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Preparing for Preganancy Loss at 20 Weeks
maria_84a posted:
I went in for a routine ultrasound on Friday of last week and out of nowhere our doctor told us that there is something wrong. It turns out our baby has cysts growing around the neck area called cystic hygromas. We were referred to a high-risk pregnancy specialist who saw us today and said that our baby has developed hydops (fluid around the organs and swelling) and has no chance of survival. She said that the baby's heart will probably fail sometime in the next couple of weeks and there is nothing that can be done. She talked about inducing labor once the baby has passed away because it's possible for it to take several weeks otherwise. Have any of you suffered pregancy loss around 20 weeks and undergone induction? I would like to know what to expect so I can be at least somewhat prepared for it.
goddessofsewing responded:
I hope this will still get to you. I'm so sorry; I know what you're going through. I lost my first at 20 weeks and was induced. I'll just jump right in to what to expect.

You'll go to the hospital and get registered and signed into a room. After getting to your room you'll change into a gown to start the induction. The medication they used for me was an aggressive drug that they don't use with live births. I suggest getting an epidural. The time I spent on other medication before the epidural only served to make me nauseated and in pain until I was able to get another dose. The induction medicine was three pills inserted vaginally. The contractions come on strong.

It took about 12 hours from induction to delivery. I knew something was happening when it felt like my urinary catheter was being pushed out. The baby delivered without any active pushing on my part. My baby delivered in the sac and so I didn't need any antibiotic. The placenta delivered afterward. My doctor spoke to me (there was no time to get him there before we knew the baby delivered) and told me what to expect. It's all kind of hazy.

After the delivery we took time to hold the baby and grieve. We were visited by the bereavement counselor. I don't know if every hospital does this, but the bereavement counselor made hand and foot molds for us to take home. They also let us keep the blanket they wrapped the baby in. Pictures of the baby were taken, which we received on a CD a few days later. The hospital asked if we wanted our baby's remains to bury or if we wanted the hospital to take care of it. We chose to let the hospital take over that responsibility. Once we felt ready we got the okay to go home.

Your breast milk will still come in. Be prepared for that. Cold cabbage leaves in your bra will help with engorgement discomfort. If you would like to read about my story in more detail you can read about it here: It starts on the third paragraph.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask. Again, I'm so sorry for your loss. I'll be thinking of you.
maria_84a replied to goddessofsewing's response:
Thank you, Jordan. Your information was very helpful. We found out our baby's heart had stopped on Wednesday afteroon and went in to be induced Thursday morning. It took about 11 hours for me, and I'm glad I had an epidural. The combination of the induction drugs and epidural drugs had a bunch of unpleasant side effects for me, but most of them are gone now. It was a tough couple of days, but I got though it okay. Thanks again for information, and I'm sorry for your loss.
TeacherBeck replied to maria_84a's response:
((((hugs)))) If you check back in, I just wanted to say I lost my little boy to fetal hydrops (due to cystic hygromas) at 20 weeks in August of 2009. Healing emotionally was difficult, I still think about him every day.
He was my first. Everything had gone perfectly in the pregnancy up until that point. We were very shocked.
It was a long time before I could be around babies or pregnant women. Even though the geneticist who examined him said we had great chances of having a (healthy) child, I worried. That worry was part of what made the healing process so difficult, I worried I would never have a child.
****Triggers (may be sensitive)******
We waited until after his due date to try again. We got pg April of 2010. I was scared the whole pregnancy. Tried not to be, but I was. I had a beautiful healthy baby girl in December. Labor was scary for me since last time it was under such tragic circumstances. This time, the ending was a joy. Still, not a day goes by that I don't think of my precious little boy and what a joy he would have been.
I just wanted to share, from someone who has been there.
Hugs to you!
Anon_177748 responded:
At 20 weeks I found out my daughter had anencephaly, a neural tube defect that is always fatal. She still had a strong heartbeat and everything else had developed correctly. I suggest that you plan a funeral or memorial service just like you would if you lost a full term baby. That helped me move on but I will never forget her. My prayers are with you and I hope everything goes well.

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