In December of 2000 we found out that we were expecting our 3rd baby. He was due on August 27, 2001. My pregnancy started out perfect and then went downhill from there. I was on bedrest by 20 weeks with my cervix thinning and we had many ultrasounds to watch our baby. We learned that we would be having a baby boy but also learned that same day that I had partial placenta previa. Early in May when I was just 24 weeks I began preterm labor and was admitted to the hospital until the contractions stopped. After coming home it was just a few days before we had to go back. On May 27, 2001 I was lying in my bed and realized that my water had just broke. I was only 26 weeks and I knew it was way too early for our son. I was rushed into an emergency c-section and our son was born. He did not make a sound when he was born. I think I heard him squeak and then they intubated him and rushed by to the NICU. I begged them to let me see him and reluctantly they did. He was tiny and red and had a tube in his mouth and then they ran. I would not see him for 8 more hours. My blood pressure crashed and I spent a long time in recovery before they wheeled my bed into the NICU to see him. He was so small- just barely 3 pounds and almost 15 inches long. He had so many wires and tubes you could barely see him at all. Alex did great for being born so early. He was only on the ventilator for 12 hours and then he was breathing on his own. His biggest problem was tolerating his feedings which did not go well at all. He lost weight so fast and was 1 pound 12 ounces by time he was 10 days old. We were so scared but then he started growing. He began opening his eyes and looking at us once in a while and started to kick his legs occasionally. His big brother and big sister brought him his first toy to the NICU, it was a stuffed froggie and being a preemie, when he was lying there curled up, his little legs looked like a frog, he was so cute. He spent 6 1/2 weeks in the NICU before we were able to bring him home. He came home on July 20, 2001 weighing 4 pounds 6 ounces and 17 inches long. On August 10, 2001 Alex had his first well baby check up. He was 2 months old and growing fast. He now weighed 6 pounds 11 ounces and he was 19 inches long. The doctor told us that day that Alex was in perfect health and she saw no problems with him getting his 2 month shots that day. I was concerned since he was not even due to be born yet but she assured me it was fine. He was given 5 shots that afternoon and we went home. My husband was away on a military exercise so it was just the kids and I and we just played and watched TV and enjoyed each other and having Alex home. On Sunday, August 12, 2001, Alex and I tucked my other two kids, Christopher and Haleigh into their beds and went back downstairs for our time to just cuddle. He fell asleep in my arms before I could give him a bath or feed him so I decided to go change into my pajamas and brush my teeth before I woke him to be fed. I put him in his crib, in our room, he squirmed and peeked at me as I tip-toed away and I told him to give me just a minute and I'll be right back. Less than 10 minutes laterAlex had died. I got to him immediately since he had an apnea monitor I knew right away that something was not right. I stimulated him and that did not work so I began CPR and dialed 911. Just that fast our lives changed forever.
The days after Alex died are just a blur in my mind. I felt like I was in a nightmare and all I wanted was to wake up. We decide to take Alex to my hometown; Bastrop, Louisiana, for his funeral since we are military and move so often. The flight to Louisiana was like walking in a fog and then realizing where you are and not knowing how you got there. Family came from all over the country to attend Alex's funeral.
It has been 15 years since Our Angel got his wings and there has not been a day that we don't miss him and long to have him in our arms once more. Our other children were forced to grow up fast that day and they lost an innocence that they will never again find. They know now that people die and it's not just the older people. They know that sometimes babies die and sometimes they die for no reason at all. Alexander's death was ruled as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Simply stated SIDS means that they have no idea why this perfectly healthy baby died.
And here's the bowl I ended up creating in memory of Alexander