Diagnosis: IgA nephropathy,
Berger’s disease.
By Erica,
Mommy of a baby
who saved her life

It all started on October 8 just a few weeks after I found out I was pregnant. I left work to to the the ER because I started bleeding I was terrified. Who was to know that this moment wouldn’t change my life forever but what would happen at the hospital would.

After waiting what seemed like eternity I was finally seen by the ER doctor. I told them I was pregnant and that’s when they did the sonogram to check the baby, I should have known something was wrong when the tech was very quite and asked me if I was feeling OK only once during the whole exam.

About an hour or so after my sonogram the doctor finally came in to see me and the first thing I asked was “is the baby OK?” He told me that while doing the sonogram they noticed that there was something wrong with my kidneys and they looked very very scarred.

This one statement changed my life forever. After a couple of weeks I was finally seen by the high risk pregnancy ob/gyn which started the long line of endless appointments twice a week every week. The next couple of months consisted of many ultrasounds, blood work and kidney biopsies. The day before Thanksgiving was my last kidney biopsy. A few days after that, I found out that I have a kidney disease called IgA nephropathy, or Berger’s disease.

Unfortunately there is no cure and all hope of having a healthy baby was gone. I was now facing the decision that I prayed I would never have to make, I could risk my life and my baby’s life and try to carry to term, or – if I could even go to term, run the risk of my baby being born with all sorts of birth defects. So it came down to terminating my first and only baby or saving my own life.

I always knew I would never have my baby, I was now just trying to hang on to the last precious moments I would have with my baby. After many sleepless nights I had come to the decision that I will have to do the right thing for me and my baby; I had to terminate my own flesh and blood. My Doctor told me if I continued on I would most likely go into a state of renal failure and possibly die within a month.

On December 9th at 15 weeks of pregnancy, I was admitted into the hospital to be induced (I had to wait a few days for the ethic committee at the hospital to approve the procedure) On December 10th after 24 hours of labor, I gave birth to my one and only child. I did not see or hold my baby, I didn’t think I could ever forgive myself for what I did if I ever saw my baby.

It’s been six months now and it still hurts as bad as the day I lost my baby. Maybe one day I’ll be strong enough to ask my mother if I had a boy or girl. Until then, I can just hope that one day I will  see my little Sebastian or Sophia to tell him or her that “I always wanted you and would have gone to the ends of the world to be able to have you. Thank you so much for being part of my life even it was for only 15 weeks. You saved my life and I will never forget the little human being that made me so happy and gave me hope that the world was a beautiful place even though bad things happen to angels.”