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Aciano's Story

My name is Azia . I’m 26 and live/grew up in the beautiful PNW (Washington State to be exact) I am a Certified Medical Assistant I truly love what I do ! I have been with my Boyfriend for over a decade now (since we were 14) and we would always openly talk about starting a family but never knew when to and we weren’t actively trying or preventing it either . But In September of 2020 our whole lives changed forever …. We were EXPECTING ! I went into Urgent Care for constipation and abdominal cramping with no menstrual period (I was late and didn’t put 2 and 2 together lol) so I gave a urine sample for analysis and the Dr thought I had some sort of bladder infection and protein in my urine but sure enough we were Pregnant ! We both were so shocked our jaws practically touched the floor and we couldn’t stop smiling !! He was blushing and so was I . Prior to finally going in to be seen , I had talked to my mom and she had said “you’re pregnant” and I told her “no way!” She called it . So did my Grandma (her mom) . At that time I was in my Externship for my CMA Certification and was anxious that I wouldn’t be able to complete it fully .. but they (my prior job) we’re SO supportive and I eventually got hired on ! In October of 2020 I graduated with my CMA Certification and began to work full time ! As my Pregnancy progressed things were looking ahead and we were soooo excited ! I looked forward to every OB appointment to see our baby grow - minus the fact that my Boyfriend couldn’t come in with me to every one due to Covid *sad face* . At 18 weeks exactly we did the Genetic Testing via blood work (came back Normal/Negative) and had our gender reveal in December of 2020 …… my mom set the whole reveal up with food , cake and the reveal itself . I’ll never forget being surrounded by our families and everyone was so happy and content there was so much LOVE !! The countdown still goes off In my head at times 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 … “ IT’S A BOY!!!!” My mom had put a small Christmas tree decorated with blue lights and boy toy ornaments under a box decorated with blue and pink baby feet wrapping paper . I knew all along that Aciano was a boy . I felt it in my gut and I was craving salty foods/snacks (Lays original potato chips, anything salty and Red Powerade or Red Gatorade) His Daddy knew too . It’s like God was sending us what we both wanted ! At my 20 week Anatomy scan things took a turn … Aciano was healthy and always had a strong nice heartbeat . All of his limbs were there — 10 fingers 10 toes , etc. But my Cervix was open 2-3 centimeters with sight funneling . I was diagnosed with having an “Incompetent Cervix” or IC for short — meaning my cervix can not hold a fetus on its own . I remember the tech was scanning Aciano all was good and then there was silence as she was going to my Cervix . I didn’t know what I know now .. (I had both an OB and a Midwife) the Midwife was who I saw on occasion . The tech put us in an exam room and the Midwife came in and told us the news . I was crushed ! Felt defeated ! She said I had to go to the ER to L&D asap . So I did with my Boyfriend by my side . As soon as we got in the car I started bawling I called my mom and could barely speak . I was panicking and distraught thinking and fearing the worse but little did I know that was NOTHING compared to what was to come a month later … as we got to the ER I was admitted and monitored and set up with high risk Dr (MFM) the next day . Went to that appointment met my MFM Dr. And lovedddd her ! Was set up for the Cerclage - stitch to hold your cervix shut surgery the same day . They did a repeat Anatomy scan at that Initial MFM consult appointment and confirmed my cervix was dilated and funneled . But got some great pictures of Aciano blowing bubbles lol . I went home , took a shower and we headed back to the Hospital . During Covid , I had to be alone mostly for all the appointments and now for Surgery admitting and Post Op … I was so nervous and scared !!! I waited a good 4-5 hours Pre-Op before being brought back and I remember texting my Boyfriend , family and friends so scared and watching the boring TV shows and then trying to nap but I just couldn’t I was so nervous . Fast forward to the surgery it went well my waters didn’t break and Aciano was all good not affected in any way . They checked his heartbeat and it was still going strong . Post-Op I stayed overnight with my Boyfriend and was closely monitored and was discharged the next day . A day or two later I had a follow up appointment with MFM and the stitch was doing what it needed to do and Aciano was thriving . I was still about 20 weeks and some days . At around 21-22 weeks I had started to feel his precious kicks and this gave me a whole new purpose everything just felt so much realer to me . I was excited before but now I was REALLY stoked !!! My whole world came crashing down on January 20, 2021 when I realized I hadn’t felt him kick all day . I had tried to nap earlier that day and couldn’t for some reason . Napping was never an issue for me the whole pregnancy . Our cats were resting by me this day a lot more than usual . After noticing Aciano wasn’t kicking I began to have abdominal cramping pains and felt like I had to go Poo so I went to the bathroom couldn’t Poo but went Pee and when I wiped I saw unusual discharge so I called my Mom panicking and told my Mom in law as well who we live with and they both said to cal my OB asap . I called my OB explained my symptoms and she said I could have an infection but to go to the ER to L&D right away so I decided to take a shower before going in . I remember being in the shower getting freshened up and rubbing my belly and trying not to think the worst (little did I know what I would soon find out) Before leaving my Mom in law assured us everything was gonna be “OK” and I texted my mom that we were on our way to the ER . I remember still having cramping in the car and they become intense and so so painful . I was just hoping and praying everything was OK with Aciano I didn’t know what was going on ?!!! When we got to the ER I checked in and I remember telling them I hadn’t felt my baby move and was having cramping . I remember seeing another Preggo mom who was i think in labor waiting to be brought up to L&D Triage and we made strange eye contact … I’m not sure if it’s cause she heard me explain what I was experiencing ot what but she got wheeled up before me . I remember texting my Mom feeling so scared and worried and a friend who was pregnant at that same time as I was . Once I was wheeled up to L&D Triage immediately the Nurses started to look for a heartbeat with the hand held Doppler …. Nothing . They tried the blue round Dopplers …. Nothing . They called for an Ultrasound tech to come do an Ultrasound and this is when my whole world came crashing down on me on US . The tech and Doctor began scanning and I could see the Ultrasound screen clear as day I saw my Aciano lifeless no heart was fluttering beating there was Nothing . He was gone !!! The Dr just said “I’m so sorry” and I lost it I just began sobbing uncontrollably saying or screaming “No , not my baby!!!!!” My Boyfriend put his hand on my foot and just looked down put his head on my legs . While I found this out there was a Patient right next to me separated by the curtain (not the one mentioned earlier) who was attached to the blue round Dopplers and I could hear her babies heartbeat that really broke me . she was quiet as I sobbed . They quickly moved me to the Covid-19 labor room which was far away from all the other labor rooms . I notified as I was walking to that room I was leaking fluid and I began to understand the cramping was Contractions . They were coming every couple of minutes and we’re so intense . My BF let my mom know what was happening and my mom was on her way . As we waited for my mom to arrive I had to go pee so my BF helped me to the toilet and I went pee and gush of blood came out I didn’t know until I wiped and saw the toilet water I immediately screamed “Go tell the Nurse go Get someone!!!” The nurse came wrapped Me in a towel and took me to the bed again . My BF with the big heart he had decided to let my Mom come in his place as I could only Have 1 person with me due to Covid regulations . My mom fought hard to get the Hospital to let him stay but they wouldn’t . I was so torn in that moment but forever thankful he did that as my mom knew what I was doing through as she had a similar situation happen around the same gestation as I was . When my mom arrived she wept and cried when she saw me . She gave me the biggest warmest hug and let me hold her hand to squeeze because I was in active labor at this point . My OB arrived and said she was so sorry and my mom had worked for her as a CMA years prior and didn’t wanna reunite in this manner .. the Nurses couldn’t find my veins for an IV so They gave me Cytotec to progress things further along and tried to give me some low grade pain medicine that didn’t do anything so I went unmedicated feeling every contraction watching the clock tick and tock . My OB checked me and saw I was dilated so it was time for her to remove my Cerclage stitch she had me move to the spare bed and removed it successfully and I laid back down in the main bed . The pain was so excruciating I was just sobbing and felt so out of it . Once I was 10 centimeters and I felt pressure I pushed a few pushes and Aciano Jeremiah was born into this world still , silent and beautiful as ever at 12:05am weighing 1lb 4oz 12in long . He was born at 23weeks 4days . He was his daddy’s twin ! I remember when he came out I sobbed quietly looking at the Cross hanging on the wall and couldn’t believe he was gone in the blink of an eye my precious baby Boy was gone out of my womb my belly his safe sanctuary . My OB had said his cord was wrapped twice around his neck . That that’s what caused his death . My Mom was able to admire him before I did because I needed a moment to deliver my placenta and cry . They handed him to me and I couldn’t believe something so precious and beautiful and PERFECT came from pure love . I admired him . Took pictures crying with him . My mom took pictures . I played music for him as I held him . My mom encouraged me to do Skin-Skin but I didn’t .. I often wish I did . That I could go back in time and do that just once . And that I could nap with him just for a few hours . I’ll never forget having to leave the hospital Without my baby . I hugged him and kissed his sweet face and told him I love him , his daddy loves him everyone loves him and that he can rest now he can be at peace . I was wheeled out with a teddy bear and memory box passing baby/maternity pictures in the hallway . I was heartbroken then and I’m heartbroken now .

A piece of me left that day when he left us . I’ll never be who I was before . Having to face my milk coming in , his memorial , funeral arrangements (cremation) , bleeding afterwards . The grief was so immense . Still is at times . It’s been 2 years and I have turned my pain into something beautiful by being a pillar to bring awareness to Pregnancy loss and by keeping Aciano’s memory alive . I now work for that same MFM doctors office that helped me that gave my baby a chance .. I get to see and help high risk pregnant woman on a daily and it is a blessing ! I don’t know what my future holds in terms of getting my Rainbow baby but I do know that I am Strong .. we are strong woman and men who have a define purpose and that’s to live through our angel babies !

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