Bellbrook, Ohio, USA
After almost 3 years of marriage, my husband, Andrew, and I decided to start a family. After a few months we were pregnant, but the joy was short lived as the pregnancy ended in a miscarriage at about 10 weeks, in October 2010. Heartbroken, we picked up the pieces and tried again after losing baby Alex.We were pregnant again after a few months and had a wonderfully easy, complication free pregnancy. On September 13, 2011, at 36 weeks and 6 days I went into labor and we went to the hospital. After an hour or so, Ben’s heart rate wasn’t fluctuating with contractions like the doctor would like and he ordered an emergency c-section. About 30 or 40 minutes Benjamin Lawrence entered the world and we immediately knew something was very wrong as he wasn’t crying, and worse than that, had obvious hydrocephalus. He went to NICU where they determined that there was nothing to be done for Ben and we would have to say goodbye. We had him transferred to a nearby children’s hospital to have a bit more testing where they agreed with the first doctor. Ben had experienced several massive brain bleeds in utero about 4-6 weeks prior to birth and the bleeds were so bad they killed off too much brain tissue for him to survive, his lungs were underdeveloped and he had low platelets, and other low blood counts. He was then transferred back to the hospital I was at and Andrew and I said goodbye.
After several months we knew we just had to try again, and we again were pregnant within a few months. When we went to the doctor we were assured that while they didn’t have an exact diagnosis for Ben’s condition, that it was most likely a fluke genetic issue that wouldn’t arise again but they would keep an extra close eye on the baby this time. The first 20 weeks went by event free and when it came time for our 20 week ultrasound, my doctor offered for us to go to a hi-risk specialist to have an extra thorough ultrasound done and we jumped on the chance. At our appointment we learned we were having a girl, Emma Anne, and that everything looked great. One of the hi-risk doctors came in to consult and said that based on what he knew of our history with Ben, we might have something called Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia and that we should be tested right away as it could affect subsequent pregnancies. My husband and I were tested and after less than a week we found out that we did have NAIT and we were in the 100% group. We set up an appointment to be under the care of the hi-risk practice and started treating NAIT a few days later. I was treated with IVIG for 13 weeks, at 2g/kg and prednisone for about 6 weeks at 35g a day.On August 14, 2012, I delivered via c-section a screaming baby girl. Her initial platelet count was low and she needed a transfusion and an IVIG treatment, and stayed 4 days in NICU. She has to be monitored for a month or two but is otherwise healthy. We have no idea what we would have done had we not found out about NAIT, had treatment and found such a wonderful support group of ladies. It still hurts to know that I have two babies in heaven, but I know that God has a plan for all that we’ve been through and He’s holding my children close and telling them about their family and we’ll see them again someday. Elizabeth Brewer