2020 Team 12 - Team Juliana

 

In 2010, we decided we were ready to begin fertility treatment. After spending in excess of $25,000 on failed attempts at IUI and IVF, we decided to call it quits and to do some traveling.
Upon our return from Central America (on April 18, 2013) we learned we were pregnant. We were beyond excited. We began dreaming about our new future; we already had so much love for our baby. Every ultrasound came back perfect and, at 20 weeks,we found out we were having a baby girl.
Due to gestational diabetes, I had extra ultrasounds and testing. In my final weeks these appointments became weekly. Following an ultrasound and NST on December 12, we were told “she couldn’t be anymore perfect”. On December 13, I began to experience early labor and discomfort but enjoyed watching my baby somersault in my belly while watching Christmas movies. That day I finished her Christmas shopping and prepared her nursery. Everything was perfect and we knew she would arrive at any moment.
On December 14, 2013, I woke to the feel of my daughters kicks. Then my water broke. Excitedly I woke my husband and rushed off to the washroom to change my pajamas. Only then did I realize that I was covered in blood, and there was a trail of blood behind me. Frantically, we texted our doula; we got dressed, packed the car, called the midwife, and raced to the hospital, knowing something was wrong but not realizing just what it all meant.
Lying in triage, I could see the panic on the nurses face as she tried desperately to find my baby’s heart beat. She called the doctor in and he tried as well; I could now see his panic and that of my doula. It was then that we would hear the words that that will forever haunt us for the rest of our lives: “I’m so, so sorry, there is no heartbeat”. I was shocked in that moment; I couldn’t cry, I couldn’t scream, I couldn’t move … because I just couldn’t breathe. What I do remember is the doctor asking the nurse for the time so he could note the time of death; he placed his hand on my leg, and my husband fell to the floor, crying for our baby and our lost dreams. Our doula, midwife, and nurses were amazing that day and they didn’t leave our side. After 12 hours of a very painful labour and traumatic birth, on December 14, 2013 at 7:58pm, our beautiful daughter was born into this world, completely quiet and still. Juliana Violet Garcia de Paredes, weighing 7lbs, 14oz. There were no cries from her and no excitement in the room, just tears and sobs from those who already loved her so much. I will never forget that moment that she was placed in my arms, lifeless but still perfect. I counted 10 fat fingers and 10 chubby toes; her daddy cleaned her up, put on her only diaper and got her dressed - all for the first and last time. I was told she had my colour eyes, and my hands and toes but everything else about her looked like daddy! We had 4 hours with her, holding her, talking to her, taking pictures. During that time, we also had her baptized. Those 4 hours would be the only time we would ever have with her, until we meet again.
Juliana was full term and died from what is believed to have been an acute partial placental abruption. The reason why this happened is unknown but is believed to have been the result of my uterus contracting too hard when my water broke, which then resulted in the placenta separating from the uterine wall. Juliana lost her oxygen supply and died immediately.
Some people would say that I didn’t know her, but I carried her and I felt her grow; we longed for the day we would meet her, we dreamed of her future and we fell in love with her. Our hopes and dreams were lost that day, and we had to find our footing in this world all over again. More than 6 years have passed and we continue to long for her and what could have been. Our lives would be forever changed after that day.
We reached out to Pregnancy and Infant Loss Network Peer Led Support and within 2 years we decided to become facilitators to help provide support to grieving parents. That is where we met Grace’s Parents, Amy and Chris.
Like so many other grieving parents, we take comfort in talking about our daughter and hearing people say her name. We are truly honoured to have Juliana recognized at Hockey for Grace this year and to be apart of fundraising for Emily’s House. Thank you to everyone who is supporting Team Juliana whether you are playing on her team, donating to her team, or cheering the team on. Thank you to Grace’s parents for always remembering Juliana with us.

Sincerely,
Amanda & Agustin Garcia de Paredes

 
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