My friend Erin and I were in the same 1st grade class. We were childhood friends, high school friends and college roommates. She is my guest blogger today, October 15th, National Infant Loss Awareness Day. Thank you for reading her story.
Alex and I are the proud parents of three beautiful children. This is the story of our firstborn, Kyle Antonio Oliveira.
|Erin and Alex. Erin is 29 weeks pregnant with Kyle.|
When we found out we were pregnant on Father’s Day of 2008, we were SO excited. We immediately started dreaming of all the things we’d do with our little one. We were ready for this big adventure, and decided we’d introduce baby to some of our favorite activities while I was pregnant – taking road trips, going to basketball games, spending relaxing days at the beach or fishing, renovating the guest room into a nursery and more. I had “morning” (aka all-day) sickness off and on during the first trimester, but felt really great through the rest of the pregnancy. The months passed pretty quickly, with lots of excitement along the way: finding out we were having a boy, painting his room the perfect shade of teal, celebrating with our favorite people at two fun baby showers, and all the little preparations in between. We chose the name Kyle, and couldn’t wait to meet our boy.
|Adorable Erin at 31 weeks.|
Kyle moved a TON while I was pregnant. I enjoyed being pregnant and that indescribable, crazy and sometimes strange feeling of my son growing, moving, having hiccups and changing positions. He never stayed still for long, and Alex spent many evenings with his hand resting on my belly while we read to Kyle as he kicked back. At our last doctor’s appointment on February 10th, our midwife said I was progressing and even mentioned what an active guy we were having. Any day now! When I woke up on Friday, February 13th, I noticed right away that I didn’t feel Kyle moving. I wasn’t worried, as we’d heard that once babies “drop” their movements would be fewer. I ate some cereal, laid on the couch and waited for the predictable huge movements I knew I’d feel. Nothing. We decided to just grab our already-packed bags and head to the hospital, knowing soon we’d meet our son.
We were quiet on the ride to the hospital – definitely not our norm. We both just wanted to know Kyle was ok and were anxious to hear his heartbeat, see him moving on the ultrasound screen. The first nurse reassured us as she moved the Doppler around my stomach, saying that this happens often, especially so close to the due date. But after several minutes of trying, she couldn’t find his heartbeat – and neither of us missed the brief worried expression that passed over her face. Another nurse came in but she didn’t find his heartbeat either. It was the ultrasound technician who had to say the absolute worst words any expectant parents can hear…“I’m so sorry, but your son has no heartbeat.”
|Erin at 38.5 Weeks with Kyle.|
The hours and days following were a painful blur. Calling our parents, who answered the phone excitedly, thinking it was time. Starting the induction process. Visits from our priest, hospital counselors, nurses, doctors. Talk of a likely umbilical cord accident and burial arrangements. Seeing our devastation reflected on the faces of our close family and friends. But on Saturday, February 14th, 2009 at 9:47 a.m., the fog lifted as I delivered our beautiful 7 pound, 15 ounce, 21 inch-long Kyle. We experienced the highest high in meeting him, holding him – he was perfect. Full head of hair, Daddy’s nose, Mommy’s lips. We kissed him, cuddled him, marveled at his long fingers, his round cheeks. We memorized him from head to toe. And then we experienced the lowest low when we had to say goodbye to our firstborn son.
|A memorial bench that we placed near a playground to remember Kyle.|
One year and four days later, we welcomed our 2nd son, Luka Kyle. Two and a half years later, Kamila Elisabeth was born. We talk about their big brother often and look forward to being together again one day.
Today, on National Infant Loss Awareness Day, and every day – we remember Kyle. We remember the parents who have struggled as we have struggled. No parent should outlive their child. We remember the families and friends who have been touched by the brief yet meaningful lives of the babies lost.“It is not how long a star shines, but the brightness of its light.”
~Guest blog post by Erin.
Please join us in remember Kyle by lighting a candle at 7:00pm today.