When my Husband and I found out we were expecting we were over joyed. Being first time parents was thrilling and exciting. We had a healthy pregnancy during our first trimester. Not long into my second trimester at 20 weeks I went in for a routine scan to find out the gender. Little did I know I was in for the shock of my life. The most devastating words after seeing my beautiful baby girl moving around. She was perfect in every way but unfortunately that day I never expected my life to change. As the ultrasound tech gave me a longer scan than normal she asked me to hold on for the doctor to come in and see me. All I could think was Whats Wrong?
I saw her. She had her heartbeat, she was growing accordingly, what was going on that i felt my heart sink the minute a doctor was called? As the doctor did a quick scan he expressed his sorrow. Im sorry we dont know why this has occured but you need to be taken to Labor and Delivery. And with that i was asked to wait for papers and sent to labor and delivery.
I was taken into triage, asked to put on a gown and put into a room. As i waited for doctors to explain what was going on and also waiting for my mom and husband the tears came uncontrollably. Why was this happening? What had I done wrong? I had just seen my beautiful princess and yet somehow she was being taken from me. As the doctor gave me no full explanation as to why this was happening he explained there was no true answer as to why this was happening. He simply gave us the term incompetent cervix, that you don’t know you have the condition until you miscarry and gave me my 3 options. This was the head of the high risk unit and his options were to terminate, take progesterone to prolong the process of labour or to do a risky cervical cerclage with barely any cervix and 1 centimetre dilated. As i tried to process everything being told I was even more horrified to hear that the doctor recommended I start fresh by terminating this pregnancy and starting over. The most intense anger filled my body up. How selfish could you be as a doctor? To not show compassion or remorse to tell a woman to simply terminate her perfectly healthy baby because her body wasn’t strong enough to hold her. I know deep down he was just preparing me but I was still angry.
The more time we had to chose what we wanted we knew surgery was not worth it. To go so far as a cerclage to put her in distress or myself was selfish. We couldn’t risk losing her. There was also no way on Earth as the mother to this strong warrior fighting to grow inside me that I was going to Choose to end her life. So we left it up to to faith , my daughter and the help of the progesterone suppositories. We were sent home with a small print out package of pre term labour and very small minimal information on incompetent cervix. My instructions were no bed rest to go about my day with normal physical activity and not to do over strenuous activity. I was also limited to the amount of time i could be on my feet and was to give myself as much pelvic rest as possible without being on bed rest. That meant sitting down most of the day. Due to my job not being the greatest environment I had left a month before so being at home during this time was served us well. We took a chance on her and my body and waited to see when she would arrive. We knew we had a long journey and prayed the progesterone would at least get us to Viability which was 24 weeks. We named our daughter after a combination of our moms. Her name was Madison Luz Santos. It means Gift of God’s Light . Madison = Gift of God Luz= Light. Madison fought long and hard from 20 weeks we made it together to 23 weeks and 6 days.
Madison was always a pretty active baby some days and some days she barely moved with a kick here and there. During my visits to the hospital in those 3 weeks of constant exams of checking on her they told me it was normal thag some days she moved around and some days she didnt that she was still very little. The day i went to labor she was barely moving. I had a doctors appointment the next day and was debating myself to go to the hospital. Not realizing that hours later I would start extremely strong and fast contractions. We were on our way to our hospital which was about 45 mins away and my water broke. I chose to go immediately as we knew we had a time sensitive situation. My instinct was to get her immediate help knowing she was already on her way. Yes most women can go days in labor but this was my precious angel not strong enough to even breathe on her own and she needed as much help as possible as fast as possible. We had our angel Madison Luz Santos on September 13, 2016 at 3:55 am. She was 12 inches long and 15.5 ounces in weight. She fought for 3 weeks and 6 days. She is the true definition of a warrior. She fought long and hard and even though she never took a breath she also never knew pain.
I hope in sharing my story that I encourage any woman who has been through similar experience to share their story. Help be a voice for others who have been through the same experience. Help other women know the importance of getting to know her body during pregnancy and getting to know her baby through fetal movement.
Written by Jasmine, Madison’s Mother.