Windsor mom describes 'unexplainable' pain of losing infant son
WINDSOR, ONT. -- A Windsor mother shares her story of losing an infant son with hopes of helping others overcome similar tragedies.
When Murandy Kell, 36, went to Windsor Regional Hospital on Jan. 14, 2021 to have her third child she never imagined her son would die.
“Kinda of unexplainable. Indescribable,” says Kell. “You’re just holding... you have these plans to come home and have a baby and then it’s just not there.”
Kell says her pregnancy was high risk because of a history of pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure) and liver complications.
“My liver wasn’t breaking down the bile salts, so I was getting itchy and that can cause stillbirth or maternal death.”
So Kell says her doctor induced her three weeks early “to get the baby out.”
After 12 hours in labour, Kell says her son wasn’t dropping and appeared to be in distress so she was rushed for emergency cesarean section.
“He (the doctor) got the baby out in like 40 seconds. He was super fast, but when he went in, when he cut, he (um) realized that my uterus was disintegrated. There was no uterus, it was a uterine rupture.”
Kell was conscious enough to agree to a full hysterectomy before the pain medication took over.
During her surgery, doctors tried to save her son, born Lincoln Valentine.
“They couldn’t get him any oxygen. For like 20 minutes they couldn’t get him back. They eventually did get him back, but unfortunately he didn’t have oxygen.”
Kell says doctors told her and her spouse Lincoln had a 99.1 per cent chance of brain damage.
His body, they were told, was perfectly healthy but he had spent so much time without oxygen, he was put on life support.
Kell credits the staff at the hospital for giving them all the time they needed until they were ready.
She recalls thinking “He’s at peace. I’m at peace. I know that we did the right thing. He’ll still be with me, but I gotta let him go. You just gotta let him go.”
Kell was able to hold her son for more than two hours, before they made the impossible decision to remove life support.
“He was gone within five minutes because he just couldn’t breath.”
Despite that loss, and the tremendous physical toll on her own body, Kell still wants the chance to raise three children.
“I always knew I would have three living children at home with me, living with me, growing up, having them here. So, ones in heaven, so he’s not here, I’m still his mom but it’s just not the same.”
The family is now exploring in-vitro fertilization with the help of a surrogate mother.
They’ve organized a crowd-sourcing fundraiser to help.
A Registered Practical Nurse, Kell is also considering a return to university to become a midwife, to help other mothers fulfil their dream of being a parent.
In the meantime, Kell is sharing her story of loss, hoping it can help someone else struggling to overcome tragedy in their own lives.
“Even though bad things happen, there’s always a way out, there’s always a way forward, kind of like trying to turn my pain into something more positive for myself and other people.”