Sisterhood of Angel Mama’s Magazine | Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Edition October 2021
Written & Photo by Elizabeth Kendall
After a long awaited 5 years of debating on if we should chance Pre-eclampsia and HELLP Syndrome again, we finally got pregnant with our son. I found out at 4 weeks that I was pregnant with our second child and by 16 weeks our worlds were completely turned upside down. I was waiting alone in the exam room, due to COVID, after a two and a half hour long anatomy ultrasound, I was told that something was wrong with our baby’s heart.
What should have been one of the happiest days of my life, turned into our absolute worst nightmare. I was told they were unable to tell how excessive the heart condition was and we were also informed of a possible Cleft Lip situation. I was referred that same day to a neonatal fetal center, so I could get a more in-depth echo and anatomy ultrasound, which took 4 hours. During this visit we were informed that our son had two very major heart conditions, Hypo plastic Left Heart Syndrome and Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return, among a few other very serious anomalies with his heart.
We were urged to terminate the pregnancy, as I was already too close to the abortion limit in Texas and his survival rate was incredibly slim to non existent. We wanted to find out more about his condition so we made the decision to move forward with the pregnancy. We were referred to the top children’s hospital in the country for pediatric cardiology. We transferred Care and went through months of ultrasounds, echos, MRIs, and genetic testing.
We were informed that our son also had a Bilateral Cleft Lip and Palate, one single kidney that never formed correctly, curvature and an unfused spine. We were ultimately put on palliative care, due to the non existent survival rate from the severe cardiac anomalies. From there on out all further ultrasounds and testing were terminated.
We had the most difficult decision of our lives ahead of us. When he is born do we move forward with life sustaining therapies, trying to put him through major trauma and pain, just to give him a slim chance at making it to his first of several surgeries, with a poor prognosis of survival for an incurable condition. Or do we hold our baby in his last moments on earth and watch our son pass away peacefully in our arms, no IV, no breathing machines, just a comfortable monitored, medicated natural death. I prayed everyday for God to take that decision away from me, knowing either decision I made the what’s if’s would have eaten away at me, and I would have never been able to live with myself, either way I went. I honestly thought I wouldn’t be able to survive it.
On the morning of January 14th I went to the emergency room with severe Pre-eclampsia and majorly elevated blood pressure, we found out he no longer had a heart beat and had passed away. I delivered him via c- section that evening, and we spent a very sweet peaceful 24 hours with him.
The past 8 months have been the most difficult I have ever had to endure. Between seeing all the happy healthy pregnancy, all the baby milestone posts on social media, and watching all the baby’s around the same age as my sweet Alex growing up it’s like a daily gut wrenching reminder he is no longer here with us. But it has also taught us to enjoy all the little moments in life, really stop and take time to appreciate everyone and everything we have in life. We find ourselves very often looking up at the beautiful blue sky full of clouds and thinking of him and what he is up to in Heaven.