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Avery Ann

 

Avery Ann, baby with anencephaly

Anencephaly...

This is a word that forever changed our lives. This is a word that I could have gone my whole life without hearing. This is a word that I wish families didn't have to hear. This is a word that also brought so much joy into our lives.

My husband and I got married on September 3, 2016 and I immediately wanted to start a family. We began to try a few months later and we were so excited when we saw those two pink lines. We began to look at our future with our child and all the things we needed to do to prepare. We couldn't believe that there was a little baby growing inside my belly.

How amazing is that? Our bodies can literally create a human. We wonder if we were having a boy or girl and how we would decorate the nursery. We decided to tell a few close friends and our immediate family within a few weeks of finding out. We were too excited to keep it to ourselves and most people expected us to try right away.

Our pregnancy continued as normal. We had our appointment every month and we saw our little baby growing and heard that amazing heartbeat. We were continually told that our baby was healthy and had a strong heartbeat.

Maybe this is my mother's intuition but from the beginning of the pregnancy I had a feeling something was off. I was so excited but deep down I had a feeling something was wrong. I tried to stay positive because we continued to have these great appointments.

May 9, 2017... Diagnosis day. Our 20 week ultrasound appointment was expedited to 18 weeks due to alarming blood results. We went into that appointment very positive. Our doctor told us that there was a small chance that something was actually wrong but she wanted us to come in to make sure. We walked into that appointment quiet and waiting to hear that everything was okay. The technician immediately found the heartbeat and it was perfect. We saw those beautiful toes, fingers, and those long legs. We couldn't believe how much our baby had grown since our first ultrasound.

Avery Ann, baby with anencephaly

She then made her way to the head, at this point we didn't realize anything was wrong but the technician stopped and said, "I see alarming results but the doctor will be in to talk to you."

Tears immediately started and all we could think about was what happened and no matter what the diagnosis was, we would get through this. It took 30 long minutes for the doctor and nurse to come back. It was quiet when she walked in and she immediately told us that our baby's skull did not form and that it was incompatible with life.

How could this happen?

Our baby had a strong heartbeat. What does this mean?

All of these questions were asked amongst tears flowing down our faces. We were told that there was nothing we did and there was nothing we could have done differently to change the results. We were confused, scared and all we wanted was our baby to be healthy. We were given two choices, terminate the pregnancy or continue to carry full term. This was our baby GIRL and as long as that heart was beating that was all we cared about.

We spent the next few days with our family figuring out what our future would look like. Through research we decided to create a bucket list with all the things we want to do with our Avery Ann while she was in my womb. This gave us something to look forward to and create those special moments with our daughter. I took more photos in my life than I ever have before. We went to the zoo, country concert, camping, state fair, drive-in movie, golfing with daddy (mini golfing), fireworks, spa day with mommy, and cub's game (spring training).

This was our chance to do all the things we wanted to do with her. We spent these moments as a family and loved every minute. We cherished all of the kicks and punches (even the kicks to mommy's ribs). Feeling her move and actually seeing it was the most amazing feeling.

Knowing we created her and she was part of both of us was so special. All of the photos were posted on our facebook page to update families and show the world how special Avery is.

Many asked how we stayed so strong and our answer is the love that we had for this little girl. She was our beautifully strong daughter who continued to fight the odds every day.

Avery Ann, baby with anencephaly

We decided to set an induction date for the night of September 14th. We were told that she was considered growth restricted and we were nervous of her passing away in-utero. We had that day planned perfectly. Our 3 page birth plan explaining exactly what we wanted to happen but Avery laughed at all of our planning.

On August 28th painless contractions started. This was two 1/2 weeks before our induction date and I was only 34,5 weeks pregnant. We were not ready but Avery decided that she was ready to meet mommy and daddy. This totally showed her personality.

August 29th at 4:54pm was the moment we met our beautiful Avery Ann. After being in labor for over 24 hours and pushing for 10 minutes Avery entered the world quietly but with a heartbeat. She was able to meet her mommy and daddy!

She was immediately placed on my chest with her eyes slightly open. We were finally able to both hold her. We repeatedly told her how much we love her and how special she is. With both our immediate families, Avery was able to be baptized and confirmed into the catholic religion as mommy and daddy held her close.

The next hour we spent our time as a family of three. We held her, bathed her, clothed her and gave her all the kisses in the world. Her heartbeat continued to beat very slowly but it was still beating!

Avery Ann, baby with anencephaly

We decided to celebrate her by inviting our families to the hospital for her birthday. We had 29 people in our room to sing happy birthday and eat birthday cake as they all met Avery. That moment was everything we planned. We wanted all of those we who loved her to be able to meet her and love on her. Many of them held her, kissed her and showed her show much love. As parents, it was truly amazing to see how this little girl made such an impact on so many lives.

After two hours, her heartbeat slowly stopped. The next two days we spent holding Avery and cherishing every second.

It was Thursday, the day we were discharged and the day we drove Avery to the funeral home. To us, this was the right decision. We got to spend that extra hour with her knowing exactly where she was. We talked to her, read to her and spent those last moments wishing we could take her home. Giving Avery to the funeral director was something I wish no other parents have to do. It was the moment that we held Avery for the last time. We knew this moment would come but nothing could prepare us. This was our daughter and now we could no longer hold her and keep her safe.

A week later we had a beautiful service for her that was filled with so much love. Many family members and friends came to celebrate her and show how much they loved her. We spent that day telling her story, thanking everyone for their support, crying and laughing.

Avery is buried next to a beautiful tree where the sun shines down in the afternoon.

Avery Ann, baby with anencephaly

We are so proud of the impact that Avery made in bringing awareness to anencephaly. Avery taught the world that each life is precious and valuable. We will continue to tell her story and show the world that love conquers all.

We miss our daughter more each day and our lives will never be the same but we would do it all over again to just hold her one last time.

Thank you to all of those who celebrated her life and followed her journey. You all have a special place in our hearts.

Mommy and daddy miss you so much baby girl. You will forever be our Aves.

Written in honor of our beautiful Avery Ann Lynch.

 

 

 

Last updated 03.10.2017