On Jan 29th, 2016, Helen was getting ready for bed around 9 o’clock at night when she realized that Hannah hadn’t moved for a while. Helen talked with Kip and they decided to contact the midwife Sandra. But they didn’t think it would be serious. They often heard that babies move less as they run out of room this far along. Sandra instructed Helen to drink a sugary drink to get Hannah to move. After a whole bottle of sprite and two hours later, Helen still couldn’t feel Hannah move. Sandra came at 11:30pm. Both Helen and Kip were relieved to hear Hannah’s heartbeat and were told that she had great heartbeat and response. “Maybe she was just asleep or very sleepy. It happens” as they were told. So they went to bed after Sandra left. Helen was a little concerned that she didn’t feel Hannah move after she woke up the next morning. She texted Sandra again and was told to go get a biophysical profile. At about 10:00am, Helen and Kip found out that Hannah had low heart rate and no movement at the biophysical ultrasound. They were told to go to the nearest ER. Less than 40 minutes later, Helen and Kip’s world shattered at hearing no heart beat in the labor and delivery triage. They kept asking the doctors to check and recheck, wondering if there was any chance their baby girl could be alive. “Sorry” and shaking heads were all they got in response.
The world felt ended for Helen and Kip at the moment. Their minds drew blank. They had thought they might get to meet their little girl that day via c-section but never did they think they could see their daughter this way. Shock and despair slapped their faces. How is this possible?! Helen had never heard of or imagine this was even possible. Immediately, Helen was told that she’d need to be induced to give birth to Hannah, still. She was hooked up with all the medical equipment quickly. Hannah was born the same night. Hannah kept telling Sandra that maybe the doctors made a mistake and maybe Hannah would be born screaming.
Tears rushed down Helen’s cheeks as Hannah was born. The whole room was silent; painfully silent. It was the worst moment of Helen’s life. Afterwards, Helen and Kip got to hold sweet Hannah for a precious fourteen hours until they had to say goodbye the next afternoon. Hannah is deeply loved. Auntie Chep came to hold her in the hospital. Auntie Lan helped Helen and Kip make a sleeping bag for her to sleep in. Many aunties and uncles came to say goodbye to her at the funeral. Hannah is loved by so many. When she left, she took a big piece of Helen and Kip’s hearts with her but they believe that she’s in God’s arms, watching over us in heaven. They can’t wait to see her again.
Helen and Kip were told that there was no cause identified for losing Hannah. No known evidence for cord issues, placenta, or genetic disorders. “We just don’t know” or “it’s like an accident” so they heard.
What do you mean it just happens? Healthy babies don’t just die for no reason! Helen and Kip’s hearts are broken to pieces. Parents need to know more. There needs to be more awareness that stillbirth happens and more research done to investigate ways to prevent another family from going through what Helen and Kip did. They decided to donate all the memorial gifts from Hannah’s funeral to Star Legacy Foundation which is dedicated to raising awareness and doing research/education on stillbirth. We encourage you to donate using the donate button above if you haven’t done so yet.