I hate that phrase! "It just happens" this is what we have been told regarding both Marcellus's early arrival and early departure.
Last week we met with a maternal fetal specialist in hopes of finding some answers as to why he was born early. We thought we maybe could even find out something that would connect the clotting issue to the preterm labor. Maybe there was one explanation for both and there was an easy fix to ensure that it never ever happened again. But that is not the case. After being asked a set of questions from the doctor and his review of my records (especially the pathology on the plancenta) we got the answer, "it just happens." Now there is a list of speculation as to what could have caused me to go into preterm labor, but no way to know for sure. There was nothing about the placenta that would have caused preterm labor, such as an infection. And I don't have a classical case of cervical insufficiency for them to think that that's really the cause. Yet again we are left in the dark. The only thing that is certain is that I am at a much higher risk for preterm labor in future pregnancies.
Although we had previously met with the neonatologist about Marcellus's death we asked the maternal fetal specialist his opinion on the clotting/NEC. His response to that was the same. It just happened. We don't know why. It just happens to some babies, even if they have a good chance of survival.
That's not good enough! It doesn't "just" happen. There has to be a reason, right? There has to be something/someone to blame. My son doesn't "just" arrive over 11 weeks early for no reason. He doesn't have over a 90% chance of survival and make tons of progress (increasing his chances) only to quickly die and be taken from us "just because". There has to be a reason. I'm still looking for answers. I'm still asking "why?" Including "why God, why didn't you save my son?" I think I've said it before and I'll say it again. Even though I'm looking for answers, there isn't an answer that would be good enough. Even if God came down here, stood in front of me and told me Himself why Marcellus had to die it wouldn't be good enough of a reason for me to accept. I want my child here with me on earth, end of story.
What we did gain from our appointment last week was a plan for next time. No, we are nowhere near ready to have another child. But it is somewhat comforting to know there are things we can do to lessen our chances of preterm labor and in turn the issues that preemie babies face. When will we be ready to try again? I actually haven't gotten this question a lot, but we do talk about it amongst ourselves every now and then. Like I said we're not ready now, but that question can remind us that there is a future out there.
First of all, now that I am painfully aware that anything can happen at anytime I need to be ready to lose another baby before trying for one. It's a scary thought. Just because we have experienced infant loss once doesn't mean we're exempt from losing another child either during pregnancy, at delivery, or anytime after. All pregnancies from here are on out are going to be full of worry, anxiety, and fear. I need to be ready for that.
I've also been talking a lot about how I wish Marcellus could just come back as another baby, give us a second chance at raising him. I will not be ready to have Marcellus's little brother or sister until I can accept that he or she will not be Marcellus. Right now that is not the case. I don't just want a baby, I want Marcellus Robert Lennon. And right now I want him more than anything. I fear that if we try for another child too soon I will just be disappointed that it's not Marcellus. It would not be fair to our future child, Marcellus, or ourselves.
But when the time does come we will be prepared from a medical standpoint. We will do weekly progesterone shots from 16 weeks on. We will have many ultra sounds to monitor any changes in my cervix and take appropriate measures if there are (mainly cerclage). The doctor didn't think bedrest would be necessary especially since I don't have a physically strenuous job. He did say that I probably shouldn't exercise though.
So I start thinking great, did my exercising during my pregnancy with Marcellus contribute to preterm labor? Something I was trying to do to keep us healthy may have harmed him. The doctor reassured me that there was nothing I did wrong. He even mentioned that if I would see the crack addict moms that deliver perfectly healthy babies at full term I would know it was nothing I did wrong. Wait...was that supposed to make me feel better? Crack addicts get perfectly healthy babies and I don't. How does that work?!
Why was Marcellus born early? We don't know. Why did he get a clot and NEC? We don't know. When will we be ready for a littler brother or sister? We don't know. What do we know? We love him. We miss him. We love and miss Marcellus with every ounce of our being.
Marcellus, there is no reason good enough that you are not with me. I wish you were here with me or that I was there with you more than anything. Daddy and I may talk about having your little brother or sister every now and then, but you will always be our first born son - the big brother of our family. We will never ever try to replace you. We love you baby boy. We love you so very much. Momma's missing you all time time. I miss you so much it hurts. You are always my little mister. xoxox.