Diana Hope Sabatino

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I want to tell you all a story about a girl named Diana.

I delivered my stillborn beautiful baby girl, Diana Hope Sabatino on June 13, 2017 at 8:10 pm. She was 4 lbs, 1 oz, 18 inches long. She had dark hair and eyes, just like her dad. 


I awoke the morning of June 13th and immediately started to google “decreased fetal movement”. I hadn’t really felt her move that much, which wasn’t uncommon, since she never really moved that much to begin with. I came across a story about a woman who had decreased fetal movement, went to the doctor only to find out the baby had no heartbeat. I decided to call my OBGYN, just in case. My next appointment was that coming Friday. They told me to come in-I went in, and they took me right away. They tried to find the heartbeat with the fetal monitor. The nurse said it was staticy. They tried with another, same thing. They told me to go into the sono room. The sonotech clicked and took pictures. Then she said the 6 words that would change my life forever. “I have to get the doctor”.  I immediately knew. The doctor came in, and said “im sorry, but there is no heartbeat, and you have hardly any fluid”. No heartbeat?? It couldn’t be. I was 36+ 2 days. How could this be?? She asked if there was anyone close. I texted my SIL, who was two blocks away. No answer. I had to get my husbands number at work-his office is underground and he doesn’t get any service. They moved me to an office. No answer from my SIL yet. I called her. She hadn’t read my message yet. She immediately started to cry. I found Gaetanos work number. I called him. He said “what? What?? Ill be right there”. He works in Lake Success so I knew it would be a while. In the meantime, my SIL came with the two kids. The doctor discussed my options with me. I could be induced, or a c section and I didn’t have to do it that day. I could wait a few days, I was not in any danger. My husband came then. We went over the options again. Induction was the better choice-for my body especially.  We could go in at any time-the hospital would be waiting for us.


We went home and I packed a bag. I peed-some kind of grey matter came out. I had never had that before. We got to the hospital a little while later. They hooked me up to an IV and took some blood. They had trouble getting it all in. The doctor (which was a different one-but someone I had seen before in the practice) explained to me what was going to happen. Every 4 hours I would get a pill inserted in me. It could take up to 36 hours. The first pill went in at 12:30. At this time, my brother and sil, the kids, and my parents came. 

My mother…well, most of you know about Phyllis. She was so so so sad. I asked my dr for a xanex for her. (She wouldn’t take it, of course). My MIL came a little while later. I felt no pain at this point. At 4:30they inserted the second pill. A little while later, the real contractions started. They asked me my pain level, I told them 4. Did I want an epidural yet? No, not yet. I had heard that epidurals can sometimes delay labor even longer. When my contractions started 2 min apart, I asked for some kind of pain meds. They said it would make me loopy, but it never did. It didn’t work on me. The contractions started to get closer and hurt even more. At this point, it was just me, Gaetano, and my SIL Leigh. One on each side of me, Leigh telling me how I should breathe. If it wasn’t for her, I don’t know how I would’ve been able to make it through them. I am forever grateful towards her. They finally told me I could get my epidural. I don’t know how I stayed still for it. The doctor checked me right after that-and said “OK time to get your husband! Its time to push-you are 10 cm!” He wasn’t in the hallway, he went downstairs with everyone else, assuming the epidural would take longer to get in.

I called him to come upstairs at 7:52. Diana was born at 8:10. I was terrified to push. After two contractions, and two pushes, she was out. I felt no pain pushing her out.  When the doctor said “you have a beautiful baby girl here”…we were surprised. Everyone had said BOY! All along, I didn’t know what it was either. I had no strong feeling either way.

When she was handed to us, it was probably the most saddest moment of my life. We spent some time with her, then told the families to come up, if they wanted, to meet her. They did. I am grateful for this as well. My brother took pictures of the three of us, which I am forever thankful for. The families left and we spent more time with her. In total, we spent 5 hours, and 35 min with her.


The burial was something I was dreading. I dread any wake or funeral. But to bury my own daughter? How would I do this? I don’t know how, but I did. We got to see her again at the funeral home. My mother got her the dress. We wrote letters to her and put in my niece’s favorite doll in there with her. We put pictures of us and her family in there and a few more items. 

We had a short service, given by a friend of ours at the cemetery. It was so nice-and added a personal touch. She is buried with other infants in a special space at St. Charles. Where she is, she faces where Gaetanos father is buried. It feels right.


The love we have received is absolutely amazing and overwhelming, but in a good way. Some people might want to hide and not talk to anyone in a situation like this, but we are different. It keeps us going. Our friends…there are no words. I am forever grateful. We know how much we are loved.


Her name. We didn’t have any names picked out, really! We had gone back n forth in the days before her passing about a few..but we were going over more boys names. Diana Hope came to me right in the hospital. Diana is an Ancient Roman goddess, of the moon, the hunt and nature. She was also the goddess of childbirth, but more about that in a minute. Diana was also the name of a a Latin teacher me and Gaetano had in high school, who I became very close with…she fought with cancer for years, but sadly passed from it. And Hope…is for what we will have for our future, as Gaetano says.


I have always known I wanted kids. I love babies, but I was selfish. I liked coming and going as I pleased. I was vain with my body. It took me 10 years, but we finally said ok lets do this..and it happened. I have always been terrified of childbirth. I am not good with pain, I am a hugee baby! Birth was something I have feared for..well, forever. Diana, the Ancient Roman Goddess, was the goddess of childbirth, which is something I didn’t find out until days after we named her. I know now its really..not that bad! I would do it again tomorrow, and the day after that, etc. People have said to me-she was given to me for a purpose-whether it was to show me that I could get thru childbirth or something else…well, we’ll see. 


Now what? Well, I opted to have an autopsy and genetic testing done. Today I was texting with my doctor and she told me she did get the results of my placenta back. The others are pending and she will give me everything when they have the whole story. My appointment is in 4 weeks. I will try to be patient..but I also know that less than 50% of the results come back with a reason. That might be hard to hear to some of you-but I have accepted it. If it was just a fluke thing…then there is nothing I can do to change that. 

My pregnancy- was pretty normal. I did not have any bleeding or spotting. I didn’t have morning sickness, I was maybe nauseous a handful of times. I did not have high BP, nor gestational diabetes.  I DID have everything that could go wrong with me, go wrong with just me. I had sinus infections, a bad cough that turned into possible pneumonia. I had a stomach virus and bad headaches in the beginning. I took a fall outside of Babies R US (but didn’t fall on my stomach, my elbow and hands and knees thwarted that!-still went to the ER and checked out all good). I drank a LOT of water. As far as the no fluid-I didn’t have any big leaks. I had a small few ones-but again, totally normal. Diana didn’t really move a lot, but not a cause for concern. A lot of babies are just…lazy. 

I did not like being pregnant-even though I feel guilty writing that, it was true. My body didn’t feel the same to me-and I hate change. But I’d be pregnant another 9 months if this could’ve never happened. 


 I have talked to a few people who have had this happen to them, and I’m talking to a few more this week. It helps. I want to hear their story and I want to tell the story of Diana. I never want to forget her. And we won’t. Gaetano wants to continue to fix up her room for her-and I get it. At first, I had no idea what to think-what do we do? Do we return all the gifts we got at my shower? Do we paint her room? Do we have the furniture delivered? What will people think? Will passing her room upset me more? Will it comfort me? I didn’t even go through all my shower gifts yet. I had started to on the Monday night before it all happened.


 The nights and the mornings are the hardest. I don’t stop thinking about her. I hope she knows how much I loved her…Gaetano says she does and I believe him. We are taking it day by day..because really, what else can we do? We have such a strong love-I truly believe that is helping us get through this. I still can’t believe this happened-maybe I am still in shock. 

I want to thank all of you who have reached out to me-you don’t know how much it means. 

Thank you for reading the story of Diana Hope.  

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