Closure, In Any Form, Can Be Hard To Accept

Well, despite the fact that I did not sleep a wink last night and I’ve had a million possibilities running through my head for five months, Cora’s Autopsy results were not at all what I was expecting. I was expecting to hear something along the lines of a genetic problem caused by the combination of our genes.

The good news – genetically, she was perfect. No chromosomal abnormalities. No strange syndromes or unexplained results. Perfect little girl, but premature.

The bad news – the news that had me sitting in completely stunned silence, listening to our doctor explain what had happened to our daugther with growing disbelief – in a nutshell, she died from pneumonia. When I was giving birth, she swallowed some amniotic fluid (they found it in her lungs) and her autopsy showed the presence of hyaline membranes (membranes that form when foreign matter (such as amniotic fluid) irritates and inflames the lung tissue, making gas exchange difficult or impossible). The fluid she aspirated gave her pneumonia, which is fairly common among premies and is usually fairly treatable, but the pneumonia, along with the irritation caused by hyaline membranes, didn’t allow her body to circulate oxygen adequately. As a result (and despite the copious amounts of antibiotics they pumped her full of as soon as she was born), the lack of adequate oxygen caused her heart to pump irregularly, which further decreased blood circulation, turning her blood acidic and killing off her organs until we had to take her off of life support because her brain was dead.

Statistically, 90% of babies born at 30+ weeks survive, most without lasting complications, even if they get pneumonia. Our baby was in the 10% who don’t make it. And for something as “simple” as pneumonia.


8 thoughts on “Closure, In Any Form, Can Be Hard To Accept

  1. Wow Jo,

    There just are not words for you now! It just leads to more questions and why’s!! I am sure you know that myself, along with all the others that have been following your journey, are thinking of you and wishing there was just one little thing we could do to make your pain stop, but obviously that will never happen. Just know that I am thinking of you and your hubby, and that your beautiful angel Cora is always right there with you to help you through this nightmare.

    Take care Jo

  2. Jo, words will not comfort you, I know. Now you can rest your mind and be at peace (to a point) with knowing how and why. You and Greg are always in my thoughts, and I wish you well with your closure and new beginnings. ❤

  3. GRRRRRRRRR So not fair! So not what should have been! Tonight you seemed numb, but I know the anger about it all is simmering there….I hope the “knowing” will assist you in moving on, and dissipating the anger…time is the only thing that will help.

  4. I’m so sorry for the pain that you and your husband have had to endure over the last five months. I don’t know you – you don’t know me. I tried to book a session with you, but you had to cancel while still pregnant once you were having some complications towards the end. I’d love to re-book for some family shots…but that is not the point of my comment. I hate that bad things have to happen to people in order for others to cherish what they have. Our first pregnancy didn’t work out. It was early, but we still lost the first one. I have an ounce of understanding for you and what you are going through. Reading your posts makes me that much more thankful for my little boy. Thank you for sharing all of the heartbreak you have gone through…it makes everyone realize that good people go through bad things and that they continue to live as full of a life as they possibly can. Thinking of you, your husband, and your beautiful little Cora everyday.


    ps. I think roller derby is awesome!!! Good job on getting it rolling in the Loops!

  5. I know there is nothing I can say to make things better, but I have to let you know that Cora’s story has changed my way of being with my children. I used to get frustrated with my boys when they argued and fought, but now I think about how lucky I am to feel that frustration when they fight. Cora’s short, but impacting life has made a difference in mine and I’m sure many others. I hope you and Greg gets some answers to help you move on. You are special and deserve it.

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