On July 3rd, 2021, I was seven months pregnant, and this day was forever life-changing. Around 8 PM, my water broke, so I rushed to Scripps Mercy Hospital not knowing what to really expect, especially due to the fact of how early this was all happening. After a few tests and one ultrasound I was told the most devastating news a mother could hear.
My daughter’s brain was filled with fluid and due to the severity of the damage they were unsure of her outcome.
Instantly I thought, how could no one have seen this problem sooner? I was going to all my prenatal care appointments, but at the time I lived in Bakersfield and there’s no doubt in my mind someone knew but just didn’t care to tell me! They transported me to Marry Birch Hospital for Women so my daughter could get the help that she needed.
Fast forward a few weeks on August 13th, 2021. I had a C-section and my first beautiful baby girl was born. Iyah Reign Epiphany Coles, daughter of Rhonda and Gyasi. She was exactly 4 pounds. They rushed her to the NICU running all kinds of tests on her. Once I was able to see her I fell in love at first sight, a bittersweet moment. The nurses put her on my chest and told me to enjoy my time with her and just love her as much as possible! Those words broke me and instantly my heart started racing. The doctor came over and informed me that my daughter had little to no brain matter. He stated that it was all FLUID and that it’s a miracle she had even made it this far and was breathing on her own. At that moment I knew she needed me more than ever to protect and take care of her. They gave my baby a couple hours to live.
About 12 hours pass and a nurse comes to check her hearing and eyesight. No less than an hour later I was told that she could not see or hear. From there the doctor gave her a couple of days to weeks to live and as the time slowly passed all my daughter did was sleep. She didn’t even wake up to drink her bottle, she had to be fed by a feeding tube. As time passed I decided to take her out of the hospital because I have two other children, Yisrael and Egypt who I also had to take care of and every time I left the hospital I thought Iyah was going to die and the thought of not being there for her killed me. She was released on hospice and every day that passed I was just waiting for her to pass away. This was the most difficult thing I have ever been through. Watching my baby sleep all day and not doing anything made me feel like she was already halfway gone!
Iyah lived for 1 YEAR and 3 months. She passed away on November 3, 2022, which was the day after her brother’s 5th birthday, another day I will never forget. Iyah not only taught me a lot about myself but she also showed me the power of God here. She was such a mystery to every doctor that came her way, no one could explain how she was even able to breathe due to her literally having only about 9% of brain matter. She was a warrior sent from God. I’m blessed to be her mother and very appreciative of the time I got to spend with her. To this day, 1 year later I’m still mourning her passing but what gives me peace is knowing that she is at peace! Her older brothers keep me going and so does her spiritual presence. I am currently pregnant with my second daughter Reign and all I can think about is that I hope the same thing doesn’t happen. Iyah always shows up when I worry too much about the safety of her baby sister. She reassures me by telling her sister to do a little dance in my stomach then once I feel better Reign goes back to sleep.
My sweet baby girl Iyah Reign Epiphany Coles will forever live in my heart and soul and will always be my hero. She saved me in ways I never thought was possible. Mommy loves you, Iyah!