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by Jack's Mom
In the early summer of 1997, my husband and I were delighted to learn I was pregnant with our second child. Our first was three at the time, and we had wanted to give him a brother or sister. The pregnancy progressed fine with the exception of continuous spotting but my OB informed me that many women spot throughout their pregnancy and not to worry.

At 16 weeks I had an amnio, and we discovered we were having another boy. We were ecstatic! About 21 weeks into the pregnancy - and still bleeding - I started feeling pressure in my lower abdomen and for some reason suspected I had a bladder infection. I went to my OB and had a test. Within that same week I woke up in heavy duty contractions and under direction of my OB, my husband and I sped off to the hospital. Indeed I did have a bladder infection and after IV antibiotics and some terbutaline, I was sent home with oral antibiotics. I called my OB the next day and was told that the bladder infection test I had in their office had come back negative!!!

Two days later I again experienced contractions and increased bleeding; I was off to the hospital again. I was given terbutaline and the contractions eventually stopped. I was kept over night and sent home the next morning with no further contractions. I went in to see my OB that same morning with continued heavy bleeding and the contractions began anew in the waiting room. My OB seemed to acknowledge that she was in over her head and sent me to a perinatologist in a nearby hospital.

Despite more terbutaline and magnesium sulfate our son, Jack, was born that night at 23 weeks. He experienced the NICU for 2.5 weeks but we finally lost him to his second infection. I thought I had died with him. I've experienced loss before (Grandparents, my own Mother) but nothing like this. To know that the Jack's short life was filled with needles, NICU over-stimulation (lights, noises), heart surgery and a lack of touch (because his skin was so delicate) tortures my heart.

We are now pregnant again, and a CVS has determined that it's a girl! We don't know for sure what happened with Jack, between the bleeding, infection and tear in the placenta they found at delivery, but I have since been diagnosed with incompetent cervix. I have had two cerclages - the first one ripped and at 29 weeks have been on some serious bed rest. Our fingers are crossed but I think we're going to make it this time.

I always think about Jack and like to think that when my time comes, he'll be waiting for me and we can hold each other.

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