Amanda 

Mom to Malcolm Hunter

December 16, 2013 to December 19, 2013

Atlanta, GA 

Malcolm was our first child – we got pregnant on the first try and we had a very healthy, normal pregnancy. Aside from the few weeks that he was breech, Malcolm did not give us any trouble at all. My body, thankfully, returned the favor. Toward the end of my pregnancy, my doctor was concerned that my blood pressure was too high, so we were scheduled for an induction.

The day of the induction (Monday, 12/16), everything went very smoothly. I labored for 12 hours and progressed normally, Malcolm’s heartbeat strong and constant the entire time. Sometime that evening, I was ready to push, but with every contraction and every push, Malcolm’s heartbeat seemed to dip lower than it should. Needless to say, they wanted him out of there. I pushed for maybe a minute or two, but they decided he was in too much danger and rushed me to the operating room for an emergency C-Section. As it turns out, his umbilical cord became pinched between his body and my pelvis as he made his way down, cutting off his blood supply.

The rest is a blur, but from what I’m told, Malcolm was born at 7:02 pm (7 lbs even, 21″ long) with a heartbeat, but not breathing. The doctors and nurses worked on him for what seemed like an eternity but was probably something like ten minutes. At some point during this time, his heart stopped for a number of minutes and he lost a lot of oxygen to his brain. Though they were able to get his heart beating again with compressions, he was never able to breathe on his own and was hooked up to a ventilator.

The neonatologists feared the worst: that the loss of oxygen to his brain in those minutes caused a devastating injury that he would never recover from. Their fears were confirmed over the next 24 hours as brain waves picked up by an EEG test showed little to no activity. Malcolm’s future, were he to have one, would be one in a vegetative state. He would never speak, never open his eyes, never eat, never communicate in any way. He would never breathe without a ventilator. The neurologist, the neonatologist, Adam and myself all agreed that this was not the life (or lack of a life) we wanted for our son.

We spent the next day visiting and holding our sweet little boy and comforting each other. Late on Tuesday night and into the early hours of Wednesday morning we said our goodbyes. With the help of the NICU nurses, we changed Malcolm’s diaper and gave him a bath. We held and rocked him, hugged and kissed him, told him how much we loved him and how much we would miss him. We stayed with him and held him as all of his wires and leads and tubes were removed and for a couple minutes, I saw my little boy’s face. Just his face – no tubes or wires or gauze. At 2:40am, our Malcolm was gone, though we realized over the course of that night and the following days that his spirit had likely moved on only minutes after he was born, and has been watching over us ever since.

We have been overwhelmed with love from our families and friends – the hole he left in me just feels SO huge right now.  I’ve never been this sad in my whole life – it’s insane.  I look at the photos we took of this beautiful baby, this baby that we made and it just feels so ridiculous that he is gone – that he was here and now he’s not.  That he was this perfectly healthy baby and he was just destroyed so quickly before he ever had a chance to live…it just hurts so much.
What really keeps me hanging on is having the most amazing husband and family and friends – that and the possibility of having another child in the future.  My husband and I are determined to try again as soon as we can (probably four or five months from now).  Of course we will never replace Malcolm, but we have always wanted to be parents and we were prepared to be parents and it feels like that was stolen from us.  So we grieve and we heal and we’ll try again and Malcolm will make us better parents and better people.  I think he already has.
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Comments

  1. Jillian says:

    Annie

    I am so sorry for your loss. I can’t fathom the pain it must cause you. I’d love to give you a big hug. I hope you are in the process of healing and that someday you will feel strong again.

  2. Diane says:

    I just burst into tears when i just read what you went through, because it felt like i just relived the day i went into labor. i was half dead from all the drips, injections and tablets i was given. I gave birth to my little angel Annea on the 1st of April 2014 at 38 weeks, she lived for 14 hours in ICU. No one even considered a C- section for me at the time, with a difficult delivery. I had a perfect pregnancy till last trimester at around 36 weeks when i started developing a small rash on my upper left chest and only on my left side i would suffer from severe itchiness. Then my whole body started itching but i had no rash or pimples elsewhere. I had bloods taken for Obstetric cholestasis, and my bloods came back normal, but my gynecologist suggested that i be induced at 38 weeks, because she couldnt find the underlying cause of it all. The only real memories i have of my beautiful angel while she still had life in her, are all sorts of pipes, drips and bandages connected to her from a machine. i was so torn apart that i couldn’t even ask what represented what on the monitor. She just laid there, never cried, never sneezed, never moved on her own, i didn’t even see the color of her eyes, just with a bag of ice over her head. The following morning when she died and i held her for the first time i just wished i could breathe life into her. its been 1 week and 6 days, but it feels like an hour ago when it all happened. I just thought i should pour my heart out. I am sorry for your loss, and if you would allow me to say, i think i know what u went through at the time. i would really love to know how do you learn to move on and carry on with everyday life?

  3. Katie says:

    Hi Amanda,

    First of all, I am so sorry for your loss. I know how difficult it is to have gone through this, so I commend you for having the strength to write about it–I haven’t found that strength yet. Our stories are nearly identical, which is both utterly devastating and encouraging at the same time.

    If you are willing, I’d love to talk with you more via email about your Malcolm, and I’d love to share the story of our little boy, Max.

    Sending you love, hope, and healing,

    Katie

    • Dae says:

      I am so sorry for you loss ladies. My son was born on March 24th, 2014 and I had a very easy delivery. It wasn’t until hours later that we were told he had fluid on the brain and needed to be transferred to a different hospital that had a nicu. The next day I got released and my husband and I drove to see our baby. We then found out that our baby had Hydracephalus, and that the damage was so severe that if he were to live he would basically be a vegetable. My husband and I also agreed that that was not the life we wanted for him. We were able to do comfort care and hold and cuddle our baby for a month. Our sweet Mason passed away on April 24th, 2014 very peacefully. I thank him for giving me that time to process his outcome and to be with him. I am having a hard time trying to go back to normal every day life knowing he was suppose to be in it. Every where I go all I do is picture that he was suppose to be with us. The loss of a child is the worst thing anyone can experience. I am fine one moment and the next I feel like I cant go on.

  4. Sonja says:

    My name is Sonja and my heart goes out to you. I have been pregnant five times my fourth gave us our amazing son Zack! My husband, Vlad, and I went through lots of heartbreak and loss even after ZACK, on May 19, 2008 we lost our son Samson at 22 weeks and I had to deliver him with the knowledge he wasn’t coming home. Its been very hard for all 3 of us, our family and friends have been great. I don’t think we could have made it with out them. I really just want to say that this kind of loss you don’t “get over” unfortunately I think you just learn to live with it. It sucks and it seems impossible and way too hard and its not fair but it is our reality. Please remember you are not alone. And our Angles will always be in our hearts and be remembered!

  5. Stacey says:

    Hi Ladies,

    I’m so, so sorry for your losses. It is devastating and does not make sense. I lost my first baby at 42 weeks in a very similar way — a textbook, low-risk pregnancy….then we lost Tyler in the last moments of labor. I was induced at 41.5 weeks. The induction was long, and the doctors allowed my labor to go on too long. When they finally did the c-section, it was too late and he had severe hypoxia (lack of oxygen probably due to cord compression in the birth canal). They were also picking up my heart beat in the operating room but assumed it was the baby’s. So, there were several errors and poor medical decisions that led to Tyler’s death. It has been so hard. I’m 9 months out from my loss. It has gotten a little easier to breathe. And that is the key — to keep breathing. Get as much support as you can. This blog really helped me. I started reading when she first had her loss and read her posts up through the first year or so afterwards (until her rainbow baby): http://bythebrooke.blogspot.com/p/eliza-baby-loss.html

    Hang on mama’s.

  6. I’m so sorry for your loss. My eyes were filling with tears reading this story. It is so senseless, and so unfair. I lost my twin boys in January, and being a mother to angels is the hardest journey any woman can be on. Please know that you are not alone. Many prayers to you and your family.

  7. Stacey says:

    Hi Amanda and other babyloss moms,

    My heart goes out to you. As you probably read in a previous post, we lost our full-term baby boy in the hospital last August. If you feel like your medical providers could have done more to prevent your baby’s death, you may want to fill out this survey. There is a very reputable news group in NYC, called ProPublica, who would like to raise awareness of stillbirth and infant death. Their stories are often picked up by NPR and the NY Times.

    Filling out this survey would help them identify trends and ways to prevent these losses. They need to know it is not just a “fluke” or one baby…..it is happening to too, too many families:

    http://www.propublica.org/getinvolved/item/have-you-been-harmed-in-a-medical-facility-share-your-story
    Stacey

  8. Melody says:

    I have 5 weeks out from a very similar loss to yours. My son Otto was born with an infection (we believe GBS, which I had tested negative for weeks beforehand). I have so much rage and sadness. He was our first. I’m at a loss for words but reading your story gives me some relief, thank you for sharing.

  9. sharmaine c. says:

    Hi there I completely sympathize with you all. I had my first baby at 25 weeks after doctor’s ruptured me trying to stitch my cervix closed. My son was born 12-18-13
    His short time here he started to develop some issues, some fixable and some not so easy to fix. He developed sever pulmonary hypertension in the lungs, he had surgery to remove infected parts of his intestines. I was at the nicu with my little Noah almost everyday. I loved to hold him, play with him, sing to him etc etc. He was such a good baby. So full of life. My angel started to struggle for life the last few days he was here. Although I knew as a mother that my baby spirit had already gone with god, te machines and medicine, and the drips was keeping his heart beating. As I watched my baby blood pressure get lower and lower, his heart rate kept dropping. I knew I haf to do something fast because I didnt want my baby to die alone in his bed. As the nurses removed tape, tubes, wires and everything from him, I was finally able to see his whole face with nothing on it. He had the chunkiest cheeks! My baby left this world the way he came, very peacefully in my arms. He passed away may 20th. It still feel like it was yesterday. Ive always wanted to be a mommy. Me and my husband will try again, but noone will ever replace my first born baby noah. I hate being alone right now, with nothing to do because thats when my mind does the most wandering off. Everyone who post here, just know that our God isnt a God of suffering
    He knows what’s best for our little angels. If we live right and do right, we shall see them again.

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