Mia’s Story, Part 1

A year ago Friday was my daughter’s 1st birthday. Unfortunately she was not there to share it with us physically, but in spirit she will always be with us.

A year ago at a routine OB appointment my wife was not doing so good. Protein in the urine, BP in the 180’s over 110’s, severe pre-eclampsia. Being in a small town without the facilities to handle the birth of a small child, nor the management of a very sick woman, she got the first and last helicopter ride she will ever take. No one in the Valley would take her except Maricopa County Medical Center. Not our first choice, by any means. Let me put it this way: if I got injured outside of it, I would have drug my bleeding body far enough away so I wouldn’t have to go there. Yes, in my opinion, that bad. And it was worse for my wife. Thanks to the brutal summer Arizona heat and lack of functioning AC in our car, it took me another 6hours to get there to be at her side.

When I got there, she had been stabilized, somewhat. BP was down, they were much less concerned about her stroking out, but now the battle was with the clock and with how long we could keep little Mia in the womb. By date she was only 26 weeks. Small. Very small. But she was ours. She was the miracle that saved us after the loss of our son (and nearly my wife) due a placental abruption the year before. She brought us back from the brink. We would do whatever it took to keep her safe and sound. It meant changing our lives, our plans and our dreams. We had planned to move to Oregon not more than 2 weeks after this appointment, that was out. We had both turned in our notices at work. That too would change. But they were OK. That’s all that mattered.

For 3 days we hung out, biding our time. Dealing with the endless stream of interns, residents and attendings, none of whom seemed to know how to handle either the situation or us. Maricopa county is not exactly in the best part of town and we weren’t exactly the type of folks they were used to dealing with. In other words, we weren’t the poor, uneducated and sometimes illegal folks they were used to practicing medicine with. We were involved. We asked questions. We wanted better answers than the stock answers they gave. In the meantime, we waited for the steroids to work to help mature Mia’s lungs because we knew what the ultimate outcome was going to be. She was going to be early, but we wanted to do everything we could to keep her in and growing.

Until the morning of the 10th. The intern didn’t like the situation, wasn’t willing to try anything else so the decision was made to take Mia out. By C section in the middle of the night. We didn’t even know what was happening until the anesthesiologist came in to ask my wife the standard anesthesia questions. Then we learned. But to this day, I still wonder why? There was no fetal distress (I could see the FHT tracings). Mom’s BP was up, but I’ve since seen worse. We could have waited. We would have waited. They weren’t going to wait.

When we still had hope.


  1. I know that religious cliches about preemie children becoming angels is a hollow comfort when you’ve lost a child, when all you’d rather do is hold your child and not have to listen to well-meaning people tell you that your precious one is in a better place…

    …so I won’t do that. I will say, Wanderer, that I’m praying for you and your family, and that I hope one day you will be blessed with a healthy and whole child.

    When that day comes, your child will be doubly blessed by having two siblings in Heaven watching over him – not physically present, but no less a part of his life.


  2. Thank you all for the kind words and prayers. It’s the anniversary and I needed to get the story out of me. Call it catharsis, but I hope to let a little bit of the load go. And AD, it’s OK, they’re both my angels.


  3. I cannot imagine how tough it was writing about this intensely personal tragedy.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this painful time.


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