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Not enough amniotic fluid

by Carli

I found out I was pregnant just after New Years. We weren’t trying, but we were both over the moon. We were both a little bit scared at the same time. We are only 19. My family was definitely not supportive, but they soon came around. His family decided that I did it on purpose so that I could trap him. I had my first ultrasound, all the blood tests. Everything was fine.

I was at work. I was about 6 weeks. I started bleeding. I went to the doctor. He told me to go home and rest. This happened every 2 weeks. I think it was the 4th time it happened, my mum came with me to the doctors and demanded I have a scan to see what was going on in there. My doctor said it wasn't necessary. Me being young and naive, and this being my 1st pregnancy. I listened to him. We started thinking about names. Everyone was sure I was going to have a boy but for some reason the only name I could think of was a girl’s name, Lexi Rose.

At my 20wk scan the sonographer looked worried. I asked her what was wrong. She wouldn't tell me. She just said I needed to be referred to a specialist. I was referred to the Mater Mother's Hospital In Brisbane. When I arrived they did a scan. They told me there was a severe lack of amniotic fluid and the bleeding I had had was my placenta tearing away from my uterus. They said it mustn’t have had a good grip.

I had to go to the Mater every week for check ups. The condition didn’t improve. On the 28th of June I went back up for a scan, the said that now I was viable they could decide when I should have the baby. I was given a steroid injection to strengthen baby's lungs and was told to come back the next afternoon for my next one. I got home after my first shot. Had a shower. Went to bed. Woke up at about 10 am with heavy bleeding and fluid loss. I was admitted to hospital at 2am on the 29th of June, my 19th Birthday. The bleeding stopped and there was no sign of my cervix dilating or contractions so they sent me home.

On Monday the 3rd of July. I went back to work. I went to the toilet. My waters broke and I went into labour. My boss rushed me to the Gold Coast Hospital and I was transferred by ambulance to the Mater. By the time I got to the Mater, I had contracted a serious infection. My temp was 42 and I was convulsing. They stablised me and gave me the option of a natural birth or c section. I opted for a c section. I wanted them to get my baby out and do everything they could to save it.

I woke up in recovery with my Mum and my partner by my side. I found out I'd had a baby girl. She was all mine!!! My little Lexi Rose. The doctors came in with bad news. Her lungs were only half the size they should be. She couldn't beathe. Not even with help. I was wheeled in to see her.

She was so perfect, just as I'd imagined. So tiny she weighed 726 grams! I knew she wasn’t going to make it. I asked them to stop ventilating her. I knew it was hurting her and I wanted her to die in piece in my arms, and with her daddy. They took her off the machines and gave her some morphine so she wasn’t in any pain. She was in my arms, and squeezing her daddy's finger so tight like she didn’t want to let go.

It was about 2am when I was wheeled to a private room. Her little heart didn't stop beating until 7am. My boyfriend bathed her with the help of my mum and they dressed her up so beautifully. My dad and my brother came to visit and have a hold as did my boyfriend’s family. I gave her to the nurse at about 1pm. She was taken to the morgue. The moment she took her away from me I screamed. No physical pain could ever compete with the heartache I felt when I had to give her up.

After I was released, I was planning her funeral. When everything was organised, they gave me the option of tucking her in to her little coffin. I had to. There was no way I was going to let a stranger put my daughter to sleep. So me, my mum and her 2 kids (they never got to see Lexi before she had died) went to tuck her to bed. I sat there for an hour with her and just cried. I screamed. I cried and I screamed some more. The hardest thing was walking out of that room. I just wanted to stay there forever with her. But I knew I couldn't.

Her funeral was beautiful. There were over 50 of our closest friends and family. I wrote Lexi a letter that was read out. As soon as they started reading, the most bizarre and wonderful thing happened. A white bird hovered outside in the rain behind the person reading. It did not fly away until he read the last word in my letter. I don’t know whether it was planned or what happened, but I like to think it was her, letting me know she was listening, and that she loves me right back.