By: Chasity Marquette
One in 8. That is just a statistic not unlike any other you see for diseases and conditions affecting Americans today. Until it isn’t. You never think it’s going to be you. I always knew I struggled with female issues (PCOS, Endometriosis, and painful cycles) that only worsened after my less than satisfactory experience with an IUD. I swore off all contraceptives and bought endless amounts of ovulation and pregnancy tests. After years of no luck, it was time we met with someone concerning infertility. After one unsuccessful IUI, I was done wasting time and ready to start the IVF process. Lots of monitoring, meds, and tests later, we ended up with 3 good embryos (I was a little worried with that number) and decided to do a fresh transfer of our two three-day embryos. Unfortunately, that ended in disappointment. We waited until our next cycle and did a frozen transfer of our last embryo. I felt a little better about this one being the embryo was older and graded better. We had always hoped for a little girl as both my husband and I both had sons.
Finally, on day four after our transfer we got our BFP (big fat positive)! We were thrilled. We did the genetic testing at 9 weeks and found out we were blessed with a girl, better yet, it showed no need for concern. At 16 weeks we went in for a routine appointment only to be met with a look on my doctor’s face I will never forget. Words you never want to hear. We had been through so much; I couldn’t be hearing him right. I remember quickly asking “do you see her?” The look in his eyes. I knew this is what constitutes a bad day in the life of an OBGYN. As I started to panic and cry, I was wheeled down to get the “formal” diagnostic ultrasound confirming the worst. I remember thinking what is “formal” about being told your baby died? After much discussion and my relentless begging to have her right away, I was told I had to prep my body before that was an option. I had the Lumin placed and sent home with a strong dose of Xanax. As I would later find out, she would have passed on Easter (April 1st, 2018).
On April 11th we showed up to the worst appointment of my life, bearing a beautiful name, and ink pad. I had asked my doctor to please get some prints of her hands and feet only to be told he wasn’t able to do that. The last thing I remember is proudly telling the OR staff “her name is Aspyn Olive.”
I woke up to feeling like my water was breaking over and over. Through mumbled words I told my husband I think somethings wrong. As he lifted the sheet, I could almost feel the fear that hit him. In a less than composed manner he said we needed a nurse ASAP. From then on all I remember is bits and pieces as I was wheeled back into the OR and had a balloon placed. However, my doctor was unsure how well it would work as he realized when he went back in that I was bleeding from everywhere. Being I was at the surgery center, I was rushed to the Hospital across town by ambulance. This was when it became critical. I made it to the ICU, by that time I was white as a sheet (so I was told) and the coldest I’ve ever been. My family had all been called and were told of the seriousness of my condition. Thanks to my amazing doctors, and knowing what to test for, I was diagnosed with a rare clotting disorder called Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC). My family was being told the scary and uncertainty of my diagnosis in the terms, “we’re not sure she will make it, but we will know by morning,” and “she is circling the drain.” The few times I woke up I remember the room being so full of doctors and nurses swarming around me. All I could do was ask if I was going to die and was given the reply “I can’t promise anything, but it’s my job to try my best.” These doctors held my hand through the whole ordeal, and listened to my endless demands of no more central lines, needles, or meds. I’m the first to admit I’m one of “those” patients. After a few days in the ICU, many blood transfusions, beeping, flashing, a body full of bruises, and blue slushies, I got the ok to go home. Thankfully my physical self was on the road to recovering, unfortunately dealing with the loss was yet to come. No matter how much pain and trauma our bodies endure, there is no pain like the loss of a baby. Going home to a closet with clothes that will never be worn, toys that will never be played with, milestones that will never be met, arms that will always feel empty. Another statistic. Until it has been experienced, no words or statistics can explain the pain and heartache of loss.
Infertility affects 1 in 8 couples, while 34,000 a year experience a maternal near miss, and 1 in 4 pregnancies end in a loss. These are just statistics. I am those statistics. As a way of healing and honoring our sweet Aspyn Olive, I have decided to offer unique keepsakes for families, as well as professional photo retouching for families who experience miscarriage, and stillbirth. I know how much each and everything you have to remember your baby by is so important. Rather than birthday photos, their first time sitting up, a lot of us only have an ultrasound, a handful of photos, or footprints. I enjoy turning them into art for you to share!
About Chasity Marquette
The Olive Branch was started slowly but surely as I had the undeniable need to give back as so many organizations, support groups, and fellow loss parents had given to me. I started by offering retouching in my loss groups, and when I had time, watercolor embryos and ultrasounds. After much interest I have decided to offer these things outside of my groups. Please take a look at my work, like and share for those families wanting or needing something special!