The short life of Baby Milo
I originally posted this from The Washington Post but I understand many couldn’t read it. I will add the original post here because Frank had a great comment on it. But I want everyone to realize the heartbreak of this family, the expenses they were forced to incur, and the risk to the woman’s life who had a child already who could have lost his mother, all due to some republicans on the right demanding to make the medical decisions for this woman and her family. They were forced to give birth to a child who couldn’t live risking the woman’s life, give that child a name, and then under law bury that child with all the emotions / exspeces that goes along with all of that. I cried reading this the first time, and I cried hard reading it the second time. I wonder if the radical fundmentlist religous right that forces this cry at all when they read it? Out of respect I wont color any of it as all of it is serious and important Hugs.
THE WASHINGTON POST: The short life of Baby Milo
The short life of Baby Milo
Nobody expected Baby Milo to live for long.
He arrived in the world with no kidneys, underdeveloped lungs and a life expectancy of between 20 minutes and a couple of hours.
He lived for 99 minutes.
Milo Evan Dorbert drew his first and last breath on the evening of March 3. The unusual complications in his mother’s pregnancy tested the interpretation of Florida’s new abortion law.
Deborah Dorbert discovered she was pregnant in August. Her early appointments suggested the baby was thriving, and she looked forward to welcoming a fourth member to the family. It didn’t occur to her that fallout from the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn a half-century constitutional right to abortion would affect them.
A routine ultrasound halfway through her pregnancy changed all that.
Deborah and her husband, Lee, learned in late November that their baby had Potter syndrome, a rare and lethal condition that plunged them into an unsettled legal landscape.
The state’s ban on abortion after 15 weeks of gestation has an exception for fatal fetal abnormalities. But as long as their baby’s heart kept beating, the Dorberts say, doctors would not honor their request to terminate the pregnancy. The doctors would not say how they reached their decision, but the new law carries severe penalties, including prison time, for medical practitioners who run afoul of it. The hospital system declined to discuss the case.
Instead, the Dorberts would have to wait for labor to be induced at 37 weeks.
For the next three months, the Dorberts did their best to prepare for their second son’s short life. They consulted with palliative care experts and decided against trying to prolong his life with high-tech interventions.
“The most important thing for us was to let him know he was loved,” Deborah said.
The day before Milo was born, the Dorberts sat down with their son Kaiden to explain that the baby’s body had stopped working and that he would not come home. Instead, some day, they told Kaiden, they would all meet as angels. The 4-year-old burst into tears, telling them that he did not want to be an angel.
Without functioning kidneys, a fetus with Potter syndrome cannot produce the amniotic fluid that allows the lungs to expand and that cushions the growing body. The babies who survive until birth typically have contracted limbs, club feet and flattened features from being compressed against the uterus wall.
But after Deborah’s 12-hour labor, Milo turned out to be 4 pounds and 12 ounces of perfection, with tiny, flawlessly formed hands and feet and a head of brown hair.
– – –
“When he came out you could hear him gasping for air. He was really trying to breathe. … He didn’t cry when he was born and he didn’t open his eyes at all. But I mean, he struggled.” – Deborah Dorbert
– – –
“I thought I had my miracle,” said Peter Rogell, the baby’s grandfather, who attended the delivery. He allowed himself a moment of hope until the obstetrician cut the umbilical cord that for 37 weeks had performed the functions Milo’s underdeveloped lungs and missing kidneys would now take over.
– – –
“When they pulled the baby out I thought my miracle happened. ‘Cause he looked perfect to me.” – Peter Rogell
– – –
Milo remained blue, swaddled in a blanket hand-knit by his great grandmother.
He never cried or tried to nurse or even opened his eyes, investing every ounce of energy in intermittent gasps for air.
“That was the beginning of the end,” Rogell said, recalling the persistent gulps that he thought at first were hiccups but turned out to be his grandson’s labored efforts to inhale.
Lee read a book to his dying son – “I’ll Love You Forever,” a family favorite that the Dorberts had given Kaiden for Valentine’s Day – and sang Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds.”
For 99 minutes that lasted a lifetime, they cuddled and comforted their newborn.
– – –
“The baby just went to my chest, and we just cuddled with him. … My parents held him for a little bit. And we kinda just gave him all the loving until he passed.” – Deborah Dorbert
– – –
At 11:13 p.m., a doctor declared Milo dead.
The nurses took some photos, clipped a few pieces of Milo’s dark brown hair and made imprints of his hands and feet on the inside cover of Kaiden’s book before taking the infant down to the morgue. Milo’s organs were either missing or too damaged to be donated; his body was so small that even his heart valve could not be used to save another baby.
Milo would be cremated, with some of his ashes embedded in a pendant for Kaiden and two spherical glass ornaments.
Deborah feared that mementos would serve as reminders of her pain.
But gradually, she realized she might want something to hold onto, or as a teaching tool for Kaiden.
“Down the road he might have questions,” she said, imagining how she might pull out an object to help explain “what I went through, how the laws dictated this.”
Two weeks later, about 40 of the Dorberts’ friends and family members gathered at Lakeland Funeral Home and Memorial Gardens for a service.
A three-inch-tall silver urn – delivered by Amazon the previous day after other child-sized urns turned out to be too big – sat on a memorial table with two vases of flowers, carefully picked out at a nearby Publix supermarket, and a photo of Milo, wrapped in the hand-knit blanket and held by his parents in the hospital bed.
Deborah and Lee sat rock still and silent in the front row as Milo’s aunts and uncles and several cousins walked in and took their seats. Her usually free-flowing hair was pulled back from her face and held in a bun.
The service, which mixed Christian gospels and the Lord’s Prayer with “Three Little Birds,” lasted about 45 minutes – half as long as Milo’s life.
The pastor from a local Lutheran church had a message for the congregation. “Not everything happens for a reason,” she said, echoing Deborah’s own rejection that the manner of Milo’s birth and death carried some special spiritual significance.
– – –
“Milo. Milo. For such a little love, he leaves a giant hole in our soul and in our hearts. And nobody – nothing else – can completely fill that hole.” – The Rev. Pamela Smith
– – –
Deborah occasionally stifled sobs or turned to quiet Kaiden, until she could contain her feelings no longer, and Lee reached over to embrace her slender shaking frame.
Rogell lingered at the funeral home after others left, staring at the urn that contained his 16th grandchild’s ashes and trying to reconcile his own misgivings about elective abortion with the months of suffering he watched his daughter and her family endure.
Now, he was haunted by the sound of Milo gasping for air and the sight of his body struggling to ward off a death that had been inevitable for three long months.
“To me it’s just pure torture,” Rogell said. “The law has created torture.”
In many ways, the routines of daily life returned swiftly after Milo died.
Deborah shuttles Kaiden back and forth to preschool. The Dorberts take occasional outings to the aquarium or hike the trails near their house. They visit family.
Deborah held her brother’s baby girl, born a few days after Milo – the products of pregnancies that had followed parallel paths until Thanksgiving.
“I’m happy for my brother. He has a precious baby girl that brings so much happiness to his family, and that makes me happy,” she said. “Is it hard to see her because my son’s not here? Absolutely.”
Deborah says she is wrestling with anxiety and depression. She hasn’t returned to her part-time job filling Instacart orders. And she still hasn’t figured out how to respond to Kaiden, when he asks whether he can see his baby brother.
“We tell him he’s something he feels, like the wind. Or we point up to the stars and say he’s an angel with the stars,” she said. “We’re still kind of navigating that question, for him to understand.”
Kaiden brought a card home from preschool for Mother’s Day. It showed a family of four purple stick figures with bulging torsos – Mommy, Daddy, Kaiden and Baby Milo.
Deborah said her grief is complicated by ongoing anger that her decision to terminate her pregnancy early was thwarted by politicians she has never met and who are not experts about obstetrics.
The mail brings reminders of the Dorberts’ new financial burdens, invoices for all the things they wish had never happened: $12,320 so far in medical costs – not including induction and delivery, $7,000 for Milo’s cremation and funeral, and $500 for the keepsakes in memory of their son.
The bills keep coming. Deborah estimates that Lee’s health insurance will pick up about half of the medical costs, some of which will be offset by a GoFundMe appeal that one of her sisters set up.
The Dorberts have no idea how their grief will evolve, or if they will ever come to terms with losing control over the most painful decision of their lives.
“It’s really becoming our reality now,” Deborah said. “We don’t know what six months is going to look like. We don’t know what a year looks like. We’re just kind of taking it one day at a time. Because that’s all we really can handle, is just taking it one day at a time.”
– – –
“If people want to really know how I’m doing, I’m not doing okay.” – Deborah Dorbert
– – –
In the midst of that uncertainty, Deborah has endeavored to find some purpose in Milo’s short life, sharing the story of her pregnancy as broadly as she can, even as she has watched Florida legislators move to restrict state laws around abortion even further.
It surprises family members to see Deborah take such a public stance.
“I always thought of her as my shy child,” Rogell said.
But Deborah wants other people to know what happened, how politicians intervened in decisions about medical care with a law that made doctors fearful of terminating even hopeless pregnancies.
“If it helps another family or a mom, then good came of it because we’re all here to help one another,” Deborah said. “It’s not something easy to go through alone. You need all the support you can get.”
A Texas woman was killed by her boyfriend after getting an abortion, police say
May 13, 202312:29 PM ET
A screenshot taken from Google Street View shows the gas station parking lot in Dallas where Gabriella Gonzalez was fatally shot the morning after she’d gotten an abortion in Colorado.
Google Street View/Screenshot by NPR
A man fatally shot his girlfriend in Dallas on Wednesday because he was upset she’d gotten an abortion, court records allege.
Harold Thompson, age 22, is facing murder charges in connection with the death of 26-year-old Gabriella Gonzalez.
The pair were in a “dating relationship,” according to an arrest affidavit, and were seen walking together in a gas station parking lot the morning after Gonzalez had traveled to Colorado to get an abortion.
Texas has outlawed abortion in nearly every stage of pregnancy since the overturning of Roe v. Wade in June 2022. Colorado abortion law is among the country’s most permissive, allowing for legal abortions at nearly every stage of pregnancy, without waiting periods.
A police investigator wrote that Thompson was believed to be the father of Gonzalez’s child, and that he did not want her to end her pregnancy.
Video surveillance shows that Thompson put Gonzalez in a “choke hold” as they were talking, police say, but she “shrugs him off.”
Thompson then pulled out a firearm and shot Gonzalez several more times before fleeing. Police declared Gonzalez dead at the scene.
Thompson is being held in a Dallas County jail. Court records show he will be represented by state-appointed counsel but did not list the name or contact information of his attorney.
A separate arrest warrant for Thompson, issued in March, was still active at the time of the shooting, court records show. The March affidavit does not name Gonzalez as the complainant, but the May affidavit describes her as “the victim” in the incident reported then.
The March affidavit states that Thompson had beat the victim, a woman pregnant with his child, several times throughout their relationship, including trying to strangle her and leaving her with a black eye.
The victim claimed that Thompson had “violently attacked her and left her bruised up” and remained “very fearful of the suspect,” police wrote.
“She is scared of the suspect because he had made threats to harm her family and her children,” the warrant states. “She has kids from a different relationship, and suspect is very jealous of the complainant’s ex-boyfriend.”
Court records show Gonzalez’s sister, Mileny Rubio, was a witness to the shooting.
“He was so angry that she wanted to get away from him,” she told local news outlet local news outlet KXAS. She added later, “I knew she wasn’t OK but we couldn’t get help, we didn’t know how.”
Gonzalez had just ended a tumultuous, four-month relationship with Thompson when the shooting occurred, her family said.
Some news stuff I have been reading over the last few days
ND Gov Signs Bill Ordering Outing Of Trans Students
Texas Mass Shooter Posted Praise Of Libs Of TikTok
Republicans hate democracy and free-and-fair elections because they and their vile policies cannot win majority popular support.
So they have to rig and cheat.
“Stop using taxpayer values to push an agenda!” the bigoted governor screeched, as he used taxpayer dollars to push his agenda on everyone in the state.
Dave B21 hours ago edited
Stitt said. “I’m just tired of using taxpayer dollars for some person’s agenda. I represent the taxpayers.”
Who the fuck are LGBTQA+ people and their families if not fucking tax payers?
Thorn Spike Dave B21 hours ago
And he’s using their tax dollars to push his own agenda. Irony still dead.
LGBTQIA+ Oklahomans need to start demanding their tax dollars back.
Elagabalus MrRobotoLA20 hours ago
That’s the problem with being a minority which represents roughly 5% of the population (except in larger cities with large gay populations). Unless the majority of citizens stand with you, which they usually don’t, you’re on your own.
Darreth Dave B20 hours ago edited
And that’s the bottom line. Not that they’re taxpayers but rather the fact that that evangelical governor doesn’t see them as citizens, taxpayers, or as a demographic worth even bothering with; by acknowledging who and what they are.
Thus, he’s worse than evil. He literally can’t see LGBT people as a thing. His religion has rotted his forebrain.
Houndentenor Dave B17 hours ago
Yes, queer people are taxpayers, but they don’t consider us citizens with rights.
Frank McCormick Dave B2 hours ago
He reminds me of the Chicago aldermen that insisted that no gay people lived in their ward during the debate over gay rights.
Gregory In Seattle21 hours ago
No, sweetie, you represent a very narrow, exceedingly bigoted minority of taxpayers hell-bent on forcing the rest of the country to kowtow to your twisted views of morality.
“the [white male] ones that are blamed for any social ills”
Feel free to look at the office holders for the Republican (and some D) party. Pretty much white male. Also old, rich and christian. So yes, it’s entirely fair to put all the crap at their feet. it’s their show in a large part of the USA.
When you don’t have a Benghazi but need one, you do this.
“Can’t you hear the children scream”? Send by Randy
U.S. religious extremists help push radical anti-gay laws in Africa
This is all about forcing their religious views on others, despite the medical evidence they are wrong. People are born gay, conversion therapy won’t work. But more important, being gay is not a sickness needing a cure. These people do such harm in their attempt to push their hate and the hate of their god on to everyone else. These are the Christian Taliban and the Christian ISIS missionaries. They demand the right to oppress others, and since they lost that right in most developed countries they are trying to prevent acceptance in the undeveloped countries from ever taking hold. They came their god is all powerful and that their god creates every person individually, so why does their god keep making gay and trans people? Hugs
True Facts: Fungi That Control The Insects They Eat
Most Of Kenyan Starvation Cult’s Victims Are Children
I am sorry but I can not deal with this. For the last few days I have read of how bad gays and trans people are and I have even posted religious leaders screaming about this. I am really not able to process that the very religion’s that scream about how bad people like me are but they don’t seem to care about the members of their faith that rape or even kill the followers of their faith. Before anyone tries to tell me about the very few gay / trans killers please remember that our community did not gather around to protect those horrible people. Churches / religious organizations do! Hugs
DeSantis: My Prayers Turned Away A Major Hurricane
This is such a play for the Christian Nationalist, it is scary how blatant it is. I wish DeathSantis had prayed to his god when Hurricane Ian ripped a third of my home away and caused so much damage to our neighbors homes they moved away. That hurricane we took 8 hours of storm wall hurricane force, the worst part of the hurricane. We have lost not only a third of our home for nearly a year, but we took damage to the underneath along with all our floors needing to be replaced along with appliances. Of course our first priority is the roof which we have a contract for over $15,000 and the under the home repairs are estimated to be over 8 grand. Yet this super Christian right wing governor who seems to have the power of the Christian god decided to use it on a hurricane that moved off the coast as was predicted by the European models of storm tracking. Of course, he only uses that power for his big money donors and on hurricanes that already were projected to turn. Long after it did turn and not hit the state hard. Hindsight is a great help to the religious. Hugs
DeSantis: My Prayers Turned Away A Major Hurricane
“We brought the delegation for prayer at the Western Wall. The only thing I can tell you is my prayer in 2019 is that we would be spared the upcoming hurricane season in the state of Florida. And we were in a situation as we got in the height of hurricane season, you had a monstrous hurricane barreling east – or barreling west towards the Florida peninsula, Hurricane Dorian.
“It was a category 5, a very strong category 5, and it was headed – basically gonna ram right into our state. And at that time, when it was on that track, people were saying, ‘Well, God must not be listening to the governor because we may be getting rammed here’
“Well, the storm was heading our way, it slowed down, it turned all the way, 90 degrees, it went north and never impacted our coast. And so, I’m chalking it up to the prayer I put in the Western Wall.” – Ron DeSantis