February 4th, 2011, born alive at 5:25 a.m., passed away at 7:00 a.m.
San Francisco, California
Dear Friends and Family and fellow survivors,
It is with unimaginable sadness I share the loss of both of our little girls,Tierney Faith Ibarra and Eden Hope Ibarra. I had a very uneventful five months of pregnancy until January 14th. I noticed a change with my discharge and a bit of blood and went to get “checked out”. Within an hour our lives were flipped upside down when they told us that I was dilated and they could see membrane. I had no signs of labor and was in complete shock.
I was admitted and opted for bed-rest (per our suggestion. Hospital recommended termination or induction with imminent death). A few days after admittance a sonogram showed my dilation was now at 2 (initially it was around 4 or 5 cm) with a small hourglass membrane sticking out. The strict bed-rest seemed to be working but sadly on January 21, our daughter’s water broke. At 6:25 our daughter, Tierney Faith Ibarra (Tierney means Lord and Faith means Belief) was born. Sadly she passed during delivery. In an effort to save her sister a rare procedure was performed.
Due to the emergency situation her father was able to baptize her and we were able to name all attendees as “Godparents/sponsors” ( thank you to: Julie James, Janet McKenna, Jamie McKenna, Andrea Ibarra, Chiara Garay and Amber Garay). Although only 19 weeks & 5 days you could tell she looked like me with the ever present McKenna nose and my limbs.
During the days after the procedure we started a hopeful countdown to save Eden. The first 72 hours were the most critical and due to the rare procedure I was a high risk for infection and death. The procedure left Tierney’s placenta in and I still had an open cervix. I made it through the first 72 hours without complication and I was sent home on bed-rest to finish our countdown (to February 12 aka 24 week viability).
Early am February 1 we returned due to severe blood loss. Since I did not have a fever or infection I was sent home again.
On February 2 early am I returned having lost even more blood and a several large blood clots. Again, without fever or infection and since my blood subsided I was sent home once again.
We returned February 3 I returned and was sure I was in labor and having contractions. The doctors did not hook me up to the monitor and did a vaginal exam and and touched my belly. They determined I was “not” in labor and advised I go home where I would be more comfortable.
We returned in the early hours of February 4 where it was shown I was in full blown labor, contracting every 3 minutes apart and any medication to try and stop labor was no longer an option.
On February 4, Eden Hope Ibarra ( Eden meaning paradise or pleasure and Hope belief) was born alive at 5:25 a. We were told during labor Eden did not have a heartbeat but after she was born and handed to my husband HE realized she was breathing and did have a heartbeat. Since she was 8 days shy of the 24 week mark (where she was considered “viable” ) they did nothing to assist in her survival. She passed in her father’s arms around 7 a. During the short time my daughter was alive I was fighting for my life, my vitals dropped down to 67/42 with a pulse of 128. I was given two blood transfusions and rushed for an emergency D & C.
My husband,Jeff, was once again able to baptize his daughter (thank you to “Godparents/Sponsors” Janet McKenna (grandmother), Andrea Ibarra (grandmother), Valerie Ibarra (aunt), Jamie McKenna (aunt), Julie James (great aunt), Chiara Garay (sister), Alex Garay (brother), Amber Garay (sister), Bill McKenna (grandfather), Janet McKenna (step-grandma) and Beverly Sanchez (cousin). Eden looked like her father with his nose and eyebrows but those were still my “popeye” legs.
Our pain and anger and sadness is incomprehensible but the love, prayers and support from our friends and family has been overwhelming and much needed. Our faith is taking us through each day and we will continue to rely on it and reach out to support groups.
The anger I have towards myself and the hospital for not hooking me up to confirm dilation is going to be the most difficult aspect for me to process. My only comfort is knowing they are bouncing on their Grandpa Ernie’s knees in Heaven and chasing Uncle Gary around.
Our future plans include; a memorial service to honor our daughters short but so very important lives (on March 10), a family trip to Hawaii in April for some healing (with our other three children, Al, Chiara and Amber, Jeff, me, my sister Jamie, my niece Grace and nephew Eamon) and meeting a few close friends, a few days away for Jeff and I to grieve alone somewhere along the beautiful California coast (special thanks to family and friends who have offered their houses at no cost), a few months off work to deal with grief and physical healing.
Words cannot express our gratitude for our wonderful families and friends. We are truly blessed. Please know we understand nothing anyone can share will take away our pain and we don’t expect you to try but a simple email or card letting us know are thinking of us helps more than you can imagine.
I a very private person but think only someone who walked in our shoes can understand the devastation, loss, helplessness and depression.
Much love to you all and God Bless you Tierney Faith Ibarra and Eden Hope Ibarra. You will never be forgotten and we will channel our grief into goodness in your honor. We love you babies.
Special thanks to our children, Alex, Chiara and Amber for their unimaginable strength and love during the last month and in the days to come.
We are memorializing our daughters with tattoo’s. Jeff already has his two hearts with name banners and halo’s and I will get mine in a few weeks after some additional body healing. I want an additional one that says “Live through this”. A reminder to myself that I have family and friends who need me and I need to be here and stay strong.