Megha’s Journey – Infant Loss Awareness Month
Here at IRMS we believe every journey is unique and to be respected. As physicians, nurses, & support staff we are in awe of our patients’ strength and resilience to embark on these emotionally taxing fertility journeys. Admittedly, we are overjoyed when the rewards from these journeys – are beautiful, healthy babies and beaming families. The pictures are shared, “thank you’s” imparted and we feel a collective community pride.
The journey, however, does not always end in sweet giggles, cute onesies and that intoxicating delicious new baby smell. Sometimes all this struggle results in overwhelmingly crushing pain.
Enclosed is Megha’s story. In her own non-edited words. Told with unbelievable candor and strength.
It would be disingenuous not to share. Megha, we stand with you.
In lieu of pregnancy/infant loss awareness month I share my story to hopefully encourage you in yours.
January 24th we found out we were expecting our first baby. My ttc journey has been a six year journey, first four years trying to convince my husband to start a family and the last two and half years of actually trying. After not being able to conceive naturally we opted for fertility (IUI) help. The countless injections and 6am blood work/ultrasound appointments were totally worth it when we read “pregnant”. God had finally answered our prayers and we were truly blessed to start our journey as a family of three. Things were moving well into the end of my first trimester and we finally found out that we were going to be blessed with a little princess.
But, life took a hard turn soon after. Working as a Physical Therapist I ended up contracting COVID. April 3rd, I had every possible symptom the worse ones being high fevers that lasted for weeks. At this point, in person doctor visits were not accessible to me due to my fevers. So my over the phone conversations with my OB were to continue Tylenol around the clock and keep monitoring my symptoms.
Easter Sunday, I ended up in the ED as my symptoms worsened with my resting HR being in the 140s. Ultrasound showed the baby was doing “ok” so, I was thankful for that. I kept thinking that we were trying to survive for each other.
Unfortunately, they weren’t able to do anything more for me in the ED so I was sent home. The last week of April my respiratory symptoms began to worsen. Thankfully my husband, who is a Respiratory Therapist, pulled me through this one. If it wasn’t for him, I don’t think I would have survived. Most nights, I was home alone as he was out battling the COVID storm at work. He is one of the bravest humans I know. The stress of working and taking care of his pregnant wife couldn’t have been easy.
Just weeks later on May 5th, I heard the words that no soon to be mom would ever want to hear. “There are some things that are of concern,” said my maternal fetal doctor. She diagnosed me with IUGR due to placental insufficiency. I walked out of that visit in tears and in complete shock. Why us?
The plan going forward was basically wait and watch game to see if things would change within the next two weeks. These two weeks felt like an eternity and I felt so helpless. I did a lot of research and read countless peer reviewed articles on IUGR and placenta insufficiency in hopes to reverse it. The reality was that there wasn’t a real cure in my case.
I also ended up getting a second opinion and reached out to university hospitals like UPenn and John Hopkins to see if they would take my case, but between COVID travel restrictions I wasn’t able to do so. Emotionally I was drained and of course the thought of “why me?” kept running through my mind. Was this all COVID related, I thought to myself?
Follow up scans lead to no hope as the blood supply was being further depleted but I wasn’t ready to give up just yet. Finally decided to go for a third opinion in NYC and that’s when It hit me that baby girl’s odds were stacked against her. She was literally fight for us…she was fighting to survive.
While this was going on I also started to become preeclamptic and the chances of the blood flow reversing from the cord to myself were also increasing. The only way for my preeclampsia not to get worse was to give birth. My husband and I had to make a very, very tough decision at this point. My husband said to me “I’m not ready to loose you…we will have another chance at this…I promise”. I totally understood where he was coming from but I still wanted to keep fighting, she was definitely still fighting for us. I didn’t choose myself over her nor did I choose this path because of preeclampsia. We chose this path because it was irreversible.
On May 27th I was admitted for induced termination. I was in labor for 14 hours with epidural and all.
Our angel Nidhi S. Patel was born on May 28th at 8:51am. She was beautiful and perfect. We held her lifeless body so tight for those few hours.
Life after loss was a blur. The days passed with tears and medication. Times where getting out of bed seemed impossible. Postpartum depression is REAL and REAL scary. I still feel anger, guilt, and numb. Just because I find the courage to put it all together doesn’t mean I’m ok. Sometimes struggling to just be ok is hard.
I can’t say that we as a couple are ok. Are we trying to find the strength for each other? Yes. We are struggling with our own individual pain but we are trying to heal this pain one day at a time. Our healing will take time but we will get there. We’re not a family of three yet but we will be stronger than ever before.
10/1/20 would have been my due date so we choose to spread Nidhi’s ashes behind us on this day, letting her live in eternal peace!
To our family and friends, we thank you for your love, support and strength for getting us through our darkest days. We couldn’t have done it without you all. Every call and text helped us in our healing.
To our daughter Nidhi, Mom and Dad love you very much and thank you for choosing US to be your guardians.
“An angel in the book of life wrote down my babies birth. Then she whispered as she CLOSED THE BOOK, “Too beautiful for earth””
Nidhi /ni-THEE/ – “Treasure”
— Megha Patel
Here at IRMS we take the health of our patients and caregivers very seriously.
IRMS has implemented a coronavirus protocol to keep our patients and staff safe and healthy while making sure that our patients stay on track to reach their treatment goals. IRMS Physicians are utilizing a combination of telemedicine and in-person appointments so we can limit office visits but keep you on track on your fertility journey. For the full array of protocols please visit our COVID-19 health alert page or give us a call at 973-548-9900.