Mom to Laura Jane

Born and died on November 1, 2012

Syracuse, New York

My husband, Michael and I got married in April of 2005. We had a beautiful wedding and couldn’t wait to start a family. We started trying to get pregnant in June. After several months of negative pregnancy tests we decided to have some testing done. Everything was fine with Michael but we found out I had poly-cystic ovaries (PCOS). After several IUI cycles, an IVF cycle and lots of tears we tried one more IUI cycle and it worked! We were so excited!

We found out we were having twins. We were thrilled and nervous all at the same time. The pregnancy had a few bumps. I bled until 16 weeks, at 24 weeks I was taken out of work and put on bed rest and at 26 weeks we found out that I had gestational diabetes. I followed doctors orders and on May 4, 2007 at 36 weeks 6 days by c-section our beautiful twin daughters were born. They were perfect in every way. They are [at the time of writing this] five and half and we are so grateful for them.

After a couple years we decided to try one more time. After about a year with no medications we were again thrilled to find out that we were pregnant. The pregnancy was pretty uneventful. I again had gestational diabetes. This time my blood sugar was higher than it had been with the girls. I was on insulin from 16 weeks on. I watched what I ate, checked my numbers and saw the doctor frequently. On November 22, 2010, our beautiful son was born weighing 11lbs 15oz. He was big, but he was perfect. He had to spend a week in the NICU because of my blood sugars. It was a long week. I was sad that he couldn’t be with me in the room. I went up to see him every chance I could. The nurses couldn’t believe how quickly I got out of bed after my c-section but I knew I needed to be with him in the NICU as much as I could. He is [at the time of writing] 2 and he is an active, healthy boy.

We had decided that we had 3 healthy, beautiful children and that my pregnancies were tough on everyone, especially me, so it was time to be done. We set up a vasectomy for my husband for Friday April 27, 2012. However, on Saturday, March 24, I decided to take a pregnancy test. I hadn’t been feeling right and I was late. Sure enough, it was positive. We just couldn’t believe it. It had taken so long to get pregnant with the other babies that we couldn’t believe this happened when we weren’t trying. After the shock wore off, we were so excited and a little nervous. The thought of having four kids under the age of 5 was a little scary, but we knew we could do it. I called the doctor and went in for my first sonogram at 8 weeks and everything looked great. They gave us a due date of November 24, 2012. They had me start testing my blood sugar several times a day. My blood sugars were great. I couldn’t believe it. The kept me on a drug called metformin two times a day to help with the sugars. My numbers continued to be good. I watched what I was eating. I was very careful. I was testing all the time. The pregnancy continued without any problems.

At my 19 week sonogram we took our girls with us to see the sonogram and we found out that we were having a girl. We were thrilled. We had come up with lots of names but we couldn’t agree on any. The day we found out that it was a girl, we were in the car and Michael says to me what about Laura Jane. Laura was his paternal grandmothers name and Jane is my moms name. It was perfect. So as the pregnancy went on, I gained very little weight and my sugar numbers remained pretty good.

Around 26 weeks, my sugar numbers jumped so the doctor decided it was time to put me on insulin. I wasn’t concerned. I was on insulin for my other pregnancies. I was just glad that I had made it until 26 weeks. The pregnancy continued uneventfully. I was in the office all the time. I had sonograms often. She was always measuring a little big but they didn’t seem concerned. I was getting a little anxious around 33 weeks. I was having a tough time sleeping. I was very uncomfortable. I was having numbness in my hands and arms. I told them all of this and they said it was normal.

Just as I turned 34 weeks I got a stomach bug. It was terrible. I was concerned that I may be going into labor. I called the office they told me that I was not. They instructed me to make sure I kept fluids down and that they would see me that my regular appointment on Monday. I went in for my next appointment and everything was fine except my blood pressure was up a little. I did my non-stress test and everything looked great. The next visit my blood pressure was up again so they had me go do blood work and a 24 hour urine catch. They found protein in my urine. I was very concerned. I asked several times if they would ever take her early. I was told no, not unless they had reason. In my mind this was reason. At my next appointment my was blood pressure was good and my non-stress was perfect. So they just moved on, even though I was still concerned.

My last appointment before everything went wrong was Monday October 29. I was 36 weeks 2 days. I went into the office I had a sonogram. She looked great. She was measuring 9lbs 4oz. The sonogram technician said I had a little extra fluid and that she was big but everything looked great but came and found the nurse to tell her that that I had a lot going on inside. I then went into have a non stress test. My non stress looked great. I was at the doctor for 3 hours. I left there with an appointment set up for Friday November 2….little did I know that I would never have that appointment.

I felt her moving all day Tuesday. Wednesday is where it gets a little blurry. It was Halloween. We got the girls ready for school and then went to our nieces Halloween parade. We ran some errands and then went back to the girls school for their Halloween parade. Then we took the kids trick or treating. When I got in bed that night I was looking for her to move. I laid there for a little while and didn’t feel her but figured she was asleep. I was exhausted. I slept through the night which I hadn’t done in weeks. The next morning, November 1st, I got the girls off to school. I sat down and tried to do a kick count but I couldn’t get one. So I called the doctor and they had me come in immediately. I called my husband and he came home from work to go with me.

And that began the worst day of our lives. We got to the doctor’s office and they brought me in to do a non stress test. They couldn’t find her heartbeat. All we could hear was mine. I knew as soon as they couldn’t find it she was gone. They brought me in the sonogram room. I could tell by the doctor’s face. She was gone. I was in shock. My husband kept saying, “What is going on? What happened?”Everyone was crying….the nurses, the sonogram technician, my husband and me. They told us to go home, get some things, and meet them at the hospital.

We left the office in shock. I tried calling my mom. I couldn’t get ahold of her. I called my dad and he answered and all I could do was scream into the phone, “She’s dead!! My baby is dead!!” He just started to scream and cry. We then drove home and made phone calls telling our family the worst news of our lives. We went home and put a bag together and walked around in a daze. My sister came to watch our son and to stay and pick our daughters up from school. We had decided that we didn’t want anyone to tell them until we could do it together after my c-section.

We got to the hospital and everyone was very nice but it didn’t make us feel any better. My parents came up and sat with us all afternoon. There was a lot of tears and a lot of anger. I think I was in shock. I cried the least of anybody. The nurse asked me a whole bunch of questions. Every time she asked me a question my mom would cry. Then she asked about a funeral home and that’s when I looked at my husband and we both just started to cry. The afternoon seemed to drag as we waited for them to perform my third and final c-section for a baby that wouldn’t cry…that would never take a breath…but that was loved and very much wanted.

My c-section was very routine and everything went fine but I just kept waiting for them to be wrong. To hear Laura cry…something…anything. I remember them wheeling me into recovery and Michael’s back was to me. He turned around and there in his arms was our sweet angel Laura Jane. She was perfect. She was beautiful. She was 11lbs 4oz. She had dark hair and 10 fingers and 10 toes. She had the coloring of her sister Claire, the nose of her sister Sophia and had the same sweet look that her brother Michael had the day he was born. I couldn’t help but smile.

Part of me died that day with her. We got to hold her and kiss her. They took pictures of her for us. Our parents and my siblings came and held her and told her they loved her. They begged her to wake up. The cried for her, for us and for themselves. We held her as long as we could. We had prayers said for her. She had three priests come and bless her. We knew that we had to give her to the nurse. When we felt that the time was right, we hugged her, kissed her and told her we loved her. I watched as my husband walked over and gave her to the nurse and I could feel my heart breaking. We cried and held each other for what seemed like hours. It was the most heart wrenching, helpless feeling I have ever experienced. They moved me downstairs to my room and I cried all night. I thank god everyday for my husband who is heartbroken by the loss of his baby girl but always made sure I was taken care of first. We left the hospital Saturday. We left with a pink memory box and a lot of information on “when a baby dies”.

We needed to get home and see our other babies who still didn’t know that their sister had died. They were sad. So very sad. They wanted to know why. They had all the questions that we had. That day we explained as much as we could to them. We needed something concrete for them so Michael took them to the store and they bought a vase and stickers. We decorated the vase. Put her name and date on it. Along with our names. It sits on our fireplace with an angel next to it and it has change in it. We leave pennies right next to it and anytime someone thinks of Laura they put a penny in for her. The kids love it and it really helped them the first few weeks.

The days leading up to the funeral are kind of a blur. We had a lot of family around. Everyone wanted to help. I couldn’t be left alone with kids for a while because of the medication from the c-section. The funeral was a blur too. I remember Michael and I holding tight to each other. We had immediate family only. At the burial we all placed pink roses on her tiny white casket. She is buried next to my Uncle Dan who we know will protect and watch her until we see her again. The whole thing was awful. There are really no words to describe the pain we were feeling.

We got the autopsy results. There was nothing wrong with our sweet baby. Her death was said to be caused by complications from the gestational diabetes. We were told that her size and the fact that they couldn’t find anything else wrong makes them think it was something to do with the diabetes. I feel guilt and anger. I did the best I could to keep my sugar numbers normal. I feel like I failed her and my family. Everyone is in so much pain because of her death. At the same time, I also feel like my doctors failed me. I feel like they should have known better. They were supposed to be the experts and they should have taken my angel at 35 or 36 weeks. My doctor told me that they hope that diabetic mothers go into labor around 35 weeks so they can avoid all of this. I know nothing will bring my baby back and I try everyday to move forward and I know I will but for today, I am angry that it happened this way.

Our sweet angel Laura Jane will always be our last baby. We never got to hear her cry, we never got to see her smile or hear her giggle. We miss her more than we can explain. We are so very grateful for her sisters and her brother but there will always be someone missing.

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  1. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I recently lost my son and I a diabetic and we were also told We were told that his size and the fact that they couldn’t find anything else wrong makes them think it was something to do with the diabetes. I feel the same kind of guilt and anger, it is very frustrating.

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