Sawyer Dustin Underwood

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My name is Kristan Underwood. My husband, Josh, and I have been married five years. We have a son named Parker who is two. We found out I was pregnant again in November of 2017. I had a perfectly healthy pregnancy, and it was another boy! Sawyer Dustin Underwood.

We were so excited. But I had this nagging feeling the whole time that something would go wrong. I had so many dreams of going in for a regular appointment and him not having a heartbeat. I never had these feelings during my first pregnancy.

On June 14, we went in for my 34 week check up. And those dreams became a harsh reality when Sawyers heart was not beating. The exact scenario I had dreamed of so many times, the most recent just three days before, was happening. We were devastated. Our world crushed. Our hearts shattered. All the hopes we had for our boys growing up together were gone. Nothing like this had ever happened to anyone in our families, and not even to anyone that we really know personally.

We went to the hospital that night to start the induction and delivery process. I’m an RN, but I work on a cardiac floor, so I had no idea what to expect. I was delivering him at the hospital I work at. It was the longest walk into that building I have ever taken. Knowing that when I left, I would not be bringing my baby home with me was a paralyzing thought. But in we went. On June 15, 2018 at 9:08 am Sawyer was born. He weighed 4 lbs 5 oz and was 18 inches long. He was absolutely perfect in every way.

Labor is hard. Labor of a stillborn child is so much worse.

Knowing that you have to deliver your child, but that they will not cry or take a breath is a terrible. But it’s something you have to do. After he was born we spent about eight hours with him. Our families came to see him. Parker got to meet his baby brother, and was not too impressed, as we expected from him.

One of my best friends, Jordan, who has been through preschool to nursing school with me, was there for every bit of it. She is a NICU nurse, and at our hospital they go to deliveries. She is an absolute angel, and I could not have made it through that day without her. She gave me suggestions on things we could do with Sawyer, like having him baptized. She took the most amazing pictures of him, that we will treasure forever. She brought smiles to our faces when we had no reason to put them there. After everyone had left, and we had spent lots of time with Sawyer ourselves, the funeral home came and picked him up. Handing my baby to a complete stranger, knowing that I would never get to see him again, was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Or at least I thought so at the time. Over the course of the next few days I learned that planning a funeral, holding a visitation, and burying my baby would actually be the hardest things I’ve ever done.

No parent should ever have to bury their child. That’s not how life is supposed to go.

But it happens. 1 in 4 women will experience pregnancy/infant loss. I am that one. Literally. At my job, there were four of us who were pregnant at the same time and due close together. It’s been almost three months now since Sawyer was born, and all but one of their babies has been born now. It’s strange how you can feel so much joy over a new baby, while at the same time mourn the loss of your own.

The only thing that has gotten me through this is my faith. I know that God has a plan. I know that amazing things will happen because of Sawyers life. I know that my baby is with Jesus, and that someday I will get to see him again. When I doubt, God continually reminds me that He loves me and there’s a purpose for my pain. On days when I can hardly move, he picks me up and carries me. My relationship with God has blossomed these last three months. My relationship with my husband and with Parker have changed, but for the better. I’m dedicating my life to honoring Sawyer and keeping his memory alive. It’s amazing to see the impact he has made on this world, and he never really got to be a part of it. Although my heart is broken now, I’m so looking forward to our reunion in heaven. What a glorious day that will be!

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

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