Kellen's Story

Pregnancy is a terrifying thing. After losing Molly, I was so scared of losing another one that choosing to try again was a huge decision. However, once I got pregnant we were able to feel excited again. As was expected, we had days where we were very nervous and would experience high anxiety. However, every time we saw the doctor everything was progressing normally and they were ready to begin the high risk testing. We felt taken care of. We felt more prepared to deal with my bicournate uterus and to expect having our handsome son delivered early if the need came. Mentally, we were preparing for something to go wrong- but this time we were sure we would catch it in time. Our doctor's office was ready and was watching.

Lucas and I bought a home doppler device and almost every day I would lay down and Lucas would grab the doppler and we would feel the daily relief of hearing his steady heartbeat. As he began to kick more and more we listened to his heart a little less often, but if I didn't feel him for more than an hour or so I would listen with the doppler just to be sure he was safe. The sound of his heart beating was like a warm blanket assuring me that at least for that second he was there. He was growing. He was on his way to us.

We did not have the courage to set up his nursery or to buy any baby clothing, but I have spent a lot of time making him a blanket. I wanted to show myself that I had faith and that even though I didn't know what would happen, that if he came I could give him something I made for him. 

On Wednesday the 9th Kellen was moving around a lot. He was kicking all the time and I was loving watching my belly move around. I liked to sit with my hand on my belly and feel him kicking around while I worked. I spent the morning at the call center at work, and I felt fine. When I went home my visiting teachers came over. When they left and I stood up I noticed I was a little wet. I went to the bathroom and found that I was leaking. I was not bleeding, and it was not like I wet my pants, but it was as though I had spilled water in my pants. I did not know what it was, but I was scared.

I spent the next couple hours waiting for Lucas to get home and searching online for answers as to what that might have been.  Of course, google freaked me out. I found women who said it could be amniotic fluid, and others who said it was urine. Some women said they leaked and their baby was fine, and others lost their babies. I wanted to go to the doctor, but it was evening and they were closed. I also didn't want to panic when it could have been nothing. I could tell that there was still plenty of fluid around Kellen, and he was moving just as much as ever, but I was still worried. I called my mom and she assured me that it was better to be safe than sorry and to call the doctor, but that it was probably urine or just a little leaking that was not going to be an issue.

After calling the doctor and listening to their automated machine I was frustrated and wanted to talk to Lucas. He got come from work at about 7 and I explained to him what had happened. We decided to keep an eye on it and see if it continued. Luckily we had our 29 week appointment the next day and we would ask the doctor about it then. If we noticed any change in Kellen or an increase in leaking we would go to the hospital.

However, through the night, it seemed the leak was done and Kellen was fine. His heart rate was normal and he was wiggly and up in my ribs where he usually was. I went to bed nervous but feeling a little better and comforted by Kellen's frequent movements.

The next day I had a shorter day at work and was happy that I felt Kellen moving through the day. Our appointment was at 2:30 and it was Lucas' day off. He spent the day cleaning the apartment. We have both been nesting and deep cleaning like crazy. He spent the whole day cleaning the house and making it perfect for whenever our son would make it here. We still didn't feel ready to set up his crib, but we felt safe cleaning the apartment. When I got off work I went home and Lucas met me outside, we went straight to the Doctor's office. We walked in and luckily we didn't have to wait very long. The doctor was acting a little like this appointment was useless and we came too soon.

He measured my belly and I was measuring right at 29 weeks, my weight was perfect, Kellen's movement and heart rate was right where it should be. When the Doctor asked if we had any concerns or questions we told him about the previous days' leaking. It bothered me how lightly he took it. He said he was 99 percent sure it was probably urine, but he would check anyway. His casual attitude and his blowing off that it could be anything really bugged me, but I was glad he was going to check. I changed clothes and he did a test and said that whatever the fluid was, there was no amniotic fluid leaking now. I was relieved, but was sure that's what he expected and was not really taking the time to really check me out. But the test showed no amniotic fluid leaking, so I was happy. Lucas looked relieved, too.

We scheduled our next appointment for 3 weeks later at 32 weeks. The doctors had planned to keep a closer eye on us this time and starting at 32 weeks they were going to have us come in twice a week for ultrasounds and a BPP test. The test would show how much amniotic fluid is around Kellen, how much oxygen he is getting through his umbilical cord, and check his heart rate and movements. They were about to start keeping a closer eye on my uterus to make sure he didn't run out of room, and to be ready to deliver him if any of the tests showed anything abnormal. We left the office feeling relieved and taken care of.

The next day I went to work and so did Lucas. Things were great and Kellen was moving around as usual. I did my daily fetal movement counts and Kellen was moving a ton, more than usual actually. Everything was perfect and I coudln't believe that I was almost 30 weeks already. That night when we were in bed I was falling asleep and noticed that Kellen was moving a ton. It reminded me of the night before we lost Molly, and how she moved around like this. I hugged my belly and thought "Dont move so much, baby, you're in there with a cord." I wasn't really scared, but the memory or Molly moving a lot that night did make his quick rolling around something I took note of.

The next morning I woke up and was glad it was my day off. Lucas went to work, and I spent the morning sleeping. I was exhausted. Moose lay by me most of the morning, as he has the entire pregnancy. He is like my little protector. When I finally got a little energy I decided to clean the blinds. We had been meaning to for a while but it takes so long that we had been putting it off. I spent the morning sitting on the counter with a magic eraser making our blinds look perfect. When I finished I ate  lunch, took a prenatal, and played with Moose. I wanted to to more to make our house feel clean since Lucas had spent his whole day cleaning, I wanted to do more to help him feel clean. So I crawled around the house cleaning the baseboards and vacuuming.

About an hour before Lucas got home I sat feeling my belly, I didn't feel Kellen move but was sure he was sleeping. I didn't think much of it and I went to run some errands. When I got home I put the things I had bought away and then Lucas got home. As soon as he got home I had the feeling that we needed to check for Kellen's heartbeat. It was a strong feeling, and I realized that I wasn't sure when I felt him last. I was sure I felt him that morning, but did not know the exact time. I said "Hey, hun, can we listen to Kellen, I haven't felt him move for a couple hours."
  Lucas said, "Sure, babe." He stopped playing with moose and got a paper towel and followed me into our room. I layed on the bed and lifted my shirt over my belly, and Lucas grabbed the gel. He squeezed it on my belly and I flinched at how cold it was.

We talked a little as he moved the device around my belly looking for the heartbeat. It had been harder to find recently, and Kellen was back by my spine a lot so finding his heartbeat had been taking a while. I  had a bad feeling creeping up in my chest. After a minute we were both silent and just listening to the sounds of the doppler device. Twice he stopped when we heard a heartbeat. It was at 90 bpm. We were not sure if that was my heart beating fast out of nerves or the baby's heartbeat beating too slowly. Lucas placed the doppler by my heart and it was at 91 bpm. So it was my heart and I was scared so it was going faster than normal. After a few minutes I got up and moved my belly. I could feel Kellen's bum, and didn't feel him kicking. This all felt too familiar.

Lucas asked me to get a drink of something cold and come lay down for a minute and we would try again. I got a drink of cold water, and lay on the bed again. After a second, Lucas grabbed the doppler, put more gel on my belly and we sat there in silence. There was no heartbeat. We couldn't find it. We instantly doubted how well our doppler worked, and were sure Kellen was hiding or at a weird angle. But I was scared. My eyes started watering, and Lucas looked scared.

"I can't do this again, Lucas. I'm not strong enough" He hugged me and assured me everything was probably fine, but that he thought we should go to the hospital.

I immediately grabbed my purse and we walked silently to the car. It felt like we were reliving the day we lost Molly and were haunted by knowing that our last trip to the hospital ended with us coming home alone. We tried to stay hopeful.

As we drove I began to cry. I kept my arms hugging my belly and begging for him to move. Lucas said, "I know you aren't doing this, but lets try not to react until we know what's going on. " I nodded and continued to hug my belly. As we pulled up the street to the hospital I was overcome with fear as I remembered being here just a year ago feeling the same way. I was too scared to cry hard, but couldn't keep my eyes from watering up.

I whispered to Kellen over and over, "Please be okay. Please be okay. Please be okay"

We parked the car and Lucas grabbed my hand and we walked as quickly as we could into the building where I went to the restroom and tried again to feel if going to the bathroom made him move. I felt nothing.

We went up the elevator and reached labor and delivery. The doors are always locked and Lucas picked up the phone and said to the people at the front desk, "My wife hasnt' felt the baby move in a while, and we need to check on him." She buzzed the doors and let us in.

I could not get over how familiar it all was. It was the same. The nurse got my name and information, then she walked around the desk and said, "Come in here." She pointed to the same room where I got checked and we learned that Molly was in trouble. How could we be here again?

They had me change into a hospital robe before they checked anything. I wished they would just check for the heartbeat already, so I changed as fast as I could and came out and layed on the bed. The nurse check my heartrate and I wanted to scream at her to check the baby. I was too scared to say anything though and I just waited and stared at Lucas for comfort.

He sat across the room in a chair and watched me. We kept eye contact. The nurse went out of the room to grab something before checking for his heartbeat and Lucas said, "I'm just excited for her to come in and to hear a strong hearbeat" My eyes watered and I couldn't see him but I nodded and tried to breath.  The nurse came back in the room and grabbed the monitor that would check for contractions. I let her know I had not felt any, and there had been no blood. She said okay and seemed pretty sure she would find a heartbeat.

 I held my breath as she put the monitor on my belly.
Nothing right away. I tried to turn off all my other senses and make my hearing extra powerful. I needed to hear something.

This can't happen to us again. Not again.

She moved the heart monitor all around and there was nothing but silence. Just to make sure I said, "You're checking for the heartbeat right?" She said "Yes. Let me check everywhere" She moved the monitor all over my belly, and after a few minutes she looked sad and I was overwhelmed with fear. Lucas was frozen. He sat in his chair and just stared at me. I looked at him and we didn't know what to say. The nurse then said, "I can't find anything. I'm sorry. The doctor will come in and do an ultrasound to be sure. Who is your doctor?" I couldn't think. I just said "Madisons" and she nodded and said, "Doctor Allred is here. He will be good. He lost a baby too." TOO? TOO? is she confirming that Kellen is gone? I could not function.

A few minutes later our Doctor came in. He was my favorite one at our office, and he looked very sad. He gave us a sympathetic smile and Lucas moved to sit on a stool by my bed and held my hand. Dr. Allred grabbed the ultrasound machine and put more gel on my belly and placed the probe on me.

I saw the shape of Kellens head on the screen. I saw his little spine. We could see his legs.

There was no heartbeat. He was gone.

This is when I stopped feeling. I think my mind and heart went numb. I could feel tears running down my face and hear the Doctor apologizing. They were talking to me about options but I could not think. I felt the familiar crumbling of my heart as I realized we lost another baby. Our sweet baby boy was already back in heaven with his sister. We would never hold him alive. We would have to wait to raise him when we raise Molly. I could not bear the pain, so my mind didn't let me feel anything.

How did this happen again? How will we survive this?

From that point on everything seemed a blur. Lucas put his arm around me and kissed my head. We were told that we could either induce labor or have a c-section. However, my bicournate uterus and being only 29.5 weeks would make chance of uteran rupture very dangerous unless by any chance I was already dilated at all. I couldn't decide. I didn't want to think about giving birth to him and knowing he was gone. I didn't want to go through another c-section and lose another one. He asked if he could check to see if I was dilated. I agreed. He quickly checked me and said unfortunately there was no sign of dilating yet and he thought it was too dangerous to induce since I had previously had a c-section. He recommended another surgery.

The doctor left us alone to decide what we wanted to do, and apologized again.

I cried. Lucas' eyes were red and he seemed as numb as I felt. I was not ready to make decisions. I wanted to wake up from this horrible nightmare. Lucas said "It doesn't feel real. This just can't be real."
Unfortunately, this was happening again, and we had to start making decisions. I became so overwhelmed that I put my hands over my face and lost it. I was just weeping. I wanted to die too. I wanted to take Lucas' hand and walk out of the hospital and find a way to get to our children. I could not stop crying. I never thought we would have to feel this pain again, but just like that our mending hearts were ripped to shreds again. It was not fair, and I let myself cry. Lucas hugged me and he may have cried, honestly I was so overwhelmed and my face was covered. I was barely aware of anything.

Then I went numb again. I couldn't cry or feel. Lucas seemed to be in shock. We quietly made our decision that while we were here we wanted to get it over with. We were tired, but we didn't want to leave and have to drive here again knowing he was gone. We wanted to hold him as soon as possible. Lucas gave me a tissue. I sat frozen while he buzzed the nurses and said "We made our decision"

The doctor came in a minute later and we told him we thought we wanted to do the c-section tonight. He said he had to take care of a few things and get ready, and he would send someone in to talk to us about whether I wanted an epidural to be awake or if I wanted to be put all the way under. I didn't know. I was done making decisions. I didn't want to make Lucas sit alone in the hospital while I'm knocked out in surgery and our baby is still born. He already had to sit for hours not knowing if Molly would be okay or if I was okay. However, I was terrified of being awake and having them take Kellen out and NOT hearing him cry. I didn't want to see him limp and bloody and gone. It would kill me.

The anesthesiologist game in and talked to us about the pros and cons of each. I could not decide. It seemed impossible. I finally said, "I dont know. I dont want to leave Lucas alone." Lucas said, "I'll be okay, really. You do what you feel most comfortable with." He seemed to be genuinely okay with not being there, and I couldn't blame him. He would be more aware of what was going on. He would have to see Kellen born still and not be able to do anything. We talked for a minute and decided that it would be easier on our hearts to be able to see him after I woke up and we could meet him together once the emergency part of the surgery was over and it could be calmer. We could hold him and he would be clean. Just like with his sister after she passed, he would just look like he was sleeping. So I chose to be put under. Lucas seemed okay with it.

They didn't waste much time and sent in nurses to come put an IV in my arm. The needle didn't hurt. I could feel nothing. They shaved me and I lay in shock as we relived the worst moment of our lives. I began to shake and the nurses kept bringing warm blankets to put over me. Lucas stayed by me.

One of the nurses let us know that they had consecrated oil and if Lucas wanted to call someone to give me a blessing before the surgery we had time. We decided it was a good idea. Lucas called his good friend Derek. Then Lucas walked out into the hall and called his mom and told her what had happened.

About 10 minutes later Derek came in the room. He had the familiar look of wishing he could help and being completely lost for words. He quietly whispered "I'm so sorry" and I said, "me too. Thank you for coming" He nodded and Lucas asked him to help with the blessing. The two of them put their hands on my head and I felt the love of the Lord. I knew I would be okay through the surgery, and was not scared for it. However, my numbness was still taking over. I was beyond tears. When they finished the blessing, I thanked them both and Derek again told us how sorry he was and left. 

Lucas followed Derek out and gave the oil back to the nurses and came back in. A nurse talked to us for a while. I called my mom and asked her to get my dad too. They could tell I was crying. I didn't know how to say it, and I didn't have the strength to say it out loud. I quickly just said, "Mom. Kellen passed away. I didn't feel him, and we came to the doctor and there is no heartbeat. He's gone." My mom started to cry and couldn't believe it. I was losing it again, so said I needed to go and got off the phone. I hated that this is the second time I had to tell my parents that their grandbaby was gone.

After about a half hour it was time for the surgery. Lucas walked by my bed as they wheeled me out of the room. They told me what room he would be waiting in and he kissed me and told me he loved me, then he had to wait. The doors to the OR opened and they wheeled me to the same room where Molly was delivered just a year ago. The emotions were too much to handle. I began to shake so badly that they couldn't get me to stop even with more and more blankets on me. They had me scoot over to the operating table. The same one as last time.

I apologized for shaking, and they assured me that some women shake and it was normal. My arms were almost falling off the table as they spread them out. This time, at least, I would not have to feel it.

The doctor got ready and put an oxygen mask on my face. He said to take deep breaths. Then he said he was going to put some medicine in my IV. I nodded and suddenly my arm felt like it was on fire. I started crying and saying "It hurts! ow it burns!" The doctor assured me it would go away in a minute. Just a minute after the burning moved up my arm and made it to my chest the pain went away. I began to get very tired and the voices talking to me were incomprehensible. I tried to say something and heard my voice come out in slurred words. That's the last thing I remember.

While I was in surgery Lucas sat in the family waiting room. Harry Potter was on, and he spent the time waiting calling family and keeping them informed.

I woke up in a recovery room. Everything was blurry. The nurses told Lucas that when I woke up I asked for him, and they went and got him from the family waiting room and guided him through the hospital to where I was. I dont remember asking for him, or even having him come in. The first thought I remember is that I was glad that this time we were in a different room. Everything else had been the same this time around, and I was happy to see we were in another room.
Lucas stood next to me for a while and talked to me and got all the machines set up and checked my vitals. Lucas said there was a blanket around my head and I couldn't hear very well. My vision was blurry and I was coherent but wasn't taking anything in yet. 

The nurses set up my morphine and antibiotics while Lucas stood by me. I think I remember asking to see Kellen, and Lucas said we needed to wait until things calmed down and I was set up. The anesthesiologist told Lucas that I did great, and the moment he was born was very spiritual. He said that they pulled Kellen out and placed him on my belly, and that moment was very reverent. The room was very reverent and Kellen was beautiful and good looking. He assured us that he wasn't saying this just because of what we were going through, but that he that it was very special and reverent. Lucas said his eyes were watering and he said he was glad he was able to be a part of it. Lucas told me what he had said and I cried. One of the things I had wanted when Kellen was born was to have him placed on my belly, and I was so happy it had happened even though he was gone and I was out. It was very special knowing that moment happened anyway.

About 15 or 20 minutes went by and we said we were ready to see Kellen. I was still shivering. a nurse came in and she had our baby bundled in a blanket in her arms. He had on a dark hat and my heart was pounding as she walked up the bed. It felt like slow motion as the seconds went by and she lowered him into our arms. His skin was purple and his hat was dark and my first thought was that he was tiny and that he looked black. We looked at him a while and I held him and kissed his head. his skin was cold. He looked so much like Molly it was hard to believe. I handed him to Lucas and he held him and stared at him. He kissed him.

Lucas placed him back in my arms and I decided I wanted to see all of him. We took off his hat and were surprised to see how blonde his hair was. It was so cute and we touched it. It looked a little strawberry blonde like Molly's had. We removed the blue robe he was wearing and held him in just his diaper. He was so tiny but he was beautiful. He was 3 pounds 2 oz and was 15 inches long. He looked a lot like Lucas to me, and Lucas thought he looked like me. We both agreed he was definitely Molly's brother.

A photographer came in and took pictures of us while we held him and told us that while we waited she had taken pictures of him before. We were glad to have that taken care of. Because he was already gone, the left us alone for a long time. We were able to take turns holding him and kissing him. We studied every part of his body and felt his soft skin. We are completely in love with him. It was a wonderful time to be a family and we know his spirit was there and so was Molly's. For that moment we were sure that our whole family was together in that room. It was spiritual and we felt the same comfort that we had when we lost Molly.

I remember wishing that I had spent more time studying Molly after she passed, so this time the nurse assured us there was no rush and we could take as much time with him as we wanted. My mom was coming the next day, and I wanted her to hold him. We decided to keep him with us that night and see how we felt in the morning and if we felt that we needed more time or that we were ready to say goodbye.

We spent hours just staring at his perfect body and face. We kissed him a million times. I felt such joy at seeing Lucas holding his son, and knowing that one day we will have both our children again. One day I will see Lucas as a dad and this sadness will not be there. I can't wait for that day.

When we got tired Lucas helped me put blankets around me so that Kellen could lay by me. He layed with his head on my arm and my arms and hands wrapped around him. I held his tiny hands and legs as I slept that night. At about 5 am a nurse came in to push on my stomach, check me, and clean me so Lucas held Kellen and he slept with him cuddled next to him. It was beautiful. Lucas held him for a while and slept with him. I'm not sure how long he held him but eventually he put him back next to me and we slept some more.

The nurses brought breakfast and I didn't touch it. I could not imagine doing something as physical and worldy as eating, when my heart was with my angels in heaven. I felt nothing but a desire to have my family together.  We spent the morning with Kellen. We cried a lot. We talked to him. We hugged and kissed eachother. We already began to recieve loving messages from our friends and family and we would read them to each other. I had no courage left to try and talk to anyone. I still havent.

My mom arrived at about noon. She came in the room and I began to cry with her as she hugged me and then Lucas. Then she went to the bed where we had set Kellen and we told her she could hold him. She looked nervous and was crying as she picked him up and held him. I cried watching her. I was still in shock that this was happening again. My mom looked at me like it hurt her as bad to not be able to take away our pain as it hurt us to feel it. We all spent time with him, and after a little while Lucas said he needed to go take care of Moose. We decided we needed to say goodbye to Kellen. Lucas said that he had already all day, and he quickly kissed him and touched him and said goodbye again . Then he brought him to me and I held him in my arms. Lucas said he loved me and left.

I hugged Kellen close and whispered to him. I know he wasn't in his little body, but I was sure he was in the room.
I'm so sorry Kellen. I love you so much. I will miss you every second of every day. I hope you are with your sister and you both know how much we love you. Goodbye by sweet boy.

Then I cried. I let myself really cry as I said goodbye to him. I knew I would see him again to change him for burial, but this was really my moment to see him looking so perfect and to say goodbye for this life. I cried and cried. My mom cried next to the bed. I was sad Lucas had gone home, but thought he probably needed time alone.  We let the nurses know that we were ready for the funeral home to pick him up and prepare him for burial. That was impossibly hard.

Maybe 20 minutes later the funeral director came in. He asked if we had used their services with Molly and we told him yes. Then we cried as my mom helped get Kellen out of my arms and handed him to the man. He wrapped him in a blanket and we told him we would be by in the next couple days to change him and to choose a casket for him. We want to bury Kellen near Molly in Colorado.

It feels so unbelievable that we are burying another baby. The chances of this were so unlikely. We are completely broken. However, despite the pain and the shock we are further ahead than we were last time. We already know how we mourn a loss like this. We have studied the scriptures and have learned so much, that we already have the comfort that the teachings of the Lord and his prophets can offer. The hope that the knowledge the gospel brings gives us peace, again. It never ceases to be true, so the comfort never ceases.

I can't explain why I wasn't angry this time. It really should have felt so unfair to have to go through this again, but I felt the familiar spiritual comfort that the Lord has a plan. Kellen was perfect and, just like Molly, he did not need to be tested in the world. He has proven that he is ready for the eternities and we feel beyond blessed to be chosen to be his parents. We love him and Molly so much. 

We both feel pretty numb, and what has happened keeps hitting us at different times. Though, we miss our babies, we do feel happy at the thought of them being together. They can help each other through this, and it helps us to know they have each other while we wait for our family to be whole again.
We will think of them every day for the rest of our lives and we will try and make ourselves the kind of parents that deserve such pure children. They inspire us to be our best, and we will endure this life because one day the time will come and we will get to have them back. Kellen will be back in our arms. Molly will be back in our arms. We will be ready.