Kristal and Diego were ecstatic awaiting the arrival of their son, who they’d already named Ian. When the final moments before birth came, Kristal remembers the doctor yelling, “Push! Keep pushing! He’s almost out!”
Seconds later, after hours of painful labor, she turned to Diego, whose face told her everything she needed to know. “Since Ian was so tiny, he kind of slid right out and they failed to catch him,” she wrote on Love What Matters. The doctor’s only response was, “‘It’s OK, you’re young, you’ll have more, YOU are OK.’” Kristal was astounded, answering, “How can you tell me I’m OK when I just lost my son?! I couldn’t believe what had just happened.”
This heartbreaking tale seems inexplicable. A trained doctor surrounded by a team of medical professional simply let a stillborn child fall to the ground. Kristal’s journey began months earlier when she learned she was pregnant at 24, after just three-and-a-half months of dating Diego. Although the news was a shock, there were also feelings of excitement.
Kristal, who still lived with her parents, said she was scared, worried and wholly unprepared. Nonetheless, she knew she wanted to keep the baby. “All I could think about was how my parents were going to react. I even started to look into apartments just in case.” Despite a period of adjustment, Kristal’s parents finally came around, also excited to have a grandchild.
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Thinking of my little smudge tonight playing in the stars. Love you. 👼🏻 • • • #earlypregnancyloss #earlypregnancylossawareness #ectopicpregnancy #ectopicpregnancyawareness #babylossawareness #babyloss #miscarriageawareness #miscarriage #infantloss #iamoneineighty #iamoneinfour #stillbirth #breakthesilence 💗💙
When they found out they were expecting a boy, the whole family celebrated. The pregnancy continued without incident until one Sunday when Kristal unexpectedly felt a stabbing pain in her stomach. The next morning, she went to the doctor, who reassured her that everything was OK. “He was perfectly perfect, tossing and turning in my belly,” she said. “His heart rate was great, and nothing seemed to be wrong. She said I was probably just experiencing growing pains since I was almost 21 weeks.”
Yet the following morning Kristal, awoke in agonizing pain, so she decided to call out sick from work and stay in bed. “I wish I would have done things differently. I wish I would have just listened to my gut telling me something was wrong,” she said.
Later that evening, she decided to go to the hospital after experiencing so much pain that she could barely move. “I started crying, I knew in my heart this was not normal, something was wrong with my Ian Max,” she said. “I was full-blown bawling and terrified of what could be happening to my baby.”
Despite reassurance from nurses that the baby was still moving, a doctor realized Kristal was leaking amniotic fluid. She was told that there was an infection, that Kristal’s body was fighting the pregnancy and that Ian was unlikely to survive the birth. “How did I go from being so excited to turn 21 weeks and see my baby growing in my belly to knowing I would not leave the hospital with him?” she asked. “I didn’t want to do anything, I wanted this to be a nightmare I’d wake up from I was really losing my baby – that is when I completely lost it.”
Kristal and Diego weren’t prepared to lose their baby boy. “I’m so sorry, I never predicted this,” Kristal’s obstetrician said. “She told me I had an incompetent cervix – and my placenta was covered in bacteria, and my body chose me over my pregnancy. At that moment I felt a little peace knowing I had an answer.”
Kristal and Diego spent two days in the hospital saying goodbye to Ian, yet even having the chance to say goodbye didn’t make things easier. Countless family and friends also stopped by to offer their condolences. Yet despite having the support of her loved ones, the realization that she would be leaving the hospital without her son was heartbreaking.
“While we were packing up our things, the little song would play whenever a baby was born and my heart would break all over again because I knew those people would be going home with their newborns and I wasn’t,” she said. “I know Ian knows how much I love and miss him, I know he is in my heart and that gives me comfort. This is my story, real and raw.”