Thursday, December 20, 2012

Helping a Friend

Update 12/28/12:  Stephanie's baby ended up passing.  She had a D&E today and is at home feeling out of it but ok.  The money donated to her will help with medical bills for this surgery and hopefully she won't have to have another (she had to have two last time).  Please keep her in your thoughts, she is truly grateful for all of the help she received.  If you'd like to continue to donate, please use the link below and the money will be used to cover her medical costs.  Thank you, readers, we have given her over $450 so far . . .

I would like to share the story of a fellow mama who is having a difficult time at the moment.  We actually "met" on Instagram awhile ago and have been emailing since June.  She was pregnant when we first spoke (and so was I) and then she lost her baby, and wrote to me because of this blog and the story of our blueberry.  She reached out knowing that I went through what she was about to go through, and I am happy she found a friend in me and shared her story.  Now she is pregnant again and most likely will lose her baby again, so I am asking for your help.

During her first pregnancy, this past summer, at 16 weeks, she had an ultrasound and her amniotic fluid was low.  Her baby still had a heartbeat but was told she would probably lose the baby in 4-8 weeks because the baby had stopped growing due to the low fluid.  She was given the choice of terminating, having surgery or being induced to naturally deliver the baby.  She wrote:
"I am in a rough place, trying to take it a day at a time. I am able not to be angry with myself or with my body for doing this... I can only think that everything happens for a reason and there must have been something wrong with my baby for this to happen. I can and will get through this and my heart will mend but it would kill me to bring a baby into this world that would struggle. I am trying to deal with things day-by-day.... "
She saw a doctor, at the time, that wasn't very sympathetic and she (and her boyfriend) actually broke the news to friends (that she was pregnant) and then had to tell them what was going on (facing the "oh no's" and "I'm sorry's" that you get when something like this happens).  She was on bed rest for weeks and just had to wait to see if the baby would die on it's own so she could do testing to see what caused this, instead of just terminating the pregnancy when she knew it was eventually going to end.

She ended up having a D&C, after the baby passed and then had to have another procedure to remove some excess tissue.  Her words again:
"Physically im feeling better, still in some pain, but emotionally I'm kind of a wreck. I don't know what to do with myself,, all of a sudden yesterday and today I am just a puddle of crying mess. I am nervous to return to work, I hate crying in front of people, I'm nervous and embarrassed almost to see people... Those who know and those who don't. I just don't want to do the rest of 2012... Not my due date, not thanksgiving or Christmas. When did you start trying again?  It's all I can think about. I know I need to give my body and mind time to heal, and I need to be ready not only to be pregnant but to do all of this again if, god forbid, that's the case.... I just can't stop thinking about how my year and the rest of my life were supposed to be... Everything in my life had been revolving around baby and now I just don't know what to do with myself...."
So many of us, including myself, have been there and had those same thoughts.  She ended up having the baby tested and nothing was wrong, and also found out it was a little girl.  She started to feel better, physically and emotionally, and returned to work.  And, on September 15th, she took a test and found out she was pregnant again.  I was so excited for this news and so happy for my friend who had been through so much, so much that I could relate to, and felt that she was SO deserving of being a mother, and would be a GREAT mother to her new little baby.  I thought of her every day and sent her so many happy thoughts, I wished and hoped for the best for her, just like I had wished and hoped the same thing for myself during my pregnancy with Lemon.  Her message to me in early October:
"I went to the dr on Wednesday, so far so good, had all my bloodwork done and I go for my first ultrasound on Tuesday! Fingers crossed! I have a very strange feeling about...twins.... I keep seeing signs everywhere. The week I found out I saw rainbows everywhere, now I see twins. I even saw a twin carriage sitting outside my grandparents old house right around the corner from where I live. Twins run in my family too! Would be a crazy blessing! I'm just thankful this is all happening so fast for us. We'll know more Tuesday but I am due around May 20th. Thus far, all good things! I am about 7 1/2 weeks now.... Hoping for a sticky little bean!"
And on November 19th I got an ultrasound picture and a message saying that her babe is the size of a lemon!  Happy news from one lemon to another.  :)  She was going to find out the sex of the baby the day after Christmas and was SO excited, and I was excited for her too.

On December 12th I got a message that "[it's] happening again, same as last time."  She wrote me that her fluid was low, baby was still alive (she was 17 weeks) and is on bed rest and drinking a lot of water before her next ultrasound.  And then Tuesday she wrote:
"Had my appointment on Monday- no change in fluid, as expected. As horrible as it is I talked to my dr about termination, she is affiliated with a Christian hospital and so bound by their code of ethics, so she got me an appointment at Yale with a woman who could have done surgery today..... But when I went to see her yesterday they told me insurance won't cover it and I needed to pay $2,000 up front just to see the dr (also covered surgery and pathology after) .... So we had to leave because I didn't have the money. The financial administrator tried to help but they wouldn't even allow a payment plan! It's not even what I want, I just was guaranteed that I will lose the baby again and I really didn't want it looming over the holidays especially. Last time I had to wait four weeks for the baby's heart to stop and every day was excruciating. Now they are making me fight and beg for something I don't even want. I told my mom, who was the only family member I'd be comfortable telling, and she didnt offer to help financially. Part of me wants to hope that maybe it's all for a reason and the baby will somehow pull through, but my dr's and past experience have taken most of that hope away from me...... I'm sad."
So, friends, I am asking for your help.  My husband and I sent her a gift of our own yesterday but she still needs more to be able to get the surgery she needs.  How horrible for her to have to wait, until her baby's heart stops beating, to get another D&C and she can't afford the termination cost.  If you were thinking of giving to charity this holiday season, please consider giving to my friend Stephanie.  She is going through something, for the second time, that I couldn't even imagine, something I remember all too well, and I'm sure something that many of you mamas have been through yourselves. 

Ever since we lost our blueberry, I wanted to find an organization to give to or volunteer with that helps women who have gone through the loss of a baby.  For some reason, there isn't one group out there that I have been able to connect with, not even a local group that I can go to and help at that meets regularly.  So, this will be my way to give back, helping a specific person, a friend, find peace with what is happening to her, a second time.  She is spending the holidays not working, on bed rest (with a tiny Christmas tree in her room), just waiting to see what happens and I'd like to provide her with the funds she needs to end this chapter and start anew, with a new year.  I am asking for your help too, with whatever you can give. 

I set up a donation for her through PayPal, just click the button below.  Give whatever you can, even if it is just a couple of dollars, and let's make her Christmas and New Year a happy one.  Even if her baby passes before she has the money to terminate, whatever we give will help her pay for her medical bills because anyone that has been through this knows how expensive it can be (my natural miscarriage was over $1000 with insurance because of a hospital visit).

She is also looking for clarity so if you, or someone you know, has been through something similar (low fluid) please share in the comments below.  She wrote to me today (thinking this blog was only going to share her story):

"Maybe someone will know something that could help me, or give some peace of mind. It's a crazy place to be in, my mind has never been so occupied. I'm constantly wondering what will happen, when, will they learn anything?? Over the summer when this happened I was really just hoping for when I would be pregnant again. My doctor did not seem to be concerned it would happen again, basically called it a fluke and gave the go-ahead to try again.... Now I'm terrified for that part, the part I wanted so badly before: "next time"... That part scares me. So really anybody that could offer ANYTHING would maybe help me to reconcile some if this."

I was not asked to write this blog and Stephanie did not know I was going to set up a donation for her, until I posted this.  She is not the type of person who asks for help and does not even feel comfortable asking anyone else in her family, besides her mother, to help her.  I have set this up for her because she deserves to be happy over the holidays and to be a mother one day.  The sooner she can recover and heal from this, the sooner she can try again, she needs that hope and peace in her life right now. 

If you have a blog, please share Stephanie's story and direct people to donate.  If you have lived through this, or have known someone who has, please share also, the more people who want to help the better.  Let's give back and pay it forward this year, and I can't think of a more worthy person to help.

Thank you friends. 

(Her instagram name is @stephnienohell.)


  1. My heart breaks for her. How painful this must be.

    As far as causes, in her case it doesn't seem clear-cut. The March of Dimes has a good info sheet on this condition (called oligohydramnios) here:

    The March of Dimes may be a good resource for you, too, to find a support group or way to help mothers going through similar losses. Miscarriage is a common event but so many women don't talk about it. I admire you for being so open and willing to share.

  2. Hey Allison,

    I've been reading (and loving) your blog for a couple of weeks now but felt compelled to finally comment. This breaks my heart, and I am sending her the biggest hug. I will share this on my Twitter account now, and in my links post this week. I hope it helps.

    Lots of love to you- and a hug to you too, for spreading the word for your friend- what a beautiful heart you have!


  3. This is so sad. I can't imagine what your friend must be going through. But what makes me even more sad is that that sweet little baby could survive. I know the chances may be really slim, but wouldn't it be worth all the pain and sadness and waiting if the baby lives in the end? I know this probably won't be a popular comment, but what if that baby is fighting to live, and no one else is fighting for him or her? I will be praying for both mom and baby.
    I agree that your friend deserves a happy holiday and to be a mother one day, but I also think that baby deserves a chance to fight!

  4. My heart is breaking for her---obviously what I went through is similar but nowhere near the same. We DID have astronomical medical bills for my miscarriage/D&C/complications, so my heart hurts for her in the financial sense, too. Aside from the emotional loss of two babies---something I can't quite imagine.

    Has she looked into the Bump's loss boards? I found a lot of comfort on the 'Miscarriage/Loss' and then the 'TTC after a loss' boards. Eventually the 'Pregnant after a Loss' board was huge for me, too---so many strong women there, many of whom have endured a lot of pain and complications. Perhaps someone would have a similar story for her there?

  5. I am SO sorry that your friend is going through this! I'm sorry that you have, too. We lost our second about a month after you, at 13 weeks. It was devastating and heart breaking. I still think of it even now having Jill. Just the other night my husband and I got talking about it and we were in tears - and its been almost two years.

    I don't have a lot to give but I donated what I could. My heart and prayers go out to her !