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Jaden Thien Nguyen

Jaden Thien, baby with anencephaly

We were so lucky and quick the 3rd time, it took us only couple months to conceive Jaden. Our first 2 children, Jacob (5 yrs old) and Jolie (1 yr old), took two years each to try. I went to see the doctor early on in pregnancy because I couldn't believe how quick I got pregnant. I didn't take my husband Vincent to any of the doctor visit until we had our first ultrasound at 17 weeks, January 12, 2007 (the day our world fell apart). We were excited to know the gender; we both wanted a boy this time. I was excited to finally see the baby inside of me. As the nurse looked and measured the babyís arms, legs, finger, etc. she told us the highlight, itís a Boy! And then, devastating news. My husband and I looked at each other in shock; Vincent said we have to hear it from the doctor. I was already crying and in denial inside. I could never think this could happen to us. We have two healthy and beautiful children at home. I was scared. She told us to wait for the doctor. We didn't understand. This baby was living; there were fingers, toes, a body, and a heart. The doctor came in saying sorry and that it was going to be hard. He told us Jaden has anencephaly, either we had to terminate or carry full term. Then my husband broke down crying. How could we make a choice, we couldn't even pronounce that word. He told us that it is how you view life to make this decision. So I made a choice right there and then not to abort. I wanted to give Jaden a chance.

We went home and grieved for days and researched more about anencephaly. Nobody knew about this besides close family; only our parents and siblings. So it was hard to keep it quiet, but I didnít want the whole world to know. I thought about telling Jacob, but then I didnít. We were moving in to our new house that weekend too, so it was a difficult move. Jolie would always kiss my belly and say, ďBaby!Ē My heart melted. (Even now, she still does this!) We went back to the doctor the following week to further discuss our choices and asked more questions. Then every month we visited the doctor, they let us see the ultrasound and my husband came every time with me ever since. We got to see Jaden grow a little bit more each time. He loved to kick me on the left side of my belly. I will never forget that. I made sure he moved every morning. I love it every time we see him in the ultrasound, just to see him move inside. They also measured my amniotic fluid. It was normal, so I knew Jaden was strong. We also met with the pediatrician, nurses, and pastoral care lady to prepare our birth plans and we also had to prepare funeral plans as well. Weíd always cry during our appointments. The doctor was right, it was very hard. At the last visit, we got to see him in 3D, so we got a glimpse of his face. He had chubby cheeks. I couldnít wait to see him, but then again, the agony of his suffering outside the womb was unbearable as well.

Midnight on May 12, 2007 I went to the hospital to be induced because the doctor wanted him delivered at 36 weeks gestation. They gave me 2 tiny sleeping pills, which Iím glad they did, because I was too nervous and anxious to sleep. I slept like a log that night. Early in the morning they gave me another pill to soften and ripen my cervix. I was not any where near dilated the last time we were at the doctorís office. Around 8 or 9 am they gave me an IV and around an hour later, I was given a contraction dose through the IV. My contractions started around 11 a.m. and I was in labor for about 3 hours. My contractions slowly and gradually increased and became more intense. Every contraction that came, it felt like my belly grew like a balloon stretching with pain and then deflates. About an hour before I had Jaden, they gave me pain medicine through IV, it didn't help the pain but it made me really sleepy. I try to keep all my births as natural as possible and I thank God for letting me.

Jaden arrived at 2:16 p.m. The doctor wanted Jaden to come feet first because he didnít want pressure on Jadenís head. But Jaden wouldnít budge and was delivered head first. Luckily the sack protected Jadenís little head along the way and he came out just fine. Jaden was here and about one hour later I was still sleepy, so that whole time was a daze to me. If it weren't for the video camera, I wouldn't remember what happened. So I wish I didn't take that medicine for pain, but on the flip side, after the birth and even until the next day I couldnít feel the pain or cramps. Even so, I wouldnít have taken the medicine so then I can still cherish more memories with Jaden.

Right after he came out, the first thing I remember was the nurse putting him on me, he was so little and fragile. I remember the nurseís saying he was so cute, and he was. I saw his missing top, but he was still too cute to even think about it. We put a hat on him to cover it up. After he lay on me a little bit, they took him away and measured him. He was 16 inches and weighed 4 lbs. then they clothed him and put another hat on him. The hospital pastor baptized him, and then we bathed him, clothed him with our clothes we bought for him. We brought hats too, but none of them fit like the hospital ones. We changed more hats then clothes because the hats were stained from blood. Soon after, the Catholic Rev. Father came to baptize Jaden. Jonah is his baptismal name. Then the hospital took tons of professional pictures of Jaden, they were so nice they gave us all the photo and reprints when we were only supposed to have only one picture. I brought along a clay plate and tile to get his foot & hand prints, some of them with his brother and sisterís print already on there. Now I have all three hands on one plate. It's one of the memories I can get with all the kids together. Now, I always go by it and place my finger on Jadenís tiny hand, like he's holding my hand.

Then we put him skin to skin with me, I loved that moment so much. The nurse said he was struggling to breathe, but to me that was how he adapted in this big world, so he sounded like a purring kitten and it sounded so cute. He didn't cry, he just purrs when he took in air. He was such a strong boy. He had a strong heart beat until the end. Everyone in the room carried him until the end and his dad carried him last. Then the nurse sent everyone out for our private time with Jaden because she knew it was almost time. I thought it was nice, we both started this life and we both wanted to be there alone to end it together. He died in both of our hands. Jaden passed away peacefully at 7:38 p.m. At his last breath, his eye peeped open with a tear. He did not open his eyes all day until this moment. Maybe he wanted to see us before he left. We stayed with him another 2 hours, and then the nurse carried him and dressed him in another outfit to be sent away.

We missed him so much already. He is talked about everyday, and we call him JT for short. The time we spent with him went by so fast; this whole experience went by like a breeze. I just wish I had more time with him, I wish I had gotten to take him home, I really wanted to take him home and I still want to take him home. It was difficult to tell family and friends. But I received a lot of support, prayers, and flowers from the people who loved us. That night, I took another sleeping pill to rest from the whole day, I needed it. Early the next morning we went home. We were at the hospital from start to finish only 30 hours. I didn't want to stay any longer and because I was missing Jaden.

The day after his birth, I had a full day of rest and looked at his pictures. We all went to his cremation. At first, it was only my husband and uncle that wanted to go, but at the last minute, everyone that was at the hospital went, even me! Everyone wanted to say goodbye to little Jaden. He is now at home, where he belongs, with us forever.

(Mommy loves you Jaden T.)

 

Update:
Jaden Thien is a big brother to Jiada MaiVi born on March 24, 2009. She is biggest and healthy and looks like her brothers.

 

Last updated April 30th 2009