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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Angela's story

As told by her mother Nicole.

Angela was born on 9/4/09 after 5 hrs of active labor and 29 minutes of pushing, a week late. She was born at home in my bed with 2 midwives attending, one was a certified nurse midwife. Angela was very active in my belly. She moved a ton compared to Kole, my first. I just knew she had the cord around her neck. During labor my water never broke and my CNM didn't break it until right before she crowned. After not being able to find her heartbeat my midwife broke my water and check her neck for the cord, while she was still inside. After she broke my water and being unable to get the cord off her neck they found her heartbeat and told me we need to get this baby out. So I pushed as hard as I could. It took her a few minutes after being born to cry. After a few minutes and oxygen she was perfect.

She was a very vigorous nurser and just wanted her mommy to hold her. I was so in love immediately. Everyone thought she was tiny but I knew she was a big girl. When the midwives weighted they were shocked. She was 7 and a half pounds and 21 1/4 inches long.

She was born at 12:30 PM. I spent the rest of the day holding and nursing her. Some friends came over and held her a little. And her daddy only held her a few times that day. Finally, when everyone left and my husband got our son to bed then we went to bed.

I laid her on my pillow so I could listen to her breath. She woke up and I tried to nurse but she wouldn't latch. So I checked her diaper and she was wet. I cleaned and wrapped her up and we went to sleep. She woke again an hour later and again wouldn't latch on. She went back to sleep only to wake an hour later. Around 11:30pm she nursed really good and went to sleep. But woke an hour later I checked her diaper she had a big wet fart. I cleaned her up she went back to sleep and did it again an hour later.

She was crying a lot so I laid her on my belly to get the gas out and she was gassy but hated laying on her belly. The night went on like that. Then around 6 am she was crying really bad and had a big bowel movement. It kinda of got stuck I cleaned her up but she continued to cry and hadn't nursed since 11:30pm. At 7am I called the midwife and she said she was probably tired and to get my husband to walk around with her so she could get a nap and the assistant would come over.

I took her to her room to put warmer clothes on her and noticed she had another bowel movement that was stuck again. So I cleaned her up and hand her over to my husband. That was the last time I held her alive.

I took my son down stairs and got him and I breakfast. My husband called down "how do you know if she is breathing?". I said her chest will be moving and thought he was being dramatic. Then I started freaking out and ran upstairs. He was looking over her in her crib and she was turning blue. I grabbed and started blowing in her mouth thinking that would help her catch her breath. My husband screamed call 911 and took her and started breathing in her mouth while I talked to the operator. The operated walked me though infant CPR.

The EMS got here and got her to the truck. My husband and I stood in the street praying. Then I rode with her in the EMS begging God to bring my baby back to me all the way to the hospital. When we were almost there I started thinking positive that she had to make it and be find infants are resilient. They let us in the room while the worked on her and we prayed.

Then the doctor came over to us and said after an hour there is really no hope. We freaked out. So they kept trying. After another 10 or 20 minutes I just walked over and told them to stop. She was gone. The guy making her heart beat didn't want to stop but I told him it is ok. They took out the tubes and we held her and talked to her for a long time. The assistant midwife came to our house too late and followed us to the hospital.

I totally blame myself. I should have know something was really wrong. I, as her mommy, should have been able to fix it.

Two months later the autopsy showed acute pneumonia, multiple lung lobes. Devastating. I hired the best a Certifed Nurse Midwife. Why didn't she see something was wrong?! The medical examiner's office did not culture the bacteria so I'll never know what or where or who it was from. I had a negative group B strep test at 35 weeks. But the midwife forgot to do it at that visit so she sent me the test to swab myself and send it in. Sometimes I think maybe I did it wrong. But from what I have read your water has to be broken for hours to infect your baby.

I miss her and love her all day everyday. I'll never forgive myself for not calling for help sooner and for having a home birth.

19 comments:

  1. I am so sorry for your loss. Please rememberYou aren't alone here!! ((Hugs))

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  2. I'm so sorry for the loss of your beautiful daughter.

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  3. Thank you so much for sharing this story with us. I am so sorry that your beautiful daughter is no longer with us! It breaks my heart.

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  4. i am so so very sorry you lost you beautiful daughter.. :(

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  5. I am so sorry for your loss.

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  6. I am so sorry for your loss, Nicole. You hired a professional for a reason - do not blame yourself because she asked you to do your own GBS swab. That shouldn't have been your job. The signs of an infant in distress are very subtle, and you should not blame yourself because you did not know what was abnormal. Thank you for sharing your story. I do believe that this website is helping to change some minds. Peace to you, your husband, and son.

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  7. Dear Nicole,

    I am so sorry about the loss of your dear Angela. I agree with Moto Librarian, I am a labor nurse and did a lot of mother/baby care after the birth as well. The signs of a sick newborn really are subtle so often and they can go from looking normal to very sick so quickly. I hope you can over time forgive yourself. Your story will have impact to help other mothers to make a different and safer choice.

    Susan

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  8. "I, as her mommy, should have been able to fix it."

    Oh, dear sister, we mommies do carry so much self-blame on our shoulders. I hope you will be able to forgive yourself and find peace.

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  9. I agree entirely with "moto-librarian." Thank you so much for telling your story here. It will undoubtedly help to save lives.

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  10. I really hope telling your story can help you find some solace from your grief. You are not alone. I can imagine your guilt is great- but try to remember- you were made to believe you were doing what was best and you were convinced it was safe by a professional you trusted- and should be held accountable for their actions- not yours. Please consider filing a complaint against your midwife for negligence. It is the only way for the state to investigate the death of the child. You could save other women this tradegdy. For whatever reason, you survived to tell your story and I'm glad you were brave enough to tell it here- even if you save one mother and child from homebirth- it is worth telling. May you one day find peace.

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  11. I am so sorry Nicole. Your Angela was such a beautiful little girl. I just ache for your loss.

    ~Rebecca

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  12. I am sorry for your loss, Nicole. Your daughter was beautiful. Sharing your story is brave. Take heart that you might be saving the life of another precious baby just by speaking up about what you have endured. It is most definitely not your fault.
    May you find peace.

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  13. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. I can't imagine the pain you must feel. Please do not blame yourself. This is not your fault. I know you can never truly heal from the loss of your precious baby, but in time I do hope you can forgive yourself. Even in her short life, she knew she was loved by you. It is not your fault.

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  14. I am crying as I write this. It is not your fault! Please don't blame yourself. You put your trust in a medical professional who failed you. Your daughter is beautiful and you will be together again in heaven,

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  15. Don't blame yourself. It's a tragedy but I really don't see any fault on your part. I'm so sorry this happened to you, your daughter, and your husband, though.

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  16. Thank you for all the nice messages. I feel like the guilt is my cross to bear and so I will carry it until I can apologize to her.

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  17. So sorry for your loss. I hope one day you will see that you are not guilty. You have already saved many lives telling your story. Guilt will tear you down. Give it over to God.

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  18. I'm literally shaking. My husband and I had a nearly identical experience when we lost our daughter in december... I understand the guilt we will carry though I know that we made every decision with love of our girls in mind. I am so sorry for your loss. I will be praying for you

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