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Our Stillbirth Story
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Thank you to Roxanne for sharing her story. I first came across Roxanne’s story on twitter – she tweeted to me a link to two of her video’s, where she so bravely shared the story of her first pergnancy which resulted in her heartbreaking experience of stillbirth.
It saddens me that so many couples experience prengnacy loss and I hope that we can help others to feel like they are not alone through sharing Roxanne’s story.
Just as a little pre-cursor, make sure you get the tissues ready… but it is well worth sticking it through to the end, because Roxanne has some positives to share out of all the pain she has experienced too.
August 2010, I remember heading to work with my husband, where we both worked with a construction company at the time. For a few days, I was getting cramps and pretty bad headaches and very exhausted. I had chalked the exhaustion to our 14-15 hour work days, and for the cramps and headaches, well I simply thought my monthly menstrual cycle was about to arrive.
Fast forward about a week, I had a regular doctors appointment for a yearly pap smear. She proceeded to ask me if I could be pregnant by chance. It was at the moment that I’d finally clued it that I was late for my menstrual cycle.
The nurse asked me to go to the washroom to pee in the cup so that she could test it. Well, of course I went to the washroom… Silliest moment ever, I forgot to pee in the cup. When I walked back to the room, laughing at myself and explaining to her my silly moment, I told her “just give me a glass of water, I’ll chug it and I’ll be able to go again soon” (I guess without knowing that may have been my pregnancy symptom – frequent urination).
So of course, I did just that and in she comes after testing and states “the test is positive, congratulations”. My husband was with me at the time, and we were both extremely shocked. I hadn’t been on birth control for about 11 months, and we hadn’t protected and not once did I get pregnant.
For the next week or so, I just couldn’t believe it.
During my 7-10th week roughly, I found something was off. Every single night during the wee hours of about 2am, I’d wake up in extremely unbearable pain in my stomach and back, to the point of it making me feel extremely nauseous. I’d have to jump into a bath for an hour to help reduce the pain and it would eventually just go away. This was the same thing every single night for a couple of weeks.
During this time I decided myself to stop working with the construction company, and that I was soon going to go back into hairstyling anyways, I thought it would probably be much safer for my unborn baby and I at this time.
I brought this alarming symptom to my doctors attention, to which he didn’t seem alarmed himself by it and told me that if something were to happen in pregnancy, it would happen anyways and that there was nothing that could be done about it.
I was not happy with his response and did not feel at ease at all.
A couple weeks later I went to the emergency department with some bleeding, and although everything turned out to be ok, I had asked the doctor that was caring for me there if he could take me on as a patient and I had explained my uneasy feeling with my current doctor.
To my surprise, he accepted. I was thankful as this doctor takes the time with every single one of his patients no matter how long it takes and doesn’t rush you in and out the door.
Things seemed to be going ok from there. One day, I was approximately 18 or so weeks along, I had my routine doctors appointment. I remember that day my doctor asking me if I was feeling ok. He commented that I seemed to look more tired and pale than usual. I told him that aside from feeling a little extra tired, I felt fine. He explained to me that if I felt weak at all to drink some gatorade (for the electrolytes).
After my doctors appointment I headed to work (which I was now doing hairstyling). After finishing up with one of my very first clients of the day and heading to the cash to ring them out, I felt very dizzy. I thought I could finish the transaction when suddenly I started sweating profusely and feeling confused. I tried walking back to get someone to help me, but I never made it and passed out.
When I woke up, I had several of my co-workers around me telling me they had called an ambulance, to just lay calmly. My mom, at the time, worked right beside, so they went and got her to be with me. The baby ended up being ok, as well as myself other than needing stitches on my chin as I guess when I fell I knocked a little book table.
Fast forward to January 14th, 2011, I had worked my regular shift at work, and was 21 weeks3 days along.
I remember sitting with a co-worker that day as it was quiet and having random conversations about pregnancy. We were talking about individuals who went through pregnancy loss and I remember saying I could never imagine dealing with that pain.
I was feeling VERY tired that day, and kept going to the washroom thinking i felt more “wet” or “moist” down there but no signs that I was actually leaking amniotic fluid or anything. That night, we had a family dinner at my parents house. I recall them asking if I felt ok, and aside from telling them i was tired and wanted to go to bed early and that the baby was quieter than usual, I felt fine.
Once we returned home, I fell asleep on the couch. At about 4am, I woke up to bad cramps. I went to the washroom and noticed blood. When I got up to try and go lay down my pains got very intense fast and I told my husband we should go to the hospital.
By the time we got to the hospital was probably about 5am or so roughly (that day is a bit of a blur). Upon arriving, they immediately put us into a room, and sent us over to OB department to get assessed there (checking for contractions and also if I was leaking amniotic fluid).
I was having intense back pain, which at the time I knew wasn’t normal but didn’t know what contractions felt like and they felt VERY consistent and steady VS coming and going. After checking me out, nothing alarming showed up, but I do recall telling the nurse these pains are normal. They explained that being that far along, it doesn’t usually pick the contractions up since the uterus and stomach are smaller.
They sent me back to the emergency department room I was initially put into. I had to go to the washroom, in which I did and noticed I was bleeding significantly. I told my husband to go get the nurse, in which he did and she simply told me to go lay in bed. She didn’t offer a pad or anything. I then told him to go get the nurse, and at this point I was frustrated telling her that I was in extreme pain and that I needed a pad. She explained the doctor would be coming in a couple of hours (we are quite small area therefore unless an emergency you don’t usually see the doctor in the middle of the night).
I explained to her that I knew my doctor, and that he wouldn’t care if she called him (in which thankfully ended up being my doctor caring for my pregnancy that was on call that time). Once he arrived (just before 6am or so), he checked me and I was already about 7cm dilated. He tried to get me transported via airplane (only about a 45 min flight) to a centre that could potentially stop things and care for me and has NICU for very preterm babies.
Unfortunately, I progressed far too fast.
We called my parents in which they joined us around 7am. At about 830-9 my husband was gone home to get clothes (little did we know what was happening next). During that time, I was sent for an ultrasound in which they confirmed our baby boy had passed away (which was maybe within the hour).
I ended up delivering our son vaginally at 10:05am.
It was thought to be that I suffered a placental abruption. I will always remember those next days, weeks, months. They were one of the toughest times of our lives. But little did I know, they would get even tougher.
We ended up suffering two more miscarriages before our miracle child was born.
We are now blessed to have 4 young healthy children, but also endured lots of hurt to get here. We went through 9 pregnancies, ended up suffering 3 miscarriages total and 2 stillbirths. There are multiple reasons for all of our losses from placental abruption, to incompetent cervix, to low progesterone levels.
I didn’t have the easiest of pregnancies either but it brought me my beautiful babies and I will forever be thankful for them and of course my doctor who was there every step of the way and getting me to the proper specialists to help me have these miracles today.
My heart goes out to everyone suffering from losses.
We decided to start Vlogging about this story, in which you can check us out on YouTube called “The Guy’s Life“. If you need to reach out to speak to us, our contact information is all on there and we would be more than happy to talk to you about anything or if you have any specific questions.
Thank you for taking the time to read our story and god bless!
Below is a picture of Roxanne and her beautiful family:
If you would like to share your story of infertility or pregnancy loss this October, 2018, please send your story to email@example.com or if you would like to share your story anonymously please fill out the form on our get in touch page.
All submissions received will be shared on our blog “One in Four” throughout the month of October.
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