Remembering Dakota

Diagnosis: Trisomy 21

By Kayla

Here it is four years ago that we gave up our baby boy and I am up at 6:00 in the morning because I can't sleep. My grief has overwhelmed me once again.

My story is such a painful one that I have never been able to write until now. I guess I'm ready or I wouldn't be here.

I was married for 15 years the first time getting married when I was fifteen years old. I had two very healthy nine-pound babies in the midst of a very unhappy marriage. When we divorced in 1999, I met and married the love of my life, the "one" I had been longing for. Within a few months I started getting a yearning to have a child together, thinking I had two such beautiful babies with a man that never really loved me: Having one with my wonderful husband now would be the ultimate.

Being a mom is the most awesome part of my life and I had always wanted more children. So, we talked it over and decided we would try and see what happened. If it was meant to be then we knew it would happen for us. Well, I got pregnant almost as soon as we started trying. We were ecstatic, we wanted a boy and the second ultrasound confirmed it was. We were so happy for a month or two until the third ultrasound revealed that the baby’'s thigh bone was measuring short for the gestational of the baby.

We were sent to a specialist a couple of weeks later and they confirmed our deepest fears. Our baby had Down syndrome. After an amniocentesis confirmed he also had cystic fibrosis, we knew that we could not let our baby suffer by bringing him into this world. I felt betrayed by life itself. How could and why did this happen? My life was supposed to be better now that I was married to someone who loved me and treated me so kindly. How could this happen to us?

We went through the process of giving up our baby and it was more traumatic than I thought it was going to be, to say the least. My milk came in within a few hours of the stillbirth and I delved into a sea of depression that I thought I would never get out of.

I have been to therapy. I have wanted to give up so many times. Feeling so empty and lost without my baby to hold, I look around now four years later and still feel the ache inside my heart for my little boy. His due date was Dec. 31, 2000, and every year at this time life seems so meaningless.

I am glad he never had to suffer outside my womb, he never felt physical pain. He never had to feel the pain that this world sometimes deals out to you, and for that I am glad. But I miss him so much and I daydream of what it would be like if he were here with us. This Christmas would have been a joyous occasion watching our little four-year-old open his presents. He has a 20-year-old brother and a 14-year-old sister who I know would have spoiled him rotten. But I guess it wasn't meant to be. My husband and I made the decision to have my tubes tied because with cystic fibrosis there is a one-in-four chance of any more children we might have had being effected. I couldn't stand the thought of purposely bringing an unhealthy child in this world.

I live for the day that my pain just goes away, but I doubt it ever will. I'll always be Dakota's mom and I will always miss him.


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