Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Story - B

B. My beautiful angel.

I'm going to copy from a guest blog I did for my BFF Katie at


The day my daughter was born was the best day of my life, like a firstborns birthday is for all parents. It was also the most terrifying and devastating day of my life. Why? Because I was only 26 weeks pregnant.

We were literally in the middle of a cross-country move. Halfway between our old home and our new home. I had felt "off" all day, and started having what I thought were gas pains around noon. Eventually I noticed that the pains were consistent - every 5 minutes. We were traveling, so we stopped at the first emergency room we came across. I wasn't in a lot of pain, just a little uncomfortable, so I felt really, really silly going in to an emergency room. I was told I probably wasn't having contractions, because they didn't feel my WHOLE tummy getting hard. The baby was listened to with a doppler - she sounded beautiful. The doctor came in, repeated everything the nurses had done and told me I was having Braxton Hicks contractions due to the long car trip. "Drink more water, get up and walk around every 2-3 hours, and follow up with your OB when you get home" were the orders I was sent away with. I was not checked for cervical dilation. Because this was my first pregnancy, I had no idea that I should have been.

About eight hours later I was trying to sleep in a hotel room. The "Braxton Hicks" were getting worse. I thought "Wow, I must really be a baby if these are Braxton Hicks. I wonder what real labor is like?!" I thought maybe my appendix had burst or something weird like that, so I dragged my husband out of bed and we went to a different hospital. I was taken to triage where I was checked for dilation. I was 8 cm dilated and the baby was at +2 station.

There was no going back. I delivered her, and she let out the most beautiful cry. I was allowed to kiss her on the cheek before she was whisked away to the NICU. Forty-six hours later, we were told that she was suffering from pulmonary hemorrhage due to the immaturity of her lungs. They had done everything they could do, and it wasn't working. We chose to remove her life support and end her suffering. We held her for the first and last time, and she passed away peacefully in her parents arms.

Gabriella Nicole
1 lb, 15 oz


  1. I'm so sorry. I didn't know E. had a sister until tonight. March tomorrow for her, and E, and all the others.

  2. I've never heard Brie's entire story and am crying. We've both had baby's die in our arms. And, although Cora died of CHD, the blood backed up in her lungs so she pretty much died of the same thing. Always, knew you were a sister of my heart. Love ya! <3

  3. She's beautiful. I'll remember her when I march on May 1.

  4. This just broke my heart. I am crying. I am so sorry, she is soo beautiful. Do you ever wonder if the first hospital had checked you things would have been different? You are a strong, beautiful mama with two absolutely beautiful babies. <3

  5. Oh gosh I'm so sorry :( How horribly heart breaking. And I can't help but feel it may have been prevented!
    I'll be marching for her in April too. *Hugs*

  6. Thank you so much everyone! She was gorgeous, wasn't she? :)

    I *always* wonder if things would have turned out differently had I received proper care at the first hospital. At the very least, they may have been able to get her 24-48 more hours in the womb and a round of steroid shots for her lungs. I feel confident that if she had received the steroid shots, she would not have died the way she did. Of course there are about a bajillion other things that can happen to preemies that small - NEC, sepsis, IVH, etc. - so who knows what her actual outcome would have been. But I feel sure that her death, the way it happened, could probably have been prevented.

    I also wonder a lot if I did the right thing by discontinuing care. I have heard of several parents since that time who have also been advised to discontinue care and refused, and have had moderately good outcomes. I just couldn't see her in so much pain, though. The Nurse Practitioner who was there that night told us that she had been given enough morphine to knock him out cold - and she was still thrashing. It was awful. I still feel that it was the kindest thing to let her die with dignity... but I do second guess myself sometimes.

  7. (((hugs))) she is beautiful.