Sunday, July 5, 2015

July 5 - Dear Nicholas Sparks (Guest Blogger Melissa Halterman)

Dear Mr. Sparks,

hen we found out we were pregnant with our third child we were happy. We tried a couple months before but got so busy with work we just didn't think about it until I got the positive test. We were so young when we had our first two. I wanted to read everything possible so that I would know everything. We had 2 ultrasounds, one at 10 weeks and one at about 22 weeks. My doctor said all looked good. The whole pregnancy was real good, I had no problems. Towards the end of my pregnancy, I was really freaking out about how big I was. My doctor assured me that I just didn't remember what it was like. My legs were sore a lot so they did a vein ultrasound but found nothing wrong. My due date was March 7, 2002. I was so big and uncomfortable and complained to my doctor A LOT! He said he could induce me at 6 a.m. on March 6, 2002. When I woke up that morning, I didn't want to go. I told myself to not be so lazy, just get ready! I did. My cervix was long and it took a lot to break the water. I was real uncomfortable with the whole thing; my other two children came when they were ready. Once they got the pitocin going, I got going. I was in labor for about 3 to 4 hours. Our baby boy (who we were told was a girl) was finally here. I was so exhausted and surprised about the boy part! My sister-in-law and mom and mom-in-law were with me (my husband can't stomach it!) when all of a sudden i realized something was wrong. Why wasn't my baby crying? Why didn't they bring him to me? I asked but got no answer. Before I knew it, there were about 7 people in there besides me and family. They were pumping air into my baby. They finally told me they had to take him for x-rays and they had to call St. Louis Children's Hospital. My husband said he would go. We were deciding on a name since we had a girls' name picked out. My husband said he was going to see what was going on. He came back like 2 seconds later and said they wouldn't let him in and a nurse came out crying. About an hour later, a doctor I recognized from earlier came in with the x-rays. He said our baby didn't make it and he began to tell us what was wrong. I couldn't comprehend what he was saying. Did he just tell me our baby died?!? Why did this happen?!? What happened?!? I really couldn't hear him with all that was going through my mind. Our baby had many problems that we weren't aware of: VSD, ventricular septal defect, CDH and hypoplastic left lung. When you can't prepare for something you feel lost. When this happened, I was so lost that I couldn't deal with it all. For 3 months I still had no clue what happened and why. I had to make myself get out all the paper work and start reading about it. Almost all the stories I've read, people knew what might happen, that something was wrong with their babies. Why couldn't this have been true for us? I know you can never really be prepared for death, but knowing would have helped. I hope no one ever has to go through this without knowing before birth. I hope that very soon someone can figure out why this happens and can make it stop. We are pregnant again and I'm reading a lot more than I ever have about birth and congenital diseases and birth defects. I never thought my child would be born with anything wrong. I have felt so selfish and foolish. There is a lot more to our case that I can't mention now, but basically, this is our story.

Zarek's mom, Melissa Halterman (Missouri)

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