We planned for our toddler Makenna to have a baby sister exactly 3 years younger than her to come into the world in February 2018. Being pregnant is always extremely exciting for me because I work as an OBGYN ultrasound techncian. So, I constantly get to see my baby grow and develope inside me on a regular basis. I feel that my time alone scanning myself and spending time getting to know my baby really built such a unique bond. I really knew what Ravi was doing when I felt certain movements becuase I saw her so often live!
I also monitored her health of course. She was growing perfectly just like her big sister did! Until one day at work when baby was about 19 weeks, I had a few minutes to peek at her and my heart dropped! I saw a collection of fluid in her left ventricle in her brain. I thought I was just seeing things. I hoped I was! I looked again and it was still there. Then, my next patient came into the office and I had to stop and pretend to act normal, The days after that at home I was looking in all my old text books and reading articles online. Everything I read was extrememly bad. Finally her daddy, my fiance "Fonzo" asked me, "what are you looking up? Is everything okay with the baby?" I had to tell him, "I don't know."
At 20 weeks we had our next ultrasound and they definitely saw what I saw and they referred us to a Perinatologist. He scanned the baby in his office, and even called in another doctor. They both looked at us in pitty. I thought they would say, yes the baby had an issue draining spinal fluid but we can fix it. They didn't say this at all. They told us that the issue is the fluid is on one side which is rare and evident of a different issue. It also looked like there was a blood clot on her precious brain. They told us she wont make it much longer and if she makes it to birth that wont last long either.
We have been in shock every since. I cannot belive this happend. Nothing like this has happend in our families to any babies before. We spent the next few weeks in the doctors offices almost every day doing testing, blood work, genetics, amniocentises and MRI. The MRI revealved Baby Ravi has a rare condition where the brain doesn't develope correctly called Lobar Holoprosencephaly. When the doctor told us this I was so scared and confused. I remember learning about this in school. This was one of the worse anomolies. But it made no sense. Ravenna has a perfect pretty little face! Usually with this, the babies have deformaties of the face, head and brain.
I really felt like I couln't breath. I just kept thinking about what does this mean and how Makenna is not going to have the sister to play with the way she was supposed to! I just wanted them to finally say that this can be fixed somehow. That when she is born we can do sugery and everything will be fine.
The next time we went into the office for more councelling we saw the baby passed away. The feelings that came over us are undescribable. The doctors scheduled me to be induced for labor on Friday October 13th, 2017. Baby Ravenna Kalilyn Santana came into the world at 8:12PM on October 14th, 2017. We spent the next day with her in the hospital mourning our loss and not wanting her to go.
Fonzo, ironically enough, has been on disability for a month because he has gallbladder surgery. So although he has been home with me for support and appointments, we both had to be missing work. Which means we are extremely short on money for bills and her funeral arraigements. Luckily we were able to borrow some from family for her burial, we are in need of help to pay it back. We also had choosen a "Precious Moments" casket for the baby. Unfortunately, it turned out that it was too large for several cemetaries grave spots! I never imagined this would be an issue. So, we had to pay a restocking fee to the company as well as FedEx. Lastly, we still need to give Ravi a nice grave marker.
If anyone is able to donate a little it would be very appreciated and helpful.
Thank you for taking the time to read about our life events.
- Marina Santana
- Sheri Feeney
- Terri Stone
- Marta Baker