Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Beginning

Wow..this is it. My first post. It has been almost five months since I gave birth to my little girl, knowing as we drove to the hospital, that the squirming, wriggly being alive in my belly would not be going home with us. I have struggled to put my pain into words, but now I am beginning to find them. I keep repeating what happened, maybe the words will sink in and I will be able to accept them as the truth.
Olidea Cara was born at 2.24am on Saturday, 20th December 2008. I was 24 weeks and 3 days pregnant. Although it broke our hearts, we chose to induce her birth, after an ultrasound scan at 19 weeks revealed that inside her tiny body, her spine had not developed normally, along with her diaphragm, heart and lungs. We saw as many specialist as we could, in the hope that the amazing technology available today could save our daughter. Unfortunately, due to the number of abnormalities present, and the severity of them, nothing could be done to prevent her death immediately after birth. The part that really screws me up was that she was safe within my womb. Her heart and lungs were utterly insufficient to oxygenate her blood, and pump it around her little body, but until she was expelled from my body, I could supply all of her needs. I had to choose the day that my daughter died. I know that my options were severely limited, but I feel like I killed her, by choosing to birth her before full term.
I know our options were limited. I know it wasn't my fault. But ultimately, it was my body that created and nurtured her, and all that I could give her was my continuing care of her until she was ready to enter the world. I feel so very, very guilty that I couldn't supply her with the right DNA or the right nutrients to allow her to live outside of me. And I will never be able to accept that I rejected my daughter, withdrew from my side of the bargain when I took the medication that began my labour, 15 weeks and 5 days before she was expected. I keep repeating the details, everything that has happened has left me trapped just outsside of the real world. Nothing feels real, I keep hoping to wake up and realise that none of this ever happened.


  1. Hi Michelle, I found your blog on Birni's one. your comment sounded so familiar. I too searched for someone, anyone, who'd had a similar experience to mine. Mine is not the same as yours, but I can identify with your search.

    I think you need to realise that you would feel guilty no matter how she died. That is a given. Reading everyone's blogs has shown me that. And it does lessen in time.. and sometimes flares up.

    My partner and I had to make a decision about placing our baby girl into palliative care versus fighting an unwinnable fight. My daughter would have died anyway, if not that week, it would have been the next, or a month later. We chose the gentle option. One without needles, without ventilation and without her being in pain. We chose to be with her when it happened.

    It sounds like you chose the same thing. You've spared her the pain and the struggle. When I think of my little girl I see her look of pain and it haunts me. If I could go back and make the decision we made earlier I would.

    That being said, I am 12 weeks pregnant now and often I have thought about what we would do if a scan showed us that something was wrong. I wanted you to know that were I in your postion I would do the same thing. I would spare my child, and my family, that pain.

    I wish you all the best on this journey. It's not easy, but you aren't alone.

  2. Michelle, as Sophie said you are not alone. You had a decision to make, and for you it wasn't an easy one. In fact the one that you had to make is also a controversial one, and one that people may question in your life. It is not one that I would have made, and I'm sorry to say that to you, but I want to be friends with you and I need to be honest. I do not, however, judge. Each of us have had to make our own decisions and I appreciate that it was the toughest thing that you have ever had to go through.
    I agree with Sophie too. It doesn't matter what or how there would always be a certain amount of guilt involved. I know I feel guilty for the most ridiculous things sometimes (like using a mobile phone, or sitting in front of a computer - I mean all those rays and stuff??!!!) just because I have to blame something for Ciaran's error in development.
    Love and gentle days for you... xx

  3. Michelle - my name is Cara - mother to Emma Grace, born still on 9.8.00.

    I found your blog through the LFCA and feel the need to read it from the beginning. I am so very sorry you were forced to make this decision. I wish she could be here.