Guilt has a funny way of sneaking up on you. I didn't realize exactly why I'd been feeling guilty until last night when having a late Instant Message conversation with a dear friend.
There are so many things to feel guilty for. At first I thought it was just that I hadn't noticed Alex moving. In all my wisdom and arrogance, I didn't pay attention. This is still true. I feel like I should have paid more attention and I should have been more vigilent. But there is more to it than just that. (of course there is...this wouldn't be a very good post if it were as simple as that)
You see, I didn't do everything you're supposed to do when you're pregnant. I stopped taking my prenatals because they made me sick. I drank a cup of coffee every morning for breakfast. I took Sudafed. I ate cookies and candy at Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day, and Easter.
But the thing that makes me feel most guilty is that I didn't do all the tests. I talked with my doctor about the AFP test and decided against it. After all, there was no way I would terminate the pregnancy if there was something "wrong" with Alex. She said the ultrasound would show any problems anyway...the AFP was really just more specific. She left the option open that we could do the AFP after the ultrasound if it was warranted. The ultrasound showed no problems, so we skipped the AFP. I keep thinking maybe that test would have shown us something. Maybe it would have given us a heads up that something was wrong...and allowed us to do something...anything...to prevent Alex from dying. It may not have been successful and we may have lost him anyway, but at least we would have had the opportunity to try. How could I have been that stupid?
This is all speculation and maybe the autopsy will answer all my questions. But until then, the guilt plays on.
And what do I do if I'm right and I could have prevented this from happening to my sweet boy?