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Got sad news about friend--warning, major downer

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I got a message this evening through a third party, from someone I didn't know, calling about a friend of mine. He had the same last name as a friend of mine, whom I shall call Suzy for privacy reasons, and left a message that it was urgent and to call anytime day or night.

Anyway, Suzy is a friend of mine, also pregnant and due in December around Christmas time. She's my only pregnant friend IRL and even though we're not the kind of friends who get together all the time we really like each other and were really glad to be pregnant together and be having our babies (both our firsts) at the same time. Especially because we're both having multiracial children. We'd talked several times during the past few months and were actually supposed to have lunch with our husbands last Sunday but when I called to see where they wanted to meet her DH told me that they couldn't make it because she wasn't feeling well. She had fibroids, and had been very constipated. Her dr. had given her a stool softener, because the fibroids apparently were pressing on her intestines and causing constipation and she was in a reasonable amount of pain. I talked on the phone for a while with her DH and then we hung up saying that we would try to reschedule lunch in a week or two when we were both up to it.

Well, today I got this message and returned the phone call and it turns out that it was Suzy's brother whom I've never met who was calling me. He told me that Suzy is in the hospital in the ICU on a ventilator. Apparently this is what happenned: the fibroids were large enough that they were occupying/blocking one side of her uterus. As the baby grew it was unable to occupy this space, so it was distending the OTHER side of her uterus. The uterine wall got very stretched, and at some point it ruptured and the baby was expelled into her abdominal cavity and she began bleeding into her abdominal cavity. They are not sure exactly when this happenned or how long she was walking around with this situation, but she was having pretty serious pain and went to her doctor who could not find a fetal heartbeat. The confirmed that the baby was dead and then they were going to do surgery, I think they may have done an exploratory laparoscopy first. They waited to do the surgery to consult with a specialist from another hospital who then was heading the surgical team, and they weren't sure when they did the surgery what the situation was going to be when they got in but they gave her husband about five different scenarios for what might happen. Anyway, when they got in they realized that it was very serious and that she had bled a lot and that her uterus was very damaged and so they not only had to remove the baby from outside of her uterus but they did a hysterectomy.

All this would have been bad enough, but then during the surgery she vomited and aspirated it into her lungs and so now she has been in a very critical state in the ICU and from what I could gather it doesn't seem like they have been sure she is even going to make it. She is on a ventilator. Apparently on Friday she was awake and alert and was trying to talk to everyone who was there with her, trying to write notes, etc., (including telling her DH to get in touch with me, and nobody had my number and they couldn't find her Palm Pilot where she has it) and the medical team was quite concerned that she was overexerting herself trying to communicate and was going to screw herself up and damage herself more by moving around and expending energy and so they knocked her out completely and now she's being heavily sedated. Her DH and her mom got to hold the baby (it was a boy) but she hasn't gotten to because she's been in such serious condition. Due to the situation the baby is in some sort of preservative in the lab right now and so by the time she comes out of this, presuming she does, if she can hold the baby his skin will have turned gray from the preservative. They have restricted all visitors but immediate family and apparently everyone else is camped out in the waiting room. I got her husband's cell number from her brother and called him, and we talked for a long time and he's actually the one who told me the majority of the story. I felt bad that he had to go through the whole story, I didn't ask too many questions in case he didn't want to rehash the whole thing but he volunteered most of the information and it seemed like he wanted to talk about it. He and I have had a number of phone conversations over the time that she's been pregnant about pregnancy related topics (like when I've called and she was napping or something like that) and I feel like he knew he could talk to me about the "gory details" and knew that I wouldn't freak out about it. I could tell he was starting to cry when he was telling me about holding the baby and what they'd named him. However, he said that he did feel bad because it must be especially hard for me to hear that when I was pregnant too. I just feel bad because I feel so sad that I'm pregnant now and she's not, and their baby's dead, and she will never be able to be pregnant again. Two weeks ago she was inviting me to go to a prenatal yoga class with her, and now she's on a ventilator with a life-threatening complication. I can't imagine what they are going through, him now because he's the one who's conscious and has lost his baby and is facing losing his wife, and then her when she comes out of this.

The brother and husband both want us to come by the hospital, and I will because they have asked me to and she asked for me to be called when she was conscious and I want to be there for them, but I also feel weird and sort of "survivor guilt" to be going there with my big pregnant belly in everyone's face under the circumstances. I hope my friend recovers soon physically, but then she will have to recover emotionally and I can't imagine how hard that is going to be for both of them. And I can't help but think that if the situation were reversed and I had lost my baby while my friend stayed pregnant, that it would be hard not to always look at her baby and think "my baby would have been that same age now". It's so sad and unfair. Especially because they are such wonderful people, are such a wonderful couple together, and would be such awesome and loving parents. I hope they will still be able to be parents somehow if they want, but of course first she needs to actually make it through this and be okay.

I'm sorry to write such a long and depressing post, but I'm just kind of still in shock somewhat about this and very sad and felt like I needed to share. Any good thoughts or prayers for my friend are most appreciated!
post #2 of 17
post #3 of 17
Do NOT worry about turning up pregnant- whilst I know it's unfair, your pregnancies were part of the bond that cemented your friendship, and at this point, nobody is going to be thinking about how unfair it is. Yes, your child is probably always going to remind her of the baby she carried- but this isn't necessarily a bad thing. So much depends on her, and the kind of person she is.
I lost a baby at almost 24 weeks several years ago, and because of my emotional state and the circumstances I don't remember holding her afterwards, and never said goodbye properly (they had to do a post-mortem, because of everything that happened) Even with all of this, you can heal- the hurt never goes away completely, but you can survive it. It's possible.
I'll light a candle for her tonight, if I may? And for her husband- and if there's anything I can do, please, please email me- even if you just want someone to talk to.
post #4 of 17

I have friends who were pregnant together and one lost her baby to SIDS just before the other delivered. This was over 5 years ago. I think the two ladies are closer now than they were then and the mother who lost her baby dotes on the other's little girl.

It's tough and tragic. It's so easy to feel guilty and that's a completely normal stage of grief. Be gentle with yourself.

post #5 of 17
I am so sorry! What a horrible situation. Life is so precious, sometimes it takes something like this to remind us not to take anything for granted.

Your friend and her family will be in my thoughts. It's going to be a long recovery for all. I also hope you have the strength to be there for her when she does need it.

post #6 of 17
I'm so sorry. What a scary situation. Hugs to you and to your friends family. My thoughts are with you.
post #7 of 17
Oh, I am so, so sorry to hear about this. You must be in such heartache for your friend right now. I'm so glad you are close enough to be able to visit, and that you've been able to talk to her dh on the phone and be a support to him- just having someone he can share the details with must be a relief for him.

As far as being pg, I would feel a little weird, too, but I know none of them hold it against you.

Please let us know how she's doing- I will definitely keep her and her family in prayer, and you as you support them as best you can.
post #8 of 17
what a tragic story.. im so sorry to hear this.. i think you being there to support them is the best thing in the world.. keep strong momma..
post #9 of 17
That is very sad indeed - I am sitting here in tears. The family is in my prayers.

We lost our daughter almost a year ago and I will tell you that it warms my heart to read your very sensitive and thoughtful concerns. In my experience (and a few others I have talked to) some pg women/babies are difficult to be around and some arent' - it really varies for me. The fact that they are specifically seeking you means that it will probably be ok - not perfect or without pain, but tolerable.

Please PM me with ANY questions that you have.
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your kind responses. I was kind of still in shock and disbelief last night. It's sort of sunk in today and in addition to the grief for her/them, it's kind of hit me in more of a personal way, like it's making me feel a little scared for me and my baby. Which is not really rational because it's sort of a rare freak situation, but pregnancy is such a weird emotional time anyway and then to have something like this hit so close to home is really upsetting. Anyway, I appreciate all your support for me and also thoughts and prayers for her and I will update as I find out what's going on. I'm planning to go to the hospital either tonight or tomorrow night, and hopefully I'll be able to see her husband at least or maybe her parents.
post #11 of 17
: Words simply cannot adequately express the emotions. Healing and peaceful vibes to your friend's family and to you.
post #12 of 17
oh my god. wow.
post #13 of 17
Originally Posted by Kavita
It's sort of sunk in today and in addition to the grief for her/them, it's kind of hit me in more of a personal way, like it's making me feel a little scared for me and my baby. Which is not really rational because it's sort of a rare freak situation, but pregnancy is such a weird emotional time anyway and then to have something like this hit so close to home is really upsetting.
I think I can relate to the fear for your pregnant self and your baby...I've been dealing with some of this lately related to things that have happened to clients at work. I can only imagine that having something so terrifying happen to a friend would be sooo much harder. to you and your baby.

They are lucky to have a compassionate and caring friend like you. I'm keeping you and your friends in my thoughts and prayers Take care
post #14 of 17
Oh my gosh. What a horrible, horrible thing. So scary. s

If your friend has asked for you, then I wouldn't worry too much about the fact that you are pg and she isn't. Right now, she needs support and friendship. Things might get wierd for her as things sink in. After my first m/c (which in no way compares with this story), I distanced myself from a friend who was pregnant at the same time. We are now fine, though. It was just difficult for awhile. And in some ways, I take comfort in looking at her son and knowing that my own would have been that size, doing those things, etc.

Warm thoughts to you and your friend.
post #15 of 17
Im so sorry I will think & pray you your friend & you
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Back with an update . . . .

My friend seems to be doing better. She's still in ICU but they seem to be on some sort of track to wean her off the ventilator and they have taken her off the paralytic. I went and saw her DH on Monday night, and things were looking a little better then and seem to be gradually improving. So that's good news. I can't visit (immediate family only and even then the hours are REALLY limited.) Her DH is staying at his brother's place b/c it's closer to the hospital. I took him some healthy snack-type groceries, and today I talked to him on the phone. I told him to throw his dirty laundry in bags or baskets in his trunk, and I'll meet up with him and get it and do it for him so he'll just have some clean stuff. He showed me some stuff that she wrote before they zonked her out, and she knew what had happenned about the hysterectomy etc., but also was just glad that she was still alive herself. Seemed really strong and positive, so that made me feel better.

I also told him that I felt really bad and awkward that I was still pregnant, and he was really sweet about it. He told me not to feel bad, that even her OB is pregnant and that they know that people are going to be pregnant. He also said that he's had some time to process the situation but that she will need to process it when the immediate crisis passes and that it will be rough in spots, but that they'll still be excited and happy for us. I thought that that was so nice!

So, things seem to going okay!
post #17 of 17
I'm so glad things are going better for you, your friend and her family. You all will be in my thoughts and :. So much love to their angel baby.
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