The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund estimates that roughly 353,000 babies are born each day around the world. And though pregnancies and births are so commonplace, the risk of complications or death in childbirth is still high– even in the United States.
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One family in Moss Bluff, Louisiana recently experienced both the joy of childbirth and the pain as their family gained and lost a member in a matter of hours.
On May 9th, 29-year-old Sarah Bertrand gave birth to a beautiful baby boy named Julian. She and her partner Jean Luc Montou were over the moon with excitement and decided to hold off on making any public announcement of his arrival until they were home from the hospital.
There is nothing like those first few sweet hours of blissful love for infants who have just made their way into the world, and Julian’s arrival was no different from the welcome that all well-loved babies receive. During Julian’s first 24 hours, he was introduced to family and showered with love and affection.
Tragically, just over 24 hours after Julian’s birth, Sarah passed away without warning. Jean was in the hospital room with her, holding Julian, when Sarah began to have what appeared to be a seizure right before she died.
In an interview with Today, Jean said that just 20 minutes before Sarah’s death she told him these words: “I have never loved anyone or anything as much as I love him– he’s like my favorite thing ever.”
Although the hospital has not finished their investigation into what caused Sarah’s death, they believe that her passing was caused by an amniotic embolism. This is an extremely rare complication that arises during and after childbirth, resulting in heart and lung collapse and internal bleeding.
“Sarah was there for me when I was having a hard time as a single father. Sarah was there for Jane when she needed a mother figure,” Jean told Today. “Sarah did not skip a beat or hesitate to be there for us and love us from the time we met.”
The couple had plans to marry after Sarah recovered from Julian’s birth, but now Jean has sold their home and moved in with family in order to receive help with his two little ones.
Each day is a struggle to put back together his broken heart over Sarah’s death, but he is focusing on finding joy through the lives of Jane and Julian, never taking a moment for granted.
“Julian was her purpose,” said Jean. “I’ll tell him that he’s not just her son, he’s her legacy.”
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