A Surrey couple is dealing with an inconceivable mix of emotions after their toddler died on the same day their new baby was born.
On March 3, a pregnant Megan Carbonetto dropped her husband off for work and returned home, where she lives with her mother-in-law and sister-in-law. She put on a pot of coffee and went to wake her three daughters.
She roused seven-year-old Sian and Abigail, 5. But when she tried to wake her youngest child, Sarah, there was no response. She rubbed her, then shook her, beginning to panic.
“She wasn’t waking up,” recalled Carbonetto.
She screamed and her relatives came running. They called 911 and performed CPR until paramedics arrived.
“I thought that when the ambulance got there, help is here, it’s going to be fixed, this is just a bad dream,” Carbonetto said.
One-year-old Sarah was pronounced dead at the scene.
Megan’s husband Angel raced home and police arrived to investigate. When Carbonetto got up to show an RCMP officer where her child had been sleeping, she buckled over in pain. That’s when they realized she was likely in premature labour and whisked her to Surrey Memorial Hospital. Less than 12 hours later, and seven weeks early, Carbonetto had baby girl named Zipporah.
Weighing just over five pounds, the infant is in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Surrey Memorial Hospital, where she’ll likely remain for the next two to three weeks.
For Carbonetto and her husband (left), the birth, on the heels of their other baby’s sudden death, brought a raft of emotions – from joy, to sadness, to guilt.
“I wanted to do everything but have the baby on that same day. It’s so unfair for her,” said Megan. “Now, for the rest of her life, her birthday is going to be the day we mourn for the loss of her sister.”
For now, she said, she’s simply trying to take care of herself so she can feed and take care of Zipporah.
Carbonetto said plenty of family support has helped during what she calls a “bittersweet” time.
“We’re doing the best we can,” she said.
Her brother, William Carbonetto, has set up a GoFundMe account to support the family and allow Angel to take some time off work. As of Friday, about $10,600 had been donated.
Megan Carbonetto is overwhelmed by the support.
“I’m just a mom from Surrey,” she said. “I’m not anybody special. It’s so unreal.”
Sarah, she said, was an adorable, loving and demanding little girl who knew exactly what she wanted.
“She really won people over. All that she wanted was to give kisses and hugs.”
Her cause of death is unknown. A funeral is planned for Saturday.
To make a donation to the Carbonetto family, visit http://bit.ly/1pkQM2H