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Zahariah's story - The fear, joy, sacrifice and heartbreak of baby loss

Monday, October 21, 2019

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The fear

Back in 2016, I had a miscarriage at 15 weeks and three days. I was so heartbroken that I was afraid to even get pregnant again, because I felt that the same thing would happen again. I stayed as far away from pregnancy as I could, but I knew I had to get over the fear and start a family with my husband.

The joy

In November 2018 I had a missed period but pregnancy was the last thing on my mind. On December 28 I finally decided to do a pregnancy test. I have seen so many negative tests that when I was doing this test I covered it because in my mind, I knew I was going to see another negative one. When I finally removed the cover I saw two lines! I was so happy I didn't know what to do! I called my mom and my husband and told them the exciting news.

The sacrifice

As time went by I still had that fear of losing my baby so I did everything in my power to keep this pregnancy for as long as I could. In my first trimester it was really hard; I was very sick. I felt pains as my stomach grew and I had unexplained bleeding thrice. The third time I started spotting the doctors decided to admit me to the hospital because I had already been in twice with bleeding, which meant something was wrong. I started crying because at that time I thought I had lost my baby. They did an ultrasound and everything was normal. I did not trust the public hospital so I called my gynaecologist and she said I should come in for a visit. When I went to her that very same day, she checked me and said that my cervix had started to soften and that's why I was spotting. She sent me in to do a cervical cerclage to prevent the cervix from opening further. I went in and I had the surgery done.

“All should be well from here on,” I thought. I kept doing my check-ups and all was going well. No bleeding, nothing out of the ordinary anymore. The first time I had heard my baby's heartbeat after the surgery my heart melted and I fell in love all over again! Not to mention the first time I felt her (I was convinced she was a girl) movements with each kick, turn, spin and grab I fell in love even more.

The heartbreak

On Sunday, April 28, 2019, I started to feel some stiffness in my tummy but I paid it no mind because I thought Zahariah (my baby) was just doing her regular stiffening and all. I started feeling sick in my body, almost as if I had a fever. I still didn't pay any attention to it. I woke up from my sleep because I felt as if I wanted to pee and when I stood up I felt something warm running down my legs. I didn't even look down because I thought it was blood. I screamed and my mom came to me and said we were going to the hospital right away. On the way to the hospital I was praying that the baby wouldn't come because it wasn't time for her to come; it was just too soon. When I got to the hospital they did their checks and they said that my membrane had ruptured but not enough for me to have my baby as yet.

One day later on the ward, I was still in a lot of pain. I called the nurse and she told me that I should tell her if I felt something pressing on my cervix because I had the stitch in and they didn't want the baby to push down and rip my cervix apart. They carried me down to the labour ward and I had a high pulse that was not going down and I had a high fever that was also not going down. It seemed as if I had an infection so they decided to give me antibiotics. But unfortunately, nothing worked. The doctor told me if they didn't induce me now, I was going to die. That's when I realised I had to make the hardest decision of my life. The doctor told me to call my husband so that he could be in the delivery room with me.

At 23 weeks and four days, on Monday, April 29, 2019, at 4:20 am, little Zahariah came into the world. When she came out they rushed with her out of the room, so I didn't see her and I didn't know for sure she was a girl. One of the doctors came back and I asked how much the baby weighed and I was told 600g. I looked at my husband and we both smiled at each other. I asked the doctor the gender and he confirmed she was a girl! I was so happy to have my very own daughter!

The doctor said that because she was so small and premature, there were other complications with her and they weren't sure she would make it. Her heart rate had started to drop and there wasn't much they could do. I broke down in tears because then and there I realised that my baby girl, Zahariah Eliana Reign Brown, was gone forever. That day was my happiest and my worst all rolled into one.

This is by far the hardest thing I have ever had to endure. It's really hard to live without her and I am still trying to cope, living life without her.

— Jiszell Parkes-Brown


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