Alicia Starr

Mom to Cylas Emery

Born still July 2, 2012

Daytona Beach, Florida

In my first pregnancy, I was sick from day one until I gave birth to our beautiful daughter, Genevieve, and I thanked God for how great my second pregnancy was because I could’ve sworn that my second pregnancy, with my son, was the ideal pregnancy. I wasn’t that sick or anything like I was with our first child. So it wasn’t until I reached 32 weeks and really started to feel funny, really tired and my belly didn’t seem to be growing quite like it should’ve and with that I started to ask my doctor questions in which they always ensured me that Cylas was fine and everything seemed to be on track.

That was, until my 36 week 4 day scan, which showed extremely low amniotic fluid. He was measuring approximately 2 weeks smaller than he should’ve for his gestation, and his heart rate seemed ”too steady”, which, come to find out, is a sign of distress just like the heart rate decreasing. After the scan, they put me in a room to monitor Cylas’ heart for about 15 minutes, and then they sent me to the hospital to be monitored for a few hours to see if there would be any changes in his heart rate. They kept me for only 2 hours, and then sent me home with no change in his heart rate and told me to do kick counts. The paperwork about kick counts they gave me told me I should feel 10 kicks within 20 minutes to 2 hours, and there wasn’t a single day that he ever met those counts. I kept calling my doctor’s office, asking questions and telling them my concerns, and they just kept telling me something new every time and made me feel silly, like I was freaking out over nothing. It finally got to where they told me as long as I feel him move 10 times in a whole day that he was fine, because it’s impossible to just sit still with your hand on your belly to count every kick.

It wasn’t even 72 hours after they discharged me from the hospital that my son died inside of me. I stopped feeling him move about 24 hours before I finally went to the hospital, because I was trying to count his kicks so badly, but when I finally knew in my heart he was gone, I told my fiancé that we needed to go.

Once we arrived at the hospital, there was a swarm of nurses in my room trying to find his heartbeat. They looked for almost 20 minutes before they even called the doctor to come confirm that our little boy was gone. They wheeled me back to the far end of the hospital floor in one of their suites and brought in an ultrasound machine. The nurses took my blood and all that normal hospital stuff while we worried and waited on the doctor to arrive, hoping somehow that he was still alive or that he could be delivered and that maybe something I had read online about ”kangaroo care”, skin-to-skin contact, and how it supposedly brought another mother’s baby back to life, could be our worst case.

The doctor arrived after about 40 minutes of making us wait to know what the fate of our unborn son was. I held my breath the whole time my doctor preformed that final sonogram. He said, ”I’m so sorry for your loss, but sometimes things like this just happen, just like any person. Sometimes babies just have a heart attack just like any person and pass. But we can do an autopsy to find out the exact cause once we deliver.” I was immediately heartbroken and fell to pieces; what was left to keep me whole? My baby was gone, what else was there to be strong for? I had never imagined such a painful loss. I’ve lost my great grandmother, great grandfather, grandmother, grandfather and father and yet no loss has been as painful as the loss of my son, someone I never got to actually look into the eyes of…our creation that God stowed upon me. The doctor refused to do an emergency c-section and started me on Cervadil that night to induce my labor naturally. So,there went any chances I had for ”kangaroo care” bringing him back to us, but even I knew that was a shot in the dark.

The doctor arrived and broke my water at about 7:45 am and told me he was running to the office to try and see some patients. It turned out once he finally left the hospital, he had to turn right back around, because Cylas was coming and he was coming FAST! I had to hold my pushing for 10 minutes to wait on my doctor to arrive, but once he did, Cylas was out with only 2 pushes and his cause of death was obvious; his cord was around his neck almost 3 times completely. Cylas finally arrived in the world stillborn due to placental suffocation on July 2, 2012 @ 9:08am,  18.5 inches long and weighing 4 lbs 12 oz.

I’m writing this on the 60th day after our loss of him, and it’s not getting any easier for me at this point. We’re all heartbroken as individuals and as a family. Our 3-and-a-half-year old daughter, Genevieve, still asks about him, and although she knows he’s in Heaven with Jesus, she still wants him to come home.  She still doesn’t understand that he won’t. It breaks my heart all over again as her mother, and I honestly don’t know how to truly console her, so we just cry together and we ALWAYS talk about him if she wants. I feel like I failed us all, even though I know it’s not my fault. We will never truly understand or truly overcome his loss, but I’m hoping, with the help of sites like these, that the complete strangers who have gone through what I have gone through will share their stories with me and I with them, and that together as the ”faces of loss” we can bring awareness. Because in some cases, more could’ve been done to save our children and awareness helps prevent outbreak. Please help us help educate the world about our losses because it won’t just go away if we don’t talk about it! Mothers need to be educated because the doctor isn’t always right. I put 100% faith in my OB/GYN and he failed my son, my family and me. And it’s that faith in him that I feel most guilty about and no mother should feel any guilt in my situation, but I do and it sucks. I’m searching for myself at this point, because I lost myself the day we lost our son and I so badly just want to be the mother and fiancé that I always was before. But the truth is I’ll never be the same again I just have to find the new me that I’m happy with again. All in due time. With faith, anything is possible. I am a mother, daughter, friend and lover and I am the face of stillbirth.

You can contact Alicia at aliciastarr89@gmail.com.

You can also find her at http://www.facebook.com/aliciastarr89.

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Comments

  1. Cindy Allen says:

    Alicia, your story touched my heart, I am so sorry for your loss and the pain you and your family are enduring. Your story is very similar to my son & daughter-in-laws, they have two angel’s born into Heaven. Their story much like your’s, as Kristen knew something was wrong and the doctor didn’t believe her, although the cause of death was different, the response from the doctor was the same. She had educated herself on all aspects of pregnancy and was so careful of everything she did and ate. But her doctor was very lax to say the least and like your’s just kept telling her everything was fine. Told her if your worried do kick counts and although she had been feeling him “move” a lot, he had been gone almost two weeks. Then the doctor told her the movement must have been him floating… He was delivered naturally at 36 weeks. They never could give them a cause of death though. So they had every test run before trying to conceive again. No problems ever came up, so they tried again. This time she was under very close supervision with a specialist. Her blood pressure went up at 30 1/2 wks and they scheduled her for an emergency C sec, and then canceled it because they were “stable” and they wanted to give him more time in. She begged them to do the C-sec and they scheduled and postponed two more times. Each time telling her how well he was doing and they wanted to wait longer. She kept telling them to take him before something went wrong… he died two hours after the last ultrasound as the result of a complete placenta abruption from a blood clot behind the placenta they couldn’t see. I am grateful she didn’t bleed out… but the loss of their son’s have been emotionally devastating to them and my husband & I. I said all that, to say this… the pain does ease, but the loss never leaves. Don’t try to hide your pain, remember your son and know he will never suffer the pain and heartbreak of this world. It is hard for people who have never experience your type of loss to even begin to understand (and I don’t claim too) just move forward one day at a time. Like you I hope and pray for more research into infant loss, and I wish more doctors would pay closer attention to their patients after all no one knows a woman’s body better than she does and when a woman know something is wrong the doctors should take notice. But hopefully through blogs like these… there will be better awareness, education and perhaps research and fewer parents experiencing what you have. May God bring you and your family Peace and Comfort during this time of mourning and healing.

  2. Alicia, I am so sorry for your loss. My son was born still on 9/12/00. I know the guilt can be so strong even though it is misplaced. I have said a prayer for you that God would heal you of the guilt and fill you with His peace and joy.

  3. Billie Jo says:

    i am so sorry for the loss of your sweet baby. I too feel like and know that medical staff failed me!

    http://facesofloss.com/2012/08/5780.html#more-5780

    this is the link to my story. Since I wrote this I have received the fetal trace reports from the hospital. They showed that Stevie’s heart was in distress for almost the whole 15 hours I was in the hospital on the 13th.

  4. Ali says:

    Dear Alicia,

    Sorry again for the loss of your precious little baby. Reading your story sent me back a few years ago when I lost my little boy. My story is a little bit different since I had him born with lots of medical complications before losing him years later. So I will probably share it with you through email. As you have said, nothing so painful as much as the loss of a son. I pray for you both.

    thdreamer

  5. Beth says:

    I am so sorry for your loss – it sucks. It sucks even more that if things were done differently there might have been a different outcome. I hesitate to tell my story in this forum because mine did not result in tragedy. I didn’t lose my child, but that was only because when the dice were rolled in the universe mine came up lucky. I had a lot of the same “feelings” you did 3 weeks before my due date. My body and my baby didn’t feel right. I was 2 cm dialated for a week and monitored several times for irregular heartbeat and early contractions. We were stationed overseas and being seen at a military hospital that did not have a NICU. If a baby was born before 37 weeks they would automatically deliver you at Addenbrookes in Cambridge, which would cost the military quite a bit more money. Long story short, they continually stopped my contractions and labor. When my water finally broke I was at 38 weeks and allowed to deliver on base. My baby girl was born with a true knot in her cord. When the doctor saw it he turned white and told me how rare it was to have a live birth with a cord knot (even asked me if he could keep the cord). I had never seen this doctor before (that’s how it goes in the military) and he didn’t know my history. He told me had I not had a short labor or gone another day she would not have made it. This was my first and only child. I was so traumatized by the thought of what could have been I never had any more children. I should have refused the medication and forced the labor to progress, as that was what my body was telling me. At 37 weeks she would have been fine. Again, thank you for your story. I wish you peace and healing.

  6. Alicia Starr says:

    Thank you Cindy, Jamie, Billie Joe, Ali and Beth! I am sorry for your losses as well. If any of you ever need to talk or just vent Please feel free to email or fb me anytime!!! I am also on Instagram aliciastarr89

  7. Sami says:

    Alicia, we have been friends since we were 14, I just want you to know I love you.

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