Tag Archive | hellp syndrome

19,613,070 Seconds

Our lives have changed so much in the last 4 years.  I’d always wanted to have children of my own.  I’d always wanted to hear little voices calling, “Mommy” from upstairs.  I’d expected my life would be care free, worry free, and pretty easy.  Never did I ever imagine my first baby would die.

4 years have passed since we received the word that our 1st baby had some pretty severe abnormalities inside of her tiny little body.  Our 20 week anatomy scan was supposed to be a very exciting hour of watching our baby move and wiggle on the tv screen.  We watched in awe as the tech showed us her face, fingers, and feet.  When she finished, she told us to hang tight until the doctor could see us.  We walked out of this appointment with sad eyes following us out of the building, and tears flowing down our cheeks.  I looked at my husband as we walked arm in arm and exclaimed, “We’re having a baby girl!”  I was so excited and sobbing hysterically at the same time.

We met with our peri-natologist.  After 2 hours of scanning my belly, and eventually scheduling an amniocentesis, we learned our 1st baby was indeed going to die.  She had a very rare and severe chromosome abnormality called Trisomy 13.  We then were faced with the decision of what to do next.  I’ll be honest…for 30 seconds, the thought of inducing and delivering her early crossed my mind.  Then I woke up from my daze and remembered she was OUR BABY!  There was no way in Hell were we going to remove her from her most safe, sacred space before she was ready to be welcomed earth-side.

Sephora grew happily in my belly for 32 weeks and 3 days, until I developed Severe pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome.  My liver and kidneys were shutting down, my blood platelet count dropped, and my blood pressure was 190/98.

32 Weeks

Sephora Angeline was born on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 10:25pm via ceserean birth.  She was blue and not responding well to the oxygen they had given her, so my husband brought her over to me to hold.  The nursing staff thought we’d only have seconds with her alive.  She was so small.  3lbs 9oz, 16in.

Sephora Angeline

Knowing she wasn’t going to live very long, I did the one thing I knew would console her.  I sang.  Our little Sephora came to life when she heard my voice.  She passed away peacefully in my arms 4 1/2 hours later.  Although our time with her was short, I loved every single second we spent with her.  All 19,613,070 seconds with her.  She was perfect.

We have grown a lot as a family since writing my last post, both emotionally and literally.  We have another beautiful little girl who will be turning 1 year old very soon, Mr. Miles is 2 1/2, and Sephora would have been 3 1/2.


Stay tuned for more updates!


Capture Your Grief 2013, Day 9: Music

From the moment I found out I was pregnant with Sephora, I sang to her every day.  The one song that I would repeat to my belly over and over again was “You Are My Sunshine.”  When arriving at the hospital and being diagnosed with preeclampsia and severe HELLP Syndrome, we knew that day, Friday, May 18, 2012 was going to be Sephora’s birthday.  When we were told I’d be taken back for a c-section, my husband sat on the hospital bed next to me and cried.  She was taken from us 8 weeks earlier than we had planned.  We didn’t know what God had in store for us and how long she would live.  We held our breath until I felt them pull her from my belly and rush her over to the drying/warming table.  All I remember is wanted to see her!  Little did I know, Sephora wasn’t doing very well.  They had dried her quickly and gave her a little bit of oxygen, but she wasn’t responding to their treatment.  The nurse told my husband to rush Sephora over to me because she thought we would only have seconds with her, and she knew how important it was for me to hold her.  He held Sephora close enough for me to kiss her.  When I started singing to her on the operating table, her color started to get better, and she even started to cry a little!  She recognized my voice and was comforted by the song she had heard every day.

Capturing Your Grief, Day 2: Identity

The month of October is used to remember many important things in our lives.  We mention awareness to Domestic Violence and Breast Cancer, but one that is not mentioned very often is Infant Loss Awareness.  There are many reasons for a baby’s passing that we’ll never fully understand.  For the month of October, I choose to celebrate my beautiful rainbow baby, and also remember our precious little girl who never got to come home–Sephora Angeline.  Our “Beautiful Angel.”

093 copy

Sephora Angeline…Her name came from my husband.  We were walking around our local mall, and passed a large make-up store called “Sephora.”  He looked at me with a large twinkle in his eye.  I knew he had instantly fallen in love with the name.  I, on the other hand, was not in love with it.  One day, before leaving the house, he screamed her name from the bathroom…”Sephora Angeline!  Get down here!!!”  He poked his head around the corner with delight and said, “See baby!  It sounds great!  Even when she’s in trouble!”  From that day on, I had fallen in love with it.

Sephora’s birth was quite unexpected, although we knew she wouldn’t live very long, due to the Trisomy 13 diagnosis.  She was delivered via emergency c-section at 32 weeks, 3 days due to me developing a severe case of pre-eclampsia and HELLP Syndrome.  She weighed 3lbs, 9oz and was 16 inches long.  She had dark brown, curly hair.  12 fingers.  10 toes.  She was tiny, but perfect!

Psalms 34:18 – The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

Sephora’s 1st Birthday

May 18, 2013

Sephora’s 1st Birthday was a day that we were really unsure how we’d actually feel.  We woke up that morning to a crying Miles, who was ready to eat.  We sat in the bed together and cried a little bit as we remembered our first-born baby, whose life was taken only 4 1/2 hours after her birth.  We were reminded of her little noises she would make.  Sometimes Miles even has a little whimper similar to Sephora’s.  That sound really does take me back to that scary day.

013 copy

We’d known for almost 3 months that our daughter was not going to live very long after she was born, due to her extra chromosome and diagnosis of Trisomy 13.  Hearing the news at 20 weeks of gestation that our baby was going to die is something that was extremely hard to swallow.  Sephora Angeline was born at 32 weeks and 3 days on Friday, May 18, 2102, at 10:25pm, due to me being diagnosed with severe HELLP Syndrome.  She was blue at first and not really breathing on her own.  The nurses told us we would only have seconds to be with her while she was alive.  I did the only thing I’d done every day with her.  I sang.  She immediately responded to my voice, and she started to regain some color in her tiny little 3 pound 9 ounce, and 16 inch long body.  She passed away peacefully in my arms at 2:50am on May 19.

It was a beautiful day to remember her life short life touched by many, and to celebrate it with her new baby brother, Miles.



32 weeks 3 days…

Written in March 2013


I’ve been doing a lot of reflection during this pregnancy. Even though being sad comes along with the grieving process, I’m grateful for the sadness and tears, and I embrace them whole heartedly. Sephora would have been 10 months old this month. Some days it feels as though her pregnancy and her life never existed. It is in the moments of the sadness, that I’m able to relive the day of her birth. In those moments, I’m reminded of how real she was and how beautiful and perfect her precious life was as well.

Tomorrow, 32 weeks 3 days, was the exact gestation that I was diagnosed with the HELLP syndrome, which determined Sephora’s birthday. What crazy about this, is I feel completely different! I never realized how sick I actually was at this point in my pregnancy with Sephora. Today, my ankles are skinny. I have gained half the amount of weight now that I had with Sephora, because I’m not retaining the amount of fluid that had built up with her as well. Please don’t misunderstand me. I loved every second that I got to spend with our precious little Sephora Angeline. Because I’m not sick during this pregnancy, I’m enjoying our precious little Miles even more! With just under 2 months until Miles makes his appearance, I am embracing and welcoming the grief that I feel today.


A Beautiful Blessing

28 weeks!

28 weeks!

Hello to all of Sephora’s faithful blog followers!  Yesterday was the day we got to see inside my belly, and get a good look at Sephora’s hand picked baby brother!!!  When we were pregnant with Sephora, I was contacted by a wonderful organization, “Sustaining Grace,” who offered to pay for us to see our precious little Sephora in 3D!  When my family came along to see her that day, we learned that Sephora was laying sideways across my belly (transverse), with her feet completely covering her face.  She literally managed to fold herself like a pretzel somehow!  We intended to go back for another 3D/4D scan the following Tuesday to get a better look, but 3 days after that ultrasound, my body had a different plan.  I ended up in the hospital with severe preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome.  As it turned out, I’d get to see her beautiful face that evening.  Sephora was born that day.  8 weeks early.  Friday, May 18, 2012.

After arriving home from Sephora’s Hello/Goodbye in the hospital, I contacted the 3D/4D ultrasound business that performed our scan for us.  I explained why we were not going to be returning for another ultrasound, and they were very sympathetic and accommodating.  A few days later, I received a card and packet in the mail from Womb With A View.  The card expressed the sympathy of our loss from their business, as well as another gift certificate for the exact same ultrasound package to be used for our next baby.  I was so grateful they decided to offer this package to us again!  Today is the day we finally get to use it!  I’m hoping he is in a good position and can get a look at his precious little face!  We will be surrounded by the family and friends that gave us the needed support, and helped us to walk through our journey with Sephora through the pregnancy and after her passing.  Thank you to everyone for your words of encouragement, thoughts, prayers, well wishes, home made dinners, gift certificates, massages, financial support, movie tickets, scrapbooks, cards, plaques, and other beautiful gifts to help us to never forget our precious little Sephora Angeline.  We are eternally grateful for you generosity and very loving and giving hearts.  We love you all more than words could ever express.  Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do.  Your selfless acts will not go unrewarded.  Thank you for being a blessing to us.  We hope you enjoy being a part of watching our precious little Miles learn and grow as we all love him here on Earth.  God Bless!

James 1:17-18  Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heaves.  He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.  He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word.  And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.


Sephora’s Baby Brother, Miles!

I’ll Carry You In My Heart Forever

Ephesians 3:20 ” Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”

I’ve heard many people say, “Children are blessings and miracles from God.”  What ultimately does that mean?  Do most actually believe that statement?  Or is that statement just something we are taught to say and take for granted?  Through our marriage, getting pregnant, being excited about our pregnancy, having our 1st ultrasound and being told everything looked great, having our 2nd ultrasound and being told our baby wasn’t going to live, getting sick with preeclampsia and HELLP Syndrome, giving birth to our baby, holding Sephora in our arms, singing to her, and then giving her back to God to take back to Heaven, I’d say we’ve come out as good as we can be under the circumstances.  We are living our lives, grieving the life of our daughter, and believing through our story, lives will be changed around us.  I’ve spoken about how we’ve been able to come out on the other side, but what does that look like?  To the average person, we look like a “normal,” newlywed couple.  We have a house and a dog.  We go to church, connect with our life group and friends, and work to pay our bills.

I believe Sephora was given to us to change lives.  She was given to us to teach others what it means to love, and to be loved.  She was given to us so other families could come out from the woodwork and speak openly about their own babies that were taken from this world too soon.  She was given to us to help these families to grieve more openly through the example of our story.  Sephora has opened the door to a whole new world we never knew existed.  I never knew Sephora’s life could create such a spiritual awakening in those around us.  We are part of the “club that nobody wants to be in.”  Unfortunately, we are not alone in that club.  Although Sephora Angeline is in Heaven, her spirit is with me always.  I’ve been told others have experienced her spirit around them as well.  We love our precious daughter and will carry her in our hearts forever.