The Latest Study

This morning I was half awake as Lillian ate her breakfast of cheerios, blueberries and yogurt.  Puttering about I heard my phone bing alerting me to a new fac.ebook posting.  I picked it up and wandered over to the Ke.ur.ig, absentmindedly popped in my coffee pod, my mug under the dispenser and glanced down at the alert to see this article.

http://www.upmc.com/media/NewsReleases/2014/Pages/gsph-study-vitamin-d-levels-preeclampsia-risk.aspx

Bile rose in my throat, my cup accidentally placed upside down as the steaming hot coffee poured down the sides of it, across the counter and onto the tops of my slippers.  There I stood in a puddle of hot coffee completely frozen with the room spinning around me. Gasping for breath, blindsided and unable to move.

Vitamin D deficiency linked to severe Pre-E.  I read and re-read and re-read the article.  I found myself searching it for the definitive line that said “THIS IS WHY SHE DIED. YOU FAILED HER.”

I took prenatal vitamins with Ava.  Just the store brand but prenatal vitamins nonetheless.  I started them months in advance.  I even remember taking extra vitamin D tablets and I can say, from my medical records which I rechecked this afternoon, that I reported taking them throughout the pregnancy.  But I know I was not regular at taking the vitamin D tablets.  I didn’t always take them like I did the prenatal vitamins.

As I read my mind began to race. What if my negligence killed her?  What if my own stupidity to not regularly take additional vitamin D supplements caused this horrible syndrome.  The doctors have always told me they have no reason I had HELLP when I had no preexisting conditions.  We have never had a reason; what if this is now the reason? And what if I am actually to blame?

My heart screamed out in guttural agony.    I hate these things.  I want them to find the cause for this horrible condition so no more women and babies die.  I want them to cure this.  I want to know that not one more husband will hold the hand of his comatose wife begging for her blood to clot.  I want to be part of the movement that ends this disease, that screams in its face, rips it down and eradicates it entirely.  And I know that studies like these are the building blocks to doing so yet I am terrified that it may be something I could have done differently.  I am her mother.  I am supposed to protect her.  And studies like these somehow just further point out the fact that I failed. As if I do not know that failure every single day.  As if that failure is not what shackles my hands and binds my heart in this life sentence I have been given to henceforth live without my firstborn daughter.  As if the scars, PTSD and life altering perspective are not enough suffering for my soul to bear, now ownership in her death as well?

Despite my every effort I spent the rest of the day buried in my grief.  So close to February 8th, her third birthday and feeling like she is so far, far away.