Aidan’s story begins in 2007. Not long after we started dating we both confessed our desire to be parents. Fast forward two cities and three years of marriage later, we were finally “ready.” On July 6, 2015, I took a pregnancy test thinking there was no way I could possibly be pregnant. But I was. And everything we knew was about to change.
Like many other first time mothers, I had a pretty uneventful but blissfully happy pregnancy. I loved being pregnant (which I really did not expect). I followed all the rules: I stopped drinking coffee, didn’t take a sip of alcohol, started wearing a heart monitor for my workouts and gave up turkey sandwiches, among many other little things. I was inquisitive and involved in every doctor appointment and never shied away from asking even the silliest of questions. We flew by all the milestones with no cause for concern. I was gaining the “perfect” amount of weight and the 20 week ultrasound couldn’t have gone better. The tech was able to identify every possible organ and extremity including all four chambers of the heart. We were in awe of his beauty and marveled at the fact that he even gave us a “thumbs up” and what appeared to be a smile. We walked away from the 20 week ultrasound with no less than 50 pictures of our photogenic baby boy, safe and sound.
In the weeks leading up to Aidan’s anticipated arrival I attended two showers, we completed a host of house renovations, bought a family car and meticulously prepared his room. We hand-picked quotes we wanted hung on his walls and filled his bookshelf with our favorite childhood reads. Everything was ready and we couldn’t wait to start our new life.
Then on February 20, 2016, in the most devastating turn of events, our son Aidan James was born still. I was full-term at just over 37 weeks. The week prior my doctor performed a Nonstress Test to monitor Aidan after I questioned change in his movement patterns. Everything was normal, like the past 35 weeks, but just days later he was gone. Following a series of tests, we do not have a definitive answer for his cause of death and it’s likely we may never know. On February 27 we laid our sweet baby Aidan to rest alongside Ross’s mother at a beautiful service surrounded by our immediate family. It was the only thing that “made sense” in a time when nothing else did. Ross’s Mom, Connie, dreamt of having grandchildren and it provides us the slightest bit of solace knowing she is showering him with love and taking care of him for us.
No words can describe the pain and heartache that comes with losing your child. We know this because we’ve tried to no avail. In an instant we lost everything. We were parents and finally understood the intense love that comes with seeing and holding your baby for the first time, but we wouldn’t be taking him home to live out the life we’d planned with him at the center. Instead, we would fumble through the foreseeable future trying to figure out how we could possibly live a life without Aidan. We’ve come to realize that we don’t have to because Aidan will forever be our son and a very big part of our family. While he may not be here with us, he’s brought us so much joy and we’ll always love him unconditionally.
In the years to come we’ve vowed to try our best not to focus on Aidan’s final days but everything we love about him and the memories/stories he was most definitely a part of. Whether that’s one of our trips to San Diego to visit some of our favorite people where Aidan got his nickname, Doogie, or Christmas 2015 where he had more presents under the tree than any one else, or simply the times Ross and I spent feeling our future soccer star’s kicks, those are the moments we want to remember him by. When asked about Aidan, I hope we have the strength to explain that his distinct and sweet-natured personality was evident in his short but beautiful life. That he communicates with us through butterflies and that he has changed us forever.
The love and support our family and friends have provided in our darkest hours has been overwhelming. Words again fail to express how much it’s meant to us as we’ve attempted to pick up the pieces of our broken hearts. And while we have certainly tried, we realize that we cannot hide from our unfortunate reality. Instead, we are continually seeking out ways to honor and remember Aidan’s life. Supporting Star Legacy’s mission is one very important avenue we have chosen as part of our journey. Any donation helps to fund their research efforts aimed at finding ways to prevent stillbirth and we, including our angel, are grateful for your continued support.