It's very difficult accepting that there was no cause of death. No KNOWN cause. Believe me, I've gone over every possible cause in my head. Was it my awful diet? All that junk food full of artificial coloring and all sorts of fake toxic ingredients...But I ate that way with Josiah too, and he made it. Maybe it was because I tended to wake up in the morning on my back--and all the books say you have to sleep on your side, which I did, but I always ended up on my back in the mornings. Maybe it was the rose hips supplements I started taking to "naturally" induce labor so Jonas would come when my mother-in-law was staying with us in Germany. But lots of hippie preggo women take those and their babies are fine. Maybe it was all the ultrasounds the Germans did--one at every single appointment! Maybe it was the doctor's fault. Just two days before he passed away, approximately, I was given a strep B test (similar to a pap smear). Maybe he hurt my baby. Maybe it's because I was so busy with Josiah that I didn't really talk to Jonas...I didn't pray for him as often as I did for Joss...
NO NO NO. It was nothing I did.
I recently heard about a doctor whose main purpose in life is researching stillbirth and umbilical cord accidents. He's pretty amazing. He is one of the only doctors who is actually TRYING to prevent late-term stillbirths. He believes most "unknown cause" deaths are due to cord-accidents. There are several types of cord accidents. It is not something that happens just like that. It is something that is gradual. Because of this, it CAN be caught if a doctor knows what to look for. There are signs in the ultrasound of the umbilical cord, and there are signs in the heartbeat. Most doctors are afraid of scaring their pregnant patients, so many do not mention kick counts. And most very pregnant women do not want to hear the word "stillbirth". I didn't. But I learned the terrible, awful way that knowledge is so much better than ignorance. Women need to be more educated! It can happen to anyone, even if you'd had a perfectly healthy previous pregnancy.
So I called this guy. His name is Dr. Jason Collins of the Pregnancy Institute. He wants to hear from anyone who has experienced what I have. He asked about my story, and I told him. I told him how I WAS concerned about lack of movement, and how I researched it online and saw "decreased movement is normal in the last few weeks of pregnancy." And how I felt relieved at that. I thought I was just paranoid. He was so upset that so many women are finding that statement about decreased movement online. He said it's just not true. I emailed him all the ultrasounds I have of Jonas. He emailed me back right away and pointed out the umbilical cord in one photo. He told me how it showed "cord looping" and in his opinion, that was most likely the cause. That ultrasound was around 20 weeks, I believe.
So that was kind of a blow to my heart. It was so easily detected by him, but wasn't detected at all by my doctor, who did about 10 ultrasounds on me. Don't get me wrong, I'm not blaming my doctor at all. He was a very nice guy. Jonas' heartbeat was monitored for 30 min. at 4 prenatal appointments--my last 2 months of pregnancy. His heartbeat would go down, and then way up, and then stay steady. This happened a lot, and the midwives would make me drink a ton of water. I hated it. They were never concerned, just made me drink water to get the heartbeat normal. At every appointment. So was that not normal? Perhaps it could have been detected early on, and I could have been induced.
I won't get into the should-a would-a stuff. Things happen in life for a reason. And like I've said before, there is a completely new side of me now. I trust that God will use it for good.
So The Pregnancy Institute (www.preginst.com) has a program where you can set up a fetal monitor at home. You record the heartbeat for 30 min. each night during the last 2 months. The results are sent to Dr. Collins' blackberry and he knows what red flags to look for. I am very interested in this for my next pregnancy. The downside? It costs $2000 for the equipment. Perhaps when the time comes...we'll see.
Here is the ultrasound of Jonas. Note the umbilical cord and how it is twisted. It's the long thing that runs across where his mouth is. Please don't be sad. I'm trying to educate, here. :)
For more information, go to www.stillnomore.org
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