Back in 2016, I had a miscarriage at 15 weeks +3 days. I was so heartbroken that I was afraid to even get pregnant again because I felt that the same thing would have happened 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.
In November 2018, I had a missed period but pregnancy was the last thing on my mind, I had missed my before so I thought it was just another missed period. I started having really tender breasts, feeling nauseous and all the pregnancy symptoms, but I still didn’t think it was pregnancy. 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 2 lines! I was so happy I didn’t know what to do!! I called my mom and I called my husband and told them the exciting news.
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 bleedings. The first time I saw blood, I rushed to the doctor immediately without a question, but they told me it was implantation bleeding. The second time, I bled so hard i started seeing some big clots and they told me it was a threatened miscarriage. However, the threat slowly disappeared. The third time I started spotting, the doctors decided to admit me to the hospital because I had already came twice with bleeding, which meant something was wrong. Something was very 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 that’s why I was spotting. I started to feel very sad again and she reassured me and told me “don’t look sad you and the baby are okay, I am gonna send you to do a cerclage (to stitch my cervix) so that the baby will stay in and your cervix won’t open”.
I went to the hospital that same night, which was February 27, 2019. While preparing for the surgery, the doctor told me that if she goes in to do the procedure and she sees where my cervix is open and the sac is coming out, they won’t wake me they would just do a d&c and when I woke, I would be told what had occurred. That was the scariest thing they could have told me but I still tried to have as much faith as possible.
I went in and I had the surgery done. All should be well I thought from here on. When I was in the hospital, they would not check for my baby’s heartbeat because at that time I was only 14+ weeks. They informed me that they only check fetal heartbeat in the hospital when the baby is 24 weeks and over. While there, I was still very worried because I wasn’t sure if my baby was still alive, even though when the doctor woke me, they told me the cerclage was a success.
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!!
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 it any mind. I started to go to the bathroom way more often than the norm and when I did go, only a little bit of pee would come out. I still didn’t pay it any mind. I went to sleep because my mom was at home with me.
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 stated we were going to the hospital right away! I grabbed my bag, packed her clothes and my clothes and went. While going to the hospital, I was praying the baby wouldn’t come because it wasn’t time for her to come, it was just too soon.
I called my husband and told him I thought I was going into labour and he left from work instantly to be with me. When I got to the hospital, they did their checks and they stated that my membrane had ruptured but not enough for me to have my baby as yet. I was still feeling contractions so they gave me meds to delay the labour. They placed me on the hospital ward to keep me on bedrest just for a few days, just in case the baby wanted to come earlier than expected. One day later on the ward, my mom and husband went home and I was there, still in a lot of pain. I called the nurse and she told me I should tell her if I felt something pressing on my cervix because I had in the stitch and they didn’t want the baby to force and rip my cervix apart. I told her I was feeling something resting on my cervix.
They carried me down to the labour ward and they said 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 to try to get my pulse and fever down. But unfortunately, nothing was bringing them down, it just kept rising.
The doctor told me if they didn’t induce me now, I was going to die. He said that they could try to keep her in longer but I might not live for that to happen and the hospital has to lean to the side of saving my life more than my baby’s. That’s when I realized I had to make the hardest decision of my life- which I agreed- for them to induce me. The doctor told me to call my husband so that he could be in the delivery room with me, so I called him and he came right away.
When it was time and I was fully dilated to have baby, the doctor told me that if the baby weighed more than 500g, they would do everything they could to save her. Before I had her, they gave me a steroid injection to help with her lungs. At 23 weeks + 4 days, on Monday April 29, 2019, at 4:20am, little Zahariah came into the world. Of course I didn’t know for sure it was a girl because when I did my ultrasound she wouldn’t open her legs to show the gender, but I knew in my heart she was my baby girl. 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 her how much the baby weighed and she responded 600g. I looked at my husband and we both smiled at each other. At that time, we thought our baby would be okay. 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 realized that my baby girl Zahariah Eliana Reign Brown was gone forever! That day was my happiest and my worst all rolled in 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.
I made a promise that I will let her name Zahariah Eliana Reign Brown live on forever.
I will do whatever it takes to bring awareness to infant and child loss in Jamaica because ever so often things like these are just pushed under the carpet and not given the recognition they deserve.
I love you Zahariah and I will never forget you my angel baby!
Submitted by: Jizsell 🇯🇲