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Stephanie's Story

Tannis Robert Navarro
                                                                    2lbs 3oz 13 inches
                                                              DOB 6-11-2010 11:04am
                                                              DOD 6-11-2010 2:15pm

Here is my story and the journey of the death of my son Tannis Robert Navarro.

It all began on November 17th 2009.  That was the day I discovered that I was pregnant. I was so excited that I was going to be a Mommy. Since I was young I couldn’t wait till the day I was going to be a Mommy myself.

I was always the kid in the family, the one that everyone called to babysit.  Ever since I was 12, I would babysit babies that were one month old. Now it was going to be my turn.  I would have my own, and not have to leave and do what I did -babysitting all day everyday.

December 16th was my first ultrasound.  This was where I would be given my due date and hear the heartbeat. It was amazing and to this day I still have the heart beat on my phone. I refuse to delete it. The babies heart beat was 162, and due date was July 24th 2010.

I couldn’t be any happier. I was thinking “wow this is going to take forever its only December, July is so far away”.

On  March 11th 2010 it all started.  I had the ultrasound where they measure the baby, and you are able to find out the sex and make sure everything is good and healthy. Well, in my case that wasn’t what happened.

I was 20 wks and 4 days but the baby measured only 17 weeks and 1 day. I had low fluid around the baby.  It was about a 7, where it should have been a 14 or more, and they were saying there were anomalies with the baby’s foot and growth.

The doctor kept insisting for me to have an amniosentisis, they thought  that the baby might have down syndrome.  If the test came back positive then we could discuss termination.

I started to cry and said “wait a minute, termination. I don’t think so, if this is what God wanted me to have, then this is what I am going to have. I’m not terminating a baby just because it’s different.”   He still insisted I have the test, but I said no.

We continued with the ultrasound and I said I would like to know the sex of my baby. The doctor looked because earlier the baby was being stubborn and crossed their legs! Finally they opened one and a half hours later …its  a BOY!!!

I wanted to be so happy, but I was still upset from what I had been told and the whole termination discussion. They insisted I come back for a 2 week follow up to see if anything had changed.

Two weeks later we went back and I was so nervous. I’m praying – please let everything be ok . We went into the room and the technician starts doing the ultrasound. The little bugger is moving like crazy, he actually even kicks the monitor as the nurse is trying to take pictures.

It was so amazing…as I watched I was thinking my baby is just fine.

 Well, I guess I got my hopes up too much, the doctor then comes in and says nothing has changed. My fluid is still low and the baby is still measuring 3 weeks behind. And there is something wrong with the babies heart. The left side is bigger than the right side. There is a golf ball size hole, and fluid around the heart, clubbed foot and  his genitals were abnormal.

He is now saying trisome 13 or 18 and tells me my baby will not survive the pregnancy. If he did survive the pregnancy he would not survive after birth.  The doctor still insists for me to do the amnio. But I’m thinking in my head “why didn’t you tell me about his heart 2 weeks ago?” It just didn’t seem right to me .

I had that mother instinct and wanted to get a second opinion.

So I did. I had called Hershey heart group and Hershey medical center (the high risk specialist for problem pregnancies). The heart was the first thing I wanted to get looked at, because that is the main organ. I made an appointment and went 2 weeks later. The doctor/surgeon did the ultrasound himself .

He had said that my Tannis heart was fine and that his heart is bigger because he is small. I was shocked and wondered how  a doctor could misdiagnose something so important. From then on I was done with that doctor, and couldn’t wait to get the other stuff checked out. I had finally got an appointment at Hershey medical center  a week after I was at the heart specialist.

I didn’t get good  news there either, but they saw different stuff there . There was something wrong with his foot, but it wasn’t clubbed it was turned up. He was tiny, and my fluid was still low. They couldn’t see his left kidney but he was producing urine . They wanted me to do an amino, but they weren’t able to because of how low my fluid was. They didn’t want to touch it.

So all I was able to do was just go there every 2 weeks and get ultrasounds so they could watch the baby. Also they decided that I was going to be having a C-section and maybe a classical because of how tiny he was .

They had told me that the chance of survival was close to zero but not zero. As his mother I  had hope.  I thought miracles do happen. My baby was going to be a miracle .

I continued to go every 2 weeks.  I was 31 weeks and eventually had no fluid left. The doctor said that babies could last up to 35 weeks with out fluid, and wanted me to make it  to then so that his lungs would develop.  But I insisted I get the steroids for his lungs, and I had received them.

At this time they started having me come twice a week doing stress tests and ultrasounds. On Monday June 7th 2010, Tannis failed the stress test, and barely passed the biophysical profile test – but he did pass. The doctor said that  we will be having him any day now.

I had my second appointment that week on Friday June 11th 2010.  At 9 am.  First I had the stress test and he failed again, then I had the biophysical test and he really failed this time. I was in the ultrasound for 40 minutes and usually it only 30 min but he just wouldn’t move.

The doctor came in and said “we need to take him out now he will not survive inside of u another day”. I said “ok that’s fine”. They also informed me that they couldn’t be sure that he would be alive an hour from now . I was so scared all I could say was “ok, well lets get him out now”.

They took me to labor and delivery and prepped me, and got my boyfriend his gown.  They told him that they are going to prep me with the spinal and then come and get him. Well, they get the spinal in and lay me down and the nurse has the monitor on to monitor  Tannis’ heart beat. As soon as she got it, all I heard was babies heart rate dropped and then I was cut and they are getting him out.

My boyfriend was unable to come in because now I was having an emergency c section. I was so scared, I remember everything. I even remember the doctor saying “oh he’s tiny” . Next all I feel is pressure from them pushing him out. Then he was out. I heard nothing and kept asking the nurse “what’s going on, is he ok”. She said she couldn’t see anything, there were so many doctors around him. Finally she saw and they were intubating him because he couldn’t breathe and she told me he was very tiny.

All I could do was pray “please god take care of Tannis, please let him pull through”.  After about an hour the pediatrician comes over to me, and says “he isn’t doing good, his lungs are very underdeveloped and he can’t breathe on his own. They are going to take him up to the nicu to get him on a ventilator, if they make up there in time”. I said “ok”.

They continued to work on him in the delivery room and finished stitching me up. They take down the cover in front of me and I could see him. They put him in the incubator. He had so much hair, and his eyes were open towards me. I just wanted to jump up and go with him. Then they took him out of the room and took me to my recovery room, where my mom and boyfriend were waiting for me.

My boyfriend wanted to go see him, and they told him to wait a little because they were still working on him. About 10 minutes later the nurse came in and said “we are going to take you”. I had this feeling something was wrong. They picked me up out of bed and put me in a wheel chair. I was still numb and then began to throw up .

After I had calmed down from throwing up, they began to wheel me to the NICU. We walked through the doors and all you see are all these doctors behind curtains, rushing around trying to work on him . The doctor comes over to me and says “he is not going to make it”. They did everything they could, and were still doing as much as they could. As he is telling us he wasn’t going to make it, his lungs are not developed, they had him on all of the ventilators. His lungs couldn’t handle it. They ended up tearing which caused them to bleed and leak the air that was getting into them.

I began to ball and said “I want to hold my baby and spend time with him”. They told me this was the best thing I could do. They wheeled me over to him, as the nurse is hand pumping oxygen.  He turned his head towards me, and I have my finger in his little hand. I noticed he had deformities  with his fingers.

Then they wheel me into a private room, and not even 5 seconds later the nurse is behind me with Tannis wrapped up in a blue blanket and a blue hat. She placed him in my arms and he just looked so peaceful he looked like he was sleeping. I just kept kissing him and telling him how much I loved him and balled my eyes out and said “please don’t go, please don’t go”.

I then again got sick and had to give him to his daddy. My family all got to hold him. We took a bunch of pictures, and then we wanted to have him baptized. The priest came in, had a prayer said and had him baptized.

The nurse then came in with a stethoscope as his daddy was holding him and listen for his heart beat, but he was gone. They pronounced him passed at 2:15pm. I just said why. I started to get sick again and they insisted that I go back to my room and  lay down and that we could take the baby with us, but I couldn’t. I let my boyfriend stay with him in the room to spend as much time has he wanted. I went back to my room to get everything sorted with the cremation.

I was taking my baby home no matter what and get all the paper work done for autopsy and birth cert etc. I was kind of in shock when I went back to my room. One minute I was crying, the next I was ok . I think it was kind of like I knew what happened, but then I didn’t want to believe it. It was about 7 pm and my boyfriend had came back to my room because they need to take Tannis to the morgue to arrange the post mortem. He was very cold. I wish I spent more time with him, but I think it would have been harder on me.

I look back now and think “how did I ever get through, how did I do it? at that moment I thought I’m never going to stop crying, I’m never going to move on”. But I did.

To this day we or the doctors still have no idea what had happened with Tannis and my pregnancy. There was nothing wrong genetically or with the chromosomes, so the odds of this happening again is 1 in a billion.

Here is how I got through everything. What really helps me is talking about Tannis, and talking to other women that have been though the same thing because really they are the ones that know the feeling. They also know what to say. There is nothing worse than trying to vent to someone that don’t know what to say, and they end up saying the wrong things. Things like “he would have suffered, your young you could have more, it was for the best” blah blah …but what they don’t get is that no matter what he is still my baby, my first, my little boy. Nothing or no one will replace or fill that hole, that will be there forever. 

I have read books about losing a child,  reading other women’s stories or even just talking to my little boy when I’m alone or taking a walk and writing my feelings down in a  journal . Getting it out is what really helped me. If I feel like crying I cry, if I feel like screaming, I scream in my pillow and punch it. Believe me it helps so much. Also your partner is another one to go to, because you are both going through the same thing. Men grieve a little differently. They know how we feel but not fully. We are the ones who carry the child and get that bond, but in the end you only really have each other.

I would like to say thank you to all of you who have read my story, and most of all Mel for asking me to write my story about Tannis. It really means a lot. It really helps a lot to be able to help other women with their grieving, and getting through the days of not having our angels with us here on earth.

3 Responses to Stephanie's Story

  • sophie reynolds says:

    Thankyou soo much for sharing Tannis with us, what an amazing strong mummy you are, and wow what a strong little soldier Tannis was , I think he knew when he was inside you how much you were fighting for him, and not willing to give up-even to the extent of believing “my baby could be the miracle that defies the statistics”…..
    He was a miracle wasnt he? he fought a good fight, just like his mummy did.
    Thankyou again for sharing,you and Tannis are amazing,X

  • Stephanie Savage says:

    Your welcome Sophie and thank you for taking the time to read my story…

  • thank you

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