Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Doctor's Appointment...

Pinterest
I had an appointment yesterday with a pediatrician at the hospital where Jack was born.  The last time I was there, I was waiting for the ambulance which would take Jack in his isolate to SickKids...

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.



19 comments:

Molly said...

Wow. Not sure what to say to that. For me, it was helpful to know what happened even tho i technically caused it. Had i not slept on my left side that night, the cord would not have slipped underneath him and become compressed. I felt terrible for a while and still do but ive come to terms with the fact that there was no way to know. Had i known, of course things would be different. Its hard. But i think you'll end up being thankful to know.

Brooke said...

Oh my word. To both you and Molly. Words like "fault" and "blame" cannot be part of this equation. That doctor offered you a theory that is terrible, but it's no more your fault than it is the fault of whomever broke the skin putting on the sensor. Maybe it was avoidable, but only if you'd known the impossible. As it was, you made the best decision for your baby at that moment, and that's all any of us can do. Ever.

I'm so sorry. I know that conversation had to be really hard. And I know having a reason sometimes just gives you something to fixate on and obsess over--it's not like any explanation would give you relief or a sense of peace. The fact is that he's gone and it's still terribly unfair and sad beyond reason. No explanation can change that. Sending hugs.

Glo said...

My son also lost his life from a bacterial floral that is normally found in the vagina that caused an infection in my uterus. There just aren't the answers as to why some pregnancies/babies are affected and others are not.
We all know that had you or I or anyone else been aware of the potential risk everything would have been done to prevent it.
Try not to blame yourself :(

Angie said...

It's completely not your fault, but I know I could scream this until my face goes red and you'd still feel the way you do. I still sometimes fall into the black hole of "what if's" but I feel more equipped to pull myself out.

Your story of walking back into the hospital is terrifying. In a month I begin non-stress testing which are done twice a week until Kevie born, all in the hospital. I was just talking about it today with my therapist about setting a plan of action to take those first steps into the hospital. She'll be doing as many sessions as I need to desensitize myself from reliving the trauma of walking back into l&d. My first time back will be in a couple weeks and I'm feeling incredibly anxious!

This comment is much too long. Sending you love and thinking of you and Jack xo

Hope's Mama said...

From one mother to another who lost a baby due to a bacterial infection (though Hope was stillborn) I totally feel your pain. I felt dirty and disgusting when they told me it was bacteria found in my vagina/rectum area and that there was nothing I could have done about it. It was just that I had a slight leak during my labour that I never noticed, and through that slight leak, those bacteria made their way in and because my labour progressed so slowly, she died. It does help to have a cause of death, but I'll still always feel terrible about it and still always partly blame myself.
I feel for you so much.
xo

Tiffany said...

Laura Jane, I'm so sorry you had to go back to the hospital today. And I'm so sorry that you are having to even talk to a doctor about these things. I, too, have had this conversation with several doctors. We've also been given the bad luck sort of explanation. There is no way to know where Ellie picked up her bacteria... either the mall or Children's Museum- both places I picked and choose to let her play in the apparent petri dish. I feel guilt a lot about this. But in the end, it's not our fault. Of course, we didn't want this to happen to our babies. We wanted them here, with us. Sending lots of love to you and I hope tomorrow is an easier day.

Renel said...

Laura Jane- it sounds like your day was as bad as mine. Your vagina killed your baby and my uterus killed mine. This is not true but our hearts feel different. We should have known but couldn't have. It is not our faults... I hope we believe that some day.

Natasha said...

LJ you are TOTALLY not responsible for anything (you either Molly) happening.

I go down this road with myself so often and the one thing I try to remember is that there is NOTHING I wouldn't do for Aiden. If I had known for a second that he might be hurt because of something I was doing of course I would have changed my actions. But I didn't do anything. It was just a terrible terrible tragedy. And no matter how many times I blame myself it still doesn't mean that it was my fault that Aiden died.

Just like you are not responsible for Jack's death. You did the best you could and you love your son. That's the best possible mom in the world.

Sending lots of love my friend....xoxo

Kelly said...

Awww, honey, I am so sorry that you went to this appointment and it made you feel like losing Jack was you fault. :'( I'm also sorry that you had to go back to that hospital. I've been back to where Adam was born, although not to the exact spot that I had appointments, and it's so hard. LJ, you are not responsible for Jack's death. I don't know why these things happen. I ask myself that everyday and also run through all of the what-ifs and blame myself. It's maddening. You are a great momma, I just know it. So much love and hugs to you.

Sherri said...

Of course it's not your fault! I read a poem once that said "If love alone could have saved you, You never would have died..." I truly believe the love that we have for our babies trumps anything that actually happened. The reasons they are gone don't measure the love that we wish could have saved them! I'm kind of babbling, but what I mean is, the blame for something out of our control (or something that we have no clue was happening) CAN'T be ours... it's truly not your fault!
Sending you extra love after such an awful day...

Darcey said...

Laura Jane- It is totally not your fault. You did what was best for your son at that moment. It is also a theory and not proven so please take it easy on yourself. You are a wonderful mother and did everything for Jack.

Unfortunately, i think we all play the "what if" game from time to time. I also had a cord accident like Molly and I felt my son in distress and completely ignored it (this haunts me all the time) because I thought he was excited to be in the arena and hear all the noise... I was such an idiot. If I had stayed home like I did for 9 1/2 months instead of going to a hockey game with my husband then maybe I could have prevented this or at least been aware that something was wrong.

The good thing is you will be able to make choices that you feel comfortable with for all of your children to come. You are a very strong person to be able to enter that hospital. I still have issues walking into my O.B. office and I don't even want to think about what L&D will be like.
I am thinking of you.

lissasue3 said...

I'm sorry :( and it's not your fault.

Just like I say with Charlotte and whatever infection killed her -- it was a crapshoot. Just bad luck.

When you do have another mcbabe, just do whatever you need to feel less stressed. ((hugs))

Angela said...

I'm sorry this appointment made you feel like Jack's death was your fault. As others said, it's not, but I know it's hard to believe that.

When the next babe comes along do what you must to make it through: extra tests, a c-section, whatever will ease the anxiety.

Thinking of you as you process this information and recover emotionally from returning to the hospital.

LookItsJessica said...

I'm so sorry you had to hear that information. I think when we get down to technicalities, it's easy to blame ourselves or our bodies for our losses (after all, they died inside of us or shortly after leaving us). I went through a time where I knew my cervix was the reason Liam was dead and I hated myself. But there is nothing we could have done differently unless we could see future.

Nature is a cruel bitch sometimes. But it wasn't your fault, like someone else said it was just terrible luck.

fireworksandrainbows said...

I can only assume it's hard having to back (I never have). It's hard to leave as well.

I don't have words to make you feel like it's not your fault, even though it's not your fault...

Just a question though, the c-section thing...is this just a thought or a certainty? I had one with Xavier and while the thought of "Just get the baby here as safely as possible", I wish I had never had it. You can't imagine the recovery time on this :(

xo

Becky said...

It's hard to not want to blame yourself for Jack's death, especially after what the dr. told you. I hope you know that its not your fault, easier said than done I'm know. I have moments that I still blame myself for Liams death.
I too have asked my dr. if there is anything I can do that will ensure my next baby lives and she also told me that they can give me extra tests and appts and then she has to reemphasize to me that I did everything right last time but shit happens. I hate that it had to happen to us though.
Anyway I know this post was from Tuesday and I'm a little late reading it but I hope you are feeling a little better since hearing the news.

ASHLEY ELDER said...

Found your blog on another BLMs blog and wanted to say how sorry I am for the loss of your son. Very tragic and I wanted to tell you not to blame yourself (easier said that done, I'm sure) I know how it goes, my son died a year ago to SIDS at 4 months old and although I am told that there was nothing I could do, I still have guilt. Guilt sucks :( Anyways, just wanted to say how sorry I am for you and your husband.

Tiffany said...

((hugs)) o LJ i know this feeling well. so much guilt, so much blame. the fact is, we are their parents and we feel as though we should have protected them from everything. god, i feel this all the time. but then sometimes you realize that everything is out of your control. it sucks as i'm a huge control freak. but i will keep praying that this wave of guilt is gentle on you.

you are a great mother. you have an amazing son. those are facts that do NOT change based on anyone's theories!

le petit soleil said...

i lost my son to bacterial meningitis nearly 3 months ago when he was just one day old. like you, it was from e coli, and like you, i have spent a lot of time feeling guilty about my body causing his death. i've read a lot of babyloss blogs, and you are the first blogger i've come across who lost her baby the same way i did. i'm so sorry that we share this sad connection.... much warmth to you.

Post a Comment

 
Design bySmall Bird Studios | All Rights Reserved