I Didn’t Just Lose a Pregnancy: Jennifer

Jennifer’s Story:

Jasmine was my 4th baby. I found out I was pregnant with her 2 weeks after my 35th birthday.

My pregnancy with her was completely different than my 3 previous pregnancies. I had constant nausea and vomiting, migraines, and then my blood pressure was elevated. The hypertension led to my doctors prescribing me several blood pressure medications and putting me on bedrest. Despite those things my blood pressure was never able to be controlled and it was ultimately decided that Jasmine had a better chance of survival in the NICU than in my uterus.

On October 31, 2014 at 5:19 p.m. my baby girl Jasmine was born via classical C-section. She was my first C-section so I didn’t know what to expect (despite being an OB RN for 11 years) but I knew that the completely silent operating room was not a good sign.

I was still on the operating room table waiting for my surgery to end and after what seemed like an eternity the neonatologist came over to speak with us. She told us that she was so sorry but they tried to resuscitate Jasmine for 16 minutes and they couldn’t save her.

At that moment my life changed forever. The first night was a blur.

I remember being wheeled to the recovery room and seeing Jasmine.

I vaguely remember that first night being in my hospital room with my family, the chaplain, my nurses, and one of my very good friends.

I definitely remember my 11 year old daughter holding Jasmine and asking when her baby sister was going to wake up.

I definitely remember telling her that Jasmine was not going to wake up because she passed away.

I definitely remember the look on my 11 year old’s face and the tears that streamed down from her beautiful big brown eyes.

The next day was when it all hit me like a ton of bricks….my beautiful baby girl was dead. She was perfect. She looked like a tiny, sleeping doll. She was too small to fit a diaper or even any of the clothes the hospital had for her. Jasmine had my head, my nose, my legs, and my feet. She was a much smaller version of her siblings….but she was cold, freezing cold.

Jasmine stayed in the room with us that day. I didn’t want her to be alone. I wanted to spend every second with her because I knew that once we went home we’d never see her again. We held her, took pictures of her, examined her from her head to her toes, we cried, we smiled, we even laughed at her for being so difficult during my pregnancy. That was the day her nose started bleeding. I wasn’t expecting that but I got a box of tissues and wiped the blood away as often as possible. Jasmine’s body was starting to get stiff. I tried to ignore it but I knew what was happening. Her facial features were changing too. Her full pink lips were starting to thin out and turn blue. Her nose was getting darker. At some point after I fell asleep that night my nurse took Jasmine for the night.

When I woke up the next morning I couldn’t stop crying. I didn’t even know why I was crying. My nurse came in and asked what she could do to help and all I could manage to say was, “Please, bring me my baby.” Once I held Jasmine I noticed that she didn’t look the way she did the night before. She was changing faster than I expected. I knew that since I had a c-section my insurance would cover a 4 day hospital stay but Jasmine had been born barely 36 hours ago and looked drastically different, how would she look if we stayed for 2 more days? I decided that I would go home that afternoon. I wanted to remember Jasmine as my perfectly beautiful baby girl and I was afraid that if we stayed in the hospital that she wouldn’t look that way. Before we left, I changed Jasmine’s clothes. Her little body was stiff and cold. Her full pink lips were now thin and blue, her nose was much darker than it was when she was born and it was still bleeding. I knew it was time to say goodbye.

No amount of time with Jasmine would have been enough.

I would give anything to hold her again, to have her here with me. The time we had with her can never be replaced. It can never be redone. It was the only time we will ever have with her. I don’t have a picture of all 4 of my children together. I’ll never have that picture. I don’t have a picture of Jasmine with her parents and her siblings….just a regular family portrait that most families have. Jasmine never had a bath, she never wore a diaper…..just some of the things I wish I would’ve thought of doing when we were with her. In her memory my hospital (not the one where she was born since I changed jobs after I lost her) helped me create a room for other angel parents to spend time, bond, and say goodbye to their babies. With the help of the public we were also able to donate a CuddleCot to the hospital in Jasmine’s name. She was a tiny little thing but her brief life is helping to make a difference to other angel baby families.

What receiving a Project Robby Keepsake Set meant to her:

It meant the world to me. This has been a really hard time for me. Jasmine should have started kindergarten this year. She should be turning 6 on Halloween. Receiving the Project Robby keepsake set was just what I needed. A sweet reminder that Jasmine is not forgotten. It seems like when I’m in my darkest moments she finds a way to reach out. This time she did it through the Project Robby keepsake set.