Like many married couples, my husband and I longed to have a child.  We had dreamed of what it would be like from the time we became engaged.  We talked about names and whether we'd like to have boys or girls.  Long before we were married we picked out the name Bryan for our first born son, should we have one.  We were both in the military and were stationed almost ten hours apart for the entire ten months of our engagement and the first three months of our marriage.  When we would run out of things to talk about over the phone, we would discuss our future children.  We would even pretend that we had a boy named Bryan and a girl named Blair.  It really was quite silly and anyone listening in would have thought we were insane.  Several times I had to go TDY to Dayton, Ohio.  While there, Erik would leave messages for me at the hotel.  One I'll never forget was, "I miss you, mommy.  Love, Bryan"  Of course, we didn't have children, but I cried knowing I was so far from those I loved.  Five months after we were stationed together we began trying to get pregnant.  It happened almost immediately and we were so very thrilled.

We couldn't believe we were parents.   We told everyone.  Then at around 20 weeks we found out we were to have a boy.   The excitement grew!  We prepared his room and started his baby book.   The days were flying by.  There were some complications during the pregnancy, but nothing that looked like it would be a problem.  Bryan was due on December 23, 1996.  I separated from the military on December 1, 1996 so I could stay home with our baby when he was born.  It was at that time that I switched doctors.  The reasoning behind switching is a long story, so I won't go into that.  In short, the doctor's I had were incompetent in the beginning and treated me like a number.  I loved my new doctor.  On Thursday, December 26, 1996, I had what would be my last appointment.  Everything appeared fine.  His heartbeat was strong and he was kicking.  The doctor said we would induce the following Tuesday if he didn't come sooner.  She said I was dilating and she didn't expect us to hold out until Tuesday.   She asked me if I was having contractions and I said I didn't think so.  I remember thinking when we left, I wish she would have induced us today.  I had a gut feeling that something was very wrong, but reassured myself that everything was ok.   I remember saying to my husband "What if something happens before next Tuesday".  He said "Well, then we'll hold him and take pictures of him and spend as much time as we can.  But everything will probably be fine."  It seems so prophetic now to look back on the conversation we had in the car that afternoon.

I was miserable that whole weekend.   Bryan was moving so hard that I thought he was going to bust out of me.  We awoke early on the morning of Tuesday, December 31, 1996 to go to the hospital to be induced.  I was so nervous and very teary.  I just didn't feel right.   "Bryan keeps pushing my stomach out really hard" I told my mom and husband.  At the hospital they let Erik help me change into a gown and then made him wait in the lobby until they got all the IVs going and stuff.  First things first was to find the baby's heartbeat.

Silence.

It wasn't there.  I knew.   I just knew when the nurse didn't find it right away that he was gone.  I just stared at the ceiling wishing they would let Erik come in.  They kept trying and then brought in a few more nurses to try.  By this point tears were welling up in my eyes.   I kept praying to myself that they would find it.  They brought in an ultrasound machine but still couldn't tell anything.  I thought I was having a really bad dream.  They brought my doctor in to see if she could find it but she couldn't and ordered them to take me down stairs to the other ultrasound that was supposed to be better.  They ushered my husband into the room before taking me down.  I never will forget the look on his face when they said, "Mr. Lane, your baby's heart has stopped."  His smile melted into a look of horror.  He rushed to my side where I just stared at him blankly.  We were taken downstairs where it was confirmed that Bryan had died.  They also discovered that I was having regular hard contractions and that my water had broken.  The movements I thought I was feeling from Bryan were contractions and as for how my water broke without my knowing is still a mystery.  They induced labor and my son's still body was born at 6:45pm.  The cord was around his neck three times and appeared to be pinched off.  Bryan was so beautiful.  He had an olive complexion and a full head of jet black hair.  He was 8 lbs. 13 oz and 22 inches long.  He had his daddy's perfect rosy lips.  He was so perfect.

That day was the worst and yet also one of the happiest days of our lives.  It was the worst because we lost our child and instead of being able to say "Hello" we had to say "Good-bye".  However, it was the birth of our son and that makes it one of the happiest days as well.  As strange as that may sound, Bryan's existence on this earth made us happy.  And one day we will meet him in heaven.  I plan to give him a hug and a kiss and may not let go of him for a couple thousand years.

You know, I came across that message that Erik sent to my hotel room in Ohio several months after Bryan died.  When I read it that time, I smiled and tears ran down my cheeks as I whispered....

"I miss you too, Bryan."

(Please do NOT take the footprints on this page.  They are Bryan's actual prints - reduced in size.)

       

 


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