Yesterday we received the results of the post mortem. This is a hurdle that we’ve wanted to get past for a while. It was important to us to try to find out what happened and to know what implications there would be for future pregnancies. I was worried about the appointment, scared that I would discover an underlying problem that would leave us mourning future children as well as Lentil. Six weeks after Lentil was born I had to have blood tests to check for clotting disorders that may have caused his death and I was worried that they would come back positive.
The night before the appointment Paul dreamt that we had twins, they both had Holt-Oram syndrome but they were alive. It’s funny we were so worried about Lentil being born with HOS but it doesn’t matter anymore, we just want a baby who breathes, a baby we can bring home. Paul’s dreamt before about future children, about us having a little girl with HOS, this time it was a boy and a girl. I have to admit that I’m jealous. I’m usually the one with the vivid dreams but I’ve only had a couple of really dark dreams about Lentil since his death rather than any dreams about his siblings.
We went to the hospital, unfortunately the consultant was running about half an hour late. I was a little annoyed about this initially until Paul pointed out that she could have been called to an emergency. He’s always thinking of others before himself and considers the bigger picture. We were taken to a private meeting room to wait for the consultant. The terrible interior design choices kept us amused and kept our minds off the news that we may be about to hear.
The consultant was really lovely, she gave us the report to read and answered all of the questions that we had. We had made a list of questions to take with us as we knew we’d forget what we had wanted to ask once we were there. Lentil died because he was starved of oxygen. He was really healthy and hadn’t had problems until that day. They aren’t sure why he was starved of oxygen. The report says ‘an umbilical cord accident’ is the most likely explanation.
The result has left me with really mixed emotions. Lentil hadn’t been struggling for a long time, he really was perfect. There is no reason to believe that future pregnancies would end in the same way. Yet the idea that he was perfect and was so close to living just makes me so sad. Lentil hadn’t been very active that day and we were offered the option of going into hospital for continuous monitoring but his heartbeat was strong. If we or the midwife had thought that there was any danger we would have gone straight to hospital without any question. But we didn’t. The consultant did say that even with continuous monitoring the outcome may not have been any different. It seems that the lack of oxygen was sudden and acute. It’s just hard to put the ‘what ifs’ to bed but I know I must.
The next hurdle to overcome is receiving the results of the inquiry that the hospital is completing. I’m terrified that the report will attribute blame. Either to my husband and I for not going to the hospital for continuous monitoring or to our midwife for not encouraging us to do so. As I’ve already mentioned, we had no concerns. Lentil’s heartbeat was so strong and regular. The contractions were becoming much more powerful and closer together. We had and still have absolute faith in our midwife and we would not only have no qualms about her being our midwife in the future, we can’t imagine it being anyone else. We definitely don’t blame our midwife and I’m trying really hard not to blame myself so a report that attributes blame would be completely unhelpful.
The one piece of news that we received yesterday that we hadn’t been expecting was the news that the obstetrician felt that I should strongly consider a c-section for future deliveries. Not because another natural delivery would put the baby at risk but because of the severity of the tear that I had when Lentil was born. This has raised more questions for me. Lentil was ten days early, it’s best to wait until 39 weeks for an elective c-section. There can be problems with a baby’s lungs not being ready when they’re born by c-section and the likelihood of these problems occurring increases the earlier that you have the baby. It’s raised lots of new concerns in my head but has also reduced some other worries.
Yesterday was definitely a day of mixed emotions. In some ways we received the best news that we could have hoped for. There is no underlying problem, it’s unlikely to happen again. But it doesn’t bring Lentil back and it has made guilt rear it’s ugly head yet again.