The ring that shatters illusions

A phone call . . . and I feel like my heart is exploding.

This was not “one of those things.” This was not “nature’s way.” My blood test from last week shows that I have not one, but two copies (one each of two different strains) of a genetic blood clotting mutation. My body likely killed my baby. The womb that was supposed to protect and care for Avelyn became a death trap.

I’m not sure there is any comfort for this news. The proof is there—this was preventable.

When I had the confirmation ultrasound, the tech and doctor commented on a clot behind the placenta. They didn’t say much, and I didn’t know much. As I was reading materials later, I thought it must have meant that the placenta had torn and they just didn’t know if it was before or after Avelyn died. I now realize that this wasn’t a tear in the placenta, but a clot caused by these mutations.

I suppose the only piece of good news is that my baby was likely perfect. I am the one who is marred.

Author’s note: This is the sixteenth post in a series on pregnancy loss/miscarriage. Read the first post, “First ultrasound,” here.



Filed under miscarriage

8 responses to “The ring that shatters illusions

  1. Jennifer,
    My son was born to much excitement and within 24 hours I discovered he would need to have life-saving surgery because his esophagus was not connected to his stomach. No matter what people said to me, the only thing I could think was “This is my fault. I grew him WRONG.” Much later, a geneticist told me it was just bad luck, an unknowable combination of genes that produced terrible results.

    Gareth doesn’t blame me for the physical conditions of his body; no one blames me. And blame is, in itself, not helpful. Would you rail against your mother for the state in which you were born? For her part in your genetic code that spelled out all the wonderful (and disappointing) parts of who you would be? Avelyn would not blame you either – your body is what it is and you did not CAUSE anything, anymore than anyone CAUSES their own genetic construction.

    I do not seek to take away your grief, only to prevent you from flagellating yourself with blame that you do not deserve. What has come to pass cannot be undone, but the future is still open and waiting for you and Allyn to walk with God and create a family together. Do not grieve as those who have no hope.

  2. Grace, love, and hugs to you, friend. In love and perfection she was created and nutured in your hope. May knowing the cause bring answers and new life, not guilt. May you find peace in yourself and in God.

  3. Sharon

    So sorry about the news. How blessed you are to be able to identify it. Now on to the solutions. The article I just read offers solutions to this that can result in pregnancy. So sorry you did not know — but you are –
    Not- responsible for your gene mutation – nor for any other genetic markets you carry.

  4. A friend sent me to your blog. I lost my son Noah very unexpectedly in 2009 when I was 31 weeks pregnant…they found blood clots all around the placenta and later found that I have Factor V Leiden. Even though I had already had 3 miscarriages, they never tested me for it. I already had one son and my pregnancy with him was perfectly fine. Since losing my second son, I have had a daughter. I had to take blood thinner injections every day of my pregnancy with her. She was born healthy and strong and we thank God for her. I have a blog that i don’t write in quite as often these days, but I hope you will look at my entries from July 2009 and on. Writing during my deep grief was very helpful and I connected with SO many women who had experienced the same type of loss. I am praying that if you don’t already know the Lord, you will seek after Him with all of your heart. I would not have made it through my loss without my Savior. He has shown me so much beauty even through the darkness. I pray you will find the same. Prayers for you, dear Jennifer.

  5. Jennifer, you have put into words that which I feel but cannot express, because no one wants to hear about it. My stillborn was caused by an abruptio placenta, in which the placenta tore away from the uterus, and caused a hemorrhage that did not act like what it was because the placenta flopped over my cervix and did not allow more blood to flow from me, but backed up in my uterus until she was delivered. We actually heard her last heartbeats on the Doppler. Things were very different back then. I was put to sleep and woke up when it was all over. I was not allowed to see her, hold her, nothing. That, I think, caused my greatest distress.My priest described my need to talk about the death as tapes that must play over and over until they are dealt with and and I could try to make sense of it. I’m still waiting for that day. Only one of my friends could listen to me describe that night over and over. Even the family could not discuss it – like if they kept quiet it would go away and if they let me talk, they would be infected with whatever caused it. Thanks be to God for wonderful women like you who can put their emotions into words for others to feed on.

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