Mom to Beau David

Born without a heartbeat January 5, 2012

Bozeman, Montana 

My beautiful baby boy Beau David was supposed to be the apple of my eye. The missing part to my life. The one to make a difference. Even though he is gone he was the greatest and biggest piece to becoming a woman. On August 15th, 6 days before my 21st birthday, I found out that I was pregnant. I had no idea on how to feel about the situation. My first thoughts of you were all fear and nervousness. I can’t consider myself a woman, I had no idea where my life was going or how I was going to spend the next few years of my life. I had waves of emotions, feeling ill-equipped and unprepared for a baby. A week after finding out I was pregnant I went in for my first ultrasound to confirm my pregnancy. I found out that I was much farther along than anticipated. I was already 8 weeks along and shocked to know that my baby was the size of a gummy bear. That is what I happily told everyone later that day. I had a precious gummy bear growing inside of me and I finally was feeling the happiness and enjoyment set in from the thought of being a mother. The next few weeks were packed full of stressful worrying on all the steps I had to take to be able to better my ability to take care of my child as a single mother. I was overjoyed when things finally started to come together. It seemed like ages till I finally got an appointment with my doctor to start checking up on my pregnancy. I was roughly 16 weeks pregnant when I went in for my first real doctors appointment. There was no stopping the tears that day after I was able to hear the hear beat for the first time. I was told everything was going great and my baby was growing right on schedule and everything was going great for me. All that was on my mind was that 20 week check up to find out the sex of my child. I impatiently waited and wasn’t able to go in till 22 weeks. It was all worth it in the end though to get to finally see an ultrasound that looked like a small baby. I had the most amazing experience getting to see all the body parts, limbs, fingers and toes. Then those words finally came, “Do you want to know the sex?”. Of course I did. I was going to have a boy, a beautiful son. My little Beau David. During that same appointment I was told that there were a few concerns and a different doctor needed to look at my pictures and talk to me. I became very nervous. I was told that there were complications. My son had Gastroschisis (this is where the infant has a hernia near the umbilical cord that results in the abdomen wall to not form fully and part of the intestines are on the outside of the body) and he also was showing signs of having a cleft lip (where there is not enough tissue in the mouth or lip area and the tissue does not join together all the way). I was reassured that it was nothing that I did it was just something that happens. Both things were fixable with surgery after birth. It was very emotional to hear those words and reassuring at the same time knowing that he would still be fine and be a normal little boy who could be as wild and crazy as he wanted. I was referred to a specialist at another hospital who specialized in this area. I saw this doctor two weeks after my 22 week appointment. I was extremely scared and nervous to go to that appointment. I had to go through the big long ultrasound process all over again yet this time it wasn’t so care free. They had found more problems with him. He had an indescribable shadow in the back of his brain that confused my doctor. He also had kidneys that were to large for him in this stage of pregnancy. I was so freaked out that I couldn’t even believe what I was hearing. My son was perfect, I didn’t want to listen and hear about all these things that were going wrong. That day I had to have an amniocentesis test to understand why these happening were occurring. Being told that I had to wait up to two weeks to hear the results made my heart sink. Luckily it only took one week for the test results to come in. That week could have been a year in my head though. When I answered the phone I couldn’t hold back the fear and shakes in my voice. I was told that my son had Trisomy 13, a genetic disorder that happens to 1 in every 10,000 newborns. I was told that 80% of children with this don’t live past there first year. They then began to tell me that it is very uncommon for the child to survive in the womb alone. My world was crushed. It was so hard to go from finally knowing that feeling of complete selflessness and love towards someone and in an instant know that it would all be taken away. I was 25 weeks pregnant and had just gotten all my baby supplies in order and plans for my shower. It was very unreal. How could something so innocent and pure, that I could feel kicking so strongly every day, not live. I just didn’t want to believe it. I was told my options of carrying him full term or inducing labor at any time that I was ready. It was the hardest decision I have ever made. Is it still considered ending a life when the fate of that child is already in a greater power’s hands? This was the week of Christmas, Merry Christmas to me your son isn’t going to make it. On the night of January 4th, at 28 weeks pregnant, I went into my hospital to be medically induced into labor. It was a very scary process for me. Thinking that I still had two more months to prepare for all this and boom now I was being hooked up to an IV and changing into an uncomfortable gown. I was very shook-en up the first few hours that I was there. I was administered pills to help start contraction and get my labor into action. It felt like an eternity every minute spent in that room. Very late that night, or rather early the next morning I decided to get an epidural because I could sill feel him kicking and moving through the whole process and it brought me to tears every time. After 22 long hours I gave birth to a 2 lb. 3 oz, 10 inch long baby boy. Tears rushed over me and I was asked if I wanted to see my son or not. I had to see him, I had to hold him, touch him, embrace him at least once. He looked just like me, he had my same big cheeks and little nose. He had my long fingers and toes. He was perfect, he was beautiful and precious. He was born without a heart beat so he never knew and hurt or pain in this world. The only thing my son knew was the unconditional love that I had for him. It calms me to know that he would never have to experience anything bad in this world, but hurt to know he would never share the good as well. I held him through the night and didn’t ever want to let him go. The church was kind enough to make a beautiful memory box for me. They made molds of his hands and feet for me as long as the ink prints. I still was able to pick out a hat and blanket for him. It was very warm to feel the care from others about the whole matter. That next morning on the 6th I felt more hurt than loosing him, more hurt of never getting to see him, it was the hurt of leaving the hospital without him with me. I just gave birth and I had nothing to show for it. I cried and cried and cried, I couldn’t get off the couch I couldn’t bring myself to eat, to answer the phone to get up and take a shower. My arms felt like they had part of them taken away. I had this urge to hold care and look after a baby that didn’t make it. A day later I dried my tears long enough to pick out a beautiful urn for him. When I finally got to bring him home is when my heart finally settled and my nerves took a small vacation. Just knowing he was in the house alone calmed the waters. He is here with me every day. I may not be a woman but I will forever be a mother to my son. I will never forget him and his memory will live on through me and everyone that was touched in their hearts by him. I may have said goodbye when I said hello but I appreciate every second I had with him. I may never have gotten to feel him touch back, to see his eyes open or his first smile, but I have every precious memory from when he was in the womb and that is enough to hold on to until the day we meet again. “Love you forever, love you always, as long as I’m living, my baby you will be.”

Mary can be reached at

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  1. Mary,
    Thank you for sharing your story about your sweet baby boy. The pain gets less harsh. You are right. Your boy has made you the woman you are and who you are going to be. Let your light shine through your tears for the sake of your son. People will gravitate to it and love you for it. Peace & love to you.

  2. I am so sorry for the loss of your precious Beau. I have said a prayer for you that God would comfort you and that you would hold your son one day in heaven.

  3. I too lost a baby that had Trisomy 13. I know how much you wish you could have made that baby healthy. I’m so sorry for your loss. I had many many crying fits after my loss but I am here to tell you it gets easier. It never gets perfect but it gets better. Hang in there.

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