It has been my privilege to get to know Henderson over the last few months. Even just little glimpses into her life as new, online friends has afforded me the opportunity to see a woman who loves her family and … Continue reading
I am so happy to have a new category on the blog that spotlights sponsors and affiliates of Little Winged Ones! I will be featuring a special post each time someone chooses to place an advertisement on the blog relating to the baby loss community, so if you have a product or a service that you have created for parents who have lost a child – a book you’ve written, artwork or jewelry you create, memory boxes, anything – I would love to share your ad and your story here as a resource for others. Contact me or use the “Sponsorship” tab at the top of the page for more information.
My first spotlight is All That Love Can Do founder, RaeAnne Fredrickson. She shares the story of her precious Samuel and All That Love Can Do with us below. You can visit her blog for more information and find them on Facebook as well.
On September 13th, 2011, my husband and I found out we were expecting our first child. We were absolutely overjoyed! We immediately began preparing for our new little one and creating a space for him or her in our hearts and our home. We knew we would love our little baby forever.
Since the nurse practitioner I saw for my primary health care would be unable to deliver the baby, she recommended we start looking for an OBGYN as soon as possible. I found one to try and made an appointment for 13 weeks.
At 11 weeks, we had the opportunity to see our baby for the first time via ultrasound. I can’t begin to tell you how special that moment was, watching our tiny, perfect little love bouncing all around, kicking and even waving hello. With lots of happy tears and full hearts, we carried our photos home to dream of our new life together.
After a very uneventful first appointment with the new OBGYN at 13 weeks, she asked if we’d like to take a peek at the baby again. Of course we would! Once again, our special little one popped up on the screen as we watched in awe. Then, out of nowhere, the doctor turned the screen away. She said, “I’m seeing something disconcerting”. Time stopped and my heart felt as if it did too. She turned the screen back to us and pointed to the baby’s tummy. “See this black area…that’s not supposed to be there”.
To say we were stunned would be a massive understatement. I felt as if I was floating as we gathered up our things and headed home to await further testing. It wouldn’t be until 2 weeks later in the office of a maternal fetal medicine specialist when we would learn what was going on. Our baby – our loved and wanted little one – had a fluke condition called Bladder Outlet Obstruction due to Posterior Urethral Valves and would not be able to live. Despite the recommendation to end our baby’s life – “Absolutely not!” was our reply – we chose to love our little one for as long as we could by carrying him with the condition. With shattered hopes, hearts and dreams, we went home to try to sort out what on earth we had just heard.
Many, many times during the next five months, we were told our son (yep, he was a boy!) would not live much longer. We were told to expect a miscarriage, and then a stillbirth and on and on. Every step of the way, our little guy – who we named Samuel Evan – proved to be a little fighter and just kept on growing and living.
At 35 weeks, after a long and crazy labor, our little love was born into the world and let out a cry. Since he was born alive, they did all they could to help him. The hospital we were in was not well equipped, so he was sent to the Mayo Clinic to receive the best care. Due to my c-section, I was unable to go with him. My husband stayed by his side, held his hand and spoke love to him for as long as he could. After only four short hours, with his daddy holding his hand, our little Samuel took his last breath.
Now we are left to pick up the pieces of our shattered hearts and lives.
It’s been just over two years since he died. I miss him every day and I will always wish he had stayed. When I look back on the time we had with him, I’m so grateful we made the most of our time. I’m so glad we carried him and met him. We have memories and photos that will help us make it through each day. If I had the chance, I would do it again, just to look in his eyes, one more time. He was worth it.
Carrying to term doesn’t make the loss easier to bear. It doesn’t make it okay. I will never, ever, be okay that he was sick, or that he died. But I will always be glad that we chose life. I will always be proud that we did all we could. When I looked in his brown eyes, and held his little hand, I knew in my heart it had been worth it all. I would choose him again, every time.
I created All That Love Can Do to support and encourage other families facing the devastating news that their precious baby will not live. I truly believe there is nothing worse than to hear that news. It’s like two losses in one; first, at the time of the diagnosis, second at the time of their death. No one should face that alone. It is my sincere hope that every family who makes the loving and courageous decision to carry a baby with a fatal diagnosis will find help, comfort and healing through our page, blog and support groups.
With Samuel in my heart,
To read our full story, visit my blog, TheLoveWeCarry
Find help and resources on our blog, All That Love Can Do
Support, encouragement at our Facebook Page
And join our groups here:
For grandparents, Grandparents,
For babyloss families with no living children,
For babyloss families with living children, but no Rainbow
For babyloss parents who are TTC, carrying, or raising their Rainbow
*Rainbow is the term used to describe a baby born after loss.
All That Love Can Do
All Life is Precious, Even a Short One.