For as long as I can remember I wanted to be a mother. I thought I
was a healthy young female. Little did I know I was carrying the Lupus Anti-Body. It was the early 80's.
I had never heard of Lupus let alone an anti-body. By the time
I turned 30 I was still childless even though my husband and I tried for years. I set a goal for myself to
become pregnant before I turned 35 because my biological clock was ticking away.
I searched for a doctor who could help me and my husband make it happen.
The doctor we found decided fertility drugs might be the answer. After a short physical exam he prescribed
fertility pills. No blood tests were ordered at this time. This is an important fact to keep in mind as
you read on.
The year was 1982. I remember standing in front of the pharmacy with the
fertility prescription in hand and looking at my husband, saying "Are you sure we should do this? This will
probably change our lives' forever". He nodded his head and so we stepped inside the pharmacy and had the prescription
Within five days after taking the pills my mind and body went hay-wire.
I now know that the sudden increase in hormones from the fertility drug was the culprit. But I did get pregnant
the first month.
When the pregnancy tests came back positive I was on Cloud Nine. I
could not believe it. I couldn't wait to wear the cute maternity shirts and show off my belly. I wanted
to tell the world...."Hey, I'm going to have a baby".
But I still doubted myself. I remember, about the 4th month of the
pregnancy, laying on the exam table at my OB's office and asking him if it was possible I was really not pregnant?
Could this just be all in my head, like a false pregnancy? At that very moment my OB placed his magic wand
over my tummy and turned up the volume. He said "If this is a false pregnancy, what is this?" I questioned
what it was too and then suddenly I realized it was the sound of my baby's heart beat.
Talk about excitement and overwhelming happiness. It was the most wonderful
sound I had ever heard. To this day, I still remember the sound of each and every beautiful beat. After
leaving the doctor's office I ran to the closest telephone and called my husband and then everyone else I could
think of. I was well on my way, finally, to becoming a Mommy. I was about to give my husband a child, maybe
even a son, to carry on his name.
Our Christmas that year was filled with hopes and dreams for our new life
as parents as we were expecting the following Spring. I was feeling great even though I had morning
sickness all during the day. But that was OK. To me, that meant everything was working as should be. I also had
cravings for things like raw potatoes, noodles, tuna and McDonald's cheeseburgers with tons of fries stuffed
inside. Gosh, life was good.
My tummy continued to grow. I felt our baby move for the first
time in early January. Another mile-stone passed successfully and with such delight even though, at first,
I wasn't sure what that tingling was.
We started buying some of the many essentials needed for our baby along with
the little cute things. Little tiny booties, for example, my husband bought, I treasured with anticipation
and still have to this day. The booties have little green and white checkers on them with silk, green bows (my
husband was of Irish descent).
It was late January and another trip to the OB. This time I wanted
my husband along so he could hear the heart beat too. The doctor searched and searched, all over my tummy,
to no avail. He told us the baby was probably just laying far back into my tummy and so the reason he was
unable to find the heart beat. We were so disappointed. He decided I needed an ultra-sound because he thought
the baby was not quit the size it should be at this stage of the pregnancy.
For some reason, I don't remember why, the ultra-sound was not scheduled
until several weeks later. Everyday was pure hell as I waited and waited for the day to arrive for the
test and worried what that test might reveal. Each day I monitored any movement. Some days, I felt none.
Thus, the fear and worry mounted. Then, a few days before the test was scheduled, I passed a large blood clot.
I called the doctor, immediately. His nurse told me to just lay
down as much as possible... That was it. Later that evening I felt pain in my abdomen. The pain became stronger
with each passing hour. I called the doctor's office again and was told to just stay in bed. I started watching
the clock and noticed that the pain was happening on a timely bases. I asked myself, "is this labor, is
this what it feels like?".
It wasn't long after that I felt a lot of pressure and a strong urge
to push. I thought it was a bowel movement and so into the bathroom I went. When I sat down and pushed out
gushed a huge amount of what I thought was slightly bloody urine. (I learned, later, my water had broke). I also
felt something coming out of my body so I put my hand down to feel what it was. I wasn't sure so I took
a hand mirror and looked.
What I saw remains with me, even to this day. It was this little tiny
leg with a tiny foot and cute little toes. It was my baby. I screamed for my husband. He ran into the bathroom
and looked then turned around and faced the wall pounding his fists against the wall and shouting, "No,
Another call went out to the doctor. We were told to go the the Emergency
Room at the hospital I was scheduled to deliver at and my doctor would meet us there. As my husband drove towards
the hospital I sat on the passenger side feeling the part of my baby I was now sitting on. I tried not
to sit all the way down on the seat so not to hurt my baby.
Finally we arrived at the hospital. The ER nurse told my husband we
would need to wait before being seen. I remember my husband screaming out "My God, my wife is having
her baby, NOW! I was six months into the pregnancy.
Shortly I was rushed into a room. My doctor arrived and attempted to
deliver my baby. It hurt so bad and all his pulling and tugging was so painful. I remember thinking,
"Just get it out of there!" I could feel his hands way up into my belly, pulling, tugging. Then I heard
the sound of instruments. It wasn't long after that our baby was delivered. My doctor covered the baby with sheets
and said "You don't want to see this". He then handed the bundle over to a nurse who rushed out of the room
carrying my baby.
Soon after that I was admitted into the hospital and scheduled for
a procedure to clean out my uterus. No word about my baby, where it was, what it was, but I knew it had
died. I was too naive. I didn't understand. I didn't understand my patient's rights. Before I knew it, my
baby was sent to a lab for evaluation. We were told we would know the lab results within a few weeks. Within
a few days I was released from the hospital and sent home.
Home, without my baby. Oh, the mental pain. I felt as though my whole
world had ended. I remember sitting and moaning, out loud, in grief. The absence of my baby was horrible.
Thus, our lives had changed, forever.
Within weeks the lab report came in. For the first time my husband
and I knew we had a baby girl. The baby was normal in every way. But what had they done with my baby? I
soon came to realize my baby was disposed of by the hospital after the lab tests were finalized. It was
too late, too late for my baby. No funeral, nothing! No place on earth for a memorial or even proof that my baby
even ever existed. Just a bunch of medical terms on a piece of paper.
I later learned, after reading the lab results over and over again,
that the doctor had to cut my baby in half to remove her from my body. So explains why the doctor did
not want me to see her.
Of course I wondered what had I done to cause this. The guilt was horrible.
Blame, who should I blame? Me or my husband? I searched books, wrote letters to specialists in a desperate
attempt to explain all of this. I got letters from several specialists saying it was nothing I had done
and that many first pregnancies end in miscarriage. Miscarriage????? My God, I was 6 months pregnant.
After several months we tried for another chance at having a baby.
I got pregnant, this time, within 3 months of trying and without the help of fertility drugs. That
pregnancy ended during the 4th month of gestation. Still, no one knew why I carried each baby well past the first
tri-mester and past the danger zone but still ended in what was called a spontaneous abortion. That term
really pissed me off. I never asked for this. Isn't that what an abortion is? What did spontaneous mean? What
were they (the doctors) talking about?
A few years later I started developing blood clots in my right leg, for no
apparent reason. Finally, after being seen at one of the best hospitals in the Mid West (Barnes-Jewish Hospital,
St. Louis), everything was about to be explained.
Blood tests revealed an abnormality in my blood. Further tests were
ordered, specialized tests. The results, I had Lupus and the Lupus Anti-Body which explained much. It explained
the difficultly I had getting pregnant and the lost pregnancies. My body was forming blood clots with each
pregnancy. Clots that formed in each baby's cord, slowly cutting off oxygen and nutrients to my babies,
thus resulting in fetal loss well into each pregnancy, common to those who have the Lupus Anti-Body.
I was warned to never get pregnant again as it would probably result
in my death too or at best, extreme complications. I was also told that by the time I reach my late 40's,
early 50's, I would have full-flown Lupus. So, there went any dreams of ever becoming a mother. But at least
I finally had some answers, some understanding of "WHY"!!!!
I share my story with the reader in hopes to warn other young women
who are planning to start a family. Much more is known now about this abnormality. So, if you are planning
a family or newly pregnant, ask your doctor to test for the Lupus Anti-Body. If caught in time, oftentimes
an aspirin a day can prevent clotting and any dangers to your unborn resulting in a full term pregnancy with a
happy ending. The Lupus Anti-Body can remain undetected years before any signs are noted.
If you are having trouble conceiving and/or have had failed pregnancies,
get checked because these are some of the symptoms of the Lupus Anti-Body Disorder. Click here http://www.hamline.edu/~lupus/articles/Pregnancy_in_Lupus.html for more information about The Lupus Anti-Body and pregnancy.
In my case, adoption was not an option because my husband was not at
all interested in fathering someone else's child. A way of thinking he now regrets. But we were well into
our late 40's when he came to this new revelation and our marriage was ending for various other reasons.
It is too late for me but not for possibly anyone reading my story who wants
to have children. I have come to terms with my losses and know I will see my two children again, some
day. I will be able to hold those babies for the very first time.