Monday, October 18, 2010

Mom to Isabella
Born January 12th, 2010 at 2:32 a.m.
Died January 12th, 2010 at 2:57 a.m.
Sutton, Ontario, Canada

Last year, I was pregnant with my first child. My daughter, Isabella, was due on January 1st, 2010. January 1st came and went. She was perfectly healthy, so the doctors told me she’d come when she was ready.

By the time January 9th came, my doctor decided to book me for an induction on the 12th at 7am. Well, being my daughter, she did things on her own terms. The morning of the 11th, I woke with mild contractions. We waited them out for a couple of hours at home, and then decided to go to the hospital when they got to 3-4 minutes apart. We were admitted around 1pm.

My labour progressed slowly. They broke my water, and it sped up rather quickly. About 10pm, I had asked for an epidural – I was fully dilated and ready to go. Still, my beautiful Isabella took her time. After hours of pushing, and Isabella’s heart rate raising and dropping, the doctor on call came in and decided she would try forceps. They also told me that if they didn’t work, we will have to do a c-section. As I had never had an I.V. before, let alone surgery, I was more than a little scared by this point.

They tried the forceps, but still, she was not coming. I was exactly where I did not want to be. I needed to have a c-section. After hours and hours of pushing, she was in my birthing canal, so they needed to ‘push her back up’ to make the incision. There had been no trauma or cause for alarm during the labour process, so they took their time prepping me for the surgery. They took 15 minutes from when they removed the heart rate monitors until they had Isabella out. Within those 15 minutes, her heart had stopped.

I remember hearing Jeff cry as he’s holding my hand. Why was he crying? I am supposed to hear my daughter cry, not Jeff. The next thing I know, the doctor came over to me and said “I’m sorry, we did all we could.” I was in shock. I didn’t say a word. I didn’t blink. The only thing I could do was throw up – and that’s what I did. Right on the doctor.

My daughter was born on January 12th, 2010 at 2:32am. She died January 12th, 2010 at 2:57am.

I was in recovery until 6am. As I mentioned above, they had given me an epidural, also that they had to get Isabella back up through my birthing canal. When they did that, they tilted the surgery table back so far that my freezing had run up my body and I was frozen from my neck down. I was unable to breath on my own. After all that, my wonderful, brave, strong boyfriend now had to watch me on oxygen after he just witnessed his daughter being taken away from him.

As we were in recovery, a wonderful nursery attendant came in to see us. She said she was taking care of our Isabella as if she was her own and asked if we would like to see her. I swear, this attendant was an angel sent down to bring Isabella back with her. She was so kind and gentle.

Jeff and I were having difficulty giving our angel a name, so we decided that we would see what she fits when she came. As the attendant put her in my arms, I knew. Isabella. Jeff agreed.

All our family had gone home when I went into surgery. They were coming back first thing in the morning to meet our new angel. We chose to call them ahead of time to tell them what happened. It was not news to share over the phone, but we just couldn’t handle them coming in happy and excited to see our baby, when there was no baby to see.

That day, our close family came in to see us. We were able to have Isabella brought up to our room. So we asked everyone if they would like to see her and hold her. The best decision I ever made was to take pictures. I wasn’t sure if it was the right thing to do at the time, but I am so glad to have photos of her now.

The coroner came in to do an investigation. He said there were no findings to show cause of death, and he feels that an autopsy would not be necessary. Are you kidding me?! A baby dies during birth with no apparent cause of death after having an uncomplicated pregnancy from a mother in her 20′s with no medical issues, and you feel that further investigation ISN’T required?! We demanded an autopsy, and he said that he doesn’t find it necessary, so it would be at our cost. (We live in Canada where our medical plan covers doctor visits, hospital stays, birthing… etc.) We told him money was no issue when it comes to our daughter. So an autopsy was ordered. As the hospital I was at had never seen a case like mine before, she was sent down to Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto, where they would have specialists who better know what to look for. From there, they called in further specialists.

So there we were; sitting in our room in the maternity ward of the hospital. Listening to the babies cry across the hall, and we were trying to figure out how to make funeral arrangements for our baby who never had a chance to cry. We called a local funeral home and explained our situation. They had a funeral director come to our room, as I was still recovering from surgery.

The funeral was planned and it was time to make the announcement. We sent out an email to our friends and family who hadn’t already known. We had asked the few people that already knew to keep it to their selves and especially keep it off Facebook.

After 4 days in the hospital, they released me on the Friday. Isabella’s funeral was on Saturday. As odd as it sounds, I didn’t want to leave. This was the place where I felt close to her. I felt that if I left, I was leaving her there, and I couldn’t bear to do that. Stepping out into the world was so strange to me. It was the same world, but not the world I knew. I had started a new life – a life as a baby loss mom. I had to get used to everything all over again. It was all so different. I was different.

After we left the hospital, we went to the funeral home to make our final arrangements. Here we were, 3 days after giving birth, picking out flowers, poems, and an urn.

The day of the funeral, we arrived 30 minutes before the service. We had hoped to be the first ones there, but we were wrong. We walked in to a full house. There were people everywhere. They were flooding out the door. I tried to walk in, but I couldn’t face everyone. The funeral director brought us in a side door, away from everyone. We met briefly with the minister and had a moment in the chapel alone before everyone came in.

We had chosen to have Isabella cremated, as they had to retain certain parts for her autopsy. We had her urn (the urn it’s self is a metal case of two hearts, and it fits inside a teddy bear) her outfit from the hospital, photos in an album, and her heartbeat bear (her heartbeat recorded into a teddy bear from our 3d ultrasound) set up at the front instead of a casket.

After the service, everyone came to give their condolences. There were more than 150 people. The chapel was overfull. After the service, Jeff and I decided to be alone. We went and had lunch together, just the two of us.

9 months later, we are still waiting for the autopsy report. We still don’t have any answers for our angel, Isabella.

Please, if you feel like you don’t have anyone to talk to, or no one knows how you feel, you are welcome to email me. I may not be the best one to give advice as my wounds are still fresh (do they ever really heal?) but I am a good listener, and I do know how you feel. You are not alone. 

You can contact her at


Jessica said...

I am so sorry for your loss!! Your story made me cry! I just had a miscarriage and I was 6 weeks pregnant! It shattered my heart into peices! I cannot imagine how you feel after being pregnant for 9 months and expecting a baby girl and then you end up leaving the hospital without her!! I am so sorry! I hope the days start to get better! I know it does make it a little easier being able to talk to people who know what your going through!

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