Jason Versus the Pennsylvania Division of Vital Records Part 1
by Jason Kimble
When Hannah passed away, Heather and I were absolutely devastated. Having been given a fatal diagnosis, we knew the tragic day would come when we would face the this heartbreaking and difficult time. Knowing this did not make the time any easier, but it did allow us to consider some things about what was happening. That said, one thing that came up was the idea of a birth certificate. Initially this did not cross my mind. At this point, I can’t recall where I heard about it first. I think Heather told me she had seen something about it online. There was a birth certificate that our state would produce for families called the “Birth Resulting in a Stillbirth” certificate. It sounded like something that would be a great thing to have and would add just a little bit of peace in the recognition of our baby girl… or so we thought…
This was a way for families to have their baby recognized by the state as more than just a “medical issue.” It was a way for the family to mark this moment and remember the baby that was lost. It was something that a family can have as something to hold to and show that while their baby couldn’t come home with them, the life of their baby was no less important than anyone else. I didn’t NEED this certificate to allow me to know my daughter existed or mattered, because she did, but in my mind it was nice to have that simple piece of paper just like a “normal” family would.
Last Thursday my husband and I met with my high risk CHOP doctor to go over Hannah’s autopsy results. We had already been given a copy, but we aren’t doctors and needed to hear everything from the doctor.
We weren’t there long. The doctor took us back right away to her office and confirmed what we all expected, Hannah had Turner Syndrome. Her 45, X chromosome was completely deleted. All of her conditions/medical issues all were caused by Turner Syndrome. The severity of Hannah’s Turner Syndrome was extremely rare. My doctors actually told us that most other fatal diagnosis’ couldn’t even compare to Hannah’s fatal diagnosis. So, that fact that she only had Turner Syndrome and nothing else was a little surprising to us and the doctors.
Hannah was and still is our miracle. That fact that she lived into her 24th week is a miracle. I’m so proud to be her mommy and call her my daughter.
A fatal diagnosis is devastating for any parent. In the end when our baby dies it doesn’t matter the severity of the fatal diagnosis, if it was expected, if it was a shock, due to a fatal diagnosis, or no explanation at all. There is still a precious and innocent life that is lost. This is just my story and my journey.
This afternoon we go back to CHOP, but instead of trying to help our baby we are going to officially hear the results of our baby’s autopsy. It a strange feeling. Our baby shouldn’t have had an autopsy. She should have been growing inside me and making her arrival around Easter. But instead she passed away and an autopsy was performed.
Jason and I have a copy of the autopsy. We got it the day it was finished about two weeks ago. The only chromosomal issue is the deletion of the 45, X chromosome (Turner Syndrome) which was completely expected. It also lists in detail everything that was wrong that we were already told. I don’t want them to tell me again everything that was wrong with Hannah. I’ve heard it from doctors over and over again. Turner Syndrome is not hereditary so I don’t want to meet them for them to tell us that. But maybe it will be good for me to hear. Maybe it will give some closure on her health.
On top of it all my doctor at CHOP told me when we were there for a second opinion that I could contact her personally with any questions or concerns. So the next day I emailed her. I never heard from her again. She read the email then went behind my back and called my OB/GYN and told her about the email. I’m dealing with some forgiveness issues. This doctor had good bedside manner but lied to me. I’d rather she not offer me to contact her than for her to offer it then just ignore me. I’m asking for God’s help so I can forgive her. I’m in a much better place today than I was a week ago with it.
|© The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia