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My husband and I were a University sweethearts. We had been together for ten years before getting married and always dreamed of having a family of our own someday. We were just waiting for the “right” time. After being married for two years and being away in Jamaica back in May 2014 celebrating our friend’s wedding I finally said that I was ready to start trying. My periods were very regular at the time and within the first month (June 2014) of trying I was pregnant!! We were both scared but very happy all at the same time.

I am a very healthy woman who takes good care of myself and my figure. I have always been tall and thin and was nervous about gaining too much weight because “I can” so I really watched myself. I ate very well and took very good care of my body and had a wonderful pregnancy. I only gained a total of 40 pounds. I struggled a little bit with my body changes but once I started to feel my little angel move inside of me it was all worth it.

I was very lucky as I had no issues at all throughout my entire pregnancy. I didn’t suffer any morning sickness and only had a bit of nausea from time to time. My husband and I didn’t tell anyone about the pregnancy until we were almost four months along and all the genetic testing came back normal. Our family was very excited for us and couldn’t wait to meet our little bundle of joy. I had decided that I didn’t want anyone to know the sex of the baby until my baby shower as I was going to do a gender reveal at the very end. I was going to order a fancy cake and the inside of it was going to be pink icing or blue. I was going to have all the men and women together at the very end of my shower and we were all going to find out together. My husband really wanted to know so I allowed him to know as long as he didn’t share with anyone else. My husband is fantastic at keeping secrets so I knew it would be fine.

From the moment I found out I was pregnant I knew that I was going to be having a baby girl. I don’t know why but I felt a very strong intuition from the very beginning and that never changed throughout the entire pregnancy. I was so confident that when we were buying things we needed. I don’t know how to describe the feeling, but I was just certain.

Even though I didn’t have any issues with my pregnancy I did suffer a lot of stress. I started a new job and a few weeks after starting I found out I was pregnant. It was a stressful position and also being newly pregnant and afraid they would let me go once they found out I was pregnant caused me a lot of sleepless nights. Luckily, when my work found out they were very supportive and understanding, however, the workload was too much to handle at times and I really stressed myself out over being superwoman when it came to balancing and succeeding at everything I touched.

Assuming you follow expert recommendations on how to maintain a healthy relationship, you will find that sometimes a good night’s sleep can help clear the mind. That is what I found when I was stressed. And for those of you worried about what might happen if tomorrow never comes, remember that this is a rarity and not the norm. Take time to think through your arguments and allow your head to be clear when needed so that you can work through any disagreements together and in the best state of mind possible.

I also teach piano as well and so there were many days whereby I would leave work and drive to each of my student’s houses not realizing that some days I worked almost 12 hour days. I also had a lot of issues with my family and there was a lot of fighting. Since there were no health issues through-out my pregnancy I figured that I could handle it all. In hindsight, I wish I would have taken it easier and not stressed myself and my body out as much as I did.

The day was February 7th… It was the day before my baby shower. I went to get my hair done that day and was with my family preparing for the awesome baby shower I was about to have. I went for lunch with my aunt and was feeling so great as I was approaching the home stretch of my pregnancy and was literally a day away from finding out the sex of my baby. The nursery was all done and ready for baby and everything was just perfect… Life was good!!! It was an hour after dinner when I suddenly started to feel sharp pains in my stomach. I just thought maybe I ate something that wasn’t sitting well but after 45 minutes of suffering through this intense pain, I called my neighbor and good friend over for some advice. She had twins and experienced labor before so I knew she could help me figure out what this pain was. She came by and after explaining the pain to her we all decided it was best to head over to the hospital right away.

My husband drove me to the hospital and they took me right away. They set me up with the Doppler and I could hear my beautiful baby’s heart rate beating nice and strong over the speaker… She was still alive. A nurse came in to see me and asked me if I suffered high blood pressure at all. I said no and once the nurse did an internal he said that I was experiencing Braxton Hicks and was ready to send me home. It had been about an hour and a half now since the pain first started and it was now getting worse as time went on. I told the nurse that I wasn’t going anywhere until a doctor came in to see me as I knew this pain I was feeling wasn’t right.

Twenty minutes later the doctor on call came in and also did an internal and he said that I was already 4 cm dilated and that they needed to admit me as I was having this baby tonight!! My husband was sitting right beside me and couldn’t believe that at 37 weeks we were about to become parents. My husband got on the phone and called all of our close friends and family and told them the surprising but great news. Everyone headed over to the hospital at this point to be by our side. It was now around 11 pm.

They brought me into a private room and did the epidural right away. Ten minutes after they injected me I felt fantastic!! The pain went away and I started joking around with the nurses and was feeling happy again… Then I started bleeding. The doctor on call wasn’t my regular OB but he did come to check up on me quite a bit. He told my husband that everything was fine and that they were going to be watching my baby’s heartbeat very closely and that if they suspected any stress they were going to act on it quickly. Now looking back I wish we would have both spoken up more and told them to just take her out at that point but you put your faith into the hands of the doctors cause you trust they know what they are doing… Right?!!

All of a sudden it was like a scene out of Grey’s Anatomy… Within minutes there were nurses everywhere and there was sooooo much commotion and I had no idea what was happening. Nobody was telling me anything and plus I was so drugged up at this point that I didn’t even know just how serious it was. Next thing you know they are wheeling me into the OR and are setting me up for an emergency c-section. My husband wasn’t with me at this point and I just remember screaming for him. The doctor said that I shouldn’t feel anything other than some slight pulling but man was he wrong… Because I am a red-head, I need more anesthesia then the average person does in order to not feel anything. My doctor didn’t know this so just as my husband came to sit by my side I was feeling every single thing the doctor was doing to me. I began screaming in agony as I was feeling the doctor pull my body apart. Next thing I knew I was being knocked out and my world went black.

When I woke up I started screaming again in pain and my husband said that within minutes they knocked me out again. Now, since they gave me so much anesthesia apparently there was more commotion around me as I wasn’t waking up right away. My husband said that for a period of 30 minutes he thought that he had lost both of us. Once I came out of it I just remember looking to my left and seeing a circle of nurses and doctors working on my baby and one of them kept shouting “call it, call it!!….” Then when I looked to my right I saw a bunch of doctors and nurses crying hysterically. I looked at the time and it was now 1 am on February 8th.

My beautiful baby girl was born still at 12:30 am on February 8th, 2015. My instincts were right as I knew I was having a baby girl and there she was… She was over six pounds and looked like a beautiful doll. I had a different name in mind for her through-out my pregnancy however, once I was holding her she, for some reason did not look like that name. She looked like a Norah and it came to me as I was holding her and both my husband and I looked at each other and knew. We had never discussed this name before and it never came up in conversation but for some reason, at that particular time, it just felt right. Later on, we found out that the name Norah means “Bright light,” “The Beautiful One” and “the wise one.” Still to this day when I think about that it brings chills to my arms because that is exactly what she is to us. We had no idea what her name meant at the time and the fact that it fit her spirit so perfectly brings tears to my eyes when I think about it. She will always and forever be our bright light.

At first, when I found out what happened, I did not want to see her or hold her or look at her. I am thankful now that the doctors and nurses and social workers at the hospital convinced me otherwise as I know now looking back I would have completely regretted it. We had about two beautiful days with our beautiful baby Norah. They were the two most beautiful days of my entire life.

The doctor came in and explained that what happened to me happens to 1% of all pregnancies. My placenta had partially detached on my way to the hospital. That is what that pain was… From the time they wheeled me from my hospital room to the OR my placenta completely detached so the doctors think that she passed away instantly some time during those few minutes which is why they tried to act on it so fast. When they pulled her out of me she wasn’t breathing and even if they did save her she would have had a lot of brain damage that her quality of life would have been affected. It just wasn’t meant to be… She was meant to be our Angel.

You never go into this thinking something like this could ever happen to you. Thank God this experience brought my husband and me closer together and our marriage has never been stronger. I have just turned 33 years old and am still recovering and healing from what happened. I do believe that God will bless us with a healthy baby one day but I also know that we will never forget our beautiful baby Norah as she will always and forever be our bright light.