We learned we were expecting our third child in early December of 2007. We were excited and filled with anticipation. On March 30, 2008, at our 20-week routine sonogram, we were told that our baby didn’t have any fluid around him. This meant that when he was born, he would likely only live for a few minutes to a few hours, if he lived at all, because his lungs would be unable to form due to the lack of fluid in the womb.
We were devastated. We searched everywhere for answers, cures…any way to help, as we would learn later, our son. There were no answers. We were told that most families in our situation choose to terminate. After a great deal of prayers and soul-searching, we decided to continue our pregnancy despite our baby’s terminal diagnosis.
The next months were the most difficult of our lives. We explained to our two older children that their baby brother wasn’t going to get to come home with us. Our family and church rallied around us, supporting us in a way that we were totally overwhelmed and blessed by. Patti called and checked in, serving as a source of constant encouragement for us. Through Alexandra’s House, we met other families who were also carrying babies that were not expected to live. Spending time with them was so helpful and it was comforting to know we were not alone in our pain as we carried a child we knew we would not be able to hold for long.
Caden Adair Carlson was born on June 30, 2008 at 4:40 am. We were shocked and extremely saddened to find out that we would not get to see our son with his eyes open, or hear his first cry. Caden was stillborn. In the hours that followed his birth, we surrounded Caden with love…his grandparents, aunt, uncle, friends…his big brother and sister….all held him, kissed him, and marveled at how beautiful he was. My husband Brandon and I held his small, lifeless body in between the two of us on the hospital bed. We inspected his tiny hands and feet, caressed his soft face and hair, and cried tears of pain from the deepest part of our souls. He was perfect and beautiful.
We miss Caden each and every day, but find comfort in knowing that he sits at the feet of Jesus.
What would I give as a Christmas gift to the baby Jesus? A heavenly playdate with our precious Caden.
Brandon, Lindsey, Connor, and Kylee Carlson