When you have a baby after you’ve suffered a loss – or multiple losses, as the case may be – they call it a rainbow baby. But saying you have a rainbow baby doesn’t really tell anyone about your journey to have that rainbow.
In my case, my rainbow arrived after 4 failed pregnancies: Two were chemical pregnancies, which are quite common. one was a blighted ovum, so the sac formed, but the baby never developed, and the last one was Samantha.
Samantha had a genetic condition called Triploidy, which basically means she had 69 chromosomes instead of the standard 46. There are three types of Triploidy, all of which are incompatible with life, but I lucked out [sarcasm] and got the kind that also attacks the mother’s body.
I never expected to one day be faced with having to decide whether I should end a pregnancy.
The doctors told me that there was a chance my baby had a severe genetic condition and it might not live. At first, we weren’t sure what was going on… Trisomy 18? 13? Downs? Then the genetic counselor told us about so many other possibilities, it was really quite overwhelming. We were bombarded with questions about every single health condition my family and my husband’s family ever had, so they could get a decent history… They don’t tell you to bring this information for your initial appointment, you just go in, scared as heck, confused, and hoping the ultrasound techs are wrong and that your baby is perfectly fine.
One thing they mentioned prior to our first appointment with genetic counseling at Mt. Sinai was that I was booked for a CVS (Chorionic Villus sampling) test that same day. I researched what that was and the chances of it causing miscarriage, and I was not going to have that test done. I knew from my mommy forums that there were blood tests available that were non-invasive that could tell us what was happening, so I opted to have that done instead.
The timeline was less than a month. After several ultrasounds, results from blood work as well as an amniocentesis, all our hopes were destroyed, and we knew it was Triploidy.
The decision to terminate is devastating, especially when you want the baby so badly.
You feel like you choose to kill your own baby, and you carry the guilt and heartbreak for a long time.
I felt horrible after the blighted ovum, but it was nothing compared to losing an 18ish week baby that I felt kicking me while I was in the hospital inducing her birth.
I was useless for months.
I couldn’t parent my two girls, who at 4 and 5, knew that their sister had died, and that mommy and daddy were really sad. Thank goodness that my parents were living with us.
Samantha was born and died on January 6, 2015.
I was told about 8 weeks later that it was a partial molar pregnancy, and that I needed to wait for 6 months after my HCG levels went back to zero before trying to get pregnant again, as I could get cancer. Well, doesn’t that just add insult to injury? Would have been nice to know that before I left the hospital!
We decided that we were done.
I couldn’t handle any more loss.
In June I found out that my HCG levels were rising, which possibly indicated cancer. Another test a week later, and the OB told us that what it actually indicated was a BABY. Off to the doctor I went to get a dating ultrasound, and back to the genetic counselor to get the non-invasive prenatal testing done again.
No words can express my sense of relief and excitement when I heard the words: No genetic issues.
And – it’s a BOY!
One year, one month and eight days after the worst day of my life, I welcomed my beautiful baby boy into the world. My rainbow baby.
Mercedes is mom to 6 year old Evelyn, 5 year old Becky, 6 month old Patrick, and of course, Samantha. Mercedes and her family live in Orangeville.