Lillian “Lily” Rae Dewbre



Tim and I were thrilled when we found out we were having a baby girl in April 2018. I had a completely normal, uneventful pregnancy and made it to 41 weeks. The day I was scheduled to be induced, around 3 PM, I began having contractions. However, less than an hour after my contractions started, they began to get more painful and more irregular. My husband quickly took us to the University of Iowa Hospital and less than 15 minutes after arriving, we were being prepped for an emergency c-section due to a very low fetal heart rate.


At 4:34 PM on September 26th, 2018, Tim and I welcomed a beautiful 7 lb 1.6 oz baby girl named Lillian. Once we were able to see Lily in the NICU, we found out that she required CPR after birth and needed a breathing tube. The next morning, we were hit with the worst news we have ever received. Lily was officially declared brain dead and there was no chance of recovery.


On September 27th, most of our family was able to meet Lily. We had her baptized and chose to withdraw life support. Her breathing tube was removed at 5:26 PM and despite everything we were told, she lived for over an hour. At 6:33 PM, after 26 hours of life, Lily passed away in our arms.


Being on a unit with other healthy babies was extremely difficult. I felt that “mom guilt”. Did I do something wrong? What did I miss? Was it my fault she wasn’t here with us? As we left the hospital, it still didn’t feel real. I felt like I was leaving something behind. Of course, I was. It was my baby girl.


Tim and I decided that we wanted Lily’s memory to continue after her death, so we chose to donate her organs. While her eyes went to research, her heart valves went to save two other newborn babies.


I found No Foot Too Small in November of 2018 after a recommendation from an old classmate and decided to attend their Iowa City mom’s group. To say that it was nerve-wracking is an understatement, but the amazing women I met that night were extremely welcoming and supportive.


We will be forever grateful for all the support and love we have received from our family and friends. I am so thankful for everyone in the No Foot Too Small community for teaching me how to celebrate Lily and reminding me that we did all we could for her. 


~Kailee Dewbre