Mom to Ethan Francis

December 3, 2015

Randburg, South Africa

It was a Sunday afternoon when my husband got me out of bed to go for a check-up; I was in bed since Thursday. I thought I was coming down with the flu so I decided to go see our GP. With all the symptoms I had, he suggested a urine test which came back positive for pregnancy. We were 6 weeks and 5 days. It was unexpected but we were very happy and made an appointment with our OBGYN to confirm.

Our little boy was very active and kept me awake at night which I didn’t mind because we were both getting ready for those sleepless nights. I followed a very healthy diet and everything went smoothly with our pregnancy. Towards the end of the pregnancy, he started slowing down and I had some mild pain which my OBGYN confirmed it would happen as we approached the end of our pregnancy. It was a Thursday when we went for our bi-weekly, 36 weeks and 5 days checkup and I was so looking forward to seeing his tiny face.

When we got to the OBGYN room, I was put on a heart rate monitor and the lady could not find a heartbeat. It did not click at the moment what that meant until we went for a sonar and the doctor was looking and looking and he kept quiet for a bit and immediately I knew there was something wrong. It was as if someone ripped my heart out of my chest. He gave us some time alone and came back after a few minutes to discuss our options of delivery as if it were a normal process.

We went home and I could not get out of the car to see all that baby stuff that we had in the spare bedroom. I called him back after an hour and told him I would go for an induction/normal delivery as we had planned. I went through 6 hours of labour and our little angel Ethan Francis was born, still holding on to hope that a miracle would happen and we would hear him cry, but there was nothing. He was just lying there with his eyes closed. I looked at him for about 5 minutes with his cord still attached and couldn’t bring myself to hold him.

Suddenly reality hit me that this was because my body didn’t protect, feed and nurture him the way it was supposed to. I held him in my arms and stoked his hair. He was beautiful and peaceful. He was all that a mother could want in a son, but he was gone. I can’t have him, I can’t feed him, bathe him, clothe him, comfort him or put him to sleep. Ethan was born sleeping.

Our OBGYN came in to find that it was not a cord around his neck as he suspected but there was a huge blood clot in his cord that deprived my sweet angel of oxygen and nutrients. He had no explanation of what caused it. How does one accept such fate, such a harsh destiny for a blameless and beautiful soul?

The next Monday our little Ethan was brought home, a home where we were to share beautiful and precious memories together but this time to bid him farewell. I spoke to him and stroked his hair one last time. How does a mother say goodbye, how does one walk way and let go while her son is being taken away in such a tiny coffin, alone. He is in a better place, sitting on God’s lap. He is our guardian angel looking over our family. This pain does not go away and it does not get any better even with time.

You can email Mokgadi at

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  1. I am so so sorry for you loss of your son, Ethan. Unfortunately I know too well what this kind of loss feels like, having lost our daughter minutes after she was born @ 42 weeks. Thank you for sharing your story. My heart goes out to you and your family, and to your little angel Ethan.

  2. Thank you Tina and I’m so sorry for the loss of your daughter, they are both in a better place. I hope we find the strength to carry on knowing that our little angels are looking over us everyday

  3. I am so very sorry for your loss. Sending thoughts and prayers to you during this difficult time.

  4. Thank you Christine. Somehow we will find the strength to live through another day

  5. Hi Mo, I am deeply sorry for your loss of Ethan. We lost our daughter Zia on 16 July 2013.

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