To All Pregnant Mothers
Before I tell my story, I want to let every pregnant mother out there know that just because it isn’t likely doesn’t mean what happened to me can’t happen to you. I never thought my son would be stillborn at 33 weeks pregnancy. In the beginning, I didn’t have my hopes up because it was my first pregnancy and I didn’t know what to expect. After the 12th week, I thought the coast was clear. Little did I know, I’d face the hardest tragedy I ever faced in my life.
If this is the only post you ever read from me, please make sure you do read it. I’m making this one short and to the point so that people with short attentions spans like myself are able to get the key points and I hope I’m able to save other families from the pain and suffering of stillbirth.
1. If you don’t like your OBGYN – leave the practice and find a new one. It doesn’t matter if you’re 8 weeks pregnant or 28 weeks pregnant, if you don’t like the practice (nurses, doctors, even the receptionists) leave immediately – do NOT second guess yourself. Find an OBGYN you are comfortable and happy with. The importance of this is substantial for your health and wellbeing as well as your babies!
2. If you want a test done, demand it be done. This could be a dating ultrasound, or blood work, etc., If you want to get it done and/or feel like you should get it done – don’t accept no for an answer and don’t stop harassing your OBGYN’s office until you have the test script in your hand.
3. Don’t trust anyone except yourself. If your doctor tells you something is safe, do your own research. If your doctor ignores your concern(s) or dismisses them, demand answers. If you have ANY questions or concerns, speak directly with the doctor. Do NOT accept a nurse as sufficient, and do not accept anything other than speaking with your doctor. If your doctor doesn’t satisfy your concern(s) or question(s), don’t feel annoying or like a problem patient. Don’t stop seeking information or contacting your OBGYN until you are 100% positive that your baby is healthy and your concern is no longer in your mind.
5. Keep a journal or written record throughout your entire pregnancy. Be extremely specific and accurate with appointments and include any and all discussions with nurses and/or doctors as well as any questions/concerns you may have as well as the responses you receive.
6. Ask for a copy of your medical record(s) after each visit or once every 2 months (whichever you feel comfortable with). This allows you to be aware of your doctor’s record keeping, gives you the opportunity to correct any errors or false information. This also gives you the chance to make sure your OBGYN’s office is accurately documenting all of your care including your blood pressure, your baby’s heart rate, your fundal height, etc., If anything isn’t being recorded, you need to find out why and demand it be recorded accurately. This will not only ensure you are doing everything possible to protect your baby, but it will also make little room for error when it comes down to the doctor’s ability (or lack thereof) to notice something isn’t right if that is the case.
6. Be your own advocate. If you aren’t sure of anything at any time, do something about it. Don’t trust your friends or what you read online. For example, I fell down a couple stairs at around 30 weeks pregnancy and I had initially felt a ton of movement by my baby. I won’t get too far into it here, however, I knew instinctively that it wasn’t normal for my son, Hunter to be kicking so much and yet the OBGYN, my Mom who has 4 kids and everywhere I looked online only showed decreased fetal movement as being of concern. I wish I’d have listened to myself, though, and went into the OBGYN even after the nurse there told me to “monitor my symptoms at home and call if anything changes” (Symptoms were initially increased fetal movement, unsure of movement throughout the day up until around 1pm, extremely painful migraine and lower back pain). I offered to go in and I asked if I could go in to make sure my baby was okay and the nurse advised me to “monitor my symptoms from home and call if anything changes”. If you are ever unsure of your symptoms or your baby’s movement, don’t listen to anyone except yourself. Go straight in to be checked out. If it is after hours, don’t hesitate to go straight to Labor & Delivery because it could save your baby’s life. I hope you rush in only to find out everything is okay, but in the event this post helps you decide to rush in when you are unsure – at any time, for any reason – so you don’t have to lose your baby like I lost mine.
If you have any questions or if you feel I missed anything, please reach out to me in the comments or send me an email. Thank you for taking your time to read this and I wish you the best with your pregnancy. If you are going through or have went through stillbirth, I will be sharing my experiences with having to deliver my stillborn son as well because after I lost my baby boy, I looked online everywhere for answers, for hope and how to get through the pain – what was normal and what wasn’t – how to cope with everything. I found very little if any of the above to help me through it, so I suffered in silence. I am now pregnant again, 22 weeks yesterday to be exact, and my now baby girl is due in October but I can’t lie and say I expect anything more than tragedy even though I can hope and pray for everything to be “normal” this time. Please let me know your thoughts and opinions below. I hope somehow this post saves baby’s lives and saves families from the heartache myself and so many others have went through. I will be posting about my pregnancy, the symptoms I had, the horrible experience it was to lose my baby and how hard it is for Mothers’ who give birth to their babies stillborn. I will also share my experience throughout the delivery and how I could have died after because I had a Pulmonary Embolism and my only risk factor was that I had been pregnant.