Faces of Postpartum
Faces of Postpartum
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Janine Chester MD (1/4)

"The first baby we lost was named Maria. We found out at 13 weeks. We went to different specialists, did an amniocentesis, and tested for different genetic diseases, which was kind of scary. Everything came back normal and fine, but she wasn’t growing the way she was supposed to. Finally, ten weeks later, we went to Children’s National. They figured out that there were issues with the cord and the placenta. Those tens weeks were hard. And they basically told us that there was very low chance that she would make it. They recommended that we terminate, which I just couldn’t do. I went on blood thinners and bed rest. The specialists said we had to get her to a pound and then maybe it would be ok. Around 26 weeks I started swelling up. One morning I had really bad heartburn and there was blood, so I checked in at my doctor’s. They did the usual urine tests and as they were getting ready to draw blood, the specialist came in and said I needed to go to the ER right now, that it was no longer safe for me to be pregnant. I had HELLP syndrome. When I got to the hospital, they tried to induce labor with Pitocin because it was too dangerous to do a C-section; my platelets were too low and I could bleed out. But I wasn’t progressing. After a couple of hours, I was running out of time so they rushed me in the OR to do an emergency C-section and try to do a platelet transfusion at the same time. The doctor told me that I was going to die if they didn’t take her out of there. And if I died, she was going to die too. So they put me under, and when I woke up, she had passed. I stayed at the hospital for a while. We were able to hold her. Then we called a funeral home. We decided to cremate her. She stayed with us the whole time until they came to get her. You know, stuff that you don’t expect to go through after having a baby. Like filling out a death certificate."