Andrea West is a mother who is very strong. She talks about how she lost her baby and how sad and hurt she was after that. Many parents who had been through the same thing felt bad for her and her husband and were inspired to speak up.
When they met in college, they knew they would spend their whole lives together. They moved into Andrea’s house in New Jersey and got married in October 2006.
Their life was like a fairy tale, and when she told them she was pregnant, their happiness grew.
Andrea had a miscarriage when she was 11 weeks pregnant, which turned her life upside down.
“I was in a terrible state. I didn’t know what to do or who to talk to or what to talk about or who could help me. I didn’t know that 1 in 4 women go through the same thing and that no one talks about it. I didn’t think I could handle being pregnant again.”
Andrea blamed herself for a long time when she lost her baby, but her loving husband was always there to reassure her that everything would be okay. Soon after that, Andrea got pregnant again. This time, she made sure to do everything right, including keeping her weight under control by living a better life.
“I didn’t drink any diet soda, which is my lifeblood, and I didn’t eat any lunch meat, soft cheese, sushi, or anything else on the “bad list.” I read the blogs and pages for the neighbourhood. I read the books and did everything the “right” way to set up my nursery. My heart grew three sizes when I found out I was having a boy. I’ve always had a lot of guy friends, and I was so excited to be a ‘boy mum’!
On September 21, the couple gave birth to their rainbow child. Andrea had a normal birth, even though she didn’t have much amniotic fluid.
They named their baby Adam after her husband’s friend who died of a brain tumour when he was 21 years old.
The new parents were overjoyed, but they thought something was wrong when the doctor cut the umbilical cord himself instead of calling Andrea’s husband to do it. At that point, the doctor gave them some terrible news.
“”Honey, Adam’s leg hurts. I was tired, a little crazy, and all I wanted to do was hold my baby, but I’ll never forget what I said. “It’s probably just a bump,” she said. When I gave birth in a teaching hospital, at least 20 different people were in the room before I knew it. Doctors, nurses, and medical students saw my tiny baby before I did. They gave me a few minutes with him before rushing him to the NICU. Everyone then left.”
At first, no one knew why the baby’s abdomen and part of his leg were covered in red marks and bruises. However, he was finally diagnosed with Cutis Marmorata Telangiectatica Congenita (CMTC), a rare vascular malformation. At the time, only 500 people had been diagnosed with this disease.
I thought he was the most attractive thing I had ever seen. My star child. But was he going to be OK? I felt both happy and sad at the same time.”
Adam was given many different tests, as well as ultrasounds of his brain and heart. He passed all of them, so he was let out of the hospital.
Adam went to a lot of doctors, geneticists, and orthopedists in the first few weeks of his life. All of the tests that these doctors did showed that everything was fine.
Adam’s parents have been learning more about his situation ever since he was born. They have been to many conferences, including one in Washington, D.C., where they met other families whose children also have this disease.
Most of the people and doctors there have never heard of CMTC, and Andrea and her husband work hard to make sure as many people as possible know about it.
The only thing that worried Adam’s folks was if he would get along with the other kids. He’s doing great so far and does everything his peers do. He likes to play games and hang out with his friends.