Monday, August 12, 2013

Love love love. And heavy thoughts.

I am so in love with this music video and artist. She lost her daughter during her pregnancy and is crazy talented and writing music that sadly way too many of us can relate to:

A couple weeks ago someone posted an article discussing whether it is/was ethical for neonatalogists to attempt to "save" micropreemies even if the parents want them to try.

I am so so torn on this. I always have been.

After they convinced us that we HAD to deliver Olivia (only after they said she would be stillborn if we didn't, which was true, as there was very low amniotic fluid and reverse bloodflow), they asked us if we wanted them to resuscitate her, if they could. They said that there was only about a 1% chance that she would live, and if she did, odds were extremely high that she would be severely handicapped.

Joe answered confidently and emphatically, "YES!" while looking at me and not knowing I had been about to say no. It's not that I didn't want a handicapped daughter, I didn't want to put her through everything keeping her alive would entail, only for her to die in a few days anyway. I think the doctor may have seen the doubt in my eyes and might have left us to talk about it, but those kind of details are fuzzy now. I do remember talking about it alone with him.

I remember the jackass MFM telling us that it was a lost cause, and that he couldn't really fathom WHY my OB would bother transferring me hospitals (from one with a moderate level NICU to one with the most advanced NICU in our area).

In hindsight, I am glad that Joe said yes, and that I let it stand, because I would have felt horribly guilty wondering if we shouldn't have said yes. There is enough to feel guilty about (I know not legitimately, but any mom who has lost a baby knows about the guilt that comes with it, as brutally unfair as that is.)

In the end, our choice didn't matter, because they decided after delivery for us that she was too small, and they said they didn't have small enough equipment. It turns out that even though the hospital is very Catholic, they use that excuse a lot, even with bigger babies, so I have come to think that's just their nicer way of saying they aren't going to try to save your baby, especially since other hospitals do/have saved 23 weekers. (About a year ago there was a 9.6 ounce baby born at 23 weeks from preeclampsia who was discharged from the hospital after 6 months...Olivia was 10.5 ounces at 23 weeks, so bigger then the baby that survived and according to her facebook page is doing relatively well today. .) 

And this is where it gets so tricky. It pisses me off, still, that they didn't even TRY. But then, if she was going to be in the NICU for a few days or hours but die anyway, I'm glad she didn't go through that. But what if she would have lived?...and that's where it gets so murky. We don't have a crystal ball to see how it would have turned out.

I love our boys and I can't imagine not having them fill my days with tantrums and giggles and visits in the middle of the night and everything. They make us so happy and fill our lives with so much love and joy. If Olivia was here, both of them probably wouldn't be. I can't be sad that they are here. I wish that she was too. But since it couldn't have ever worked out this way, I am more and more "at peace" I guess you could say, that they didn't try to save her. I'm still not sure if that means they shouldn't even give parents a choice, I don't like that alternative either. I guess no matter which way it goes, it sucks, to a certain extent.

As Olivia's fourth birthday is too rapidly approaching, my thoughts are more and more what our lives would be like if she were here, except when I imagine her here, I always imagine what life would be like with a typical 4 year old, not a 4 year old who was born at 23 weeks (who might have been typical by 4 but most likely, not.)

I miss her.


Brooke said...

If Olivia had lived, I might not ever have met you. But somehow, I miss her too.

Thinking of you, and both our girls. I'm sorry you were faced with an impossible decision, and I'm sorry Olivia isn't here with you.

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