three children when we found out we were pregnant with
Paige. We were so excited--we had planned for her and
I wanted a big family. Gabrielle was 7, Ian was 3, Zoe
was 13 months. My pregnancy with her was going very
smoothly, which was a nice change from the pre-term
labor and aches and pains I was used to.
Then, almost overnight at 30 weeks, I felt like
my belly had grown two times bigger and I couldn't get
comfortable. I called the midwives. The nurse asked,
"Are you having contractions?" I said, "No,
I just can't get comfortable." So they told me
to come in. When the midwife came into my room she looked
at me and said, "How far along are you?" When
I said 30 weeks she listened to the Paige, who sounded
great, then measured me and said, "You
are meauring way over 30 weeks." I stayed for an
ultrasound and was diagnosed with polyhydramnios--too
much amniotic fluid. The doctor said that this can be
a sign of a hole in the baby's throat, but if she had
a hole they wouldn't be able to see her stomach, and
he showed me that he could see it on the screen. He
said it looked like there was no medical cause for the
fluid build-up and I would be monitored closely. He
scheduled my next ultrasound for two weeks.
Within a week and a half I was sure I was in labor--the
contractions were so strong and I felt bigger than before.
My father came over to stay with the kids and Mike came
home to take me to the hospital. When I got checked
into the labor and delivery floor, I had the same midwife
that saw me in the office. She measured me again, and hooked
me up to the monitor. I eventually needed a Mag Sulfate
drip to stop the contractions. It slowed them down,
but they never stopped. I wasn't dilating much, though.
In the morning I was taken down for an ultrasound.
Once back in my room the doctor came in. He said that
my fluid level had gone from 29 to 39, and that it was
too high to stay at home--I needed to go to a specialized
hospital an hour and a half away. The midwife told me
I was measuring 45 weeks pregnant, and had already been
meauring 40 weeks pregnant at my appointment before.
I got to say goodbye to the kids as they loaded me into
I ended up there for 5 weeks. Within a few days my fluid level
was up to 42. I had it drained off twice--2 liters
each time and the level was still high. The doctors
couldn't tell me for sure whether Paige would be born
with the hole in her throat or not, but they said they
could fix it. No one ever mentioned a bigger problem
or suspected one.....
My labor was induced at 37 weeks and Paige's heart almost
stopped. I was rushed in for an emergency C-section
and Paige was recusitated and placed on a ventialtor.
She was bornApril 6, 2007. They found she did have the
hole in her throat. Also, her stomach was connected
to her lung. They said they would do surgery and repair
it. I was numb thinking about her future and the sureries
thay lay ahead for her. I couldn't let myself think
about it: I decided I would have to deal with it as
it happened. Family came to visit. We spent a lot of
time in the NICU. Paige was so small laying there with
all the tubes and wires. She would open her eyes and
look at us when we talked to her. She was 5lbs,
3oz and 19 inches long.
The doctors hit us with the news 24 hours later--the
more they looked at her, they said, the more they noticed
small features that made them think she had something
called Trisomy 18. We were given a pamphlet and told
the geneticist would be in to talk to us. She agreed
that is what Paige had, and rushed the blood test through
over the Easter Sunday weekend. Within another 24 hours,
we had our diagnosis and made the decision to remove
her from life support. She was dead before she made
it down the hall from the NICU to my room, and gasped
little gasps for air as her heart stopped and we held
her. It was the most terrible thing I will ever experience.......
Paige's lungs never developed and she had been failing
on the ventilator. We did the right thing. We are so
glad now that we didn't get the diagnosis before birth,
because this way we had a C-setion, got to meet her,
and got to say goodbye. I think about Paige every day.
She has a new little sister now, Jillian, who is 7 weeks
old. I can't wait until we are all in Heaven and get
to see Paige again. It will be a wonderful life for
us all. We thank God for the blessing of all of our
children, including Paige.
Paige Elizabeth Brown
April 6-9, 2007
to Trisomy 18 Stories
-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.