Mom to Ivy Antrim Uppekha Jones

Born and died April 13th, 2011

We found out we were pregnant right away. Even a few days before my period was late, the over the counter test came back positive. At six weeks, right on schedule, I started to feel a little morning sickness, but that went away quickly. Too quickly. I felt too good, and I worried that I was going to miscarry. I was going crazy with worry, as a labor and delivery nurse I knew that the third pregnancy could be a little different, I knew each pregnancy was different, but I felt like something was wrong. I demanded an early ultrasound, something I’d never had with either of my other pregnancies. I was surprised and relieved to find that there was a heartbeat.

Time passed but I didn’t feel relieved. I started seeing my midwife and I was measuring normal for gestational age and all my labs came back normal. Still something nagged at me. At twenty-four weeks I measured only twenty weeks (by the size of my uterus), I decided to get another ultrasound. I went into to a regular OB who referred me immediately for a level two ultrasound with a perinatalogist. The news was the worst anyone can expect. We were told that the baby was IUGR (intrauterine growth restricted) and that the placenta did not appear to be functioning as it ought to be. I had an amniocentisis and more blood tests than I could count. They found no reason for the anomolies, and the baby, chromosomally, was perfectly normal, nevertheless the doctor assured us that the baby would never grow to be big enough to live outside the womb and that we should expect a death at anytime.

Weeks passed and I was still pregnant. I would check the baby’s hearttones occasionally. The baby moved very little because there was so little amniotic fluid (amniotic fluid is created by both the baby and the placenta). We went in for another ultrasound six weeks later (at 30 weeks) the baby had grown a little and we were told that there might be a very slim chance that the baby would survive, we also found out we were having a girl, which is what we had hopped for. We were to start frequent monitoring at thirty-two weeks and sent home again.

At thirty-two weeks we came in yet again, we were told that our daughter had reverse end diastolic flow, which essentially means that there is a small window of time before death. I was hospitalized and given steroids to mature the baby’s lungs and magnesium sulfate to protect her neurologically. We hoped to make it forty eight hours to get two doses of steroids and for them to take full effect.
Early the next morning I though we would go straight to the OR when the baby’s heart took a nosedive but it stabilized. However a decision was made to go towards delivery as the baby was clearly beginning to fail.

After two homebirths I found myself getting an spinal block and scrubbed for a classical c section. Ivy Antrim Uppekha Jones was delivered that morning and taken to be intubated, amazingly they were successful and she was brought to me briefly before they took her to the NICU. My husband went with her and my doula sat with me talking. I was so hopeful.

All too soon a nurse came back to tell me that Ivy wasn’t going to make it. They brought her back to me, extubated, and they laid her in my arms. For a few minutes my husband and told her how beautiful and strong and brave she was. She died three minutes later.

I don’t know if I’m a face of hope. I am a face of loss.

You can contact Madelene at

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  1. Thank you for sharing your story.

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