Mom to Avery Alexander Napaluch

Born still at thirty-two weeks on October 24, 2011

Arlington, Texas

My name is Adrianna Napaluch. My son’s name is Avery Alexander Napaluch. He was born still at thirty-two weeks, on October 24, 2011at 11:49 A.M. He weighed four pounds and nine ounces and was seventeen and one half inches long.

When I found out I was pregnant I was scared, but excited. I fell in love with the idea of being a mommy. I planned a nursery and read stories to my belly.  I ordered my son’s Christmas stocking for his first Christmas. I was excitedly awaiting the arrival of my first child.

At twenty-two weeks I was placed in the hospital for an emergency cerclage due to an incompetent cervix. The surgery was cancelled because my cervix was still closed and the surgery could induce preterm labor.  After almost a week in the hospital, I was sent home for bed-rest. Two days later, at my doctor’s appointment, membranes were visible but it was too late for a cerclage. I was sent back to the hospital for bedrest. I was released from the hospital at thirty weeks with gestational diabetes to monitor, but a very healthy baby. At the beginning of my hospital stay, I was told that if Avery were born that early, he would probably not make it. By the time I was being released to go home, I knew that if he was born now, he would make it, even if he had to stay in the NICU for a little while.

At thirty-two weeks, on October 24, 2011 I woke up to mild back pains and my happy baby kicking me. I got up and started my day. This type of pain was very normal for me and I sent my husband to work. I lay in bed rubbing my belly and talking to my baby and monitoring my contractions. By eight A.M. I had contractions close enough together to go into the hospital. I went to labor triage and knew I was going to meet Avery. Through the pain, I was very excited. I finally got to lie on the bed and they started hooking me up for an NST and I couldn’t wait to hear Avery’s heartbeat. I never would. The nurses couldn’t find the heartbeat on the machine and brought in an ultrasound machine while we waited for my doctor. It was the most agonizing time in my life. I couldn’t see the screen while they were looking but their faces and the tears in their eyes told me all I needed to know. I completely broke down. I was in shock. I don’t remember all of the nice things they said to me or their names, but I do remember getting hugged a lot and people crying with me. I called my husband to come to the hospital and then I called my mom. It’s funny how I was a mother getting ready to deliver my own baby, and all I wanted was my mommy. They brought in an ultrasound tech with another machine to make sure that Avery’s heart wasn’t beating. People kept asking me questions and talking to me and holding my hand, but I was numb. I remember everything very clearly, but it is like my head was underwater for this part.

I went up to L&D to deliver my son. While I waited for my husband, a very special nurse I had during my stay in the ante-partum unit came to me. Everyone was moving around and my head was underwater. The room was silent. It was even more silent than my overnight stays alone in the hospital. My husband arrived and held me. I dissolved into a puddle of tears in his arms. He was a rock. The hospital had already drawn blood, put me on fluids and antibiotics. We were now waiting for an epidural.  After I got my epidural everything happened very fast. I remember them breaking my water and talking to me very gently. I remember them asking questions, but I don’t remember what they were actually saying. My nurse from my previous stay had asked to accompany me in labor and I was very happy that she did. My husband was on my left side and my nurse on my right coaching me. I only pushed with three contractions before they stopped me in the middle of a contraction. They paged my doctor and he came rushing in. My husband was telling me that he could see Avery’s head and that it was covered in hair, something that we had known from the ultrasound we had done days before. My doctor told me to try pushing gently and I started to move so I could push and everyone was telling me to stop. I did one small push after that and Avery was born. At 11:49 A.M. I delivered the most beautiful baby boy I have ever seen. He was absolute perfection. He had my lips and nose. He had his daddy’s ears, eyes, and jaw. He was amazing. He weighed four pounds and nine ounces and was seventeen and one half inches long. I know people were moving around the room and touching me and talking to me and moving things around. I know they moved the bed and cleaned things up and my doctor was talking to me but I didn’t actually notice any of it because I was so busy watching my son. It broke my heart all over again when he didn’t cry as he was born. The only way that I made myself deliver was that I pretended that he would be born alive. I was going to show all of the doctors. People were still talking to me as I was about to be handed my angel. I didn’t even notice that they had pulled out my epidural until I saw it on my bed. I was instantly in love with my baby. I held him and snuggled him and kissed him. I fixed his little hat and made sure his blanket was wrapped around him perfectly. Without knowing what I was doing, I was gently rocking him. I was crying and I just kept telling him, “Mommy loves you, Avery.”

After a while I let them take my baby to be photographed. I needed my husband to hold me. We spent a while just sitting together. Our sadness was so raw and intense that we really were one. We just were for a long while. Kenneth went home to let the puppies out and grab some things for an overnight stay. I stole the chance to be with Avery alone.

I held Avery and sang to him, as much as it was possible to sing. I talked to him and told him about the dreams I had for him, the wishes that would never be. I told him how much he was loved and that he would never have the chance to know a love such as the one I had for him, because he would never have a child. I knew my mom loved me, but I never knew that anyone could love anyone or anything this much. I tried my very best to explain it to him. I told him that although it would be very hard, I would go on and honor him. Every time I told him of a new thing, I would go back to just how much his Daddy and I loved him. After a long while of silence, I just held my baby. I knew I would never get the chance again, so I held him. Nothing will ever be as precious as the time I had with my baby, both in my belly and in my arms. I knew it was time to let Avery go, so I very carefully placed him into the nurse’s arms.

Throughout the night, several nurses that cared for Avery and me during our antepartum stay came to me and talked with me.

In the morning, we began the most difficult journey anyone ever faces.

You can reach Adrianna at

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  1. I am so sorry for your loss. It is every mother’s worst nightmare. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  2. Adrianna, I am so sorry for the loss of your precious Avery. My son was stillborn at 33 weeks on 9/12/00. I have said a prayer for you, that God will comfort you and bring you joy in your life once again.

  3. Hii im so sorry ive beed thru it it My baby was stillborn in oct 15 2011 its the worst thing that can ever happen it just hurts so much but now we have our lil angels email me

  4. Sending you love. From one Avery mama to another Avery mama. May they be playing together in the spirit world. x

  5. Gabrielle F. says:

    Adrianna, I just wanted to let you know that I have read everything you’ve posted since the day you let us know on fb that you were pregnant until now. I cant relate to your pain, but I think about you several times a day. I wish we could have been able to get together when you were in LC awhile back but hopefully we can do that sometimes soon. I know you have Alyssa, but know that I’m here for you if you ever need. I say a prayer for you and your family daily. <3

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