“He’s her legacy,” father says of newborn son.
A father shared the news of his son’s birth and his partner’s death in an emotional Facebook post that has been read around the world. Jean Luc Montou and Sarah Bertrand welcomed their baby boy Julian Charles to the world on May 9. Just 24 hours later, Bertrand passed away.
“Sarah didn’t make it,” Montou shared on Facebook. “My last 24 hours with her was the happiest I’d ever been…I loved this woman like no other and she died in front of me while I held our son. Please take a few moments to remember this woman because she was the absolute best thing that has ever happened to me and Jane.” Jane is Montou’s 3-year-old daughter from a previous relationship, who Bertrand raised. She left her job as a veterinary technician to stay at home with Jane, TODAY reported. “Sarah was there for me when I was having a hard time as a single father. Sarah was there for Jane when she needed a mother figure,” Montou said. “Sarah did not skip a beat or hesitate to be there for us and love us from the time we met.”
Bertrand was elated to have a son. “Afterward, she just silently dropped tears of joy and happiness,” Montou explained. “She loved Julian so much.” About a day later, though, Bertrand died while Montou held their newborn. “I remember thinking it would be OK because we were in a hospital — and the staff tried so hard to help her — but I knew it was serious when they started doing compressions and began using the defibrillator,” Montou shared. While the hospital continues to investigate his wife’s death, the dad from Moss Bluff, Louisiana said doctors told him his partner likely died from an amniotic embolism, TODAY reported.
The condition is rare but life-threatening. During an amniotic embolism, the fluid that surrounds a baby in the uterus enters the mom’s bloodstream and can cause internal bleeding as well as heart and lung collapse.
The couple had planned on announcing Julian’s birth once they had made it home. They were going to take special photos of their newborn in his nursery for social media. When Bertrand died unexpectedly, Montou shared photos of his partner and their son in the hospital before her death to update family and friends. But the heartbreaking posts touched people in various countries and spread Bertrand’s story across the world. “She deserved no less than for the world to pause for a moment and see how strong, brave and happy she was before her sacrifice,” Montou shared. “I just wanted people to know who she was, and I don’t want her to disappear after everything she did for me, my daughter and Julian.”
For Bertrand, becoming a mother to Julian helped in her life-long struggle with severe anxiety. Montou said that growing their family brought Bertrand the peace she searched for her whole life. “She worked hard during delivery and was excited to see Julian finally,” he explained. ” Just 20 minutes before she died, Sarah said, ‘I have never loved anyone or anything as much as I love him — he’s like my favorite thing ever.'” Montou plans to share her story with Julian. “Julian was her purpose,” the father said. “I’ll tell him that he’s not just her son, he’s her legacy.” The couple had planned to get married after Julian’s birth, but now Montou is staying with family members while determining what is next. He’s set up a GoFundMe to help cover some of the family’s future needs.
“I loved this woman so much and there was no warning,” Montou wrote. “She was a gift from God and I only got her for so long.”
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