Goodbye my Angel

Diagnosis: IgA nephropathy

By Erica,
Mommy of a baby who saved her life

It all started on October 8 just a few weeks after I found out I was pregnant. I left work to to the the ER because I started bleeding I was terrified. Who was to know that this moment wouldn't change my life forever but what would happen at the hospital would.

After wanting what seemed like eternity I was finally seen by the ER doctor. I told them I was pregnant and that's when they did the sonogram to check the baby, I should have known something was wrong when the tech was very quite and asked me if I was feeling OK only once during the whole exam.

About an hour or so after my sonogram the doctor finally came in to see me and the first thing I asked was "is the baby OK?" He told me that while doing the sonogram they noticed that there was something wrong with my kidneys and they looked very very scarred.

This one statement changed my life forever. After a couple of weeks I was finally seen by the high risk pregnancy ob/gyn which started the long line of endless appointments twice a week every week. The next couple of months consisted of many ultrasounds, blood work and kidney biopsies. The day before Thanksgiving was my last kidney biopsy. A few days after that, I found out that I have a kidney disease called IgA nephropathy, or Berger's disease.

Unfortunately there is no cure and all hope of having a healthy baby was gone. I was now facing the decision that I prayed I would never have to make, I could risk my life and my baby's life and try to carry to term, or – if I could even go to term, run the risk of my baby being born with all sorts of birth defects. So it came down to terminating my first and only baby or saving my own life.

I always knew I would never have my baby, I was now just trying to hang on to the last precious moments I would have with my baby. After many sleepless nights I had come to the decision that I will have to do the right thing for me and my baby; I had to terminate my own flesh and blood. My Doctor told me if I continued on I would most likely go into a state of renal failure and possibly die within a month.

On December 9th at 15 weeks of pregnancy, I was admitted into the hospital to be induced (I had to wait a few days for the ethic committee at the hospital to approve the procedure) On December 10th after 24 hours of labor, I gave birth to my one and only child. I did not see or hold my baby, I didn't think I could ever forgive myself for what I did if I ever saw my baby.

It's been six months now and it still hurts as bad as the day I lost my baby. Maybe one day I'll be strong enough to ask my mother if I had a boy or girl. Until then, I can just hope that one day I will  see my little Sebastian or Sophia to tell him or her that "I always wanted you and would have gone to the ends of the world to be able to have you. Thank you so much for being part of my life even it was for only 15 weeks. You saved my life and I will never forget the little human being that made me so happy and gave me hope that the world was a beautiful place even though bad things happen to angels."


Books on Loss and Grief

Our Heartbreaking Choices: Forty-Six Women Share Their Stories of Interrupting a Much-Wanted Pregnancy

The Dive :: A Memoir

A Time to Decide a Time to Heal: For Parents Making Difficult Decisions About Babies They Love

Precious Lives Painful Choices: A Prenatal Decision-Making Guide

Sunshine After the Storm: A Survival Guide for the Grieving Mother

Empty Cradle, Broken Heart, Revised Edition: Surviving the Death of Your Baby

Empty Arms: Coping With Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Infant Death

A Silent Sorrow: Pregnancy Loss

Unspeakable Losses: Healing From Miscarriage, Abortion, And Other Pregnancy Loss

Surviving Pregnancy Loss: A Complete Sourcebook for Women and Their Families

Difficult Decisions: For Families Whose Unborn Baby Has a Serious Problem

Books for Fathers, Family, Children and Friends

Couple Communication After a Baby Dies: Differing Perspectives

For Better or Worse: For Couples Whose Child Has Died

How to Say it When You Don't Know What to Say: The Right Words For Difficult Times

A Guide For Fathers: When A Baby Dies

When Your Friend's Child Dies: A Guide to Being a Thoughtful and Caring Friend

When Pregnancy Fails: Families Coping with Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Death

What You Can Say When You Don't Know What to Say: Reaching Out to Those Who Hurt

Books about Trying Again and Pregnancy after Loss

Journeys: Stories of Pregnancy After Loss

Trying Again: A Guide to Pregnancy After Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss

Pregnancy After a Loss: A Guide to Pregnancy After a Miscarriage, Stillbirth, or Infant Death