Thursday, February 10, 2011

Without a Cause

I got a call back from my doctor last night at 6:30 all to tell me that the results received from the Mayo Clinic from the autopsy {makes me sick typing this} on our sweet boy were completely normal. There is simply no answer for why he passed away. No chromosomal defects or abnormalities (occurs in about 20% of stillbirths). No disease/sickness/virus/illness/clotting. No birth defects.

While I was hospitalized during labor, before, and after Andrew's birth, I had blood drawn by what felt like the gallon. They needed it to test for all the issues that may have complicated things. My biggest concern was blood clots as I mentioned in my former post. Since I was pregnant when they extracted the blood and still had the pregnancy hormones within my body, the tests weren't expected to be completely accurate... but the big red flags would tell if something very serious was wrong and needed to be attended to for my own health.

The first batch of blood test results came back and all were normal except two parts: antithrombin III and protein s. These blood clotting disorders are extremely rare and unlikely considering the others I did not have that were more common. My doctor explained that since I tested negative for certain other ones, having a deficiency or excess would contradict those results-- so they weren't expecting me to come back positive from the second batch of testing anyway. It was all done as a precautionary and rule-out method.

I received my bloodwork back from my second batch of testing and I am clear of all blood clotting disorders. I'm relieved. That means not only great things for our future children (complications + passing on that gene), but it means I don't have to take/inject a blood thinner for the rest of my life to preserve my own health. Sometimes the presence of a blood clot around/near/in a baby is what saves the lives of the mother with such disorders by making them aware-- but we don't have that concern. Our Andrew lost his life for no known cause at all. The truth is, a large number of stillbirths have no known cause. That's us.

As long as we've done everything we could to assure our next attempt at children will not be catastrophic by our negligence or lack of testing, we're pleased. Sometimes this just happens {sadly 1 in every 160 babies}... and we have to accept that we had something horrible happen without answers. But before we carry forward, we needed to know that there were no preventative measures we were neglecting.

Will we be a complete mental and emotional wreck for subsequent pregnancies, of course. Is it worth it?  Absolutely.


d.a.r. said... [Reply to comment]

I'm sure it has to be hard to know...but at least there is some relief in knowing that you were healthy. And that you will likely be healthy the next time, again.

It stinks that somethings just don't have answers. Faith is hard!

Newlywed Next Door said... [Reply to comment]

I'm sorry hun. In some ways its hard to hear there is no reason, because as humans, we WANT a reason. But in some ways it's better to hear that Andrew didn't have any birth defects and you're healthy too.
We got a "pathology report" for our little guy and it didn't give me a reason for all of our baby's issues -- which made me feel both better and worse. Better because the chance of other babies with issues is lower but worse because that means I'll never get my answer to "why"

LauraJane said... [Reply to comment]

There's some peace to be found in knowing you can move forward with plans for more children without worry that there is a specific cause for Andrew's loss. I realize that might appear counter-intuitive, because as an earlier commenter mentioned, we as humans want a reason- we want something or someone to blame.

I am pleased your results came back clear, but totally understand your anxiety regarding future pregnancies. I think if fear were to prevent you from moving forward with the life you know you deserve, with the beautiful children you will have, that would be the very worst outcome. Some choices are sooo worth the risk.

I am pulling for you. :)

Tiffany said... [Reply to comment]

having no answers is a very hard thing. we are in that place too. it's just so hard to accept that bad things happen to good people. it's not right or fair at all. and i'm sorry that this happened to you. ((hugs))

boo and stacy arnold said... [Reply to comment]

Ditto what everyone else said. And big praise your body is healthy! Thinking about you!!

Newlywed Next Door said... [Reply to comment]

PS - My husband also proposed to me on the beach in MB. 7/7/07 -- But not on 26th street, on 36th street.

Molly said... [Reply to comment]

Hi, I hope you don't mind, but I've started following your blog. Not sure how I ran across it--maybe Faces of Loss? I also have a son who was stillborn in August, and it helps me so much to read how others in my situation are dealing. And it helps to know I'm not alone. We did find out that I have a blood-clotting disorder, but I don't think that's why he died. It's so hard not knowing. I hope you find peace. X0 -Molly

Brooke said... [Reply to comment]

Oh, mercy. I am reading through your whole blog now (ok, the last three months) and on every entry I just want to comment, "Me too! Me too! ME TOO!" Seriously. No answers here either. [expletives removed]. I love what you said about future pregnancies though. I know that I will be SO terrified the entire time. But will it be worth the risk? Without a doubt.