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Our daughter, Alyssa Marie had lost oxygen a few weeks prior to her birth (we found this out after the autopsy results) she somehow regained it while in utero but there was too much damage to her brain for her to survive. She was born alive and was beautiful; she looked like her big brother when he was born. The next day of her life she stopped breathing for 14 seconds, and was revived and immediately put on a breathing tube and sent to Sick Kids for further testing and monitoring, she was having seizures all the time and none of the medications could suppress them, there was nothing more they could do for her.

August 3, 2012 was the day we took her off her tubes, she survived for one hour in our arms. Imagine, I got to finally hold her like a real baby should be held in their mothers arms, with no tubes, no wires and monitors attached. She was struggling to breathe, I felt so helpless there was nothing I could do as a parent to protect my baby, but rock her in my arms and tell her it was okay. I knew when she took her final breath because it was a sigh … a sweet sound of relief is how I can only describe it! She was no longer suffering. I told the doctor this and she checked for her heartbeat and looked at us and confirmed what I already knew.

We thought we were bringing home our baby as my pregnancy was uneventful, everything was progressing well, all ultrasounds appeared to be normal. We had no idea that we would have to baptize her in the hospital, plan her funeral and burial all within a matter of days. This is not what you dream of when you have a baby.

I will never forget the nurse who kissed my little girl on the forehead good bye with tears in her eyes once her shift was over or when the nurses & bereavement nurse helped us and my son do molds of his and his baby sister’s hands & feet as a keepsake forever. I won’t forget the Doctor who sat by our side in the room the day Alyssa passed away in our arms.

She is no longer suffering. It has taken me two years to say that I am at peace with her passing, but not a day goes by that I don’t think of her, she is forever my daughter and always in my heart.

I am thankful that my family and friends got to meet my baby girl to say hello and goodbye at the same time. Alyssa touched a lot of lives in her short life, she forever changed mine. I got to see firsthand how the nurses and doctors take care of all the precious babies in the NICU. Even though they could not save my baby, they worked hard to get us as much information as they could.

Did you know that 6-8 newborns die each month and this is just at one hospital? It is a sad reality and we need to be aware. Never in a million years had I thought that I would lose a child (nobody does) and until I did, I hadn’t realized how often it happens.

Our children are precious gifts.

I attend shows and sell my pieces online and decided to have a special event each year in memory of my daughter & other babies gone too soon and in a way a tribute to the doctors and nurses in the NICU that took care of my little girl as if she were one of their own.

I am just one mother trying to make a small difference.