*Local mother Larissa shares the story of her sweet son Brayden.
My husband and I met later in life so after we got married we decided to try for a baby right away. We were delighted to find out that we conceived on our honeymoon in New Zealand! We couldn’t be happier and the pregnancy went along uneventfully. The day I finished up work to start maternity leave I drove home in elation, the sun beaming through my window onto my face. My life had finally come together!
On the same evening, the 19th February, 2020, we decided to splash out and watch a movie mid-week as we were told to enjoy the time together before a baby would change everything. Our nursery was complete and we were ready to welcome our sweet boy home any day now. However, that wasn’t the ending to the story of our first-born son. On that evening, I hadn’t felt him move for a few hours and we decided to make a trip to the hospital to check it out, just to be safe. Never did we expect that we would leave that hospital without our sweet boy in our arms.
Although the obstetrician found the four chambers of our babies’ heart not beating, the nurses were not sure whether they had found a faint heartbeat earlier. In a flurry of desperation and confusion, the doctors decided that we would have an emergency caesarean to try and save his life. However, when I awoke from the surgery, my husband told me the news that we had lost him. Our son had died.
Our lives stopped in an instant. There are no words to describe being told that your son had died inside of your body. No words can capture the shock, devastation, and surreality. All of our hopes and dreams were stripped in an instant. We would never see him grow up, never see his eye colour, never hear his cries. Instead of the excitement that our friends and family were anticipating, we had to plan a funeral. Instead of the sleepless nights tending to our son, we laid awake at night reliving the nightmare and trauma. Instead of the best days of our lives, we were met with some of the darkest days anyone can imagine.
We were flooded with love and support from our family and friends. Explaining the story was like ripping a band aid off again and again. Many tried to console us, find a reason or justify the loss. It was difficult for any of us to accept that there was no explanation. Our perfectly healthy baby boy had died - why?
We named our son Brayden Elijah. Brayden meaning wisdom, Elijah after my favourite prophet. We later found out that Elijah had ascended directly to heaven just like our sweet boy. It gave us comfort that he was no longer suffering and was now our little angel in heaven. In the time we got to spend with him earth side, we grew to know him and love him deeply. He was gentle and had a special presence. He loved cranberry sodas and chocolate. He knew and loved his daddy who he kicked and played with each night.
Brayden, you will always be an important part of our family, our first born son. We miss you deeply and our heart breaks not being able to witness the sweet boy you would grow up to be. We love you to the ends of the earth and hope to see you again and be together in eternity. Love Mom, Dad, Ava, and Josie.