Rosalie is our third baby and first pregnancy after a second-trimester miscarriage about a year ago. My pregnancy was easy and healthy, up until I received a diagnosis I knew to expect: cholestasis. Cholestasis is a rare pregnancy condition that can cause spontaneous stillbirth, meaning the baby will die with no indication or way to prevent it. The only cure and treatment is to deliver as soon after 37 weeks as possible.
I had the condition with my first two babies but was able to carry them full-term with no complications. After the miscarriage, things just felt different this time. When my symptoms started, I was not concerned, but they quickly got much more severe than in my previous pregnancies, so I visited the doctor to talk about our options.
We attempted to induce at just past 37 weeks, and again last week at just past 38 weeks, with no discernible results. I walked away from the second induction planning to let Rosalie come on her own, but that night, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I needed to get her out. My fear of c-section is second only to my fear of burying another baby. I called the next morning to schedule the c-section.
I went in that day, December 15, to be admitted for a c-section that evening. After two hours of monitoring Rosalie’s heart rate, the doctor came to my room to tell me we needed to deliver right away. Her heart rate was high and she was in obvious distress. We wheeled down to the operating room immediately, and within an hour, our beautiful daughter was born.
Though it was not at all the birth I envisioned, I am so happy I followed my instincts and opted for a c-section. The doctor believes that high heart rate was signaling the beginning of the end for her, and that she would not have survived had we not acted quickly.
Our story ended on a happy note, and we brought home a beautiful, healthy baby girl. I hope you will trust your instincts if something doesn’t feel right with your pregnancy. Losing one is about the hardest thing to endure, and nothing is worth taking that risk.