I am a mom of three, but only my eldest is living with us. His younger siblings never had the chance to grow and develop inside my womb to see the light outside this world. They have gone too soon!
My husband and I were married in December 2008 and I got pregnant with my first baby in 2011. We felt really blessed as we waited for more than two years to have a child. We named him Jairus Ruel (Jairus means “he shines” and Ruel means “friend of God”) and he was delivered by elective caesarian section due to my condition of having placenta previa totalis. We didn’t know how it happened, but this might be the cause why our first baby had neo-pneumonia and needed to stay in NICU for ten days. Our first Christmas as a family was spent in the hospital.
In January 2015, my pregnancy test went positive for the second time. The family was very excited about the coming baby. Even Jai (my son’s nickname), who was 4 years old then, seemed to understand that he will be a big brother already. But a sad news came just after a month. I had spotting and the heartbeat of the baby inside me had stopped. He was only 7 weeks and 1 day.
I was trying to control my tears while holding the result of my ultrasound and waiting for my turn to see my obstetrician. I called up my husband to inform him about the result of my check up. The next day, I immediately undergone dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure, stayed in the hospital for a night, then went back home a day after. It was Ash Wednesday and, on that night, I cried so hard. I couldn’t hold my sadness any longer. My husband calmed and assured me that whatever support and love I need, he and our son are with me.
Fast forward, my life became busy again with taking care of the family and working as a customer care specialist in a BPO center. My son started schooling, too. My mother-in-law took care of our son with the help of a nanny while my husband and I work. There were also days that we don’t see our son when he sleeps-over to his grandmother’s house.
Then in November 2017, I got pregnant again for the third time. My son who was almost 6 years old, was very happy that we will be having a baby in the family, and he would have someone to play with his toys. He even kept some of the toys he received that Christmas for the baby. My husband accompanied me in all my check-ups to my obstetrician.
December was a very busy and stressful month for me because of the traffic and celebrations here and there going around. I really wanted to file a leave of absence for at least a week to get some rest at that time. However, I didn’t pursue my plan because of different issues within my team.
January 2018 came and I had the result of my lab results to show to my obstetrician. The monthly check-up was on January 8. The lab results are all good. I was on my 12th week of pregnancy and my obstetrician wanted to hear the heartbeat of my baby using a doppler. But she heard nothing.
She immediately requested an ultrasound and she was almost lost for words when she explained to us the condition of the baby inside my womb. The baby is already formed, I could see his head, body, arms, tiny hands and fingers, and legs. Even the features of his face were already visible in the ultrasound. And the line circling around him which should never have been there. The heartbeat, which was 110 bpm the last time I had my ultrasound, was zero.
Have you heard about “hydrops fetalis” or fetal hydrops? It is a serious, life-threatening condition in which a fetus or newborn has an abnormal buildup of fluids in the tissue around the lungs, heart, or abdomen, or under the skin. My baby was swelling inside and it made his heartbeat stopped.
Again, we lost another baby. My husband was trying to control his tears while explaining to our son, with a cracking voice, that the heartbeat of the baby inside Mommy’s tummy, had stopped beating. He did not cry but I could also feel the sadness through his eyes. I drew strength and comfort from my husband and son. But every time I was alone, I cry hard to release all the aches I feel. The pain inside my heart was unexplainable. And I carried my baby for another 18 days.
My obstetrician respected my baby and advised us to just let my body decide when it is going to let him go. At 2:00 AM on January 26, my water broke right after I peed, and blood started to flood my legs. I was rushed to a nearby hospital and experienced the pain of labor. In my mind, it was like giving birth to another angel. I will get out of the hospital and go home without holding a baby. It will be just me again, for the second time.
I resigned from my work after this ordeal to focus on my health, my husband, our home, my son, and his schooling. I no longer wanted a nanny to take care of him and to be more visible to him; to be his playmate and buddy. After all of what happened with my two angels, Jai appears to be a miracle baby, and we treat him as one. We are very happy and blessed to have him. He brings sunshine to our hearts.
Even though my other babies didn’t survive for different reasons, in my heart, they are still my babies and they are counted. They are still Kuya Jai’s siblings, and I am not just a mother of one or two, but three.
Written by: Janice T. Dimalanta
For more information about Placenta Previa Totalis and Hydrops Fetalis, you may check the following resources: