pregnancy- up to and including them performing a c-section if Nathaniel is showing signs of distress. But from their point of view, they figure there’s no point putting the mother at risk (since it IS major surgery) when the baby isn’t going to live anyways. They see only risks without benefit. For us, the benefit of having even a few minutes with Nathaniel would be worth the risk!

What really upset me was the doctor listing risk after risk AFTER RISK associated with a c-section. Not only that, but she made some comment about, "What would happen to your other little boy at home if something were to go wrong?" 

What am I supposed to say to that??!

If it were a healthy pregnancy, but the baby was, say, breech, she'd be playing down the risks and assuring us that they do thousands of c-sections each year! She certainly wouldn't be trying to scare/guilt me out of it. 

We really just need for the doctors to be understanding and helpful in making the best out of this situation, and that they’d understand and respect our wishes. After going back and forth for quite awhile, I think we finally got through to her. At least I hope so...

The problem is that she’s one of about eleven or twelve obstetricians who are on call at the hospital. So our efforts to make her see our side may all have been in vain if she's not the one on call that night. I have this fear of being on the table in the delivery room, with Nathaniel’s heart rate dropping, having to argue and plead for some strange doctor to give our little boy the same chance they would give any other boy.

Our greatest hope and prayer and the thing that keeps me up crying long into the night is that we be given some time (any time!) with Nathaniel to hold him, meet him, and tell him how loved he is. The obstetrician reminded us several times how the majority of babies with Trisomy 18 undergo “fetal demise” (which was certainly not news to us, nor was it helpful!), and we just really don’t want that to be the case – especially after carrying him for this long.

* * * * * * * * * *

We’ve just found out that Peter’s parents (who are missionaries in Africa) will be able to be in town from Oct 17th til the end of the month. As long as I don’t go into labor early (which is a real risk with my amniotic fluid levels continuing to increase), we plan on my being induced around Oct 18th or 19th so that they’ll be able to be with us and meet Nathaniel. We’re so thankful that it’s going to work out for them to be here! Being able to somewhat schedule things will mean that my family will be able to be here from Regina too. What a gift.

* * * * * * * * * *

Peter and I are currently trying to decide where we want to have Nathaniel buried. We're in Calgary right now, but know that it is a temporary situation while Peter is in school. But Regina is so far away. Not having done this before, we don't really know how much -or even if!- we're going to want to visit the grave site. Burying him in Regina would make frequent visits impossible. However, we know we won't be living in Calgary forever and I get ill at the thought of flying away for the last time and knowing that he's being left behind. Then I remind myself that it won't be him. Are we even going to want to visit a place that will do nothing but make us think of his little decaying body lying in the cold ground? Will we find comfort there?

We just don't know.


* * * * * * * * * *

After finishing up the last few hours I need in order to be eligible for maternity benefits (thanks to crossing the picket lines at Telus -I know, I'm a scab... my apologies for having things on my mind other than Union squabbles- and thanks to Peter's sister, Sara, being in town to spoil babysit Liam ), I am now off work and able to enjoy these last few weeks of being pregnant, trying to make things as fun and normal as possible for Liam. 

Speaking of which, we’re potty training right now BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE ENOUGH ON MY PLATE. Actually he’s doing great and it’s turning out to be much easier than I thought it would be. We'll see what happens when his life gets flipped upside down...

Liam is such a joy for Peter and me through all this. He pointed at my stomach the other day and said, “Too, TOO big Mummy”. He refers to my stomach as the “BIG tummy” and his own as the “Little tummy”. How can we not smile when around him? Nothing brings me out of the depths of my grief more quickly than his shining face.

* * * * * * * * * *

Looking back, it’s hard to believe that the summer is basically over and Nathaniel will be here in less than a month. I’m sure these last four weeks will go by much faster than I’d really like. While part of me is relieved by the thought of not being pregnant anymore (and being able to get off the couch without help!), it’s also bitter sweet to think that this will all be over soon. 

Most births are a beginning, but this story will end before it really starts.


  1. This was so agonizingly sad just to read - I can't imagine having gone through it. Your strength and your faith shine through, though. Beautifully written and achingly sad.

  2. Amy, I remember this time very much and also know no one knows how hard this was for you and Peter, except you two. I also see the wonderful strength of God shinning through your many blogs and how you treasure all your family. Also, want to say I love your new hair and all the pictures!!!
    Love ya, A. Dianne

  3. I know I have said this before Amy, but you are so brave to share your experience in such detail. Thank You.

  4. So far i have just read this post but I wanted to say how very sorry I am. You are extremly brave and I can't imagine how you must be feeling. I'm sorry the doctor isn't treating this like any other pregnancy, you deserve better than that!

  5. Dear sweet Amy, these posts are such a beautiful tribute to Nathaniel, and to your family. Thinking of you, and of Nathaniel, today...

  6. And, by the way? I can't imagine that Nathaniel would feel disappointed that you've missed his birthday milestone with these posts. In fact, your posts are so full of love and inspiration that I'm sure he'd be proud of his mom no matter how long it took to get the posts out into the world. (((((hugs))))

  7. thank you for your comment on my post about my loss. i have a friend who had a baby with trisomy 18 shortly before i lost my baby. God blessed them with the baby living through the birth also and she was able to have almost an hour with him. your faith and hope are encouraging - i am now 4 months pregnant and it is hard and scary, but i am just trying to trust God. your boys are so adorable and my boys had those same boots a few years back:)

  8. p.s. i am so amazed by you moms that have to go through the pregnancy knowing you will loose your baby. it was so hard for me but i think the shock of it happening suddenly was easier for me... you are very strong


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