Monday, September 24, 2007


My friend Lucy has updated her blog with her story and some pictures. Have your tissues handy before you go and read her update. I still get all teary-eyed when I go back there. Lucy left a comment on my last post as a reply to everyone who had commented here. She asked me to post her response.

Hi Vannessa, thanks so much for all your posts and prayer requests and for your support. You are truly a gem and a pillar of strength. I can only admire you!
I feel much better now that I've managed to update our blog with our story and now that I've had a chance to read your posts.Thanks to everyone for their comments and encouraging words.There are a few points that I would like to mention re some of the topics and comments posted...

(1) There is no right or wrong answer ... and what works for one does not necessarily work for another so please accept the below as my opinion only and it's just what worked for us.

(2) At 1st when I heard about the blog and objective of taking photo's of stillborns I was a bit sceptical but I can see how this works as the pictures here are gorgeous as the babies appear to be sleeping.
However, my humble opinion of this is that it is only appropriate depending on how old your stillborn was e.g. when they are so little they may not look normal or in a natural sleep state and I wouldn't necessarily then want a picture of my stillborn. I would rather remember them as being a perfect little angel instead of perhaps having a last memory of their 'imperfections' so to speak.
We chose not to see our little stillborn twin girl who weighed less than 200g and we have no regrets. We remember her as our perfect little angel.
We do have a few pictures of her brother who was born weighing 400g but he was born alive and these are treasured pictures.

(3) Pre-eclampsia is a very serious condition which can be frustrating as one doesn't necessarily feel sick. It's quite scary now to think that I could have died! One tends to get lost in the thoughts and discussion of stillborns and keeping your baby alive but without your life even if the baby makes it, you're leaving them without a mommy... so please listen to your doctors.

(4) Luckily for us we had the chance of saving one of our babies (even if it was only for a brief period) and the way to do that was with a Cesarian section. However, if both the twins had died before birth and although the doctors would have suggested a natural / vaginal birth in this case, then I would have still had the choice of the Cesarian route and this is what I would have chosen. The recovery for a Cesarian is pretty quick nowadays and for me it would have been much less traumatic to do this than have to deliver the 2 stillborns vaginally. Just thought I would offer my opinion as I see others differ with their comments re this topic.

(5) To be pregnant and to be able to carry full term and give birth to a live and well baby is truly a blessing and a miracle. Please do not take this for granted.

I must say I agree with Lucy. Everyone has to do what is best for them and what is best for one person is not necessarily the best for another. I must say I did push a bit for them to see the babies, whether they were stillborn or not, as I did not want them to regret not seeing them. But ultimately the decision was theirs and I am glad that they are happy with what they chose (if 'glad' and 'happy' are appropriate words at the moment, maybe 'at peace' is better). I am also 'glad' that the hospital kept the little girl's body so that she could in the end be cremated alongside her brother. Now both little angels will be together forever. They are going to be laid to rest in Durbanville Memorial Park which is where my little Kendra is, so they will be close to her as well.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sad news

Baby Chad did not make it. I cannot tell you too much more as it is not my story to tell, except that it happened on Saturday and they did get to hold him.

I cannot believe the feelings that it has brought back from last year. We were more or less expecting it even though we were all hoping against all hope that things would work out, but even so it really hit us. It was a rough weekend.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Baby Chad born

Baby Chad was born this morning to Lucy and Mike. Their little girl's heart stopped beating sometime between Monday and Wednesday's scans. Baby Chad weighs 400 grams (14oz). That is a teeny tiny baby. Now he really needs those prayers. Apparently his growth from Monday to Wednesday was phenomenal and he is strong.

The doctors here answered our question about birth certificates. If a baby is stillborn and under 400g (14oz) then they are considered a miscarriage and are removed with the placenta, not requiring a birth or death certificate. For a baby over 400g they are required. Little Chad definitely needs a birth certificate, let us hope that is all he needs.

Now we not only have to pray for survival for little Chad but that he does not have health and development issues. I am not generally a praying kind of a person but whatever it takes, lets do it...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Send some prayers this way please

I haven't updated in a long time and I think that is a good thing. I have only really used this blog to express my sadness, well, at least since March last year, and it seems to be getting a bit easier now. I do still have bad days and bad moments but have been keeping quite busy and by the time I get around to sitting in front of the PC I usually no longer have the urge to spill my guts as it were. Else I just don't have the time.

Today I do have something on my mind but I am hesitant to write about it because it is not about me but someone else. My good friend L had problems falling pregnant and eventually resorted to IVF. This worked first time around and we were all thrilled for her. It was twins. All was going well until the 22 week big scan where they do measurements and everything. They were not growing as expected and the placenta was not looking good. They are a boy and a girl but the girl is much smaller than the boy. She was booked off on bedrest and had to go back to check the heartbeats every week. Last week was only her 2nd week of bedrest and her husband was away for work so I took her for her checkup. We were so relieved to see 2 heartbeats but then he checked her blood pressure and it was very high. There was also protein in her urine. The doctor booked her into hospital straight away. It was only supposed to be for the weekend but now they say she will be there until the babies come out. It is pre-eclampsia. At 25 weeks pregnancy the little girl weighs under 200g and the boy about 450g.

The reason I am posting about this is twofold. I want to ask everyone out there to focus your positive energies on those babies, pray for them or whatever works for you. They really, really need some sort of a miracle to get them and L and her family through this with a positive outcome.

The second reason is that I am looking for input from those of you who have been through something similar. I have read a lot of blogs about loss and I could find more to read about on the Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss Blog Directory but I would not want to direct her to read through certain blogs at this point where there is still hope. She is really being extremely brave and I find myself putting on a brave face for her when I know how she must be feeling inside. We were discussing at what stage babies get birth certificates or death certificates. How does it work with a stillbirth so early? Should she see the babies if they have to remove them now before they are considered viable? She said she does not want to and on one hand I think maybe it is better that way, maybe she will get over it quicker but what if she regrets it later? In the end that is a personal decision and they will do what is best for them, it is just interesting to hear how it was for others. I even found myself offering to take photos of the babies for them. It would be really hard I know but it just seems like the right thing to do. I have read on this site about photographers who take pictures of stillborn babies and do not charge for it and was thinking that it would be a good thing to start in this country but I decided that I was not brave enough to do it. This is certainly not how I would want to get it started and I wish it was not necessary at all, for anyone. Another thing we were wondering about is that the doctors said that if they think they can save one of the babies then they will do a caesar but if they think neither will make it then she must have natural birth. Does anyone have any thoughts on what the differences would be psychologically if they say either way is ok medically?

Tomorrow they have another scan and will find out what the situation is. It is really not fair. Why should some people struggle so much to have a child? Please, everyone think about them and send all your prayers and positive thoughts to L and her babies in Cape Town.

Edited to add: see new post for update
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