Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mom to Aubrey Lynn
June 21st, 2006 - November 30th, 2006
Springboro, Ohio

Aubrey Lynn, our first child, was born on June 21, 2006. Brad and I had been married for about four years when we started trying to conceive…and while it took a few months to actually get pregnant, we knew the timing was perfect. We were both finished with college…settled into good jobs…had a house…two new cars…and we were both ready and excited to start our family. My pregnancy was pretty normal…and relatively easy…aside from the swollen feet and back pain. I was induced about a week and a half before Aubrey’s due date for some issues I was having with high blood pressure, but it seemed Aubrey was in just as much of a hurry to get out and meet the world as we were to have her here…and after only about 30 minutes of intense labor, she was in our arms. Born at 12:50 p.m. on June 21, 2006, Aubrey weighed in at seven pounds, twelve ounces and was twenty inches long. As most parents would say, Aubrey was the most beautiful child we had ever laid eyes on and we fell in love with her the minute that we saw her…a love that we had not known was possible until she came into our world.

After just a few short days in the hospital, we were ready to bring our baby girl home. It was exciting and terrifying all at the same time…just knowing the vast amount of responsibility that was upon us in taking care of this tiny being. While we had had many visitors in the hospital, we wanted to be alone as a family on our first day at home…just the three of us…and our dog, Charger. When we walked into our house, Charger was immediately drawn to his new little sister. He wanted to check her out…to give her kisses and welcome her home. Little by little, we let Charger get closer and closer to Aubrey, and within an hour, he was already used to her…somehow knowing that he had to be gentle around her at all times…even as hyper as he could be.

During the first few weeks of Aubrey’s life, we spent most of the time just holding her close. She spent most of the time sleeping. It was the most peaceful feeling watching her sleep as she looked so innocent…so content. By the time Aubrey was only a month old, she was already sleeping through the night…something that other parents were completely jealous about. We didn’t know how we had gotten so lucky, but we weren’t complaining. We loved to sleep just as much as she did!
When Aubrey was just a month old, she started smiling…not the smiles you see on babies because they have gas…but that smile that just pulls at your heart…the one where you don’t see how they could open their mouths up any wider…and when Aubrey smiled, her little tongue always stuck out. It was the cutest thing in the world and we fell in love with her all over again every time that we saw her smile like that. The older Aubrey got, the more smiles she had. Sometimes she would still stick out her tongue when she smiled. Sometimes she would just open up her mouth really wide, as if she wanted to tell us something really important. And there were other moments when she smiled that she just had this really sneaky look to her…something we knew could cause a lot of trouble when she was older. No matter how Aubrey smiled, it was absolutely contagious. She loved smiling, and would not only smile for us, but for anyone that paid any amount of attention to her. Everyone commented on what a happy baby she was, and no matter where we went, she brought smiles to everyone’s faces.

Before we knew it, it was time for me to return to work. This meant that Aubrey had to be taken to a sitter’s house each day. Though it was hard to leave her…and I spent several days at work in tears…we quickly settled into our new routine. Aubrey adored her babysitter…and so did we. We knew how much she loved our daughter…just as if she was one of her own children.

 Then, on November 30, 2006, our world came crashing down. I helped coach junior high cheerleading at the school where I teach and we had pictures after school. I kept telling the girls to hurry up, just wanting to get to my baby girl as soon as possible. When they were finally over, I jumped in my car and drove to the sitter’s house…faster than I had ever driven before. I remember almost going off the road at one point…telling myself that I had to slow down…that if I wasn’t careful I wouldn’t even make it out there. I’m not sure if this was God’s way of preparing me for what was about to happen or if I had some sort of feeling that something just wasn’t right, but either way, our world as we knew it was just about to end.

I will never…ever…for as long as I live…forget that feeling of complete hysteria as I pulled up to the sitter’s house and saw several ambulances and fire trucks in the driveway. I tried to calm myself down…tried to think that maybe it was just a small fire in the house…but as our babysitter ran up to me…crying…without Aubrey in her arms…I knew something terrible had happened.
The babysitter’s husband drove me to the hospital where Aubrey had been taken. I remember crying in the car…asking him questions about what had happened…just praying that she would be okay. He told me that Aubrey had been down for her nap…just like every other day…and when our sitter went to wake her up a few minutes before I would arrive, she found her lifeless in the crib. Her husband had immediately started CPR on Aubrey, trying to revive her, while the sitter called 911 and tried to get in touch with us. Unfortunately, my cell phone had died earlier in the day, so she had no way of reaching me before I got to their house.

Once I got to the hospital, I tried frantically to see my daughter, but no one would let me. It wasn’t until a little later, once my husband had also arrived, that we were allowed to go into the room with her. I remember walking into that room…seeing all of the doctors and nurses around the table…my little girl lying there…such a tiny body on a huge bed…completely unresponsive despite all of their best efforts. We watched from a corner in complete disbelief of what was happening as the doctors continued to try to revive her…feeling as if we were caught in an episode of ER…all the staff…counting out their steps in what they were doing…and all the machines…beeping every so often…giving us that false hope that everything was going to be okay…that Aubrey was going to be okay.
I’m not sure how long they tried, but at one point a doctor turned around with the words we dreaded to hear…“I’m so sorry.” We cried. We screamed. We held her hand as we told her over and over how much we loved her. Our parents were called and we were told they were on their way, though they all live a couple of hours away. So for those couple of hours, we had time to spend with Aubrey…completely alone. The nurses wrapped her up in a blanket for us and we took turns holding her…trying to comprehend what had just happened.

Once our family arrived, no one really knew what to do. We were all there…my mom, my step-dad, my brother…my dad and step-mom…Brad’s parents and his brother and sister. Everyone just gathered in the room, completely unable to fathom that they were looking at a child who had just died…our child…our little girl…each of our parents’ first grandchild. Everyone took turns holding her. We all cried. And we all prayed.

Almost fours hours after I had arrived at the hospital…hopeful that my baby girl would be okay…we walked out without our daughter. Our arms were completely empty…and no one…nothing…could have filled that void. Our hearts were broken in a way that was completely beyond repair and nothing could ever change that.
 We later found out that Aubrey died due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). We will never understand how an infant can just suddenly stop breathing…any infant…but especially one who was as perfect as Aubrey…so happy, so healthy, so alert and energetic. It will never make sense and we will never stop wondering what happened to our little girl.

As the minutes have passed…the hours…the days…and even the years…our hearts have healed a bit. They are still broken…they always will be…but we are able to remember our daughter without always remembering the pain of her death. We are able to look at her pictures and smile. We are able to remember the joy she brought to our lives and laugh. We are able to think about the ways she blessed our lives without immediately remembering the heartache that loving her has caused. And while there will always be pain when we think of our daughter, we take comfort in the fact that she was our daughter…in the fact that we had her for five months and nine days…long enough to make many special memories that we will hold in our hearts for the rest of our lives. We still don’t understand why Aubrey was taken from our world so soon or what her purpose in life was, but we know that one day, we will see her again. It is that hope that helps us keep going…even on the days that bring the most excruciating pain…because we know that someday, we will be with her again…and that when that time comes, it will be forever.

Kendra  has a memorial site for Aubrey at 
You can contact Kendra at


Anonymous said...

i am so sorry for your loss. your story touched me. much love and healing to you and your family...

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