Mom to Andrew Edward Mitchell
December 6th, 2009-December 19th, 2009
I found out at 9:45 am on April 13, 2009 that my precious husband and I were going to be parents. We’d been married just 7 days shy of 7 years when I found out. We’d been trying to have a baby for almost 6 years. My heart had never been so full. My pregnancy was pretty effortless for the first two trimesters. We’d decided on a homebirth, using the midwifery practice my sister used with her daughter. I developed borderline high blood pressure during my third trimester and managed to get it under control with diet and rest.
My water broke at home around 5:15am December 6, 2009. I transferred to the hospital since the amniotic fluid was heavily tinted with meconium. I delivered my son, Andrew Edward Mitchell, just over two hours later at 7:26am…8lbs, 10oz, 21.5 inches long. He was born in severe distress to everyone’s surprise. His heart rate was 40bpm and quickly dropping. They tried to revive him in the room without any luck before taking him away to the nursery.
He was transferred to Tupelo where he was treated for hypoxia. I still have no idea what happened and when it happened. No one can offer any answer as to why my son was born in such a state. We spent 9 days there before being transferred to LeBonheur in Memphis,TN. After several EEGs and 1 MRI, we were told that his brain function was almost non-existent. He had minor brain stem functions but nothing above that. I’ll never ever forget seeing the pictures of his poor little brain. We spent 13 days loving and caring for our precious, beautiful son before we had to remove him from life support.
My son died in my arms, wrapped up in a quilt made for him by several members of my family and my friends before he was born. We dressed him in a gown my mother and sister gave to him before he was born. I put his mint green Fuzzi Bunz on him and his little white church socks. I brushed his hair, still matted by the gel from the EEG. The staff at LeBonheur arranged for us to be secluded in a conference room as to not be distracted by the other activity in the NICU. We planned a baptism for Andrew that our entire family was able to attend. We baptized Andrew on December 19, 2009. After the baptism, our familes left leaving Austin and I to say goodbye to our baby boy. I held him for a long while and then handed him off to his Daddy. Austin held him as they took his ventilator out for the last time. He made a little gasp but didn’t struggle. Austin held him for a few minutes before handing him to me. I held him as I had always wanted to, without tubes and wires. I held him to my chest and neck and breathed him in as deeply as I could. About 20 minutes after we removed his tube, the doctor checked his heart and told us that he was gone.
My heart is broken and will never be whole again. We are trying our hardest to live a full, thriving life. But it is so dreadfully hard to thrive when a part of your soul is withered and destroyed. Our marriage is my solid rock, forever cemented by this loss. Our beautiful boy is forever in our hearts and home.
Lindsey blogs at Drew Needs Rest
You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org