Kieran Urs Magnus Roth

* 2. März 2001

+ 9. März 2001


The sad story

Our son Kieran was born Friday, March 2nd, 5.07 p.m..

It was a normal, natural birth at home (planned), no complications, never any medical indications that anyting could be less than perfect.
But when he came out he was lifeless.
The midwife  tried to reanimate him, we called the emergency doctor, it took them 15 minutes to be here. They took our baby and intubed him, reanimated succesfully. He was then flewn by helicopter into the hospital in Augsburg and we followed with the ambulance car.
I was fine. It was hard, long, painful labour but I managed it all without any medication against pain and I wasn't "damaged" at all (physically). At 9.30 p.m. we were allowed to see Kieran. A wonderful, beautiful, big boy. He had sufferd an asphyxie which means he didn't get any oxygen for quite a long time and we knew immediately that this was nothing you can repair afterwards.

He had severe clotting problems during this first night, all the vital organs were concerned: brain, lungs, stomach, bowels, kidneys, but they managed to stabilize him. They did some testing on him that day. I tried to be with him as much as I could, Michael couldn't stay much with him at first because he always felt like becoming sick in there. My parents came that day. The next day, Sunday, Irmgard (Michael's mother) came (she had been skiing and just got back to Munich) and my brother.

Monday they did some more testing on Kieran. Irmgard and my parents came again - we didn't know how long our sweet boy would live, we all just wanted to be there all of the time. He looked fine except the tubes and cables, as if he was just sleeping and would awake any moment. The kidneys had started working, he got my milk and started digesting it. I was extremely happy when we finally could get him out of bed. We sat there many long hours, holding our son and giving him as much love as we could.

On Tuesday, finally, one of the doctors was ready to talk to us. Kieran showed no brain activity. This was caused by the asphyxie. They had found group B streptococcus (GBS) in his blood, they were everywhere. This infection alone would have caused very bad conditions, he'd have probably died anyway but for the best he'd have been extremely severely handicapped. So bad that he would have never known that he lived. It seems as if this infection caused the asphyxie when he was on the last inches inside me before coming out, the umbilical cord didn't pulsate any more when he came out.

There was nothing we had to decide because he didn't breathe. They tested it, gave him 100% oxygen for some time, extubed him, waited - nothing. This test would have to be repeated after 72 more hours and if he wouldn't breathe then, which was unlikely, this would be it. I wanted to know about this GBS, because we had never ever heard of it. In the meantime I know pretty much about it and I know that in the US they screen pregnant women routinely. They don't do it here. But even if I had known to be colonized, all they are doing generally is to give antibiotics by IV during labour because the babies usually catch the GBS when passing through the birth channel. But as Kieran had them in his whole body they must have reached him 1-2 days before through intact membranes and nothing would have saved him from that moment. We were relieved to hear that we didn't do anything wrong, that giving birth to him at home wasn't the cause fo the asphyxie, that giving birth in a hospital wouldn't have changed anything - that it was not our fault. We then planned a baptismal ceremony for Wednesday (march 7th) evening.

Michael's parents came and stayed in a hotel. Ursula (Michael's sister) couldn't come because she was staying at the baltic sea with her son Nick for a health cure. My parents and my brother came, our midwife and some of the clinic personnel participated as well.
It was a wonderful ceremony, very solemn, concentrating on the essential. We gave him the names Kieran Urs Magnus. The following days Irmgard and Manfred (Michael's father) came to visit during the official hours in the afternoon. We stayed as much with Kieran as we could, just left for eating, getting some hours of sleep or me for pumping out my milk for him. We tried to tell him everything we could think of, tried to burn his features into our minds.

Thursday night a doctor gave us a jump when he told us that the kidneys had stopped working for good and that Kieran could die before our planned parting on Friday night. But one sister told us not to panic, Kieran was very stabilized on his low level.

Friday, 9th, last day. From early in the morning we were with him. In the afternoon my family came as well and we stayed with Kieran all of the time. Finally we were told that the room in which the parting should take place was now available. Our families parted and went outside (we had no idea how long Kieran would live after being extubed), then the doctors extubed Kieran, I took him on my arms and we went into the room. They had given him 100% oxygen for some time already so he would stay rosy a little longer. Then a doctor came in to check the heart - still beating, second check some time later -still beating. We then asked to bring our families in. And then, surrounded by all this love, our little boy became an angel (-the 3rd check was around 8.45 pm). His little heart had continued beating for an hour.

We didn't bury his ashes but gave them to the Baltic Sea on April 17th. I don't have to tell you how very sad we are and how life has changed. We miss our baby, me especially because I miss him physically as well. Some weeks have passed and I sometimes think it's becoming worse, not better. Michael has created this wonderful homepage for Kieran.

Maren Walz, May 2001 
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