I had a son, a son I never got to meet, a son who I barely felt move, a son who was very much loved and wanted, a son who only a few special people knew about. You see I was 5 months pregnant when I lost my son.
I lost my son to the same illness that took our daughter two and a half years ago. Let me go back to the beginning of 2013. My husband and I decided to try again for another baby. We knew the risk were high (1in4) that we would end up empty handed but knowing that there was a chance to be parents again, to give our sunshine Nathalia a much asked for and much wanted sibling we decided to go for it. It wasn’t easy, with both my girls I got pregnant after the first month of being of birth control, with our son it took us 8 long, stressful months to finally see two lines on a pregnancy test. What made it more frustrating was that each month I was a week late, so the hopeful in me would start to get my hopes up only to take a test and it be negative. Finally in September I had decided that if this month we weren’t pregnant we would just take the remaining year off and just focus on having fun with Nathalia. I guess that did it because next think I know I’m 3 days late and running up the stairs to show my sister a pregnancy test and asking her if she saw the same thing I did. Hearing my sister say “Its positive” was unexplainable. I was so happy!! Right away I sent my mom a picture. I wanted to show my husband the test in person and his reaction was the same as mine. We were ecstatic!!! We decided to not tell anyone until I had seen my doctor and had a game plan. Nathalia never knew, at least we didn’t tell her but I have a very smart daughter and deep down I’m sure she had an idea. Fast forward to 2 weeks later I had called my doctor and had my appointment to confirm the pregnancy and at 7 weeks 3 days I saw my son for the first time. He looked like a sea horse hahaha (that’s my next tattoo). Even though we had decided to keep the news to ourselves, I ended up telling a few people, my side of the family knew right away, I told my two best friends and my goddaughters dad knew without me telling him. He says that I had a glow, just like when I was pregnant with my daughters J little by little the news started to spread. I was scheduled to meet with a genetic counselor who referred us to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital for further testing to see if this baby was affected by the Surfactant ABCA3 mutation. I was scheduled to have my CVS test (Chorionic villus sampling) which is like the amniocentesis test but this test can be done early. I finally had the test done at 13 weeks 2 days, three days before Thanksgiving. If everything went according to plan we could have the test result anywhere between 2 to 4 weeks. The whole process wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, either that or I have a higher pain tolerance then I thought I did. I had the test done at LPCH and this was the first time that both my husband and I had been back there since we said goodbye to Emmaliese. It was very hard going walking through those doors. But we did it we managed to get to where we had to be and I am very grateful that my husband was there for me. The whole procedure took less than an hour. And it consisted of me having a full bladder while the bed I was on was tiled so that it felt like I was going to slide of the bed but not really. I then local anesthesia to numb the area while they inserted a 10inch needle in my stomach and then into my uterus till it reached my placenta and then according to my husband who had a perfect view of the whole thing thanks to the TV in the room they jiggled it around to get the tissue, he said it looked like when you stick a fork in a Jell-O and wiggle it around. They repeated this process to get more tissue once more and then they did an ultra sound to make sure that the baby was fine, which thankfully he was. Some of the tissue was kept at Stanford in case anything happened to the sample that was sent off to John Hopkins Hospital for testing. And I am so glad that they did because a few days later I got a call letting us know that due to a freak winter storm my sample was stuck in Tennessee and that by the time they arrived at John Hopkins they were not viable. So we had to wait two weeks for the samples that Stanford to culture and grow so that they would be able to be sent off again. By this time It’s close to Christmas, I’m starting to show more, more people are finding out and we still don’t know the results I was a mess the whole holiday season waiting for the results. My New Year’s our whole family knows including my husband’s side of the family. We are all hopeful that all these delays in getting the samples tested is just Gods way of testing us and somehow in a crazy way letting us know that everything will be okay. A few days before Christmas we got a call with some of the result, chromosome wise we had a healthy BOY! Now we just had to wait for the most important results. So we ended 2013 pregnant and hopeful. Sadly January would be a hard month for us for more than one reason. On January 9th 2014 at 8pm I got the call, yes the one that would have us rethinking everything we believed in. Our son also inherited the rare Surfactant ABCA3 mutation the same mutation that took Emmaliese from us. To say we were heartbroken is not accurate enough; there really is no word to describe how we felt. So after a few days my husband and I sat down and talked about our options. We basically had two. Option 1 was to continue the pregnancy and hope or the best, even though all the doctors I talked to, and trust me I talked to a lot of them. I called doctors at John Hopkins and a specialist at St. Louis Childrens Hospital and they all sadly gave me the same results. They told me that if it was the same mutation more than likely this baby would have the same ending. And option 2 was to terminate the pregnancy. I know that a lot of people would say to continue with the pregnancy, but we considered all of our options, we had already buried a daughter, we had gone through the emotional and physical turmoil. And we had Nathalia to think about. She had already lost a sister how would she react to losing another very much wanted brother? This was a decision that we need to make and make it as soon as possible seeing as how I was already close to 5 months. And January 15th is the day we said goodbye to Emmaliese, so here I was pregnant knowing that this baby could also possibly have the same ending while we visited and took flowers to her gravesite. Well on January 21st at our appointment we had that decision made for us. We had lost our son. That next day I started the procedure to have a D&E. I didn’t think I could handle laboring and then delivery my sleeping angel. It’s a decision that I am at peace with, it’s what I thought was best for me and my family. Again my tolerance for physical pain was and is more than I thought it was. I read and talked to other women who had this procedure done and I can honestly say that every women and every one’s body is different. I had no real pain before or after, all I had pain medicine wise after was Ibuprofen. I was under general anesthesia for the procedure which lasted a whopping 30 minutes. Coming home that day the first thing Nathalia did was hug me and say ‘Mommy what happened?’ while she touched my stomach. (See I told you I had a smart daughter, who more than likely knew something had happened) Emotionally it’s been almost 6 months and I have been keeping myself too busy to properly grieve. I know that I am meant to be a mom, that one day I will again be pregnant and be called mommy! I have been asked where I get my strength from and in all honesty I have NO IDEA! I know some of it comes from Nathalia, from my husband and my friends and family. And a lot comes from my angels and from knowing deep down that I will be a mom again. This loss has made me grow and has made me see things in a different light. I don’t worry so much about what I can’t control and have learned to enjoy each day and to live it to the fullest. I’m asked often if Nathalia is my only child and I have learned that the best reply is that I have one child on earth and 2 in heaven. Because even though I never met him and to us he is Baby Boy Fuerte, he is still our son. My son.