Faith Ruben

January 23, 2017
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My baby, Faith, was stillborn on my birthday in June of 2013. I was 8 months pregnant. At my anatomy scan, the doctors found what they thought was a small cyst in her small intestine. I had a lot of genetic testing; all the tests came back negative. The process was terrifying.

I was sent to Columbia in NYC (from Stamford), and they collaborated with my doctors in CT. The small cyst never grew in size and seemed to be a random birth defect, one that the doctors at Columbia thought would either require a minor surgery at birth or may simply resolve before delivery.

On June 5th, I woke up and knew in my gut that something was wrong. I couldn’t remember the last time I felt the baby move, and I started to panic. I went to work and told myself I was just being my typical anxious self. I left work at lunch time and called my doctor. I ended up at Stamford Hospital with my friend from work. The nurse could not find a heartbeat, and an ultrasound confirmed that my baby had died.

My husband was in Chicago on business, so I had to call him to tell him what was happening. He was absolutely devastated, and I was so worried about him flying home alone. I felt so helpless. My friend stayed with me until my sisters and my mom and dad arrived. My husband arrived late in the evening. I was induced, and I ended up delivering Faith two days later on my 35th birthday.

My doctor (Silvio Mandara) was so kind (such an amazing man). He told me I had an Angel who wanted to share my birthday with me. It was raining so hard that day. He said that the Heavens were crying for me. I knew I had to name her Faith; my husband agreed. I am Catholic, and my husband is Jewish so our beliefs are different. That day, however, we knew the doctor was right; Faith is our precious Angel who was too beautiful for this Earth.

The autopsy revealed that Faith did have a cyst in her intestine, and other than that, she was healthy. The doctors said her “fetal demise” was a fluke, a “one in a million” chance, and that any birth defect simply increases the chances of having a stillborn baby. I was encouraged and supported and tried to keep putting one foot in of the other each day, even though it was so hard.

Ten months later (born one month early) I gave birth to my daughter, Romeda. She just turned 18 months, and every time I look at her, I know that Faith is watching over all three of us. It has been a whirlwind of emotions the last two and a half years; my journey has been filled with the deepest pain I could ever imagine as well as the most amazing joy.

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