Pasco mother dies unexpectedly after giving birth, baby survives

Pasco mother dies unexpectedly after giving birth, baby survives

RICHLAND, Wash. -- A Pasco mom was supposed to turn 38 on Wednesday. But instead of planning  a birthday party, her family is planning her funeral. Ana Rodriguez-Gutierrez died a short time after giving birth to her son last Saturday.

Ana's husband points out the features on his newborn son that are similar to the boy's mother: "Her mouth, her chin..."

Raul Gutierrez Jr. was born Saturday to a family full of life.

Raul Gutierrez Sr. says of his wife, "She was just a happy person, really happy person."

But that happy person never even knew her son had arrived. The 37-year-old had gone to Kadlec Regional Medical Center when she began having contractions.

Raul recalls, "Everything was so perfectly fine. The doctor, the nurse checked her couple minutes before. Everything was fine, really good, and then from there, I don't know."

While in a birthing suite, the mother of four - soon to be five - complained of a headache, and then nausea. Ana threw up a couple of times.

"And from there, there's nothing else I can say after that, because everything was..." Raul said before trailing off.

Ana went unconscious, and her heart stopped. Doctors delivered baby Raul through an emergency cesarean section. The infant had to be revived himself. Doctors say, had it been one minute later, baby Raul wouldn't have made it.

He was saved, but Ana couldn't be. Doctors worked on her, but she was pronounced dead, just an hour after her baby was born.

Dante Sanchez was Ana's firstborn.

"I'm glad she's in a better place right now," said Dante. "I really hope God takes care of her. She blesses our family. Sadly, our family still needs her here, but she's looking down on us, and that's all that matters."

Dante is going to be a father himself. The 20-year-old expected his own child would grow up with his little brother. Dante is being strong for his family, and especially his little sisters, ages 10, 7 and 5. But the grief is immeasurable.

Raul helps them go on, pointing to his baby: "There it is. It's probably a miracle that he's here right now."

The family has matching necklaces, made of a heart with a hole that's cut out on the inside. That center hole will be buried with Ana.

It's not yet clear what caused Ana's death.  An autopsy was done at the hospital but results aren't expected for another couple weeks.

There is a fund set up for Ana's family.  If you'd like to make a donation to the family, you can click here.