LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Vanessa Breaux was halfway into her pregnancy when she found out she had an incompetent cervix. What she didn’t know was that the condition would change her life forever.

Vanessa Breaux is 22 years old. She was only 17 when she found out she was pregnant with her daughter Nonnie.

Breaux said that though young moms sometimes get discouraged, she was just excited.

Five years ago her life changed forever.

“I was at Festival International that day. I was trying to stay off of my feet,” Breaux said. “That night I just remember waking up throughout the night. I thought I just had a stomach ache.” About ten hours later, Breaux said she was in excruciating pain and had to be taken to the hospital.

Test results revealed she had an incompetent cervix and went into early labor. She was only 22 weeks pregnant. Breaux said doctors did not sugarcoat what would happen next.

“They were like ‘you’re in labor, you’re ten centimeters dialed, you’re going to have the baby today.’
I was like oh that’s fun and they were like ‘no, she’s not going to live,'” Breaux said.

Despite the news, she was hopeful. Not knowing how long she had to spend with her baby girl, she made sure Nonnie felt loved every minute.

“I was breathing in her face because she didn’t have lungs. I was holding her close, humming and singing,” said Breaux.

Three hours and 19 minutes later, Nonnie passed away.

She said she thought, “I just delivered a baby. This is my baby girl and I’m not going to walk out of the hospital with her.”

Vanessa says the first year without Nonnie was the hardest. But she decided she would honor her daughter’s life every year on her birthday. A small gesture that goes a long way.

“We find someone who has the same birthday as her and we pay for their cake.”

Nonnie’s birthday is April 30th. She would’ve been five this month.

Vanessa now has two boys, a one-year-old and a two-year-old, and she is currently expecting. She said she is grateful to be a mother, even on her hardest days.