Our Story

Born and raised in the same small central Indiana town, Brady and I were married in 2007. In 2011 we gave birth to our first son, Dawson. His pregnancy and birth were as picture perfect as you could imagine. Everything was smooth and easy. We knew we were blessed but we had yet to learn how blessed.

On May 28th, 2012 we discovered that we were pregnant again and this second pregnancy seemed to be as picture perfect as the first. I had my first ultrasound at 5 weeks and 5 days to determine how far along I was. We saw our bean shaped baby and heard his strong heartbeat. Music to the ears of expecting parents! We were due February 1st 2013.

Nausea, cravings and aversions plagued me like any other woman. Nothing severe or crippling. It was just a constant, sweet reminder of the baby growing inside of me.  At almost fourteen weeks we had another ultrasound. This one was just for fun, and any opportunity to see our little bean growing was one worth taking. This ultrasound proved my original inklings, that I was carrying another boy. We got to see him move around and count all 10 fingers and toes. What peace a mother has as she walks away from an ultrasound knowing that her baby is growing and forming into a perfect little being! That day I walked away with assurance. I often thought of how blessed I was to get pregnant without a problem and have such easy pregnancies. I appreciated that not every woman had that experience and I counted my blessings often.

On the night of September 9th 2012,  I didn't sleep much. Butterflies filled my stomach as I lay in bed thinking of the next day. What would I wear? Where were we going to buy the coming-home outfit and lovie? How exactly were we going to reveal the gender to our family and friends?

I already knew my baby was a boy but that didn't take away from the excitement of the 19 week ultrasound. Another chance to see my baby and learn more about him, and I couldn't have been happier. That morning as I got dressed I had a fleeting thought: How would I come home and tell my family that I lost the baby? Like I said, the thought was fleeting. I had absolutely no indication that anything was wrong. My only complaint was not feeling much movement yet. I was ready to feel those kicks but I just wasn't getting them like I wanted. I knew, however, that there was a good reason. They had told me at my last ultrasound it would take me longer to feel movement because I had an anterior placenta.

We sat in the waiting room for quite some time. Big bellies waddled in and out and all I could think of was what my baby would look like on that screen. A young couple came out with a long strand of ultrasound photos, both gleaming and proud. My excitement rose as I realized I was probably next. Soon that would be me!

I literally put one foot into the dimly lit ultrasound room and thought, something seems different. Not even a second long, that thought passed and I sat down on the bed. The warm jelly covered my larger-than-I-thought-it-should've-been, pregnant belly and memories of Dawson's ultrasound filled my mind.

I watched the screen as the tech pressed the doppler to my belly. Another thought hit me: this isn't exciting. It wasn't my thoughts that eventually slowed my excitement. It was the silence of the ultrasound tech. She gracefully scanned my belly with little words or expression. Just a quick description of what she was measuring. No small talk. No questions. I wondered why she was so quiet. Why wasn't she smiling for us? I watched the screen. A bit confused but hopeful.

"He must be nice and content just sleeping in there", I said. 

A mother's hope would muster those words as she stares at her lifeless baby on the screen. It all seemed so different than my ultrasound with Dawson, I thought. She came around to the left side of my belly pushing hard on his legs. He won't move for us, stubborn baby. My thoughts were still hopeful and clueless.

"Let me go get the doctor".

She left the room before I had a chance to realize what she said. I looked at Brady sitting next to me.

"That's not good," I told him.

My heart was beating uncontrollably fast. I could hardly catch my breath to talk to my husband. A troubled look covered Brady's face.

"It's going to be ok".

His words did not match the concern on his face. Every possibility other than death crossed my mind. I was sure they would have to rush me to the Emergency Room; my heart was beating so fast.  It seemed like 20 minutes we waited on my doctor, in reality it wasn't long at all until she walked into the room.

"Hey guys."

I replied with, "It isn't good, is it?"

With such sensitivity she said, "No, there is no easy way to say this, but your baby doesn't have a heartbeat."

I stared off in a blurry trance. I lost my peripheral vision and didn't realize that she got up to get a box of tissues until I felt them on my lap. She began to speak but I couldn’t hear her words. That is when I started to cry. With my hands in my face she told us what the ultrasound tech had found. All in all, it was a chromosomal abnormality. What I know now as the culprit to so many losses. My doctor told us what we needed to know for the moment and she would call us later with the rest of the information.

The phone call came as I sat with my parents around my dining room table. I was trying to feed Dawson and talk with them about what has to happen next. My inexperience to anything like this left me wondering how they would get the baby out of me. After I talked with the doctor and asked several questions, I hung up. I was numb and began rehearsing to my parents what she said.

"I have to be induced, I'm too far along for a D&C. They encourage us to hold him and take pictures. Yes, you guys can be there. We can have him cremated or choose to have a service and have him buried."

That's when my numbness wore off.  With horror I exclaimed, "I have to burry my baby!"

The whole day I felt shock more than anything. It was little reminders like this, ambushes of reality, that would momentarily strip the shock away and cripple me.

We decided to go to the hospital to be induced early the next morning. First we stopped at the store to buy the lovie I never got after the ultrasound. Knowing how much Dawson loved his stuffed animals, I couldn't stand the thought of not buying one for Hudson. He was still my baby. We picked out his little green frog and made our way to the hospital. I hated every step I took that got me closer to the delivery room. I was mad. My actions were complying with what had to happen, but my heart was refusing it. Even sitting in the hospital bed I hoped and prayed that this nightmare would end. I was unable to understand how this could be me.

It took several hours for labor to actually set in. Not realizing how difficult it would be, I refused any pain meds as I did with my first son. By late evening I was having very strong, consistent contractions. We had a room full of family around us and countless others praying and throughout the day we were able to find moments of laughter seep through the heaviness of our hearts.

At 1:38am on September 12th our little Hudson was born.

We wanted to make everything as "normal" as possible so Brady cut Hudson's umbilical cord and my doctor checked him over then handed his tiny 6-ounce body to us.

We looked at him and then looked at each other and smiled. For the first time since our horrible news we felt a moment of peace and joy; the kind that can't be explained or created by humans.

When we were ready, we invited our family in to meet Hudson for the first and last time. We announced to them his name, weight and length. Each one in our family took time to hold him and get to know him as much as possible. We were able to take pictures of our baby and our family.

Although the situation wasn’t what we wanted, it was all that we had and we wanted to remember it.  Hudson got his picture taken with his lovie and now it rests in his casket with him.

To say that this is the end of the story would be a lie; in fact this is only the beginning. The days, weeks and months to come proved to be a painful journey, but one that God walked with us, one that so many others came to support us, love us, and love our Hudson.