~ Meet Nicole
Wow, this journal seems so much harder to get started then either of my pregnancy journals ever were (I've written two pregnancy journals with StorkNet)! It seems whenever I try to put my thoughts together I always end up up back on that cold February morning, the morning I found out we lost our precious baby girl. I guess the only place to start is at the beginning ...
My name is Nicole, and I am 40 years old. I have been married to my husband Daniel, aged 44 years for just over 16 years and together we have 8 wonderful, living children ranging from 3 years to 20 years of age and one special little angel that will never be forgotten, Ava Grace.
On February third of this year I went in for a routine 17 week prenatal check up after an alarming call from my OB/GYN the day before. I had been told that my triple screening test for genetic disorders had come back grossly positive with a 1 in 5 chance of a trisomy birth defect. I tried not to panic and prayed that it would be anything but a fatal disorder, after all I knew our family was strong enough to support a special needs child and he or she would be loved with all of our hearts ... but please nothing terminal! As I went in for my appointment I was told about further testing options etc ... and then I was examined. Everything seemed fine until the doctor tried to find the fetal heartbeat but couldn't. I was rushed for an emergency ultrasound and that's when we discovered our little one had already left us; I was completely devastated!!
The following day, February 4 is one I'll never forget. They began the induction at 8am, and I delivered our tiny angel at 7:22pm weighing only 102 grams, but simply beautiful. It was hard to imagine I had seen this child so active only five weeks before and now she was so cold, so still. Ava's cord was tightly wrapped around her neck three times and around her arm once. We had her cremated and brought her home where she belongs. It took us thirteen weeks to get the amnio results back. Ava Grace had no genetic disorder; from what they could determine, she was a healthy, active little girl, a victim of a terrible cord accident.
For months it took everything I had to keep myself going; I did so not so much for myself but for my family. I've lost over 60 lbs, aged terribly and simply couldn't see much light no matter how hard I tried. Ava had been such a wanted child, my hope after two long years of hardship, how could I go on? It seemed like overnight I came to realize that Ava's memory was saddening/crippling me and I couldn't bare the thought of doing that to my little girl ... I want her to be my hope again, my sunshine! After several medical tests to rule out blood clotting disorders etc ... (due to some concern with my placental pathology report) I've risen to the challenge and the hope that a new pregnancy and healthy baby will bring our family back the joy it lost on that cold February day. Some days are still difficult to get through but I've at least begun to feel the positive energy that comes with the hope that only the brightest dreams bring.
My advanced maternal age will surely bring on challenges of its own and a new pregnancy will be treated as high risk but somehow I feel that our little guardian angel is smiling down on us, and we pray we will be blessed with a new little miracle to help mend this break in our family circle. Please feel follow me and my family as we share our story of trying to conceive after loss.