The pathology report
Carlos and I are on the wrong side of statistics. We are living every parents worst nightmare. I know how news spreads, how our concerned, horrified and shocked friends, acquaintances and even strangers spoke of us to each other. ‘Did you hear about Carlos and Teresa?!’ We are the couple that people ‘feel’ for but are so incredibly thankful they aren’t us. Many friends told us when they heard the news they hugged their kids a little tighter. Other friends have told us they feel inspired by us. Lots of people praise how we have ‘handled it’ and our strength. About all I can usually respond with is a smile and a ‘thank you’, sometimes fighting tears but often letting them flow. I assure you what it interpreted as strength, I see as survival. Reassurance doesn’t do much when the worst case scenario has already happened. Its bizarre, for lack of a better word, that this is our reality. Over dinner with a close friend two nights ago I described our life after Sylvia’s death like being diagnosed with a terminal illness. Even still, its a terrible analogy. There is nothing that can even compare with the daily impact that a child’s death has, but in my head, it probably comes closest.
Yesterday we had an appointment with our OB doctor. We have seen him regularly since Sylvia was born for mental health follow-up mostly. He and his staff have been incredible. Loving, caring, supportive, kind, compassionate…the list goes on. When Sylvia was delivered our doctor hypothesized that she had a vericosity in the vein of her umbilical cord which likely threw a clot or caused some obstruction that lead to her death. Her umbilical cord was sectioned and sent to a pathologist. The report came back stating no such issue was found. So yesterday we learned that Sylvia was perfectly healthy, she just wasn’t alive. I try to understand it like SIDS except she was inside of me. Neither Carlos and I were huge on determining a reason for her death as we knew it wasn’t genetic, congenital or a traumatic injury that caused it. Thinking for the last nearly 4 weeks that it was a problem with her umbilical cord did nothing to help our grieving, understanding or pain and now learning that its unexplained doesn’t change anything. It is like being struck by lightening, one of those freak things that doesn’thappen. But it did happen, we got struck, hard. I have learned from my reading in the past couple weeks that two-thirds of stillbirths are unexplained. So now we joined another horribly wrong side of another horribly wrong statistic.