Robert Shepard Gray

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When we found out we were pregnant with our third child it was a bit of a surprise but we very excited. We have two boys, Lowery, 6, and Davis, 4. They were over the moon when they found out they were having a baby and even more excited to find out it was a boy. They couldn’t wait to be able to hold and kiss him, but most of all to wrestle with him. Our anatomy scan at 19 weeks was fine except the baby was measuring about a week behind which concerned my husband and me, so our OB scheduled another ultrasound in 4 weeks to recheck his growth and make sure he had caught up. At the next ultrasound at 23 weeks the news was not good. He was now below the 10th percentile in growth, they saw an abnormality with his hand, and I had excessive fluid. I knew it wasn’t good, I had a terrible feeling immediately. We went to a specialist the next morning where the news got worse, he was very behind in size, both hands were clenched, his arms would not flex and he had a large VSD. I knew the diagnosis before she told us.

We did an amnio that day to confirm what we already knew. The results came in a week later, he had full Trisomy 18. We were completely devastated. We couldn’t bring ourselves to tell our boys, we had to try and make sense of everything first. The next several weeks were hard, it was hard to pay attention to anything, we were just going through the motions. We finally came to a place of acceptance and decided we were going to enjoy whatever time we had with him, whether that just be his momma’s tummy or if we were lucky enough to see him born alive.

We decided to only pursue comfort care if he was born alive, we also decided on funeral arrangements. He was very active so we never had to wait long to feel him move. We decided on another ultrasound at 29 weeks to check his growth and we actually got good news. He was not considered growth restricted anymore and everything looked good. We were excited to get to see him wiggling around and got some great pictures. We were hopeful that he might make it to term and we could have just a little bit of time with him. Three days later I woke up crying hysterically, I dreamed that we had Shepard and he was perfect with lots of beautiful brown hair, but in my dream we got to keep him forever. I never felt him move again after that night. I knew he was gone, I could feel the emptiness almost immediately, it was just me again. It was the weekend so we decided to wait until Monday to go in, I really wanted my OB and not the on-call doctor. This also gave us time to get the boys situated with the grandparents and pack our bags.

We went in and they did an ultrasound and it was immediately obvious he was gone, it was the first time I had ever seen him still. I was scheduled for a c-section later that day and admitted to the hospital. I had started having bad contractions the day before so I was in a good bit of pain but the nurses took great care of me and got me comfortable quickly. The hardest part was telling our boys. They were so upset and scared to see their momma in the hospital with cords everywhere. Then it was time for surgery. Our sweet angel, Shepard, was born to heaven October 8th at 12:09, he weighed 2 lbs 2 oz. He was beautiful with lots of brown hair.

I now believe my dream was God’s way of showing me that we will get to keep him one day and he will be perfect in every way when we meet him again in Heaven. Until that day, Rest In Peace sweet angel, Mommy and Daddy Love you so much and miss you every day.

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