I had to go to the L&D floor, and check-in at the same desk we checked-into the night I was in labour with Jack... I walked through those same doors, peering to my left when I pass Pediatrics where Jack was treated (and, I believe, ultimately died). I could see the nurses' station where I stood crying while they worked on resuscitating my little man.
It was just 7 short months ago that my life changed.
Being in that hallway again was hard. It was overwhelming. It was horrible. I cried- a lot.
Finally, I entered into the pediatrician's office, blubbering (just as I intended not to do).
I spoke with the doctor with the intention of finding out what we can do next time to make sure next baby outlives us. Extra tests, ultrasounds, physicals... whatever it takes.
We went through my history, or rather Jack's. We talked about Jack's grunting noises, and established they were perfectly normal newborn grunts, and not a sign he was gasping for breath. We talked about the timeline of the onset of his sepsis... We were told (while at SickKids) he likely contracted his strain of Bacterial Meningitis (E-coli-based) through someone not washing their hands and handling him.. The who/what/when/where/how was always an unknown. But then she told me she had a theory as to what might have happened.
And it's all my fault.
When I was in labour with Jack, after they'd broken my waters they had difficulty keeping track of Jack's heart rate. He had heart rate accelerations as well as decelerations, and they had me lay on my side to ensure they could accurately monitor his heart rate. I did that. They had to insert a heart rate sensor to the top of his head to monitor several times as he kept wiggling his way out of the sensors. It kept detaching. So they tried again, and (apparently) broke the skin on his head. That's our entry-point...
And the virus? Apparently it exists in the vagina. As in, my baby may have gotten sick because of bacteria found in my vagina... And he died several days later because of it.
I don't know what to do now.
The chances of this, are so slim-to-none it's unbelievable. And it's just another theory... Nothing has been proven... And people have these sensors all the time, and everyone has bacteria in "there", so why did this affect my baby? Why us?
And so while I don't really think I'm to blame (because, who knew my vagina was so toxic?), I do feel bad about it. Like what if I'd elected to have a c-section from the get-go (can you even do that?), would he still be alive? I couldn't really have opted to forgo the sensors, because who knows whether that would have resulted in a live baby- they're there for a reason, right? I can't really think about the "what ifs?" for too long, because there's no going back to change anything, no matter how much I wish it were so. Oh how much I wish it were...
And at the end of the day, there are no suggestions for what to do next time around with out second McBabe or the ones we hope will follow. It's such a fluke, I'm told, and I'm at no increased risk for this to happen again than any other momma, just because we've experienced it. I can have cultures run on baby when we have our next one... extra exams, extra appointments should I wish for it. I was told there was little chance of anyone turning down any requests we may have considering the anxiety which will surround the birth of our next baby.
I will be having a c-section, no more attempted vaginal births for this girl. Not even a question in my mind...
It's not like having a boat load of new tests would guarantee anything. Nothing will, but I wish I had something...
Blech, I really don't know whether I feel better, or worse, having had this appointment. If there had been many suggestions, I would feel like I failed Jack in not asking for them to have been run before he arrived... But there's nothing left to "fix", either, and that leaves me kind of helpless.
I hate that.