It has been 4 weeks since she left. Harper left us sometime on Saturday, but the hardest day of the week seems to be Friday. Friday she was still alive. Kicking away like she always did. Moving when she always did. On Friday, I was still naive, thinking about how I would handle having 2 children. When would the nursery be done, would we have everything ready, would we have her at home like we planned? All of the planning was for nothing, God had different plans. We are not promised anything, so we have to make every moment count. Worry, fear, and anxiety about what's to come will not change anything, and will just rob us of the joy that can be today.
Back in February, I was worrying a lot. I wrote down all of my pregnant fears. At the top of the list was miscarriage or stillbirth. My worst fear came true. What do I do with that? If I think about what my worst fear is right now, it is that Steve or Joey will be taken away, too. I can let this fear rule my life and steal my joy, or I can give it to God and love my husband and my son and cherish every second that I have with them. I choose the latter.
In the last week or so, I have been doing a little research about cord accidents. I came across a blog by a mama who also lost her child to a cord accident, and she mentioned Dr. Jason Collins. I googled him, and found that he was in New Roads, only about an hour from where we live. Dr. Collins is one of the few doctors in the country that researches cord accidents. I found the website for his non-profit, the Pregnancy Institute, and it had his e-mail address, so I e-mailed him, not knowing if I would ever get any response. To my surprise, he responded. We were able to speak on the phone this week, and his advice for any future pregnancies is to have ultrasounds every 2 weeks starting at 28 weeks, to check for any possible cord problems.
Yesterday, I had my follow-up appointment at the OB. I was nervous all day, because I was fairly certain that the office people would have no clue that I wasn't pregnant anymore, and didn't want to have to go through telling them. Luckily, both my HB midwife and my husband called ahead to let them know. The OB told us that the official cause of death was a "true knot" in the cord. She said that the knot was very tight, and would have cut off her blood supply. We did not have an autopsy or any testing done on Harper, because we felt that it doesn't change the end result. The hospital also took 12 tubes of blood from me while I was in labor, to test for various other problems, and all of those tests came back normal.
OB also told us that if we were to get pregnant again, I would be labeled as high risk, and would receive weekly ultrasounds and BPP's (biophysical profile - test to see how baby is doing) starting at 30 weeks. She said we can try again as soon as we are ready, and that I am healing well physically. I'm not sure what to do with that. I fully expected her to tell us we had to wait 6 months. Now I feel like it's all on me - if we had to wait for my body to heal, or because the doctor said so, it would almost be easier.
I do want to be clear about one thing. I do not blame myself, or anyone else that this happened. If I had been under the care of an OB instead of my HB midwife, the outcome would have been the same. I would not have received any additional ultrasounds during the pregnancy, because I was low risk, and because I hated them (they always made me nervous when I was pregnant with Joey). My HB midwife was wonderful, and went above and beyond to stay with me and drive me to the hospital and just sit with me and talk.
When I went to Bible study at church this week, one of the women told me that God told her to tell me to "just be". That is good advice. I need to stop obsessing about the future and just be in the moment and be OK with where I am.