Jean Luc Montou/Facebook
One man has experienced the ultimate joy and the most heartbreaking sorrow all within the same day. This dad, Jean Luc Montou, announced the birth of his son and the death of his partner and baby's mother in a devastating Facebook post.
It's hard to imagine what this man, who watched his young family grow one moment and then saw it devastatingly shrink the next, must be feeling.
In a gut-wrenching Facebook post, Montou shared photos of the healthy-looking woman he was planning to marry, Sarah Bertrand, and their brand-new son, Julian Charles. No one would ever believe what would happen next when those photos were taken.
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He captioned the bittersweet photo: "Still doesn't even feel real. It just happened within moments and she was gone. I loved this woman so much and there was no warning. She was so happy to have little Julian. I miss her so much."
It's hard to even fathom so much love and so much loss occurring simultaneously.
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So, what caused this 29-year-mom to die shortly after giving birth? Doctors at the Louisiana hospital where she delivered are still looking into the cause but believe Bertrand suffered a rare pregnancy condition known as an amniotic embolism, which results in heart and lung collapse and internal bleeding.
"Once the symptoms start showing, it's already begun," said Montou, who told Today Parents that Bertrand had a headache and seemed to suffer a seizure before she died. "I remember thinking it would be okay 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."
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Now the 24-year-old dad, who has a 3-year-old daughter from a previous relationship, will be raising his family on his own, while doing everything he can to keep the memory of Sarah alive for his son.
"Julian was her purpose," Montou told Today. "I'll tell him that he's not just her son, he's her legacy. I'll tell him that his mom loved him so much, but that she needed a rest from this life ... that she gave so much of herself to nearly everyone she knew and that it was her turn to relax."
In order to help support his young family, the heartbroken dad has set up a GoFundMe page as a way for people to show their love and concern for this little boy who will never know the mother who was so eager to meet him.
"She worked hard during delivery and was excited to see Julian finally," Montou told Today. "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.'"