Cara
Mom to Hailey Maddison Molloy
Stillborn on November 24th, 2007 at 23 weeks
Orlando, FL

Hailey was conceived on 6/27/07. We were so excited to see that postive sign on our pregnancy test! I actually used 3 pregnancy testers just to be sure. The pregnancy went well throughout the first trimester. Her ultrasounds at 8 and 12 weeks were perfect. At her 16 week visit, the nurse listened to her heart and it sounded beautiful! The doctor told me everything was going well and my blood pressure was normal, no worries. The only issue I had was severe morning sickness (or should I say all day sickness) I tried every method to prevent it but the only thing that got me through the day was those seabands. They worked like a charm. The doctor said morning sickness was a sign of a healthy pregnancy… boy was she ever wrong!!

On October 29, 2007 I went in for my 20 week ultrasound. This was when we found out that we were expecting another baby girl. We were tickled pink! It was also during this ultrasound when the nightmare began. The nurse noticed a slight amount of fluid surrounding the baby’s lungs, she did not see the bladder, or the stomach and noted that the baby was not moving alot. The doctor came in to discuss these things with us, and the nurse realized that she did not measure the femur bone. We went back in to have the ultrasound done again and she did see the stomach and bladder, however the fluid was still there. The doctor recommended that we go straight to the hospital to have further testing done. We waited 5 hours in triage surrounded by at least 15 pregnant women in labor, knowing something was wrong with our baby but not knowing what it was. After the 5 hours we went in to have a ultrasound done. The nurse stated that there wasn’t a doctor available to read the ultrasound and we would need to go home and come back in the morning. Scared and feeling helpless my husband and I left and returned the next day.

The next morning, we saw a high risk physician at the hospital. The doctor reviewed the ultrasound and thought that it could be viral, but suggested that we wait a week and come in for another ultrasound. If the fluid was the same or had progressed he would recommend an amnio to rule out a chromosomal abnormality. We barely made it through the week and we returned to find out that fluid had progressed. We had the fish test and the amnio done, and a viral test and we were told that we would have the results of the fish test back within 24 to 48 hours. After the 2 days had passed, we called for the results. The nurse told us that they could not complete the fish test because they didn’t have enough cells and we would have to wait for at least 10 days to find out. This was torture for us!! I tried to go to work and get my mind off things but it was impossible. I was just not myself. When we got the results I was so relieved. The amnio and the viral test was negative!!! We thought we were in the clear, but when returned in another week for another ultrasound, the fluid had progressed even further and we were told that the baby probably would not survive.

We didn’t want to sit back and let our baby die, so we found out about a wonderful fetal surgeon who did surgery on babies in utero. People came to see him from all around the world. We heard that he could do a shunt procedure to place shunts in the baby’s lungs to remove the fluid. We thought this would be our only hope. By some miracle we were able to get an appointment with him and we drove from Orlando to Tampa.

Prior to seeing him, we were told that we needed to have a fetal echo cardiogram done to rule out any heart defect. When we went for the echo, they told us the baby’s heart was normal. They could not find any abnormality with the heart and the doctor even stated that Hailey’s heart had a good “squeeze”. We were hopeful, because we knew if everything else was normal they would do the shunt procedure. The doctor did one last ultrasound and during that ultrasound he determined that the hydrops was probably caused by a genetic abnormality or defect that the shunts could not repair. He would not do the shunt procedure. We felt like our world was crashing in all around us. We saw a genetic counselor in Tampa but they couldn’t tell us anything. They only told us that they could do testing on the baby after she had passed away. The only thing that kept us going was our beautiful 3 year old daughter. My pregnancy with her was uneventful and she was a very healthy child. We just couldn’t understand how this was happening to us.

We went back to Orlando, saw the high risk doctor one more time, and had another ultrasound done. He confirmed what the other doctor in Tampa stated and told us that the baby had a 0% chance of survival. They told us the baby had severe hydrops, the fluid was everywhere, in her skin, in her head, completely surrounding her lungs and in her abdomen. They told us if the pregnancy continued I could risk my life. I was diagnosed with a heart condition, SVT, and had many episodes during my first pregnancy. I also suffered from high blood pressure. The doctors said that there was a high probability that these issues could re-occur. They also told me I could develop something called mirror syndrome, where I would start having the same symptoms as the baby and as the baby grew larger, there was also a possibility that my incision from the c-section could rupture and I could die. We asked to speak with a genetics counselor at the hospital. He was unable to determine the cause of the hydrops but felt as all the other doctors did that our baby would not survive. He prepared us for the inevitable.

On November 24, 2007, we lost our little angel Hailey Maddison. I was induced and in labor for over 24 hours. At 3:53 on Saturday afternoon we delivered our sweet little Hailey. She was so very small and had a beautiful perfect little face. We couldn’t get over her tiny little features, especially her tiny little nose. We were so happy to have an opportunity to hold her and kiss her goodbye. These memories will be ones that we cherish forever.

We were blessed to have been in the care of such wonderful staff at the Winnie Palmer hospital in Orlando Florida. The nurses Maryanne and Brenda were angels sent down from heaven to help us through the most difficult time of our lives. We will never forget them! The chaplains at the hospital also helped us cope with the loss, and were a wonderful support to us as well. On Sunday, 11/25/07 Hailey received a blessing from one of the chaplains. During this blessing we were able to to hold her and kiss her one last time. It was a beautiful moment!

In addition to this blessing, we held a funeral service for Hailey on 12/4/07 at the Baldwin Fairchild Funeral Home in Downtown Orlando Florida. Gail, one of the chaplains from the hospital performed the service and did such a wonderful job! The words she used during the service were just so touching and absolutely beautiful. She couldn’t have said it better. During the service, she quoted Dr. Suess by saying “A person is a person, no matter how small…..” These words touched our hearts and will stay with us forever.

At the service, Hailey’s blanket, dress, and hat were placed on a table, along with her ultrasound photos, foot prints, blessing card, her star bear, an angel statue, and other mementos that we purchased to always remember her by. Her urn was placed in the center of the table along with pink, lavendar, and white flowers. Her birth flower is the chrysanthemum and we had many of these arrangements placed about. As our family and friends arrived we had music by Celtic Women playing softly. It was absolutely beautiful! Because of my husband’s Irish and Scottish heritage, we had a bagpipe player play at the service as well. He played Danny Boy, Amazing Grace, and Going Home. When he played the song Going Home, he faced her urn as if he was speaking directly to her. It was so touching and meaningful!

It meant so much to us to have our family and friends present at the service to honor her in this special way. We are proud to say that we are parents of an angel who will live on in our hearts forever! May God Bless Our Hailey Maddison!

Cara has a memorial website for Hailey at www.hailey-molloy.virtual-memorials.com
You can contact her at cmolloy611@yahoo.com
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