Alabama mom Brandi Holmes couldn’t wait to give birth to her baby girl, Juliet.
Her cousin, Gerri Langley, told WSFA that when Brandi went to the hospital to give birth Sept. 29, she was ready to bring her third baby into the world. She said:
“It gives me chill just talking about it. She was extremely excited.”
But instead of celebration, her family was met with tragedy.
According to WSFA, the mother suffered a rare amniotic fluid embolism, which caused her to die. It was something that her devastated family never expected. Langley said:
“It has been difficult knowing you go in one day, the happiest day of your life, to have a baby and you come out meeting Jesus. I don’t understand it, and I probably will never understand it.”
Amniotic fluid embolism is a rare and sometimes deadly condition that “occurs when amniotic fluid — the fluid that surrounds a baby in the uterus during pregnancy — or fetal material, such as fetal cells, enters the mother’s bloodstream,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
The condition sets on quickly and often results in a number of symptoms, including bleeding in the uterus, seizures, and coma. While its symptoms are serious, doctors still understand little about why it actually happens.
Despite the family’s terrible loss, they still experienced a miracle that day — baby Juliet.
The newborn was saved during an emergency Cesarean section, and she is fighting for her life. Langley told WSFA:
“She was having some seizures this morning, but she has come off the cooling blanket and going on to the warming blanket so that is good and very encouraging.”
The little girl, and Holmes’s other four children, will grow up without a mother. And sadly, her story isn’t unheard of in the United States.
According to NPR, the U.S. has the highest maternal mortality rate of any developed country. While maternal death rates are declining in all other developed countries, it continues to rise in the States.
The study reported by NPR said this is in part due to the fact that only 6 percent of government block grants set aside for childbirth actually go to mothers.
It also found that treatable complications often become lethal because hospitals have so many protocols to jump through.
Luckily for Holmes’s children, they have a loving father to raise them. Brandi’s husband, Chad, has received widespread support from the local community.
They have raised more than $7,500 for the family on GoFundMe so far.
Watch WSFA’s coverage below: