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  • Stories of Survival and Hope: When You Lose A Child

    Surviving the unexpected death of her baby, this mom shares life lessons she learned from her experience.
    by Tina Santiago-Rodriguez .
  • baby girl foot

    In 2011, I became pregnant with our fifth child. It was already a risky pregnancy to begin with, as I was almost 40 years old and overweight.

    One of the first signs that something was wrong was that I wasn't gaining enough weight. My OB decided to put me on vitamins and that helped me to gain a little more weight, but not so much — the baby was still on the small side.

    Past the fifth month of my pregnancy, I started bleeding. It wasn’t even painful, but it happened every day. At first, I was confined at the hospital, but the bleeding still didn’t stop even with medications and rest. The ultrasound showed that the placenta was at the edge of the cervix.

    I was sent home with very strict instructions to stay in bed all day until I give birth. The next few weeks were scary. My OB warned us that I might experience profuse bleeding, and if that should happen, the pregnancy would be terminated immediately, and I might need a hysterectomy to stop the bleeding. Otherwise, it could be fatal.

    One night, during my 27th week of pregnancy, I woke up in the middle of the night. I was already having a hard time sleeping prior to that. Even the slightest movement would cause blood to gush out from me. After only a few minutes, I was lying in a pool of my blood.

    I woke up my husband immediately, and upon seeing me, he froze in fear. I had to dictate to him what had to be done — call up my sister and ask them to take us to the hospital, wake up our eldest daughter to help us get ready, clean up the bloody mess on the bed. It was a very scary sight.

    A pool of blood
    At the hospital, the nurses told me to go to the toilet and wash myself up. Then I was placed in the labor room to wait for my OB. The bleeding had already stopped by that time, so we were a bit hopeful.

    However, by 3pm, the bleeding began again. It did not hurt, but I could feel the blood gushing out of me. That was when the doctor decided that it was time to deliver my baby.

    I asked to see my husband before the procedure, and when Dale came, he said that I looked so pale. His face showed the fear that he felt. We said a short prayer, and then he was led outside to wait.

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    Trusting God in everything
    As I was waiting to be brought to the operating room, I would drift to sleep occasionally, and during that time I remember hearing a song by Gary Valenciano playing on TV.

    I can't remember the exact lyrics anymore but the message was about trusting God for everything because He knows what is best for us. That gave me so much comfort.

    By that time, I had already accepted that I might not get out of there alive. I knew I was ready to meet my Heavenly Father.

    I said prayers for my family, that God would comfort them, give them peace, and help them move on. I asked Him to take care of my children and teach them to keep trusting Him. I asked for the life of my unborn baby, that he survive this ordeal even if I didn’t.
    I was in the operating room for three hours. I was too groggy to remember everything, but I know the baby was born alive, as I heard his cry, which gave me comfort.


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