Jean Luc Montou has just lived out every new father’s worst nightmare.
Sharing a heartbreaking photograph with family and friends on social media, the 24-year-old dad had to announce the death of his partner, Sarah Bertrand, just one day after she’d given birth to their first child, a baby boy called Julian Charles.
Sarah and Jean Luc were looking forward to embarking on their journey of parenthood together, after Julian was born on May 9, when the new mother was suddenly taken ill in hospital.
But less than 24 hours later, Sarah, of Moss Bluff, Louisiana, suffered a suspected amniotic embolism – an extremely rare childbirth complication that causes heart and lung collapse and internal bleeding.
While doctors are investigating the precise cause of the young mother’s death, Jean Luc, who is also father to a 3-year-old girl called Jane from his previous relationship, paid tribute to his late partner.
He described Sarah moments after the birth, telling TODAY Parents:
Afterward, she just silently dropped tears of joy and happiness. She loved Julian so much.
Montou will tell his son that Bertrand loved him deeply as he grows up without a mum, adding:
Julian was her purpose. 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.
Montou’s heart-breaking Facebook post – only intended to be an update for those close to his family – has struck a chord and since been shared thousands of times by well-wishers.
Mountou said of the outpouring of love:
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.
The grieving father added:
I miss her so much, but sometimes I think it would be selfish to ask God to return her because she finally gets the peace and relaxation that she sought her entire life.
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.
Now, the father-of-two is staying with family members and trying to determine what his next steps will be as he comes to terms with the loss.
Montou also started a GoFundMe to raise money to help secure his family’s future.
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.