As life moves forward, I am riddled with guilt. It consumes me on a minute to minute basis of every day.
How can I be functioning in this world? How can I still be Rhyli and Nate’s mama, Phil’s partner? How can I work and keep friendships? I don’t deserve this. My baby is dead. I failed him, yet I am still alive, still breathing… this can’t be right…
It’s been 73 days since my beautiful son Nash Owen was born into this world. Still in his sac, saving me, his mama, from losing the ability to ever bear any more children. He did that for me, yet I couldn’t save him… This can’t be right…
Nash was born at 20 weeks + four days. At 15 weeks, it was found that Nash had an enlarged bladder. This kicked off an amnio, numerous scans and appointments with multiple specialists. Nash’s diagnosis was Posterior Urethral Valves, causing a blockage and not allowing his bladder to empty. The pressure this caused made severe damage to his kidneys. The prognosis was not looking good but we held out hope that the blockage would burst and his little bladder would empty… This was not to happen. From the first scan, we were told we always had a choice. Continue with the pregnancy or terminate if you chose. How a parent can choose to terminate when there is still a small chance the blockage could blast and fix itself? We just had to hold on to all hope we had.
With each scan, my amniotic fluid decreased. It wasn’t looking good. Nash’s kidneys got worse and worse and his stomach was also now enlarged. To add to the heartache, it was determined I had severe placenta previa.
The risk to my life was high if I continued with the pregnancy as if I went into spontaneous labour I would most definitely bleed out. Having a 9 and 7-year-old already at home, the choice was taken out of my hands. It was determined Nash would not survive. His amniotic fluid was extremely low, he had left foot talipes due to restriction from the little fluid. His kidneys, bladder and stomach were getting worse and worse.
On Thursday, April 16, I was admitted to hospital for an induction. It was tricky. Severe Placenta Previa at such an early stage was not good. We had a team of 5 specialists working around the clock trying their very hardest to get a natural delivery as caesarean at this stage was just too risky for me.
My little angel was thinking of his mama as he made his way into the world at 6:36 p.m. Sunday, April 19, 2015, still in his sac. Not one nic of my placenta, my bleeding stayed under control and my beautiful boy was born naturally. His daddy cut his cord and he was placed on my chest. But he was still not breathing.
My little angel who we would never get to hear with our own ears, cry, giggle, scream, laugh — I can’t explain how broken I felt at that moment but at the same time so blessed that I got to experience giving birth to this bundle of joy. He was beautiful. The birth was in all its entirety, beautiful. All 485 grams of him was pure beauty. Long legs, toes and fingers like his daddy, gorgeous lips and nose like his big brother. I could not get enough of him. To this day, I can still smell him. His smell is something that will stay with me for life. Daddy and I had lots of time with him in the hospital and at the funeral home in the chapel.
We farewelled our gorgeous boy on Wed April 22, 2015, at a service with family and close friends. It was beautiful and I am so glad we decided to give him the service he deserved. He was and always will be our son. A brother, a grandson, a nephew and a cousin. He will always be part of our family and I wanted people to know him and know how much we love him.
The guilt riddles me every minute of every day. How can I go on with life when Nash was robbed of life? This can’t be right… How can this be the way of life for so many grieving parents? How do you do it? Get through each and every day for the rest of your days without your child?
I guess we are living proof that you do. You do get through each day and life does go on, despite the battle within yourself that you continue to fight each and every day.
What I would give to go back to April 19, 2015, and have him in my arms once more. To go back to feel him in my belly, listening to his heartbeat at the ultrasound, feeling him rolling around at night. I would do anything to have my beautiful Nashy Pear with me once again.
But I will always be thankful for the time I did have with him. The 20 weeks I got to grow him and protect him and be his mama. I will always be your mama baby boy and I will miss you for eternity.
— Amy Brown
Photo credit: adapted from zubrow | Flickr