My name is Hope, I am the president and founding member of Addison Foundation. I wanted to share my story and what drives us at The Addison Foundation to help others.
In 2009 we found out we were expecting our 3rd child! I was doing ok with the pregnancy until I was about 3 months along. At that time I started having minor spotting. I went to the doctor and for safety reasons my doctor sent me for an ultrasound, I was told that my cervix was leaning forward and that that could have caused the bleeding. I continued on my monthly appointments and by month 5 I was feeling great! I thought I am going to be OK and this baby who we now found out was a GIRL, and we named Addison, would be ok! By month 6 and I was spotting again, the doctor sent me for more tests and monitored me closely!
On May 22, 2010 I took my 2 older kids to soccer. It was a hot day and I was not feeling well. I had a lot of back pain (which wasn’t unusual because I broke my lower back when I was 16). Once I got home at 2pm, I noticed Addison wasn’t moving a lot so I called my doctor. She said monitor Addison's movement and if I did not feel her move every hour that I would need to go to the hospital. I felt her move all night but on Sunday I woke up and felt her move slightly but something felt off. The doctor once again said to come in to be checked first thing in the morning.
Once we arrived at the doctor's office we were taken straight back to the ultrasound room. I saw the look on the Ultrasound Techs face of NO heartbeat. She immediately called the doctor to come into the room. I was then told I am sorry; your baby no longer has a heartbeat. My entire world felt like it has shattered. The doctor attempted to consoled my husband and I. The next day I was ordered to get an induction. I was admitted to Brandon Regional Hospital.
Upon arrival I was explained the procedure and how they were going to break my water and because I was 24 weeks pregnant, I would have to physically deliver our stillborn daughter Addison. My husband and I were in complete and utter shock. Everything seems to happen so quickly. The Bereavement team came in and explained to we could hold our daughter and we could take photos. In the end we chose not to see our daughter and instead remember her full of life moving in my belly. Within the hour our beautiful daughter was born still.
That day my life forever changed. I was wheeled out of L & D without a child. All the nurses and doctors watching as I carried a little white memory box, my tear stained face and clothes proved pure heartbreak. Within 2 days my husband and I were home explaining the heart break to our 13 and 7 year old. With no explanation as to why or what could have caused this I came home empty, confused and broken. As the year went on I developed severe PTSD, becoming angry with God, angry with doctors, pushing away from my friends and all I wanted was to change the outcome.
Since then I started going to therapy, starting looking for ways to heal, started to engage again with friends and trained my dog to be a service dog for PTSD. I started to feel love again and felt glimpses of happiness. In 2011 we found out we were expecting again and this time I was considered high risk. I went to our 1st appointment and finally had an answer as to why we lost our Addison! My Lupus diagnosis caused the placenta to pull away from Addison. I went every 2 weeks to neonatal screening and every 4 weeks to the OB and I successfully delivered our rainbow baby, Grace- Because it’s by the Grace of God I was able to have her- on 1/1/12 .
It is through my painful experience losing our precious Addison that I started this non-profit. It truly is my wish to help anyone else that has gone through this horrible pain.