Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Maggie Grace Barber

It's about 3 o'clock on January 8th 2012, I am 41 weeks pregnant and trying to take a nap because I will be going into the hospital at 6 o'clock that evening to get induced. I am anxious and excited to met my baby girl! I end up getting up from my nap earlier than I wanted to because as I lay there and push on my belly I can't seem to get her to move, which was not like my little girl. I felt her move early that morning around 7, when I was still trying to sleep. So I get out of bed in a panic and tell JC (My husband) that we need to go to the hospital early to make sure baby is still ok. So we leave the house in a bit of a hurry, not the way I wanted to be leaving... I give my puppy Zoey a kiss on the head and say good bye to her. 

We get to the hospital around 3:30, they were expecting us but not quit this early. They get me hooked up with the monitors and we find baby's heartbeat easily and I'm relieved to hear my baby girl's heartbeat! They assure JC and I that baby seems to be doing fine, they take me off the monitors and tell JC he can go get me some dinner. So JC leaves to get dinner, fed Zoey, and stop by the church to tell his youth group what is going on. While he is gone, they decided to put the monitors back on my belly because they were concerned about her heart rate. So that gets me worried... by the time JC got back (he wasn't gone even an hour) they tell me I can't have the dinner he just picked up for me and that I was going in for an emergency C-seciton. 

Instant panic came over me, I began to shake and tears came streaming down my face. The nurse tried to console me as they gave me an oxygen mask and tells me to try and stay calm. How could I stay calm?! This day was turning out much different than I had anticipated it going! My sweet Doctor, Dr.Crossley comes in to explain what they are planning on doing and that we need to get the baby out quickly because her heart rate was getting too low. The entire time this is all happening my sweet husband is by my side loving me and trying his best to keep me calm. They tell us there is a possibility they may have to put me under during the c-section and if that happens JC was not allowed into the operating room. Panic came over me again, I can't do this without him! 

So they get me set up in a wheelchair to bring me down to the operating room, before we leave the room I tell JC he needs to say a prayer, so he does his best to say a quick prayer before they take me into surgery. He is by my side as they push me to the elevator. I give him one last kiss and wave to him as the doors close. Once we get down to the operating room, they try to give me the epidural but it doesn't work and they need to get baby out as fast as possible. So they have to put me under, panic comes over me again... my mind races as I go to lay down on the operating table. I wasn't worried about baby, I was just praying that everything would be ok. The last thing I remember is breathing in the gas... and then blackness. 

The next thing I remember is waking up in a lot of pain and looking at JC and my doctor. I ask about the baby and I just see my sweet doctor, her eyes filled with tears she shakes her head no and says the baby didn't make it. I want you all to know that I was on a lot of drugs and not thinking clearly at this point. My first response as I looked at JC was "I guess Zoey ( our dog) will have to be our little girl for a little longer." Now looking back I feel so stupid that that was my response to hearing that we lost the baby. I had a very weird sense of peace about the whole thing immediately, however that could have been partly due to the drugs! 

That night is a blur for me, I was in and out of sleep and still in a lot of pain from the c-section. I remember watching the clock, waiting for my family to get there. My oldest sister in law Shannon would be getting there around 3am and my brother Brad and his wife Whitney along with my Dad would be getting there around 5 or 6 am. 

I remember seeing Shannon walk into my room, her eyes filled with tears. She gave me a kiss on the cheek and I told her that I had peace about what happened. She said that she knew I did. Then I drifted back to sleep, the next person I remember coming in was my Dad... his eyes were also filled with tears. But all I was thinking was that his hair looked goofy because it was sticking up funny from him sleeping on it. So I poked fun at that... this whole time I didn't shed a tear due to my physical pain, drugs, and shock. Looking at how I reacted to seeing my family I believe God protected me from feeling an overwhelming sense of loss. He allowed me to ease my way into my grief and pain, and for that I am thankful.

The next morning I slightly remember my doctor coming in to see me. She explained to me more in depth about what had happened to our sweet girl. When I first checked into the hospital I was having braxton hicks contractions (I had been having these on and off for about a month now) when they hooked me up to the monitors they could see that every time I had a contraction her heart rate would dip low. So they knew that she would not survive during a vaginal delivery, therefore they decided I needed a c-seciton and they needed to get the baby out as fast as possible. 

When they pulled her out they discovered that she had had a stool while still in the womb, they guested she may have been in the stool for a few days because of how thick the substance that now covered her was. Our sweet Maggie Grace had swallowed so much of this substance that she was unable to take her first breath. Her heart beat only a few times. The doctors and nurses worked on her for a half an hour, but were unable to revive her. 

As I heard the details of how our sweet girl had passed away, my heart sank. The only comfort I received from the words the doctor said, was that this situation was very rare and that it would not complicate any future pregnancies. A few days later we received some other information that gave us more peace about the situation. They sent the placenta away to be examined and they discovered pockets through out the placenta that had died. (again something else that is very rare) This happened through out the pregnancy and may have been due to my high blood pressure, but it is hard to be sure of what caused that to happen. JC asked the doctor, if Maggie had survived birth what would her quality of life have been? She said that because spots of the placenta had died Maggie was not receiving as much blood and oxygen to her brain that she should have. Therefore there is a good chance that she may have had CP and many developmental delays... she may have only lived a few days or years but her quality of life would not have been good. 

Hearing this we were thankful that God had spared us the pain of seeing our daughter suffer and that his grace saved her from feeling pain and suffering. 

She was received into Heaven with open arms by her grandma (my mom) Maggie who she was named after. Her name Maggie Grace which is so fitting was chosen at week 20, the day we found out she was a girl.


  1. Bee,
    You and JC have been constantly on my mind and in my prayers! Thank you for sharing this story and your strength. It is a blessing to know that God has provided you with peace and that he holds you still.
    <3 Erin

  2. Bee,
    I cannot imagine going through what you and JC have endured. I am so greatful that God instilled in you two a strength that is unfathomable. Thank you for sharing the story of your sweet baby girl. You have been and will be in my prayers. I know that God will continue to give you peace and continue to strengthen you both. Love you both dearly!


  3. Bee,

    You are amazing. I feel so privileged that I could share just a small part of Maggie's life with you and JC. There is nothing I can compare to your strength, faith and grace.

    We love you and you and J are in our thoughts and prayers daily.

    Auntie Pattie

  4. Bee-

    Praying for you both. The blog looks awesome and I am looking forward to seeing what you do with it. I hope that this new adventure helps you with the healing process. Thank you for sharing Maggies story. God Bless my friend


  5. To say thank you is an understatement but I have so many things I am grateful for. Thank you for sharing your very personal story with us. Thank you and J for taking such good care of each other during this time. I am in awe of your marriage, strength, and faith. Thank you for letting us get to know Maggie from conception throughout her lifetime. Maggie Grace had an amazing story before she was even born.I will forever be grateful I was able to be with you to celebrate that life. You, JC, and Maggie taught me so much in just the short time we got to spend together. And finally, thank you for being in our family and allowing me to call you my niece.
    With all my love....Aunti Lu

  6. I am truly amazed at your strength through your faith and hope in the Lord. I am honored to call you my sister. You will have a most BEEautiful family in His time, I'm sure of it. Maggie Grace will be part of our hearts forever! I love and admire you do much, Bee!

  7. Bee,
    You don't know me, but I am your mother-in-law's cousin Debbie Vaccaro. When I first heard of your loss, I couldn't imagine how you would get through. After reading your blog, I am overwhelmed with the strength and courage the two of you have shown through this time. I am sure that, as Cassie stated above, you will have a beautiful family in His time. God bless you both.


  8. What a beautiful story from such a beautiful person! Can't wait to keep coming back and read your blog!!! Love you!

  9. Hi Bee - I'm Elisa's mom and she sent your link to me. We've prayed for you and JC throughout this your loss. Your story was very open and touching so thank you for sharing. I'm sure that putting it into words has been a part of your healing. Thankful we have a strong God - keep leaning on him. May He bless both of you.