My husband, Jeff, and I were expecting a normal pregnancy like we had with our son.
We did the Integrated Prenatal Screening as suggested by our Family Doctor. The results scared us. We were told there was a 1 in 6 chance that our baby had Down Syndrome.
We decided we were going to go through with the amniocentesis so that we knew for sure if it was Down or not. What came next we were NOT expecting.
I will never forget the day we were told that our beautiful baby girl had Trisomy 18. It was the worst birthday my husband has ever had. I still don’t quite know how I made it home from work after being told. I don’t think that either of us has cried as hard as we did that day.
It isn’t easy to explain to a 5 yr. old boy that his baby sister (which he was very excited about being a big brother) is very sick and more than likely won’t live. Thankfully he understood why Mommy and Daddy were sad.
The emotions that a woman goes through while pregnant are crazy on the best of days. However, they are far worse when she knows that there is nothing that she can do to help her baby. I can’t begin to tell you the thousands of different “what if’s” that went on in my brain. Not to mention the “why us?” thoughts.
I think I hit all of the emotions in one night. Sadness, anger, confusion, frustration, and the list goes on and on. It’s hard to carry a baby, knowing that there is basically a death sentence on it.
If it wasn’t for having such an amazing husband, I think I would be in a far darker place than what I am. The love and support that we have received from all of our friends and family has been a true blessing during this difficult time. We can’t even begin to thank everyone for all that they have done for us.
On Wednesday, October 21, 2009, at 10:10 a.m., Kaitlyn Sierra Burroughs was born not only into our hearts, but into heaven. I know that she is in a better place, but that doesn’t mean that I miss my baby angel any less. We celebrate her birthday every year as if she were still here with us…cake and all!
The staff at McMaster Hospital in Hamilton, ON could not have been any better! To say they were amazing simply doesn’t do them justice. Every single staff member that came into contact with us was genuinely loving and caring. It was almost as if they were going through it themselves with their own child. They even allowed us to keep her with us until we were ready to say good-bye.
If I had one wish, I would wish for more support and awareness here in Canada. With so many wonderful families going through what we did, I wish that there would be more support for them. This Legacy Page was my outlet, or therapy if you will. The support that I found here on the Trisomy 18 Foundation website and on their Facebook page is what I attribute to my being able to cope so well with what happened.
Now some time has passed since all of this happened, and have we been busy! We have been blessed with not one, but two healthy children.
Don’t think for one second that the thoughts of what happened with Kaitlyn didn’t come flooding back the instant I found out I was pregnant.
A month after Kailtyn’s due date we were pregnant with Tyler. I managed to keep busy during my pregnancy to help keep my mind off of the recent loss…so, I tested for my Black Belt in Karate. (Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m not “normal”. I think that this just solidified it for some.)
Three years after that, we were blessed with another Princess. Maegan Sierra (after her “big” sister) was born, and does she ever live up to her royal title! I think that Jeff was happiest of all when we found out that not only was it a girl, but she was perfect and got to keep her. Now, I’m not totally sure if he’s making up for Kaitlyn with Maegan, but man oh man, does she have him wrapped around her baby finger! “Daddy’s girl” doesn’t begin to cover their special bond.
Everyone looks at me sideways when I say that I have four children, and they only see the three kids with me. After I explain what had happened that fateful day in October 2009, they always say that they can see the love we still have for her.
My family is a firm believer in “everything happens for a reason”. We may not necessarily understand it at the time. We may not like it, but EVERYTHING happens for a reason! For us, we know that it just wasn’t Kaitlyn’s time. We know in our hearts that our angel is always looking down on us and keeps a watchful eye out for her brothers and sister.
My wish for the families that are just starting this journey is that they find love and comfort with those of us who have gone through, or are currently going through this. We know and understand all that you are experiencing all too well. Know that even if we are not there with you physically, we are there in thought and spirit.