When I was 22 years old I realized I wanted a baby. I wanted a blond haired little girl. I fell in love with the name Shannon Marie. I was with the same man for 18 years and he had a very low sperm count and could not father a child. Years went by and no child so at the age of 39 we knew time was running out. I had fertility tests ran on me and every thing checked out fine. I had seven artificial inseminations and none took. I just couldn't go through it any longer. Each month I got my hopes up just to lose the little hope I had.
A few years later we separated and I met someone else and one year later I found myself calling my doctor. Something was wrong with me. I was crying for no reason, getting nervous and then getting very angry. I thought oh no here comes menopause. My doctor made an appointment with a gynecologist. It was two weeks away. I felt so different and it was getting worse. Now my period was late. I called my doctor again and I was angry with him. I wanted menopause stopped now. He told me to buy a pregnancy test that he thought that was what was going on. After 21 years of trying, I knew I was not pregnant. I was now 43 years old.
I took the pregnancy test and the line showed up so very faint. I had a blood test done, but before I got the results my period was trying to start. It was different. My cramps were different and I was sick!!! My doctor called me at work and said I was pregnant. I told him about my period and he had me go right to the gynecologist. With ultra sound they found an ectopic pregnancy. Three doctors examined me to make sure. I was given a shot to dissolve the embryo in to my blood stream. I cried all night. I could feel what was going on inside of me and it was breaking my heart. I now also at the same time had renewed hope for a child. I wanted to chase that life long dream of having a child. With no fertility pills we would just let things be. I got pregnant once I could get pregnant again. That was Jan. 1997.
In July of that same year I was pregnant again. I was so happy. As far as I knew my pregnancy was going ok. I had lost 15 lb. the first 3 months, but my doctor told me that a lot of women do that. I wanted to believe my doctor, but I felt something was not right. At 5 months I started to gain a little weight. Since I was 43 my doctor talked me into having the amniocentesis. I would not have an abortion if there were a birth defect. I waited two weeks for the results and when they came back I found out I was having that little girl I had dreamed of for so many years. She also had Trisomy 21, Down Syndrome. That was ok. I still wanted her. I read all I could to learn more than I now knew. I talked to mothers of children with Down syndrome. I learned it would not be so bad. I had so many ultra sounds done to make sure she was fine. The greatest risk was a heart defect, but her heart was fine.
My pregnancy seemed to take a nose-dive fast. My stomach started measuring smaller I no longer gained weight, my
blood pressure shot up and my last ultra sound showed not enough fluid for her to survive inside of me. I had an
emergency C-Section done on Jan. 28th 1998.
She weighed in at 1 lb. 11 oz. and 13 ½ inches. Shannon was
breathing on her own and she was the most beautiful little girl. She was taken to another hospital, because where
we were they were not comfortable with a baby under 3 lb.
For the first 10 days I was told she was doing great. The
nurses called her the feisty one because she did not like them messing with her. On day 11, I walked in to find Shannon
with a blue stomach. I was told not to worry that everything was under control. She continued to get worse. She got
a blood infection that the doctor said most adults would die within 24 hours. Shannon beat that infection. She
wanted to live. I thought my little girl was going to make it. The next day I was told she had another infection
and a hole in her intestines. That was where the infections were coming from. We were now told they could not operate
on her because she was too bloated and they do not operate when there is infection.
The doctors put a tube into her stomach to drain what was
coming from the intestines. We were told that in 1/3 of the babies the intestines heal, 1/3 have surgery and 1/3
do not make it.
The next night while I was at Shannon's side I watched her
pass away. My world came crashing in! I had so many different emotions hit me all at once. I was even mad at Shannon
and I had no reason to be mad at her. She fought long and hard and I was so proud of her.
I do thank God for letting me experience her. I do not understand
how I could lose something I wanted for 22 years.
It has been over a year now and the pain has softened only
a little. Not one day goes by that I do not shed tears for her. The need to mother her is still in me. I am so
afraid of the fading memories.
I heard a saying that is so true. You bury the ones you love in a cemetery, you bury your children in your heart. Trying to go on and rebuild your life after you have suffered the greatest loss is the hardest thing a person can do. It is like your own soul and spirit has died and you have to find a way to get it back.
Mother of Shannon Marie Beebe Heim
Dear Shannon Marie,
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