Mom to Alivia Jean
August 14, 2013 – April 5, 2014
It was a Thursday morning. I could tell Alivia was still not feeling well from the night before. She would eat and throw up immediately afterwards which was unusual for her as she didn’t even burp up much. I decided I would stay home that day and take care of her while my husband Ryan dropped off our five year old son Landon at daycare and went to work.Throughout the day, Alivia continued to eat but was unable to keep anything down. She wasn’t running a fever. There were no signs of discomfort. It only seemed as if she had a touch of a stomach bug. The next morning she was still unable to keep anything down. My husband took a turn staying home with her and decided it was best to bring her in to the pediatrician. They checked her out and determined she had a stomach virus and recommended giving her Pedialyte so she would not become dehydrated.
Saturday morning, Alivia did not seem to be herself at all. Her beautiful big blue eyes did not look up at me with anticipation as usual. She wasn’t squealing in laughter at her brother playing next to her like she did every day. She looked pale and uncomfortable. I tried giving her a bath to cheer her up since that was one of her favorite things to do. She would normally kick and scream with delight, but not this time. I watched as she just laid there looking back at me with no emotion or much movement. I told my husband that I thought we should take her in. He said we should try the Pedialyte again to see if she could keep it down. We got out one of her droppers and gave her a little bit at a time. She seemed to be doing better. She even started watching her brother and moving around in my husband’s arms as he held her. This moment of normalcy only lasted a few minutes. As he was holding her, she looked up as if she was watching someone or something. My husband commented to me, “Why is she looking up”? After that Alivia had a blank stare. She didn’t make a sound. She didn’t blink. She laid there in his arms unresponsive. I panicked and told Ryan to call 911. We were only a few miles from the hospital so we took off as he was on the phone. I attempted CPR on Alivia as my son was in his car seat asking why his sister wasn’t breathing. At the hospital they attempted to revive her, but were unable to do so.
I was allowed to hold my sweet Alivia one last time in the hospital room. She looked so peaceful, as if she was just sleeping in my arms, but I knew in my heart this was the very last time I would wrap my arms around her and kiss her soft, round cheeks. At the time, they could not explain what had happened. We were in shock and disbelief as to why our healthy and always bubbly baby girl was no longer with us. Once her autopsy results came back, we finally had some answers. Alivia was born with what is known as Meckel’s diverticulum. Meckel’s diverticulum is tissue left over from when a baby’s digestive tract was forming before birth. Only about 2 percent of the population is born with a Meckel’s diverticulum. Among those, only a few develop symptoms, let alone die from complications with it
Looking back, I truly believe the moment Alivia passed away was when she was looking up in my husband’s arms. It has been over two years since this tragedy occurred but it is still fresh in my mind every day. I find comfort in knowing her passing was somewhat peaceful and that we were able to spend those unknowingly last few days with her.
After the one year anniversary of Alivia’s passing we decided we would try one last time to add another child to our family. I went in on June 2, 2015 for an ultra sound. I was under the impression I was 10 weeks pregnant. The screen was bare and showed signs of a miscarriage and I was told to set up blood work the following week. I went in the next week and was informed I would receive a call the next day. When the nurse called me back she stated my hCG levels were right on track. I replied to her that I was told I was having a miscarriage. I set up another ultra sound and went in a week later only to find out I was indeed pregnant, but not as far along as I thought I was.
In September of 2015, I found out I was going to have another daughter. I was over the moon excited and this January I gave birth to Vivian Alivia. She looks so much like her sister Alivia, but also has a touch of her brother Landon mixed in there. My family and I could not be more thrilled to be given another girl. I experience many mixed emotions of happiness one moment and grief the next. Finding the balance of experiencing both has been difficult, but I am happier than I have been in a very long time. The pain of losing a child is not something you can explain. It follows you around like a gray cloud above your head but you have to choose to see the sunlight on the cloudiest of days. Alivia was full of sunshine and seeing pictures of her smiles is all it takes some days to make those clouds fade away. I feel lucky to have had Alivia in my life for the short time she was with us. I still have good days and not so good days. I have learned to live with my grief and carry on one day at a time for my children, my husband, my family and myself.
Alivia we love you and miss you every day. I hope you hear our prayers and feel how much you are loved and missed always.
You can email Tracy at firstname.lastname@example.org.