Our hearts have been a little more tender this past week, and even though I know you will be, I'm asking that you be soft with us in response to this post.
After we lost Carter, we made the decision to have an autopsy performed. At that point, we were clinging to anything and everything we could to figure out why we had lost him. About a week later, our doctor called us with the preliminary findings. Carter has some skeletal abnormalities-bell shaped ribs and a cervical rib-and multiple spleens. Realistically, babies survive with all those abnormalities. Some may live with a disability, others may be totally fine. They also noted that my placenta was small, but the doctor showed no concern about that. It would explain why he was small, but wouldn't have explained why we lost him. The doctor was also confident that these abnormalities weren't indicative of any syndrome. The anomalies do present themselves in a syndrome, but these three together did not mean he had any syndrome.
About a month or so later, Brandon and I got some blood drawn to do a karyotype. A karyotype just tests the number and visual appearance of chromosomes, so nothing in depth, but that came back normal.
On Monday last week, the doctor finally called with the final pathology report. Even he had began to wonder why it was taking so long to hear back on it, but when he called, he said it is one of the more detailed pathology reports he had seen, meaning the pathologists did a really good job and checked everything they could.
He said the abnormalities they had found were simply third trimester findings. Not indicative of anything, it was just the same as observing that he has ten fingers and ten toes. My placenta was small, which did explain why he was so small, but it wasn't the cause. The cause was a blockage in the umbilical cord. Now whether the blockage just happened, or if he was pressed against it for too long or what, we don't know. And we never will. There were no knots, just blockage.
Everything else, besides the ribs, were normally developed. I reread the autopsy report and still just felt so proud to read that everything was normal and looked good. Especially about his brain. I'm confident that he's a smart little guy, and his knowledge is worlds beyond what we'll ever know. We have felt some comfort in the fact that the future with his skeletal abnormalities may have been difficult. He might have lived a completely normal life, or he may not have. The school I worked at before we lost him was a school devoted completely to students with disabilities, and I was there long enough to know that that is a hard life to live, and I wouldn't have wanted that for him.
It was also nice to know that it wasn't a genetic issue, and that my thyroid wasn't the cause of it. I was the most concerned about these two things, because having to try to adopt or do IVF is just a whole different ball game. We're pleased to know that we are lucky enough to produce healthy babies.
It has honestly just been such a confusing week. We feel so sad that one stupid block in the cord is what caused us to lose him, but we know we can't go back and change anything, so we're trying to just be at peace with what it is. It won't always be this hard, but we know it won't ever be easy. Thank you guys for all the love and support you've shown us over the past year, through the pregnancy and now through our loss. We really appreciate everything you've done and I know will continue to do for us.