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Old 09-20-2012, 10:51 AM   #1
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Birth of Gabriella Marie (loss mentioned)

*Just want you to be aware, Gabriella Marie was born and went to heaven on July 5th- I'm not always up for reading stories of babies dying so I wanted everyone to be aware up front, but did want to share my story. I want to celebrate her birth with you all.

We went to a specialist on May 14th for a further look at our baby girl's heart. (27 weeks) There was a EIF found, which is basically a "shadow" on the heart. When I googled shadow or EIF all I could find was that it was a soft marker for Downs Syndrome. I was ok with that, an increased chance of Downs. No biggie. We could deal with that. While there we found out that our baby girl had some serious problems and the doctor suspected Trisomy 13 or 18. Her heart had a hole in it, fluid around it, there was extra fluid on her brain, something with her kidneys and her right foot was turned in a bit. He did an amnio right there. He said that one of those problems was fixable but all together led him to believe a chromosomal disorder and that would be fatal. We were heartbroken and retreated for the next week until we could get the results. We didn't want to talk to anyone or have to explain why we were upset. We just hung out as a family and prayed a lot.

On May 22nd the specialist called and confirmed that Ella did indeed have Trisomy 13. We were given the choice to induce right away or to continue to carry to term. The specialist made sure that we knew that there was a good chance her heart would not tolerate growing and it may stop before 40 weeks. We went through a few days of discussing and decided to carry her for as long as God had planned. We met with out regular doctors and midwives and decided to deliver at our small hospital and give Ella basic "comfort care" and not to do any heroic measures.

It was so so hard to carry her but I did move from total sadness to being happy that I was pregnant. Each day we had her was a gift and I learned to celebrate each kick and punch. I would wake up each morning and wait to feel her kick and do the same each night before I went to sleep. We made plans with the funeral home and Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, an organization that takes professional pictures after the baby's birth at no cost. My prayer was that God would let me hold her alive. That was all I wanted and kept praying.

When I was going every two weeks I started to dread my appointments. Each week was one week closer to delivering her and basically saying goodbye. At my 34 week appointment I cried all the way there. My husband went to each appointment with me and always did his best to cheer me up. At this apt. my blood pressure and proteins were very high. They were concerned and sent me home to do a 24 hour urine test and get lab work done in two days. I was sure that all was fine as I felt fine and was just upset, thus the high blood pressure.

I was on modified bed rest from Monday-Wednesday, July 4th. We took my urine to the hospital and had a blood test done. After lunch my husband went back to work and I laid down for a nap. My midwife called and said my protein was very high still and I had pre-eclampsia and needed to come in immediately. I knew that meant that we were going to have a baby. I called my husband in tears. He didn't understand what that meant but knew we had to go in. My mother in law was with us and helped me back up the baby's things. I'm so thankful I had bought them ahead of time!

We got to the hospital on July 4th at 3:00 pm. The drs. determined that I needed to deliver but as long as my labs stayed stable I could try to be induced instead of a c-section. This was my second VBAC and they wanted to make sure that all was well with me physically but I wanted to deliver vaginally so they agreed. They started me on pitocin and we basically just waited. I didn't sleep well that night but wasn't really having pain. Around 4:30 am the doctor broke my water and I got an epidural at 6am. I wasn't having pain but they let me get one early because if my platelets went too low, I couldn't get one and if I had to have a section they'd have to put me under and I wouldn't have gotten to see her. I loved not having any (physical) pain! We didn't have visitors at all and I slept off and on all day.

I had the nurses turn down her heart rate monitor because I didn't want to be upset if her heart rate went down. We had decided not to do any emergency things for her and that included if her heart were to stop. The nurses were fantastic about sharing only if I asked but not telling me any more than needed. At 1:45pm I was checked and I was a 6. At 2:15 the dr. came in to check me and I was a 10! My husband called our parents who were waiting at our house to come. Immediately they started preparing me to push. I think her heart rate was dropping because they started rushing for me to push.

I got so upset because I knew this was end. My husband was so so strong and good and grabbed my face and said.. "one thing at a time. let's get her here and have a baby, then we'll focus on what's next". I pushed once and felt her head! It was total joy, just like any of my other babies. I was able to be excited about her birth, another answer to prayer. I pushed again and she was born and she cried right away!!! We were so happy happy to hear her little voice. They immediately put her on my chest. Her heart rate was around 40BPM. We gave her some oxygen and it went up to 140! She pinked up and even opened her eyes a few times. It was fantastic.

We were able to love on her and hold her for two hours and 10 minutes. We told her all that we wanted to say and all she knew was my arms and our love. We did move her to the warmer once to try to clean her up but she started doing poorly so she came back to her mama.

Ella went to Jesus in my arms at 4:10 on July 5th, 2012 It was the greatest and hardest day I've ever had. We kept her with us that whole evening and were able to love on her and show her to our parents. She had beautiful dark brown/reddish hair that was curly! I have always wanted a baby with curls.

Today Ella would be 11 weeks old. The grief isn't as harsh now, but I think about her every single day. I miss her so much and wish that her brother and sister could have met her. I wish that I was tired from being up all night and was frustrated with figuring out to manage with three kids. But I am confident that she is in heaven dancing with Jesus. From the first we found out about her diagnosis, we wanted God to be glorified and to be closer as a family. I believe that both have happened and that I WILL see her again and I cannot wait for that day.

I blog about our family if you'd like to read more- www.thehartmanhouse.blogspot.com

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Edited to add:
Gabriella Marie
Born and went to heaven: July 5, 2012 (34w5d)
5lbs 8oz

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Shannon- married to DH for seven years, mom to DD 6/10/08, DS 8/29/10 and Gabriella Marie (Ella), born on 7/5/12 with Trisomy 13 and in heaven with Jesus. And our rainbow- DS2 12/24/13

Last edited by s2grace; 09-20-2012 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 09-20-2012, 10:59 AM   #2
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Re: Birth of Gabriella Marie (loss mentioned)

I'm so, so sorry for your loss, mama. My heart aches for you. She was an absolutely beautiful baby girl. Thank you for sharing your story with us.
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:05 AM   #3
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Re: Birth of Gabriella Marie (loss mentioned)

Beautiful girl and so glad for your 2 hours with her
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Old 09-20-2012, 12:54 PM   #4
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Re: Birth of Gabriella Marie (loss mentioned)

Mama. She is so beautiful. I'm so sorry for your loss.
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:01 PM   #5
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Re: Birth of Gabriella Marie (loss mentioned)

what a beautiful precious angel
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:04 PM   #6
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Re: Birth of Gabriella Marie (loss mentioned)

Many many tears here for you and your beautiful baby girl. Thank you so much for sharing her story. My heart aches for you (((hugs)))
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:04 PM   #7
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Beautiful Story & Ella is one amazing little angel <3
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:11 PM   #8
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Re: Birth of Gabriella Marie (loss mentioned)

This story definitely brought tears to my eyes. You are incredibly strong and she was absolutely beautiful. I'm glad you were able to spend a few hours with your sweet baby girl.

Thank you for sharing your story.
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Old 09-20-2012, 02:04 PM   #9
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She was very beautiful.
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:19 PM   #10
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Thank you for sharing your story and I'm so glad you got to spend that time with Ella! I'll be praying for you and your family. Hugs!
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