We found out we were going to have a baby six weeks after we got married. Finding out brought such a mix of emotions but excitement at the thought of our family to be over rode anything else. We first saw our precious little man as a ‘blob’ on a six week scan. All was good as soon as we heard Aidens little heart fluttering away and it was confirmed that we were going to be parents in January, 2011.
It is hard to keep a secret as exciting as having a baby but that we did till after the 12 week scan. Aiden was a perfect little fetus squirming and wriggling in his cozy womb. Everything looked great and we then felt confident to tell people of our news.
Not long after that scan, we moved into our new home, one with plenty of space for our Aiden and his siblings. Things were going along so smoothly and really falling into place. We had midwife appointments every couple of weeks after the 12 week scan and each time our little munchkin was snug as a bug and had a perfect heart rate.
At 17 weeks Aiden kicked me for the first time and as the days went on, Aiden got stronger and kicked more and more. At 19 weeks, dad felt his first kick and we just couldn't have been happier.
Things started to go wrong after our 19 week scan. It was picked up that Aiden had severe kidney abnormalities. His prognosis was poor and the specialists were concerned his lung development would be hindered. Aiden’s kidneys were not producing the fluid that his lungs needed to grow. Even after appointments with numerous doctors and specialists we remained positive that Aiden could pull through. We were going to try anything and everything to help Aiden get better. We started pre-natal yoga, went to chiros, homeopaths, naturopaths and any other path we could find. We were on a concoction of Chinese herbs and vitamins hoping something might help our little boy.
We had scans every two weeks after finding out about Aidens kidneys. The doctors wanted to make sure he kept growing even though he had only a little fluid around him. Each scan showed Aiden growing really well and his little heart beating strong. It was hard to believe that there could be anything wrong with him. The doctors tried to prepare us for the worst, that our little boy wouldn’t survive but we kept on going, trying as hard as we could to be positive. We didn’t want to rob our son, our ourselves of the most normal pregnancy possible. Despite all that was going on, our pregnancy was pretty normal. Aiden was a bit cheeky and on one occasion when his dad was speaking to him he managed to kick and get his dad in the jaw. He also was very determined to make his mum sleep in very uncomfortable positions, kicking and squirming until he was comfortable. He had a strong boot on him and liked kicking anybody that touched him through his mum’s tummy.
As Aiden’s birth date loomed we made the decision to have a caesarian birth. The doctors recommended this as they thought a natural birth may have stressed Aiden and even worse, killed him. It was a scary thought to have surgery and miss out on the benefits of a natural birth but it was for Aidens sake, the safest way to arrive into the world. We set the date for the 10th January 2011, but always told Aiden he could come when he wanted.
As the weeks went on, we started to ask Aiden to do a few things for us. Firstly, we told him that it was his decision as to what his life was to be. If he was born alive, we would do everything in our power to keep him alive. We also told him that if at any point it seemed too much for him, he just needed to give us a sign, a sign that we would know that this life was not for him.
Secondly, we willed him to grow and heal. Grow so that he could be as strong as possible to fight and cope with the ventilators, drips, medications and intervention. Heal so that he could spend time with us and maximize the life that he could lead.
Thirdly, we asked if he could come out crying and weeing. Crying to tell us his lungs were doing something and weeing so that we knew his kidneys were doing something.
We wrote theses things in his book, constantly spoke these to him and told everyone around us to picture these things happening for our Aiden. Of all the amazing miracles to have occurred during our time with Aiden, it was these things we had asked of him that he made happen. We will be forever blown away by his will and determination.
Aiden decided that December 21, 2010 was going to be his birth date. After two and a half days of pre labour, three separate admissions to hospital and 6 hours of ‘real’ labour, Aiden made his grand entrance into this world via caesarian at 9:14 pm. Our little man squirmed and kicked as he was born and just as we had asked, he managed to get out a few little cries. He was quickly taken by the doctors to get him connected to a ventilator but the whole time he was conscious and his heart beat strong. When the doctor came to see us in recovery she had mentioned that he had done a little wee. Hearing that Aiden had cried and wee’d, we really thought things were going to be ok, that we would bring Aiden home with us. Looking back now, it is truly a miracle that he was able to do this as he actually had lung and kidney failure from birth.
When we first saw Aiden after birth, it was at 2am and he was in NICU. He was ventilated, medicated and had lines and cords all over him but he still managed to respond to us. He would open his eyes briefly and pull his feet away if we touched them. His skin was pink and flawless, had a lot of blonde hair, hands like mum and feet like dad. It was hard to take in all of his features but we thought he was perfect and he filled our hearts with an abundance of love. It was so hard to leave him that night.
The following day his dad went and checked on him a few times while mum was recovering. It was in the afternoon, after all Aidens tests were done that the bad news started to come out. Our little boy had so many things going wrong inside him it was a miracle that he had made it through a pregnancy let alone be born alive. His bad kidney was more than half the length of his body and there was no function. His lungs were small and couldn’t transfer oxygen into his blood; he could not breathe on his own. We went from pure elation to devastation and knew he couldn’t get through it. We decided to bring in his closest family members one by one to introduce him. Our amazing little boy opened up his eyes for every single person, acknowledging that they were there. His little body was loosing colour from lack of oxygen despite the ventilator pumping so much into him and his blood pressure was so low, no amount of medication could raise it. After everyone got to meet him, touch him and kiss him we had decided to take him off the ventilator. Just as we had asked him, he gave us a sign and just before we left him, his oxygen saturation went so low. Our little boy was saying it was time.
The amazing doctors that had tried absolutely everything for Aiden took out all of the lines and tubes that had covered Aiden only minutes after birth. We waited for our son in a quiet room where he was brought to us. Without any tubes and cords, we were able to get some family photos, read him his book, talk to him and just kiss and cuddle him. He held on for ten minutes with us and peacefully passed at 10:15 pm. After he passed, we were able to spend some time with him, bathe him and touch him. We were able to take him to our room where our family waited, to share pictures, cuddles and kisses. That evening we said our painful goodbyes and then he was gone.
To express today how much we love our son is impossible. Our hearts ache for the baby we were meant to have but we are in pain from loosing an amazing little creature that showed us so much in such a short time. He brought us the support we needed to get through the pregnancy, from family, friends, work colleagues and complete strangers. He brought us time that we were able to meet him, hold him and kiss him. Our lives are forever changed for the better after having our son Aiden.