On June 29, 2020, I walked into the doctor’s office, ready and excited to find out the gender of my baby, and instead I left not knowing if I would be carrying my baby to full term.
My story began with the horrid words ‘Bilateral Renal Agenesis’: The lack of developing kidneys. This was supposed to be the day I found out the gender; it was supposed to be a joyous day. I was not supposed to leave the hospital crying, but there I was with my head hanging in the palm of my hands.
I spent that day trying to understand what bilateral renal agenesis was and how it was caused.
A developing fetus begins growing its kidneys around 16 weeks gestation, and that allows amniotic fluid to develop. The fetus then breaths in the fluid to help develop its lungs. With this developmental issue, my baby wouldn’t have functional vital organs; kidneys, bladder and lungs. While in gestation, I kept my baby alive through my umbilical cord, but without vital organs, a baby cannot survive outside the womb.
Our doctors left us with little hope for survival, so sadly we decided to terminate the pregnancy at 23 weeks. We were explained that this was a 1 in 3000 scenario, and that the cause is usually one of three reasons; genetics, chromosome mutation, or unexplained reasons. As of today, four months later, we are still waiting on the lab results to know the true cause.
As my husband and I processed this information, we asked ourselves how this could possibly be happening to us; how it could happen to anyone. Ending this, very much wanted pregnancy, was the hardest decision we had ever made, but we knew it was in the baby's best interest. We did not want to witness our baby boy struggling to breathe or suffer in the least. On July 15,
Milo Christian was born and he had a heartbeat for all of 3 hours. He was so perfect, and I am so grateful I spent those moments with him before he left us. As terrible and sad as it was to see him pass, at least I can say I knew what it felt like to hold my son while he was alive.
Not a day goes by that I don't long to hold him in my arms again, and frankly, I don't think that feeling will ever go away. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about Milo. He would have been 1 month old by now, and we would have been preparing to spend our first Christmas with him in 2020. We don’t know why these things happen to the best of people, but they do. The best we can do is hope for a better future.
We miss our baby angel Milo so much. My pain reminds me that he was here and he was real, and he will remain alive in our hearts forever!