A mother-of-two has recounted the horrifying moments she was left to watch her newborn die after medics refused to offer treatment to her premature daughter.
When Rosita Tantao found herself pregnant far sooner than she had planned, she utterly was terrified. Unsure of what her boyfriend would make of the life-shattering news, she plucked up the courage to tell him. To her wonderful surprise, however, he told her “I’m with you through this. I’m not leaving,” with not a second of hesitation.
But despite having the support of her partner, early into the pregnancy Tantao began experiencing complications that pointed to something being very wrong. Time and time again, however, she was turned away by the physicians who were treating her, despite experiencing regular bleeding.
“We trusted the clinic because they were going to make sure everything went right, right?” she wrote at Love What Matters. “With each emergency visit, I was told of something new I was doing wrong and sent home with new restrictions.”
Things became steadily more severe when, at 20 weeks, it was apparent that Tantao was going into labor, far ahead of when is safe. This is when the nightmare truly began.
“When I arrived at the ER, I was examined immediately and told that my water had broken. I asked if there was anything they could do, and they said no, ‘If a pregnancy is going to end, there is really nothing that can be done,'” Tantao recalled.
“Additionally, we were told that bed rest and IV fluids, which we now know can be given to pregnancies with low fluid in an effort to prolong the pregnancy, usually ‘doesn’t really do anything’. I was told I had 2 options: have the baby or sign a waiver releasing them of any responsibility should I decide to go to another hospital. I called my boyfriend and asked him to get there immediately. When he arrived we both asked again what our options were. We were told that because my water had broken, there was nothing that could be done. I had to either go through an induction or deny care.”
So, the couple were left with a devastation decision to make — they had to induce the early birth of their little baby girl, who was likely not to survive. After being administered the drugs, absolute elation at delivering her tiny daughter turned to abject horror at the doctors’ reactions to her.
“At 3:43pm, I delivered a baby girl,” Tantao wrote. “The image seared in my mind is of her little arm stretching into the air. She was alive. ALIVE. Surely, the nurse wasn’t going to let her die, right? Wrong.”
The baby was placed into Rosita’s arms and left to die — without any medical intervention from those attending to her.
“We were left alone with our baby as the staff waited for her to die,” she explained. “We were visited every 30 minutes for 4 hours to see if she was still alive. At one point, I was told not to hold her too close because my warmth and heart beat would confuse her body into staying alive.”
Tantao said throughout those painstaking hours, they simply watched the little one “fight to stay alive.”
“Nobody on staff seemed to care,” she added. “At 7:54pm, our dear sweet Natalie passed away in my arms.”
The grief was absolutely horrific — made worse by the fact Rosita had no ultrasound photos to remember Natalie by. She does have the hat that her daughter wore while in the hospital, stowed away in a keepsake box.
“I don’t know what opening it would do, but I am scared to find out, and so it stands on our mantle to this day,” she added.
Now eight years on and with two children, Rosita still remembers Nathalie every single day, and knows that, one day, she will see her again.
“My faith in God allows me to believe that I will see Natalie the day I get to Heaven. I can’t wait to hold her, tell her how much I have loved and missed her, and apologize for not fighting for her life more in her short time here on Earth,” she wrote.
“Until then, we have her amazing siblings who bring absolute joy to our lives and remind us each day why God gave us Natalie.”