October 15th - Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day
I will tell the story of Isabella Mariah Rojas forever. Not many people had the opportunity to meet her, but she was extraordinary, I could tell you that.
On July 13th 2016, I had come home from work in extreme and uncontrollable pain. I remember I had thrown myself bent over on Nathan’s bed and yelled out to Tino “something is wrong.” We immediately rushed to Memorials Birthing Center and were admitted. Test after test and all of them coming back with the same answer... I was in labor at 28 weeks. Every drug I was given, every attempt to stop labor was done for a full day until finally at 9pm on July 14th our tiny 4lb baby girl was born. The NICU team was there ready to take her from us, I heard her first cry, then cried myself.
She spent the night in the NICU and we spent the night praying. Early in the morning everything changed. Conversations about her care got more intense, she had duodenal atresia (intestinal blockage) and needed to be medi-flighted to Sacramento to a specialist. I demanded to be released immediately and go with her. So on July 15th off to Sacramento myself, my husband, and parents went.
Once there we were greeted by multiple doctors and nurses who ensured us she was in the best hands. Tests were done, and yet another surprise, Isabella had tetralogy of fallot. The pediatric cardiologist spoke with us and told us Isabella would have to stay in the nicu for months before surgery. Because we were now cardiac patients we were top of the list to stay as a family at the Ronald McDonald house in Sacramento. We rushed to check in and tried to plan out what we were going to do next.
We couldn’t wrap our brain around it... 7 months we never heard of any birth defects being seen in our ultrasounds and now there were 2? What were we going to do with Nathan who was about to start school again? How were we going to stay in Sacramento for months? Question after question filled our minds.
That entire day we spent as much time with Isabella, visited with family and friends who came out to see her, and just prayed as we knew she was in the best care. We spent the night at Ronald McDonald and didn’t sleep even for a second as we waited to see Isabella again.
July 16th started off normal.. we went to see Isabella and the doctors and nurses said it would be a long day of tests and that we should go to lunch. So to lunch we went.. then came the phone call: “Arcie, were going to need you to come back.” We didn’t even eat our food and just drove to the hospital as fast as we could.
We arrived at the hospital and were greeted by our cousins who were also there to visit. I said I would go check on Isabella and talk to the doctor. It was then that I got the worst news I could ever receive “Isabella is not going to make it through the night.” What? I couldn’t believe my ears! We were here to wait for surgery, we were in the best hands, everyone said she will be fine, what changed?
Well, she got an infection in the NICU and became septic is what changed. And knowing right then and there my world had collapsed before my eyes. I asked the Doctor, “do I need to call my family to come back?” And behind tears he said, “yes.” So I called my parents and my brother... let them know the news.. and was comforted by my mother to make the decision to pull the plug and let Isabella be with God. I then asked the Doctor to let me know when it wasn’t Isabella breathing anymore and just machines and when it was time, he gently touched my shoulders, and we acknowledged it was time to let her go.
I don’t know how Tino and I had the strength to do it.. but we did as we held her and watched her take her last breaths. Shortly after her passing my parents made it to Sacramento and we were taken to a private room to hold her and say our goodbyes. My brother, Noel had made it just in time to say goodbye too. We got pictures that were filled with tears in our eyes.. we got her handprints and footprints to save in a keepsake box and a lock of her hair.... but we didn’t get our future with Isabella.
The next few days were filled with me painting what were pink walls of a nursery back to white, putting away clothes into bags for us to donate to other families, and giving my strong mother the responsibility of returning everything in the nursery.
So many times I asked myself “why?” So many times I tried to understand how this could happen to us, but I just couldn’t and wouldn’t get the answers. Every day I convinced myself more and more that she was in a much better place with God and no longer suffering. Although I wish every day she could be with us here on Earth, I cannot wait for the day to hold her and see her again in Heaven.
We love you Isabella.. we always will ❤️ R.I.P 07/14/16-07/16/16
March of Dimes fights for the health of all moms and babies. We're advocating for policies to protect them. We're working to radically improve the health care they receive. We're pioneering research to find solutions. We're empowering families with the knowledge and tools to have healthier pregnancies. By uniting communities, we're building a brighter future for us all.
Privacy, Terms, and Notices
© Privacy, terms and notices