You got the call in the early afternoon on July 24, 2013 to a home in Rancho Bernardo. A baby was born at home and was in respiratory distress.
I could hear your siren before you arrived. Someone threw a towel over my shoulders, but otherwise, I was naked and kneeling next to the couch while the midwives worked on my little girl. It seemed like hundreds of you walked into my home. You took my baby and ran out, with my husband in the midst of it all. Kalis went in the back of your ambulance while my husband rode up front.
You tried to save her with all your heart, I know that in my heart, as you took her to the hospital that was about two miles away.
I don’t know if you stayed to find out what happened or if you were called away.
In case you never found out, I want to let you know that Kalis died.
I want you to know that it was not your fault, or mine. She was born without kidneys which caused her lungs to be underdeveloped. She never took her first breath. Had I gotten an ultrasound, we would have known. The medical frenzy that took place after her birth would never have happened. But, while that would have been best for you, the midwives, and the doctors who worked on her, that would not have been best for her. You see, a baby’s environment in the womb is strongly impacted by the mother’s emotional state. I gave my baby a happy life while she was in my belly. I’m glad, because that’s all the life she had. If I had gotten an ultrasound and found out she would die before or shortly after birth, her life would have been full of grief and misery. It was a miracle that we didn’t know and I’m so thankful for that.
I want you to know that homebirth is safe. Chances are, that was your only experience with homebirth. I’m sorry if the trauma of my experience has caused you to fear homebirth. There is a relatively large homebirth community in San Diego, so the fact that you’ve probably never been called to another one is an indication of how safe homebirth actually is. Yes, traumatic experiences occur at home and at the hospital. Sometimes there is nothing anyone can do, no matter where the birth takes place. But for healthy, low-risk pregnancies, giving birth at home can be the safest option. If you don’t believe me, look into it. But please don’t let your experience with Kalis define your ideas of homebirth.
I want you to know that she was with me, not you, while you were working on her. Initially I was horrified by all her little body was forced to endure as people worked to save her life. Then I realized, from the moment I first picked her up and held her to my chest, I felt a warm, pink glow. That glow stayed at my heart when I put her down. It stayed there as the midwives worked on her. It was still there when you took her to the hospital and when I followed later. Even though her body was still alive as you all fought to keep her with us, her spirit was with me. She didn’t feel any of it. I know that in my heart and I hope that brings you comfort as well.
Thank you for all you did for my family. My little girl did not intend to stay in this life for longer than it took to hug me goodbye. I pray that you are able to release any trauma you may have held onto as a result of the baby you couldn’t save and that she touches your heart and teaches you something in the same way that she has taught everyone else who knew her, in the time since her passing.
Best wishes to you all.
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