University of Massachusetts Amherst

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When Rubi was in labor, she learned her baby was suffocating because her placenta had detached. After the doctors treated her son, she spent as much time as she could with him in the neonatal intensive-care unit. During this time, Rubi became worried and depressed, problems she continues to grapple with. “The pregnancy triggered something in me,” she says. “I feel tired, no appetite, no support at all.”

Video Transcript

What had happened was my placenta had detached and the baby was suffocating I was confused. No one was in the room with me. Doctors kept coming in. I saw them cleaning him and put a wire through his head. They just rushed him. They were like, “he’s ok, his oxygen is a little bit low. I just remember laying there, shaking, cold and sweaty, hoping everything will be all right I wanted someone there with me; didn’t want the baby to go up there by himself. They put me in the room, lay me down to rest, and said they’ll bring me back up. I started to cry. After an hour passed, I went to see the baby in the NICU. Staring at all of them, not know which was mine. It didn’t feel real at the time; I just couldn’t believe he came out of me.

Every day I had to leave the hospital without the baby. I came back again to hear bad news: his oxygen was low, he had jaundice. He’s not gaining weight. I held him on my chest, kangaroo style. But I was lonely. I wasn’t producing milk, my hair started falling out, I kept crying. The nurse asked, “Are you all right?” “I don’t know, I can’t stop crying.” She told me the medical term, but didn’t explain why I was feeling so down. I begged for rides to the hospital, but I didn’t want to bother anyone. I stayed until late at night, without eating, I still felt depressed. I’m not used to this life, taking care of another person. The pregnancy triggered something in me. I feel tired, no appetite, no support at all. I did it all by myself. No support when there was people around who could help me. It still hits me really bad.