Two weeks after Koen's birth we learned the cause of his death. There was E. coli present in the placenta. They took a swab sample of Koen and found E. coli there as well. My body made my baby sick. It was not anything I ingested, because it would have shown in my blood and I would have also been sick. E. coli is present in our bodies all the time. The colon, bladder, and uterus are all closely related. There was E. coli present in my bladder, but not at high levels. Another tests supports that I did have a UTI (urinary tract infection) even though I had no symptoms. Somehow in my body it made its way into my uterus, through my placenta, and to Koen. The specialist, Dr. W, assured me today that it was nothing I did and tears streamed down my face. I took on responsibility, fearing that possibly I had done something. My OB/GYN had given me the same assurance, but it is difficult to believe. It sounds like such a dirty cause of death. Here I am an avid hand washer and germ freak and a bacterial infection stole my baby from me. Dr. W said that he has seen women with STDs and others who don't bathe, and they still have healthy babies. There is really no rhyme or reason, sadly just something that occurred in my body. An infection that made it all the way to Level 4 (making it to Koen) without warning.
My blood pressure was high today, not surprising given that my anxiety triggers it. How could I not be anxious? We were given information about Koen's death and also told the prognosis for our future. What a mix of emotions. Horribly sad news, and praise God it was followed by hopeful news. I still feel uneasy as I am trying to process all this information today.
The good news is that Dr. W sees no reason to not advise us to move forward to grow our family. Will I get another infection? Maybe, maybe not. What will be different this time around is that I will be monitored closely and they will know what to look for. I will go for urine tests every two weeks. If bacteria is found I will get a large dose of antibiotics to treat that infection and then for the remainder of my pregnancy I will take antibiotics every day to ward off the infection from returning. We don't want to treat prior to detection for fear of immunity to the medicine. Starting at 26 weeks I will go in for 30 minutes a week and be hooked up to a fetal monitor to track the baby's heart rate. If they notice a drop in heart rate they would then make the decision to take the baby early. I will have monthly ultrasounds after 20 weeks to monitor the baby's growth. Our Big K was growing beautifully, he was above average size for a baby at 27 weeks, so while growth is not a concern it is something they will proactively watch. Their mission is to not have us lose another baby for any cause. If all is well throughout the pregnancy they will have me scheduled for a C-section at 38 weeks, or possibly earlier if the baby's lungs and development look good. Again, to be proactive. Towards the end of pregnancy if I am nervous, I can be admitted to the hospital to have the fetal monitor on at all times for reassurance. My OB/GYN will walk us through the pregnancy and Dr. W will be there to support him along the way.
I feel like we will be supported and cared for medically. We have been given the green light to start trying. Sad, scary, and exciting. I have such a mix of emotions. I am anxious. I concerned about my anxiety, its impact on getting pregnant and on my blood pressure when we do. I am asking for prayers. Prayers for peace as we make decisions. Prayers for a little Soper baby that is only a hope and dream right now. Prayers for protection. Thank you for walking alongside us in this journey, allowing me to bare my soul, and for your prayers.
I am Jackie.