Mom to Tatiana Jhene Johnson

November 11-18, 2011

Wichita, KS


I was in L&D three times the previous week with sharp pain, back pain, and decreased movement. I was 3-4 cm., 80-95% effaced, and having irregular contractions. Tatiana started having decelerations (her heart rate dropped) caused by dehydration. The OBs were concerned about her heart rate dropping too low during active labor and said I was at risk of having a c section. Her lungs weren’t mature, so they decided against an induction. Last Friday, my OB repeated the biophysical to check for lung maturity again. He decided to strip my membranes to start labor, which didn’t work. I went in for my 38 week appointment on Thursday. He listened to her heart beat and heard an arrhythmia (her heart has an extra beat). He scheduled an appointment with the high risk OB that evening to repeat the biophysical. He said he wasn’t concerned about the arrhythmia, that it would fix itself, and we would continue to monitor it every week. He checked my amniotic fluid levels, and they had decreased from 12 cm. on Friday to less than 1 cm. He asked if I had felt my water break, and I hadn’t, so he sent me to the hospital to be induced.

They started Pitocin at 7 pm. I felt the tightening of contractions within an hour, but didn’t start feeling the pain until 10 pm. I started having back labor with back to back contractions. The nurse sat me on a birthing ball and applied pressure to my back, but it wasn’t helping, At 12 am, I asked for the epidural. I continued to feel the pressure and tightening of contractions, but not the pain. By 1 am, I had dilated to 10 cm. I labored down for an hour, letting my body and contractions move her down the birth canal. I started pushing at 1:45 am, and she was born at 2:08 am on 11/11/11. I tore twice, and the epidural wore off immediately after. She received oxygen, and then she was placed on my chest. I cried as I held my daughter for the first time. The nurse bathed, weighed, and measured her. She weighed 5 lbs. 14 oz. and was 18 3/4 in. long. She was choking on amniotic fluid and wouldn’t nurse. Her Pediatrician wasn’t concerned because her glucose levels were normal, and she had several wet and dirty diapers. After she stopped choking, she started nursing every 2-3 hours. Because I never felt my water break, they ran blood work to check for infection, which was negative. Twenty four hours after she was born, they reweighed her and ran more blood work. She weighed 5 lbs. 9 oz. Her Pediatrician ordered a EKG, which was abnormal, but she said her arrhythmia wasn’t structural. She said I needed to schedule an appointment with a Pediatric Cardiologist next week. We were dismissed that afternoon.

On November 15th, Tatiana had her first appointment with her Pediatrician. She listened to her heart and didn’t hear her arrhythmia. She said it must have fixed itself. She weighed 5 lbs. 7 oz., which was 7 oz. less than her birth weight and 2 oz. less than when she had left the hospital. She wasn’t concerned because breast-fed babies lose weight until their milk supply comes in. I asked why she was so sleepy and why she wasn’t nursing every 2-3 hours. She wasn’t concerned. She said she should be at her birth weight in two weeks, but if not, then I may need to supplement with formula. She said she was a little fair complected, but she wasn’t concerned about jaundice. The Cardiology office called to reschedule her appointment because we hadn’t filed for insurance yet. Her original appointment was scheduled for November 16th, and was rescheduled for December 22nd.

The morning of November 16th, Tatiana and I didn’t sleep from 4am to 11am, which was a first. Her grandmother held her while I slept. She slept from 11am until 3pm, and then I bathed, changed, and fed her. She was cold, so I put socks on her and swaddled her in a receiving blanket and her blanket. Her great-grandmother rocked her to sleep, and then put her in her crib. Within an hour, her heart stopped, and she had stopped breathing. The Paramedics were able to resuscitate her, and she was flown to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. She was diagnosed with truncus arteriosus and a interrupted aortic arch. She had suffered brain damage from the lack of oxygen, which caused lactic acid build up. She was unable to rid her body of the acid because her kidneys had failed. She had a blood clot in her aorta, which prevented her heart from circulating blood. She was unable to receive the open heart surgery she needed to fix her heart defects. She was put on a ventilator and given medications to stabilize her, which weren’t working. She was having seizures, which put her into cardiac arrest. Again, they were able to resuscitate her, but she was suffering. On November 18th, she stopped fighting and went to heaven.

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  1. I’m so terribly sorry for your loss & that Tatiana’s heart problems weren’t recognized earlier. Thinking of you & praying you find the strength needed as you grieve this unimaginable loss.

  2. Hi Catrina,
    I am so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine the pain you are going through. You will be in my prayers.
    I had a stillborn son at 38 weeks gestation on July 13th 2011. The pain is unbearable. I live in Wichita as well, let me know if there is anything I can do for you.

  3. I am sorry to hear of your loss. Our baby angels share the same day of death. My son, Jordan, only lived 2 days of which I was unable to hold him. I still struggle each day with his loss, but be thankful that you were able to spend that week with your daughter.

  4. I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my daughter 1/15/12. She was a month and a week old. I never got to take her home and only held her 5 times because she was on ECMO and then ventilator after ventilator. Her cause of death was respiratory failure and she was also diagnosed with Surfactant ABCA3 Dificeincy. We had to make the dicision to take her off the ventilator. If you need someone to talk I am here.

  5. Hi Catrina,

    I am SO,so, so sorry to hear about your sweet baby, Tatiana. Thank you for being brave enough to put your face and name to something so painful. There is a Christian support group here in Wichita called Glory Babies. It meets the 3rd Thursday of every month at Central Christian Church on N Rock Road. The church is non-denominational and very supportive of our minstry. If you find you need “someone with skin on” to hear your aching heart, we’d be honored. Check out the blog –


  6. Oh Catrina,

    SO very sorry to hear of the death of your sweet baby, Tatiana. I, too, am praying for you. Please consider looking at the blog: We meet the 3rd Thursday of every month. Details on the blog. You are always welcome….


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