That’s a lot of words for the small space of a three minute phone call with the nurse from the maternal fetal medicine (MFM) office. I have a heterozygous Factor V Leiden mutuation, a fairly common genetic blood clotting disorder, hetero- meaning it was passed down from one of my parents. It not only causes placental abruption but also slow fetal growth which Avery experienced around 24 weeks. My days will start with a baby aspirin from now on and whenever I do find myself pregnant again, I will require Lovenox injections from 8 weeks on.
The factor V Leiden mutation is associated with a slightly increased risk of pregnancy loss (miscarriage). Women with this mutation are two to three times more likely to have multiple (recurrent) miscarriages or a pregnancy loss during the second or third trimester. Some research suggests that the factor V Leiden mutation may also increase the risk of other complications during pregnancy, including pregnancy-induced high blood pressure (preeclampsia), slow fetal growth, and early separation of the placenta from the uterine wall (placental abruption). However, the association between the factor V Leiden mutation and these complications has not been confirmed. Most women with factor V Leiden thrombophilia have normal pregnancies (1).
Obviously I’m not “most women”.
I thought I’d feel relief having an answer and deep under the darkness I do. I know there are many mothers to stillborn babies that aren’t lucky enough to find an answer. They go on to have future pregnancies and the lack of explanation I can only assume adds a level of fear of the unknown. But I also never thought about how it would feel to know I may have been able to do something to save Avery.
If I had paid attention to my medical history I could have had the specific blood test done which would find the mutation. If I had taken aspirin and done the injections maybe it would’ve saved Avery.
If. Could. Would. Maybe. If. If. If.
Having an answer does not make losing him any easier. No amount of questions is going to bring him back. No amount of answers is going to make losing my baby okay.
In my first meeting with the MFM doctor last week I was tempted to ask how fast Avery’s life was lost, as in did he feel any pain. I didn’t ask because I didn’t know if I could handle the answer, whether I even wanted it.
There are questions in this life that are not meant to have answers. Even where there are answers, they are rarely the ones we want or expected them to be. The answer I wanted to my question about how fast Avery died was he didn’t die, a miracle saved him.
That’s obviously not a possible answer. It’s not God’s answer. His answer is to Trust Him. His plan is not for me to understand.
This morning I realized I can’t play God nor do I want to. I don’t get to decide who lives and dies. Just because I wasn’t aware of this disorder doesn’t mean I caused Avery to die.
Just because you did or didn’t do _*insert guilt here*_ doesn’t mean you caused your baby to die.
Avery belongs in heaven. He may have went a lot sooner than I would have ever planned but I can’t doubt it’s where he belongs.
If placental abruption due to Factor V Leiden is the answer to “What happened?”, God is the answer to “Why?” and with Him there’s not always a clear answer. And that’s okay.
But with Him my guilt has no room to raise a question.
So we fix out eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.2 Corinthians 4.18