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Austin, My Angel in Heaven
Mar 20, 2002

My name is Karen. I just wanted to share my story of the son I wish I was still carrying. From the time my husband and I decided to start a family, I had many different feelings about it. In October of 2001, I had a spontaneous miscarriage, some people call it a spontaneous abortion, but I don't like to call it that. I was a week late with my cycle, and am ALWAYS on time. If we never took a test when we did, we never would have known I was pregnant. We tried for the next few weeks to get pregnant again, and that day came just before Thanksgiving.

We were very excited to be able to be parents. At Christmas time, when we were just about 3 months long, announced to our families that we were pregnant. Everyone was so excited. We had an ultrasound on Christmas Eve and were able to see how big the baby was, how fast the heart beat was, and how healthy the baby was.

When my doctor asked me if I wanted to take the AFP blood test, the one that tests for downs and spina bifeda, I wanted to take the test because this was my first pregnancy, other than the miscarriage, and I wanted to do everything right. When the results came back, my doctor called me to tell me she wanted to see me as soon as possible to go over the results. She did not like the results and wanted to send me in for a level 2 US, but I was convinced that there was nothing wrong, and we waited. On Valentine's Day, my 4 year wedding anniversary, we went in for a regular ultrasound. At that time I was 17 weeks pregnant. We saw all of the organs, the spine, we got a picture of the baby's face, and even one of the baby sucking his/her thumb. At the time, they couldn't tell what the sex was. The technician told me I was only 15 weeks pregnant. That was hard to believe. I then got the AFP blood test done again. This time it came back more elevated. At that doctor's appointment, I felt the baby kick, and heard a very strong healthy sounding heartbeat.

We went in the following week for a level 2 ultrasound. That was when we got the terrible news. Our baby had died. The baby must have stopped growing around Valentine's Day, and just started to deteriorate then. That is why my due date was pushed to 2 weeks later than the original one. We were devastated. My OB decided that it was the best choice for me to be induced and give birth to the baby. I agreed, and on March 8th at 1am, I gave birth to my son, Austin Patrick. I was exactly 20 weeks pregnant. He was stillborn, but I was able to hold him, and see him. We did not know what the sex of the baby was until that day. Here it is 2 weeks later. I am getting better, but am still in pain from the loss.

He will always have a place in our hearts and our home. There is an old saying, "Everything happens for a reason, and God only gives the hardest crosses to bare to those he feels are the strongest." I want to believe that my precious Austin is up in Heaven with God right now, and that I will see him again. He is now watching down upon his mommy and daddy, and he is our angel.

I wanted to share my story in hopes that it helps others out there that are struggling through the pain of a loss like this. It also helps me to talk about it. Thank you for listening, and God bless.
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