Sabrina at the Fair

Sabrina is my first child. When I found out that I was pregnant, I was excited and nervous, like most mothers. At about 17 weeks, bloodwork showed a one in 160 chance of Down’s Syndrome. We figured it was probably nothing, but we went for a level 2 ultrasound. The level 2 showed a large amount of cerebral fluid, possible heart defects, and very delayed growth, so we then knew that this wasn’t a “normal” pregnancy. A genetics counselor advised us to get an amnio done that day, but we declined. We already knew that we would keep our baby as long as we could and we didn’t want the risk of the amnio. My husband and I had both been around special needs kids and just loved ‘em, but we didn’t know much about medical problems. The news for us was sobering, but we also had a strong faith in God and knew that He had something in mind for our child and for us.

I had a few more level 2 ultrasounds that continued to show bad news. At 25 weeks, I did finally have an amnio so we would know how to prepare for the birth, whether to plan for surgeries, etc. The doctor called us with the crushing blow – 69XXX, triploidy – fatal. He said to expect to miscarry. We sat by the bank of a river for a long time that day and prayed and cried together.

I decided to do my best to have a good pregnancy for my daughter, for however long it lasted. I was working part-time, so I rested some every day and tried to eat well. Since we knew she was so small, I wanted her to have anything available that she needed to grow. I also tried to keep a positive outlook, even though just “waiting” to miscarry is obviously very emotionally difficult. I tried to find a balance between feeling and letting go of my own grief and wanting to provide lots of happy hormones circulating through my body for her. I wanted her to feel that I was happy to be pregnant with her. My husband and I went on slow walks together to relax and watched funny movies so we could laugh together. During this time, we also “adopted” an abandoned baby kitten and it was nice to have something small and furry to care for.

We chose not to tell most people about the “bad news” with our pregnancy, although we did confide in family and close friends who were mostly out of town. I just didn’t want to hear (or have my baby hear), “Oh, I’m so sorry,” from people at work and in the community. I wanted to enjoy the pregnancy and have happy, positive comments about it because that was all I would have. To us, it felt uncomfortable to talk or think too much about a funeral while our baby was still alive, although we did try to prepare ourselves emotionally and spiritually for that event looming in our tomorrows. Our greatest strength came from prayer and our trust in God. We knew He would help us get through whatever lay ahead for us.

I didn’t feel Sabrina move during the pregnancy, with one exception. On Mother’s Day, she did one or two complete somersaults! It was such a happy day of the pregnancy! Since I couldn’t feel her move normally, we went doctor visit to doctor visit hoping to hear her heartbeat and know that she was still there. Our doctor was an hour an a half away, so we had a lot on anxiety on the way there and a lot of relief on the way home.

As the pregnancy advanced, we had a strong desire to hold our little girl and see her alive for even a very short time. Our family all fasted and prayed with us for that hope. We begged the Lord to give us 10 minutes even. I had a wonderful doctor who said he would be willing to do a c-section if I requested it, although he could not advise it medically. I was really scared of a c-section, but I decided to do it anyway. Sabrina was also breach, so I didn’t think there was any chance she could survive a vaginal delivery.

To our joy, I made it to 38 weeks without a miscarriage! We headed off for the hospital for my scheduled c-section with some anxiety (how could I ever deal with the loss of my baby?) and also with some gratitude (how blessed we were to still have our baby at 38 weeks). The only baby items we had purchased were two receiving blankets. I had never imagined that we might need any more than that. My mother had sewn a beautiful white burial gown and my mother-in-law had sewn a beautiful white burial blanket. All of our parents and siblings were able to meet us at the hospital and be there for that special day when Sabrina arrived. We were so grateful for their love and support.

Sabrina Lynn Cox was born on July 1, 2002. She has full triploidy, 69XXX, and to our great surprise and amazement, she stayed not just 10 minutes, but much much longer. She is our miracle and a daily reminder to us that with God, nothing is impossible. At this writing, Sabrina is 5 years old and her health is generally stable. She is a loving, sweet, gentle, content little girl. It is hard to describe how much we love her and the feeling that she adds to our family. We love her smile and her wonderful Sabrina hugs.

Our modern technology can tell us many things about a baby before he or she is born, (our level 2 ultrasound could even tell us that Sabrina’s fourth finger would be slightly longer than her third finger) but technology cannot reveal the future. Doctors may tell you what they predict based on science, but only God knows what He has planned for your child and what will actually happen. Ultrasounds cannot tell you about the strength of the human soul and the desires of an unborn child. I have always tried to trust in God, but also in Sabrina and her ability to live her own life how she desires. We still don’t know how long she will live, of course, but then again, none of us really know how long we’ll be around, do we?

If you would like to learn more about Sabrina, you may visit her web page at triploidy.t35.com. I hope that hearing about her story will be a help and a comfort to others. To all parents who have lost infants to triploidy, our heart goes out to you and I hope you may feel that she is your miracle too, not just ours.

 

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-The support, information and encouragement provided by the PPFL parents is not meant to take the place of medical advice by a medical professional. Any specific questions about care should be directed to a health care professional familiar with the situation.