Christmas is supposed to be a time for celebrations. But not for this couple, evidently.
Every couple hopes to have a child of their own. They say it’s the most precious gift that they could ever receive from God. And for two people who really adore each other and who are ready to start a family, having a little angel at the right time could only bring indescribable joy.
Naturally, they’d get more excited once the pregnancy is confirmed. Even their relatives and closest friends will probably be eager to start preparing for the child’s arrival. From the baby’s name, clothes, down to the color of his or her room, everything will be carefully thought of and selected because they’d only want what’s best for their little one.
Jea Guico-Ilagan and her husband, Oyo were that ecstatic when they finally learned they were pregnant. But, joy turned into anguish when tragedy struck, and the couple had to deal with one of the most devastating moments they could possibly encounter in their lives. To make matters worse, it occurred around Christmastime.
This is their story:
It was the 24th of June, and it was my husband’s birthday. That’s when I learned I was really pregnant.
We both cried and felt blessed because we received this kind of gift from our Lord.
Everyone was so excited! Oyo and I were thinking about our baby’s name. We were so excited!
The feeling was different, I couldn’t hide my excitement. I liked seeing Oyo every minute. I liked seeing his face, but sometimes he really annoyed me. I guess that time my pregnancy hormones were kicking in. The 1st trimester was not that difficult. I was really thankful because I rarely experienced morning sickness. I could even eat normally. I was not craving for anything specific— all I remember was that if I liked to eat something, Oyo needed to look for it.
Checkups in Dubai are really expensive if you will convert it to Peso. I guess one check up will cost you 10 thousand pesos, plus I had to buy prenatal vitamins.
I was taking my prenatal vitamins on time. I still went to work and walked every now and then. I ate a lot during that period, which was very good for my baby.
I remember this photo was taken during my Anomaly Scan. Anomaly shows whether your baby is developing normally and where the placenta is lying in your uterus. It is sometimes called mid-pregnancy ultrasound scan, which can be performed when you are between 18 and 23 weeks pregnant.
Oyo was so nervous, he really prayed for this day!
We really prayed for a baby boy. And we're so thankful for this blessing!
We also liked to go to baby shops every time we’re in malls. We chose this car seat/stroller from Graco, but we did not buy it. I asked Oyo to buy it on January 2016 before going home to the Philippines since my due date is on February.
But we really liked its style, and Graco is a good brand!
I was on my 29th week of pregnancy when this photo was taken, and this was also during my farewell party.
I really did not want to go home actually, but I had no choice because we decided to give birth in the Philippines, so I can be with my family and they could take care of Kiefer also.
She said I needed to go home before my 32nd week of pregnancy. I was really sad. 🙁
The doctor told us that everything was fine and that our baby was doing well. I just needed to wait until my due date.
Dec 13: I was so sad that night. I did not want to be away from Oyo, but we had no choice. During the whole flight, Kiefer was awake and moving strongly that I couldn’t even sleep. Maybe he could feel the pressure in the air.
The weather here’s different. I couldn’t even sleep early because my biological clock has not adjusted yet. But everything was fine with me and Kiefer. I ate what I missed in Pinas! Jollibee, my mom’s home-cooked meals, mangoes, and so much more!
And yes, I found the perfect place.
It was near Indang (Oyo’s hometown). I also found an OB there, but that time he was on leave so we were scheduled to meet on the 1st week of January. He just advised me to take my vitamins on time. I also told him that my previous checkups in Dubai were fine and that Kiefer was healthy (as my OB in Dubai said).
I was with my mom and we’re going to Philhealth (Philippine Health Insurance Corporation) to fix Oyo’s membership, so I could use it when I give birth to Kiefer. That time I could only feel mild contractions while driving. I just ignored it because pregnant women normally experience that during the 3rd trimester.
We went home late because the traffic was so terrible that day.
I also called Oyo and told him that I will not be able to wait after his work to Skype.
Dec 23: The next day I woke up and felt okay after a tiring day. I could only feel contractions the whole day.
That was Kiefer, kicking. That's the last time I felt him move.
I just stayed home, rested, and waited for Kiefer’s movement. I just thought that Kiefer was resting also. But, from time to time, I updated Oyo about Kief. Then, night came, but Kiefer’s still not moving. Everything just happened so fast after this. :'(
Dec 24: So, I woke up and still Kiefer was not moving. I called my OB and asked if it was normal, and he said I needed to go to the ER to have Kief’s heartbeat checked. I was so nervous that time, also to think that it was a holiday and there were no available OBs to talk to.
A nurse used a fetal doppler to check Kief’s heartbeat. Two other nurses tried, but still, they did not hear Kief’s heartbeat. Huhu. They advised me that they can call their on-call OB to perform an emergency ultrasound. But, I needed to wait an hour for her. So there, I waited. While waiting, I updated Oyo, he was so nervous but he felt angry at the same time because it took a long time for the doctor to arrive. I waited for two hours.
The OB explained to me that there was NO heartbeat and no movement at all from Kief. I also saw in the monitor that there was no blood flowing to and from Kiefer’s heart. I cried! I cried a lot! :'(
I really couldn’t believe what was happening! Huhu I called Oyo and told him that Kiefer left us already. Oyo cried and did not believe me, hu hu hu! I asked him if he could come home. He called his boss, asked for an Emergency Leave, and looked for an available flight that same day. Luckily there was an available flight at PAL. Oyo will arrive the next day. The doctor advised me that I needed to be induced. Inducing labor (also called labor induction) is when your health care provider gives you medicines or uses other methods to start your labor. But they advised me that it will take time ‘coz my cervix was only 1 cm dilated and the pelvis was still closed. We decided to go for a 2nd Opinion and went to St.James Hospital. They told me that I cannot have the induction method because they are not sure if I can endure the pain. They advised me to undergo a Cesarian Section but there’s no available OB so I still needed to wait. And then, Mama Juliet (Oyo’s Mom) came and called some close friends to help us look for an available doctor. Thank God they found one. We immediately transferred to Gentri Doctors Medical Center.
I was admitted under Dr. Sepacio’s care. She told me that I will have the induction method instead of the CS since Kiefer was still small and I could probably endure the pain. I started going into labor at 11 pm. They put me in the Labor room. There’s a lady beside me, she’s in labor and was expecting twins, she was crying because of the pain while I was crying because I lost my son.
Huhu then we started to cry,cry,cry. This was the saddest Christmas ever. We couldn’t believe that Kiefer left us already. I told Oyo how sorry am I for what had happened. I did my best to take good care of our baby. I don’t know why this had to happen. I asked God, why? Why us? Then Oyo said, “Gods plan for us are far better than our plans for ourselves” that “we need to trust God in spite of what happened.”
The OB allowed me to stay in my room with my family since my cervix was only 3 cm dilated.
There were only mild contractions. Take note: I started to go into labor last night, Dec 24 at 11 pm. Yet, when this photo was taken, my cervix was still 3 cm dilated. It has to dilate up to 9 cm so I can deliver Kiefer. Oyo and I slept despite the contractions. Maybe my pain tolerance is high. I stayed in the room until 2 am, Dec26. Then, OMG! I felt the pain! I felt the contractions continuously until I couldn’t take it anymore! So we called the nurse and asked if I could go down to the Labor room. I felt the urge to pee and to poop. My back hurt.
Oyo was outside. I wanted him to come inside but he’s not allowed to enter the Labor Room. I asked the nurse again if I can be with Oyo but then they said no to me again. Huhuhu. No choice. I was alone in the labor room at 2:30 am and the pain was increasing! I was shouting “Ouch!” Huhuhu and the nurse kept on saying, “you can do it ma’am” huhu. But really, the pain was so intense I couldn’t even sleep that time. I was looking at the clock and it was already 4 am. OMG! The pain never ceased and I was praying and shouting, “in Jesus name give me strength Oh Lord”. I was shaking during the contractions and the nurse said I had to relax and breathe normally. But really, I couldn’t relax that time and I was turning pale. I stared at the clock all throughout. It was already 5:30 am and I couldn’t take the pain anymore. I wanted to pee, so the nurse told me to pee on my diaper. I tried but the pain was so intense. At 5:45 am, I tried to push hard so I could pee but then my water broke! I was so scared! I told the nurse, “OMG! What’s that? It’s gushing out!” Then it really hurt. I don’t know, but I felt like I needed to give it a push. Then suddenly, I felt Kiefer’s head come out! The nurse said, “Wait, Jea, don’t push just yet, I’ll call the doctor first.” But I didn’t want her to leave me, I was really scared. I could feel that Kiefer will come out anytime soon. They transferred me to the delivery room. And then, I just told the doctor, “Doc, I can’t help it, I need to push.” Then, Kiefer was out. I could feel him come out of me. After that, I just lost consciousness. I felt so relieved that I suddenly fell asleep!
I woke up in another room, but still, I was feeling dizzy.
The OB came and explained everything to me. She said Kiefer was still in the nursery. I asked her what the cause of the death was. She then told me that based on external examination, 1st: Kiefer’s nostrils were too small, 2nd: Kiefer’s navel was not in proportion to his umbilical cord; thus, it swelled up. I was crying while she was talking to me. But if they had to identify the internal cause of death, she told me that they’d need to have Kiefer’s body autopsied. An autopsy is a highly specialized surgical procedure that consists of a thorough examination of a corpse to determine the cause and manner of death, and to evaluate any disease or injury that may be present. They’d need to cut Kiefer’s body one by one! I refused! I don’t want that. I just wanna see my baby for the last time, I told her.
And then I saw my baby. He was so cute! He had hair already. His lips were so cute and red. His hands, body, and his genitals were so cute! :'( Tears fell down my face while I stared at my baby boy. And then, the nurse advised me that they will bring me to my room and Kiefer will be at the morgue. :'( My heart broke into pieces! I waited for the OB’s discharge orders so I could bury my baby. I was discharged at 5 pm, Dec 26, and I went home to Oyo’s place.
Going to the chapel to have our angel blessed.
“For the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”Matthew 19:14
My baby, the priest said you are fortunate for you are spared from pain and suffering because with the Lord, you’ll only experience pure happiness.
Daddy Oyo and I will always be grateful that we had you in our lives.
In such a short span of time my child, you brought incomparable joy into our lives. We will never, ever forget you, Baby Marcus Kiefer. You will be forever in our hearts!
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