"We found out that we were going to be parents for the first time on January 15, 2015. My husband was so happy because for the last two months he had been waiting to hear me say “I’m pregnant!!” I remember telling him and watching the biggest smile I had ever seen spread across his face. He was so happy and we started that day making plans for our child’s future.
My pregnancy went really well during my first trimester aside from me having morning sickness which changed to all day sickness. I went to all my check ups and each time we could hear our child’s heartbeat loud and clear. I remember the very first time going to the doctor to confirm that I was in fact pregnant and hearing our child’s heartbeat for the very first time. We both just stared at the screen looking at our child’s heartbeat as well as the picture. That was the best day for us both. We decided on the drive back to Hutchinson from Newton that we would begin to start getting things in place in our apartment for our child’s arrival.
Over the next several weeks we began planning our child’s nursery as well as getting our second bedroom in our apartment ready. We were really looking forward to my 20th week into my pregnancy in order to find out what we were having. We even did a countdown leading up to that doctor’s appointment because we were just that excited. When this day finally came we couldn’t get to the doctor’s office fast enough. Our “second mom” Tina was there with us looking forward to seeing and finding out what her first grandchild would be. This was a special day for us all. When we finally were called back and hooked up to the monitor, a feeling came over me and I knew then that something was wrong.
The lady was rushing through taking pictures and wouldn’t keep the different images of our child on the screen. This caused my heart to beat very fast and I became scared. I then asked her if was everything ok and she stated that my amniotic fluid was low and that she wouldn’t be able to tell us the sex of the baby at that time. This caused us all to become worried and upset that something could be wrong with our child. After moving the instrument around on my stomach she was able to show us our child’s face. I was so happy and worried at the same time because I could tell that something was wrong. Once she was done taking pictures she sent us to our doctor’s office for him to talk to us about the sonogram findings.
Once inside the doctor’s office I just zoned out into my own world because I was so worried that something could be wrong. I remember Tina telling us that whatever the outcome may be she will be here for us every step of the way loving her grandchild and encouraging us to think positive. Once the doctor came in he informed us that he was very concerned about out unborn child due to the sonogram. He wrote down different diagnoses that he thought our baby could have in order to look them up and understand what was going on. He went on to state that he wanted us to see a high risk pregnancy specialist in Wichita as soon as possible, and that he had already sent him our sonogram pictures and that we should be getting phone call from him sometime the next day. I remember crying in the car all the way back home. Thinking over and over again what did I do to cause this to happen to my child. Once we were home me and my husband prayed asking God for the strength to get through this, and that He wrap his arms around our unborn child. That following day I received a phone call from the high risk specialist in Wichita who informed me that our child had non-immune hydrops. He went on to state that there was fluid under our child’s skin, chest, and abdomen area. He also informed us that there was a growth on our child’s neck and that he couldn’t see our child’s lungs or kidneys at that time.
He also informed us that we needed to prepare ourselves because the outcome could be a very long road ahead for our child once they were born, or that his/her heart would stop beating before birth. He wanted us to come in a soon a possible because he wanted to do an exanimation and another detail sonogram the following week. After ending the call I immediately called my husband to inform him of what the doctor found and that he wanted to see us the following week all while crying on the phone. He told me to stay strong and to remember that God is going to get us through this and that he would be home as soon as possible. After ending the call with him, I remember breaking down crying because I didn’t know what the outcome would be for our child, praying to God that He didn’t take him/her away from us but instead helping our child to overcome these challenges and bless us all with a wonderful outcome.
To say that the days leading up to our doctor’s appointment were the hardest is an understatement. I remember crying each day and not sleeping at night. Each night we would pray an extra prayer for our unborn child to be blessed and to not have to suffer. We put it in the Lord’s hands and knew that He would in fact bless us with the best outcome for our child. I will never forget that day before my appointment thinking that something was different about my body but not really knowing what it could be.
When the day came of our appointment, we were both nervous and scared of what the outcome may be. We took the long ride from Hutchinson to Wichita praying for a good outcome for our child. Once we made it to the doctor’s office we were greeted by Tina who was just as worried as we were. Sitting in that waiting room I was shaking and more scared than I have ever been in my life. Once we were inside the sonogram room the nurse started to take pictures inside the womb. While looking at the screen I could tell that something wasn’t right because all that could be seem was a black screen with a line going down the middle. Once the nurse told me that she was going to get the doctor I started to shake. Once the doctor arrived he went over the sonogram finding from the previous one that was took in Newton. He then went on to explain to us that what we were seeing on the screen was our child’s brain and that at this point it was covered with fluid and that I didn’t have any amniotic fluid around our child.
Then the worse news ever: “I’m also sorry to inform you that your child’s heart has stopped.” From looking at the screen it was like all the amniotic fluid just went inside of our child. Hearing this caused me to just break down. Tina and Ben both began to tell me that God knew what was best and that she is in a better place and comforted me through this terrible loss. I agreed with everything that they said but it was hard to deal with the fact that just weeks before I was waiting to find out what we were having, and getting things ready for our child to arrive then out of know where to find out I was having complication during the pregnancy that caused my child heart to stop all within a week was too much. I believe at this point I just went numb to everything that was going on around me. I didn’t really want to talk to anyone or be around anyone at that point. Once the doctor had given us time to deal with the news that he had just shared with us, I was then informed that at that point in my pregnancy that I was having a stillbirth and not a miscarriage. I was then informed that I would have to go to Newton to discuss with my doctor how I would be delivering our baby. I kept saying over and over God help me through this, please give me strength.
Once back in Newton my doctor informed me that he would be putting me in labor that following morning, and to come back prepared to stay overnight. To say I was heartbroken is an understatement. Once we made it back home I just went to bed holding my stomach crying and praying for the strength to get through these next couple days. Our family and friends would come to check and see how I was doing but at that point I didn’t want to talk to anyone. That next morning while checking into the hospital I remember going through the motions trying to be strong and not break down crying. I kept telling myself that my child is in a better place. Once the doctor came in and started the labor induction process I became nervous all the while thinking that this was all a dream and that I would be waking up soon. I was told by the doctor that I should be going into labor that night which caused me to break down because I was only 22 weeks and too soon for me to be having my baby. Ben, Tina, and my friends Rachel and Cheryl came to the hospital to keep me company through that process which made me very happy because just having them all there gave me the strength I needed to get through this hard time.
The doctor would come in every few hours to give me the medicine to go into labor but the morning changed to noon, then into the afternoon with me showing no signs of going into labor. I did start to feel labor pains and was given pain medicine through my IV but nothing else happened. Around 9pm the doctor stated that he had to stop giving me the medicine because he didn’t want to give me too much as well as wanting my body to have time to let the medicine that he has already given me to work. He went on to state he thought that I would be going into labor by now and that I am the first lady that this procedure had not cause to go into labor, but that early the next morning the nurse would wake me in order for us to start this process over again. I was happy to be given a break because I was tired of the pain and mental exhaustion as well. I remember telling my husband that I was sorry that I couldn’t give him his first born child and him telling me that I didn’t do anything more and to stop being hard on myself. He told me that he loved me and that no matter what our child is in a better place.
That next morning I was awake to start the labor induction process again but after the first few hours after my doctor gave me the medicine I still showed no side of going into labor. He did start what would be the next step which was to put a balloon in my cervix to help me start to dilate as well as still give me the medicine to induce my labor. The pain from this process was so bad that I had to be given an epidural. This caused me to break down crying because I was in so much pain and mentally it was breaking me down. After a while I started to get really cold and no matter how much cover was put on me, I just couldn’t it warm up. I think this caused the nurses to worry because they started to take my temperature. After two different nurses took my temperature two different ways and it coming out to 101.4, I was then informed by the doctor that I was developing an infection which was causing my temperature to go up. He went on to state that he would be giving me antibiotics through my IV as well as having an ambulance take me from Newton to Wichita in order for me to be rushed into surgery to have a D&E.
I then became worried and scared because I didn’t know what the outcome would be. While being transported all I did was pray for courage and strength to get through this because I was broken and weak at that point. Once I made it to the hospital everyone was working fast in order to get me ready to go into surgery and lying in the bed just saying to myself everything will be okay, and not to worry. What I loved the most about my doctor is the fact that he knew and understood how I was feeling so he came from Newton to Wichita to oversee the surgery as well as hold my hand until the anesthesia kicked in because my husband was not allowed into the operation room. This meant so much to me because I was nervous and scared and really needed that support. When I woke up I was told that everything went well and that from what the doctors could tell I had a little girl but that we couldn’t be sure until the chromosome testing came back. In my heart I knew that I was carrying a girl so we named her Olivia Grace Allen.
This whole process has caused me to live by my favorite saying which is “If God brings you to it, He will get you through it.” There are times when I just sit up and cry thinking about what my daughter would have looked like or how things would have turned out but I know that she is in a better place. Once the chromosome testing came back we were told that she had Turner Syndrome. This helped in my healing process because for so long I was beating myself up thinking that it was something that I did that caused the complications in my pregnancy. This has been hard but I can honestly say that if it wasn’t for my faith in God, my second mom Tina, and my husband who has been through every step of the way, I know that I would have been in a very dark place. I have a whole new outlook on life now because I know that nothing is promised to no one and that it’s better to just deal with things head on instead of worrying about things that you can’t change."
Olivia Grace, we'll hold you in our hearts until we hold you in Heaven.
Written by Lisa Allen, Olivia's Mommy
Photo credit: Christi Kidd, 9 Sparrow Lane