She stole my heart!

Kamanie Kissoon recalls how the best Valentine’s gift of her life became her worst tragedy.
My story began on the 14 February 2016 at exactly 2am when I woke with a sharp, shocking pain in my lower back. I dragged myself to the bathroom as I needed to pee, when I realised that I had started to bleed. Oh! What I forgot to mention is that I was 25 weeks pregnant at the time. My husband rushed me to the nearest hospital and all I could do was hope and pray that my baby was alive.

On arrival at the hospital, I learned that I was fully dilated and in labour. Immediately the nurses checked for the baby’s heart beat and when I heard thump-thump thump I was relieved. My gynaecologist soon arrived, as calm and pleasant as always, to assess the situation, while all I could do was scream: “The baby is coming!” My gynaecologist made a good call of pushing the baby back in and called for an ultrasound to be done immediately.

After the scan I was presented with two choices: one, that I have natural birth but there was a zero percent chance of the baby surviving because the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck. The other choice was to have a caesarean section, where the baby had a 40 percent chance of survival. Of course, I chose the emergency C-section and on Valentine’s day at 09:42am my heart was stolen by a tiny 780g baby girl.

Her little squeak of a cry was the greatest feeling of relief that my baby was alive, and so was I. After a few hours had passed, the nurses insisted that I try and get out of bed to see my baby girl, who was in the neonatal intensive care unit. The excitement of meeting my precious baby girl gave me the inner strength I needed to be wheeled off to see my baby.

When I first saw her tiny face, fingers and toes, my heart swelled with love for Isabella Valerie Kissoon. The following day I was given news that she had survived the 24-danger period, hence the rush for me to meet the angel of my life. All I needed at that moment was a miracle in the life of my baby. Baby Isabella spent 86 days in hospital on the ventilator because her lungs were underdeveloped. Each day that I spent with my baby girl I made a memorable one; I read her stories, sang to her and took loads of pictures.

However, one day after Mother’s Day we got the dreaded call that her breathing had worsened and on the evening of 9 May 2016, my husband and I spent the last few minutes of our baby’s life with her. I got to hold her for the very first time and when my husband held her, she gasped her last breath.

Right then my heart shattered into a million pieces. All we could do was give Isabella Valerie, who by then was almost three months and weighed two kilograms, a beautiful send-off to the kingdom of heaven. There you have it, my story, my reality and my tragedy. Many people have told me that time heals, that having another baby helps and that understanding the five stages of depression makes it easier.

This has not been my experience, however. When I’m asked how I’m doing, I say: “I have to wake up each day determined to live a new normal kind of life, with a bit of a limp. Each day has its own emotion; however, I have to keep telling myself that life has to go on.” You may think I did not receive my miracle, but I actually did. I got to spend 86 days with baby Isabella Valerie, who is now safe in the arms of Jesus, rather than none at all!