During those few days of my own pregnancy and loss, my friends’ news created a crazy mix of emotions for me.
Like I mentioned before, I have made some very good friends online. I know that we have never met in person, but we know each other and have shared many deep thoughts with each other despite not having physically spent time together. I wrote about one of them here.
To recap, she was the one who was pregnant with twins. Then at one of the subsequent ultrasound scan, the tech discovered that there were actually three heartbeats. That sent her to a place of confusion, doubt, and fear. It was a difficult decision to figure out whether to keep all three babies, or to do selective reduction. It was a very personal choice and a very painful choice. But when the reality hit and when she discovered at nine weeks that two of the three babies no longer had a heartbeat… the pain was almost too much to bear. The one remaining baby has become very precious.
Every week I checked on her and the baby’s progress. Usually everything would be fine.. until 16 weeks. That was a few weeks ago. At her 16 week scan, she was told that the baby did not have kidneys. Everything else was fine… but no kidneys. WTH? Had she not suffered enough for losing two of her three babies? Now this? I was feeling so so mad and sad. Week after week, the answer was the same. No kidneys. So what was the implication? She was told that the baby’s “development is incompatible with life.” Yes, a baby born without a kidney does not usually live. These babies usually die in utero or shortly after birth. How does a mom bear with this news knowing that her baby will not live? Especially after losing two other babies?
The day I got my first positive beta ever in my life, this friend told me that she was going to drive to Baltimore that night for a second opinion. Apparently this woman’s daughter is the first baby to live without kidneys. The baby was treated by doctors at Johns Hopkins. So my friend was going there for another scan using their super machine and see what could be done to save her own baby. She also had an appointment scheduled with another hospital for a second opinion… but she had L & D on the books for the following Monday if they didn’t feel that amniotic infusions were their miracle and if they were not able to be convinced by the doctors that the baby wouldn’t suffer if she were born alive. I really couldn’t imagine what went through her mind when she was driving in the cold all the way to Johns Hopkins.
The day after my first beta was the day she went to see the specialist. My heart was full of anticipation and anxiety for my own pregnancy as well as for my friend’s consultation. It was a matter of life and death for her unborn baby. When I got her message, I was in the middle of a work retreat. I shouldn’t have checked my message but I did. I about fell off my chair when I saw what she wrote:
“They found one kidney! It still looks like her left kidney has never developed but they said that having one to me is a variation of normal and it should not affect her at all!!!”
I burst into tears. That was a great day for the both of us. She WILL have her baby after all and I was pregnant for the first time in my life. She does not have to make a decision about what to do with the baby because her baby will live! It seemed that the right kidney had been there all along but at 16 weeks, it would’ve been the size of a grain of rice. The less precise scan could not detect it. The kidney on the left is still missing. But the baby will live.
That was the Best. News. Ever. Better than my own pregnancy news. For my friend who had gone through so much with struggling to get pregnant, getting pregnant, losing babies, being told that she might lose the last baby, this is a miracle. My pregnancy was a miracle. We were celebrating our miracles.
Although my miracle ended the next day, my heart is full of gratitude that hers lives on.
On the day of my second beta, I got my sad news, and another friend of mine needed to get her D&C done. It was a sad day for the both of us. I met her on the TCOYF forum. We became close friends since we had a spin-off Facebook group for a few of us who would like faster communication. She and I are similar in age and are both believers in Christ. She has been a great source of support for me. Her husband and she have been trying for their first child together for quite a few years. He has two children from a previous marriage and is older. She longs for her own children. They decided to pursue IVF. After the first round of IVF, she had her first pregnancy which unfortunately became her first loss. Two subsequent frozen embryo transfers yielded two BFNs. She did another fresh cycle, made many blastocysts, and transferred three of them. Eventually she got pregnant with two beans, one with a heartbeat and the other was a yolk sac. Unfortunately one of them didn’t make it so she was pregnant with the remaining twin.
Her pregnancy continued to go well. I had been very happy for her and did not have any sort of jealousy that I usually had for others. I just felt very connected to her and felt that we understood each other very well. She has been a great support of my life and consistently asks me how I am doing and is truly concerned about my wellbeing. After each ultrasound, she would give an update of her little baby growing well inside her. We in our group would all rejoice with her for the wonderful news, until two weeks ago. That was the day when I was chatting with her online about symptoms. That was four days after my transfer and I felt nothing. She told me that she had not felt any pregnancy symptoms. After she made that statement, she went for a scan in the afternoon. Then came the most heartbreaking news. At her 16 week ultrasound, no heartbeat was detected. The baby appeared to have stopped growing about two weeks prior to that. My heart totally broke for her. I did not and will not understand why she had to lose her baby at 16 weeks. Why in the second trimester? Why the baby continued to grow until that point but not beyond? Why torture her like that? Of course nobody had an answer. I just could not imagine what she was going through. The hope and the dream of her forever baby was taken away at a blink of an eye. I know that many people have experienced something similarly heartbreaking and painful. But somehow this felt so much more real when this is her, my friend, who deserves to take home this baby as much as any other moms.
Despite her own news, she was still able to be excited for me and the prospect of my potential pregnancy. When I got my first beta, her excitement was almost palpable even though it was online. I was happy for myself, sad for her, and very super happy for the previous friend who got news about her precious baby’s existing right kidney. It was such a crazy mix of emotions for those few days. This friend’s D&C was scheduled for the Thursday, the same day I was getting my second beta. She would like some good news from me. Unfortunately, both of our babies’ lives were too short.
That was me… and my emotions in the last few weeks. All the ups and downs with my own news and my friends’ news. I am hopeful that my first friend’s baby will be born in July, with her due date being on my birthday. As for my other friend and myself, I am also hopeful that we will eventually have our take home babies. She mentioned that we would have our playdates in heaven for our babies who went up there first. I said, let’s have our playdates on this earth with our take home babies first. I truly believe that this will happen in the future. We just don’t know when. But I truly believe that our babies will play together on this earth.