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The proximal cause of death was anhydramnios - no amniotic fluid. Ethan had no amniotic fluid because his kidneys were severely malformed. He also had intestinal malformations and a two vessel cord (he was supposed to have 3 vessels). Because he had no amniotic fluid, his lungs failed to develop. He got plenty of oxygen from me, but he would not have been able to breathe after birth. But he would not have made it to birth - if we had not induced delivery, they think he would have died just a few weeks later. His little heart was so strong, and so healthy, but everything else was badly damaged. I was already in labor when we induced. So we know we made the right decision.
The reason Ethan had all these birth defects was because of diabetes - MY diabetes. But because I had no symptoms (like 1/3 of all diabetics) no one actually knew I was diabetic until the damage had been done. With enough psychotherapy, I will probably stop blaming myself at some point.
The only good news is that this won't happen to any future children. With the help of my doctors, and through my own hard work, my blood sugar is now better than most non-diabetics. We miss Ethan terribly, but we are looking forward to giving him a few siblings.
We didn't really learn anything new with this autopsy - just that he was much sicker than we realized. And the autopsy report didn't list my diabetes as a cause of death, because there is no test that can confirm that for sure (autopsy reports are legal documents and can't guess at things). But the fact that it was my diabetes that made him sick has been confirmed by the head of the department of maternal fetal medicine. So we know that is the cause, even if the autopsy report can quite say it.
Thank you so much for all of your support these past few months - you'll never know how helpful it has been. Hopefully in a few months I'll finally have some good news to share!
I agree with the other girls. Obviously, if you had known about the diabetes, you would have done everything in your power to make yourself healthy to ensure he would be. But <i>you didn't know.</i> You yourself said you had no symptoms.
It's hard when we feel like our bodies have failed us.
Don't blame yourself. I didn't know about my diabetes until I had a yeast infection for 4 months (yeah 4 months, everyone cringe), eventually my OB said lets test for it, because that is usually the culprit of a YI that won't go away. I thought he was insane, I was only 25. My sugars were over 400, and I had no idea.
And just in case you haven't been told, diabetics should take a lot more folic acid if trying to get pregnant (or if pregnant.) I was told to take at least 1000 micrograms from my maternal fetal specialist. And remember with good A1C your chances of birth defects aren't any higher than a regular womans. And it doesn't get much better than yours!
Oh, that is SO hard to hear! It is so easy to blame ourselves... as if we should know what's going on in there. But if they don't run the tests, if they don't LOOK for something, there are so many things we just don't know. Even if it is our body.
I am so glad you have your blood sugars controlled now and that you have a positive outlook for the future!
Logically, I know it's not my fault - I had NO symptoms. Or at least, any symptoms I had (nausea and vomiting and having to pee) were mixed up with regular pregnancy symptoms. But I still FEEL guilty. It's weird. But it helps to hear from you guys that blaming yourself is normal.
I cannot wait until you are trying again. I am already excited for you guys!
Even though it hurts, I'm glad you were able to get detailed autopsy results. I get so sad when someone never finds the cause for their baby's death. I would truly go insane every subsequent pregnancy. It was absolutely not your fault. How could you have known? And as for inducing, he wouldn't have made it any way. Not MAYBE he wouldn't have made it. You did everything right and you still are. You need to get pregnant!!!!
:dothugs: You shouldn't blame yourself at all! You didn't know you were diabetic, and if you did, you would have done everything you could to be healthy for your baby. I'm so sorry that this happened. I hope you are pregnant soon!
I am so terribaly sorry for your loss (and everyone elses)
I had a brother (and a cousin) die not long after birth. My brother (and cousin) were both diagnoised with Potter's Syndrome. The Potter's Syndrome they had is genetic. Both of them were born with no kidneys and underdeveloped lungs.
My mum carried my brother to term and had no idea there was any potential problem. After his birth/death the OB said that was the outcome he expected, which means he KNEW what was going to happen.
I had extensive testing done when I was pregnant with my daughter, I had 4 ultrasounds done at 18wks to check for kidneys, if there were no kidneys we would have induced labor also.