Monday, June 17, 2013

Aaron's Story, by his mama

Post by Katie.

We found out in June 2012 that we would be welcoming our third child into our family. We went to our ultrasound on October 9, 2012 with our two young daughters expecting to find out whether we would be having a little brother or a little sister for them. What we found out is that we probably wouldn't get to bring home a baby brother or a baby sister.

We found out that day that our third baby had a condition called anencephaly in which the brain and skull do not form completely. They aren't entirely sure what causes it, but know that folic acid plays an important role in helping to prevent it. It is 100% fatal, but some babies live for minutes, hours, days or months while others will be born sleeping. We made the decision that day that it wasn't our choice to determine how long our baby would live - we chose to carry for as long as God would allow.

At that first ultrasound, the tech wasn't sure on gender because baby wasn't cooperating (as it turns out, there was no real cooperation on any of our other ultrasounds but the guess was 'reasonably sure' we were having a girl). We chose the name that we had already planned for our third little girl, but our 3 year old quickly informed us that her baby sister should be named "Aurora." She was so adamant that we decided to let her name her sister and from that point, our baby was "Aurora."

The rest of the pregnancy went as smoothly as possible and there were really no complications. On February 19, we had a check-up with the OB in the afternoon and she said that I was only about a "fingertip" dilated. I had been having a few contractions here and there, but nothing much to worry about. On the way home from the appointment, I was having a few more but told myself that they were just because I was a little dehydrated and needed to rest. That was perfect because my husband and I had planned a date night - steak dinner, shopping, a babysitter, and a hotel room. (It was the first real date we had planned in a VERY long time!)

By the time we got home from the doctor, the contractions were a little more intense...but I was determined to get my steak dinner! Our date was planned for the same city where our preferred hospital was located so, just in case, we tossed our hospital bags in the car before we left. About fifteen minutes into our drive, I realized that those "barely contractions" I'd been having all day were about 4 minutes apart and lasting nearly a minute. I called the doctor and she told us to come in and get checked. Unfortunately, we hadn't eaten dinner so we made a quick stop at Arby's to grab a sandwich and then were off to the hospital.

We made it up to triage and they took us right back. Shortly after we got there and just before the doctor came in, my water broke. She checked me (at this point, contractions still weren't bad so I expected to be dilated to about 4-5cm) our surprise, I was fully dilated and she could feel "baby parts!" They put me in a wheelchair and rushed us to a room.

The room was barely set up because things had happened so quickly - we hadn't even brought up our overnight bags because we thought we would have plenty of time!! There were only a few nurses, my doctor, and my husband in the room with me. The contractions were still very mild and we could still hear baby's heartbeat on the monitor until about ten minutes before birth. The room was so peaceful and, like another momma put it, "felt like being in the presence of an angel." At 6:30pm on February 19, 2013 our first son Aaron Michael was born. (Apparently, he had been cleverly hiding at each ultrasound because we all got a surprise when my husband got ready to cut the cord and we discovered that "Aurora" was actually "Aaron!")

We got to spend the next 22 hours with him before entrusting him to the gentleman from the funeral home. We introduced him to his sisters, aunts, uncles, Mamaw and friends. We took footprints, handprints, molds, NILMDTS photos and told him so many things we wanted him to hear in the short time we got to spend with him.

One week later, our families and friends joined us in the celebration of a Catholic funeral mass for our little boy. It was one of the most beautiful services I have ever seen and felt the most incredible peace that day as we laid our only son to rest.

We continue to talk about "Baby Aaron" and his sisters will always know about their baby brother in Heaven. They know that he had a "boo-boo" on his head that the doctors couldn't fix and they have told us that "God and Grandma rock-a-bye Baby Aaron to sleep every night, then put him in his special crib." They enjoy taking special things to him at the the cemetery and still tell us something that they miss him. He will always be our little boy and we will always miss him but we are so grateful for the time that we were given with him and will always treasure the blessings of his memory.

*Read the full story on Katie's Blog: One Angel's Journey.

**Katie also makes beautiful paracord bracelets in memory of babies gone too soon. Find more information about Aaron's Angel Arms (and order yours today): Website& Facebook


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