For those of us who lose our babies too soon, we don’t ever get to show them off and we rarely get to say their names or tell people about them. In our country, thousands of babies are stillborn every year, roughly one every twenty minutes. There are even more miscarriages. Here on my blog, I want to remember all of the lost babies and give their parents an opportunity to show them off. These Mamas are so proud of their babies and are going to share them with us here. Since Lucy died on a Friday, I will share a new baby’s story every Friday. We honor these little lives by acknowledging their presence with us, even if it was a very short time. Do you know how these babies are loved? Do you know that each baby was cherished by their families, even if they left only after a few weeks? Do you know how these babies are missed every single day? Please pray for these families, who have to live every day without their precious children.
In August 2011, my husband and I were thrilled to find out I was pregnant with our third child. We already had two boys (2 and 5 years old) and while I was praying for a healthy baby, deep down I was also hoping for a girl.
In November, at 18 weeks pregnant, my husband and I were given the devastating news that our unborn daughter had a fatal illness known as non-immune fetal hydrops. This fetal condition is caused when abnormal amounts of fluid build in two or more body areas of a fetus or newborn. In our daughter’s case, it was in her lungs and stomach and the fluid prevented her lungs from developing.
After meeting with dozens of doctors and praying for a medical miracle, we were given hope by a team of specialized surgeons, nurses, and healthcare professionals to continue the journey with our daughter, Brianna. We knew the odds of survival were slim, but all of Brianna’s genetic tests came back normal and her other organs were growing and functioning as they should. We knew we had to continue to fight for her.
I had three serious fetal surgeries, one of which had never been done on a baby with fetal hydrops before. A total of four shunts were inserted into Brianna’s chest cavity and a device known as an intraluminal tracheal occlusion was placed through Brianna’s mouth to promote her lung growth. These operations were performed at the University of Miami by Dr. Ruben Quintero, a fetal surgeon and the inventor of the device used on our child.
Our daughter Brianna was born on March 16, 2012. She was with us for 15 of the most memorable hours before God took her back as his angel. Brianna ultimately died of cardiac and pulmonary failure. We, along with our team of doctors, learned a great deal about fetal lung development and growth while on our journey with Brianna. It is our hope that more research can be done to teach medical professionals about fetal lungs as well as invent new techniques and devices that can save babies with conditions like that of my daughter.
A parent can never fully prepare for the loss of their child. There will forever be a hole in my heart left by her absence, but I would not change a thing that was done during my time with Brianna. I got to know her on an intimate level as mothers do with their babies. I just pray that research prevents other families from having to go through the heartache that we have endured.
This is the reason my husband and I have created a foundation in Brianna’s honor. I documented the entire journey in a book titled: My Journey with an Angel— 100% of proceeds go directly into the foundation.
What an incredible journey Aran went through to try to save her daughter’s life. I can’t believe they were able to do three fetal surgeries to give Brianna a chance. Aran is a brave woman to go through all of that and her love for Brianna is evident. I look forward to reading her book about her experience. It breaks my heart to learn about another Mama who had two boys and then lost her girl. And what a strong baby Brianna was. It sounds like she fought so hard. To learn more about baby Brianna you can check out her website here www.briannamariefoundation.com
If you would like to share your baby’s story, just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org You can share whatever you want about your baby, and you don’t have to include your name if you don’t want to. Also, I think your baby is just as important if you lost him/her at 6 weeks or at 40 weeks. Even if you never knew the sex of your baby, you might have had names picked out, a due date and lots of hopes and dreams for that child. All of that is important and is welcome here.