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Amanda Marie

Amanda Marie, baby with anencephaly

January 7th 2004 - January 9th 2004

In May of 2003 we found out that we were pregnant with our second child. We were filled with joy and excitement. I had an ultrasound done at 7 weeks into our pregnancy; a couple of questions were asked but nothing that we thought to worry us.

A second ultrasound was done September 11th of 2003. Because I was just at the beginning of my first trimester with the first ultrasound, our doctors ordered another one. During the exam the young lady doing the exam said: “I have to get the Doctor.” I had a feeling something was wrong at that time because of the look on her face. I begged her to tell me.

“Am I okay?”
“You, yes.”
“Well the baby?”
“No, the baby has no brain.”

I just froze until that sank in and I lost it for this time. Unlike the first ultrasound, John stayed home with our son and did not come with me. We did not want to know the baby's sex, so we thought it was no big deal. As the technician called John at our house and then called my mother, I just cried and said I don’t understand. It was then that I found out the day before my doctors got some blood work back positive. They did not worry because this will come up positive if pregnant with twins.

My Doctor then came into the room, looked at the screen, then told me to get dressed and come into his office. As I waited, my mother and John showed up and that is when our Doctor gave us the news. All I could do was cry; I didn’t understand why this happened to me. Why a person, who does not smoke, does not do drugs, does not drink and takes prenatal pills has a baby like that? Why me?

We talked to the doctor for some hours and then went home to rest. The following Monday I went in at only 20 weeks to be induced. I was scared and did not know what to do. I had John, my mother and my Father-in-law by my side for 3 days and waited for the Pitocin to induce my labor. My body at that point was getting immune to the medications I was on. The baby was just not ready; something was stopping this from happening. I decided to go home and wait.

As I did I then know, this is not what I wanted. I wanted to wait full term. This is what God had plans for. So I waited to deliver full term.

The Holidays came and went and nothing was the same. I was pregnant with a baby moving, kicking, and that was very motivated. I could see the baby against my skin through my shirt, just moving all over the place. This was the hardest of all times but the most worthy. I knew this was the time I had to bond, not knowing if the baby would live long enough to be held.

On January 7th I went into the hospital for a c-section. I decided I wanted to stay awake, just praying there would be a miracle and that all of my wonderful doctors would be wrong.

After about half an hour operation, I was told the baby was born. My first question was: “Does he or she still have anencephaly?” With our paediatrician on one side and John on the other side I heard: “Yes, and it’s a girl.” At that moment, all I could do was cry. As John hugged me, I asked if she was still breathing and they told me yes. I had not heard her as they rushed her away. I went to recovery. All I did was to cry. I wanted to be with her.

It was only an hour later as I was in my room that they brought this beautiful baby girl to me and put her in my arms. She was the most amazing little person I could ever put my eyes on. I kissed her and cried. I told her I was sorry for all that she is going through, but most of all, I just loved her and held her.

As I would slip in and out of a sleep, a nurse would have to come take her for a minute. Every time she wasn’t in my arms, all I could ask was: “Is she still breathing?” And I was always told yes. She was a fighter and she was hanging on.

It was a Wednesday that she was born and on Friday John decided to go pick up our 3-year-old son so he could see her. He got to see her and hold her for 2 hours. She passed away 3 hours later, it was then that we knew why she was hanging on and fighting.

It was late in the evening and I still just wanted to hold her and be with her. We then knew it was just time to let her go.

As I left the hospital, I felt like I was leaving her there alone. I wanted so badly to take her with me. As we returned home surrounded by our loved ones, there was emptiness in my heart that I knew could never be filled.

We have her ashes in our home and we have pictures all over our house. We try to stay strong and smile. The loss of her will never be forgotten.

It was a few days later when I realized our doctors were our true support through my pregnancy. No one told me what decisions to make or not to make, but they all stood by us with all they had. We could never thank them enough for all of their love and support.

Amanda is now a beautiful baby in heaven who I know is my angel forever.

Dawn

 

 

Last updated 06 October 2007