This blog was started on the foundation of telling a story. It has been a story filled with highs and lows, hopes, dreams, sadness and love. During the sharing of my story I learned that, not only had I created an outlet to express my thoughts, but I had also gained a community of friends who were experiencing similar struggles and triumphs. Many times reconnecting with an old friend whose life was on a similar path as mine. One of those friends was a beautiful gal named Lauren who I spent much of my childhood with. After sharing my infertility story our friendship was reestablished as she was going through the same tough journey. I celebrated with her when she announced that she too was pregnant with her own sweet rainbow baby. And then my heart broke when she didn’t have the happy ending that we all so desperately prayed for. When Lauren came to me asking me to help tell, not just her story, but the story of her sweet baby Lindin I was overcome with honor that she would entrust something so special to me as well as anxious on writing JUST the right words. But above all I wanted her to know that she is not alone and that Lindin’s nine days of life will never be forgotten.
If you could also take a moment at the end of this post to visit the GoFund account set-up in honor of Lindin we would be greatly appreciative. To visit: CLICK HERE.
In Memory of Lindin Douglas Keith
October 15, 2015 – October 24, 2015
By: Lauren Hornsby Keith
I’m lying in bed clutching a small memory box that the hospital sent home – praying for God to comfort me. I keep looking for answers, knowing that this is God’s plan and I must let go. But my grieving is still so raw…missing my tiny baby boy. Missing my sweet Lindin.
My name is Lauren and I’m a kindergarten teacher. My husband, Doug, and I always knew that we wanted children. For years we tried having a child unsuccessfully which finally led us to reaching out for assistance from a fertility doctor. After what seemed like an endless succession of medications and procedures we were faced with our only option: In Vitro Fertilization. Due to the high cost of the procedure, Doug and I saved our money for an entire year, desperate to have a baby. Finally we had saved enough money to proceed and with great excitement (and an enormous amount of hope) we transferred one embryo. On June 4, 2015 our prayers were answered and our miracle baby had begun growing in my belly. For the next five months Doug and I experienced pure joy with the knowledge that we were going to be parents.
Then on the morning of October 2, 2015 I woke up at 3 a.m. experiencing a pain in my lower right side. I decided to go ahead and go in to work – chalking it up to normal pregnancy pains. The pains continued so I called my doctor’s office who directed me to come in to the hospital. Once there we discovered that I was having contractions every two minutes. The hospital ran lots of tests trying to discover the source of the pain as well as rule out issues with my appendix. After several IV’s to rehydrate me, medication to stop the contractions and an overnight stay they sent me home on Saturday, October 3, 2015.
On Sunday, October 4, 2015 around noon the contractions returned with more intensity so we headed back to the hospital. The staff again worked to stop the contractions. Then on Monday night a high-risk doctor informed me that I had a shortened cervix and it was funneling (which basically means the internal part of the cervical canal is dilating causing a reduction of the cervical length). For the next several days I remained in the hospital as the staff continued to try and keep my contractions under control.
On Wednesday, October 7, 2015 I was released from the hospital on bedrest (which I took VERY seriously). On October 13th I returned to see the high-risk doctor only to learn that my cervix had unfortunately opened up more leading to me being rushed to the hospital. At that point I was at risk of having the baby in 2-6 days. We were hoping to place a cerclage (stitch in cervix) on October 14th to hold it closed, but on that day I was having too many contractions and was already 3cm dilated by 2:00 in the afternoon.
The day continued to spiral downwards as approximately 30 minutes later my water broke – and my heart with it. I’m beyond scared and dismayed knowing that my baby, at 22 weeks is too young to be born now. Then about 30 minutes later…my placenta ruptures. I’m moved in to labor and delivery only to receive the worst news. I am currently 22 weeks and 6 days pregnant. If I deliver THAT DAY the hospital will NOT work to save my baby.
I look up at the clock, horrified to see that it’s 3:50 p.m. and know that if I dilate even 1-2 cm. more my tiny baby will be born and his little body won’t be able to survive the birth. With everything that’s left in me I’m determined to last until midnight – to reach that 23 week mark to give my child some hope of survival.
Finally after watching the minutes slowly tick by, praying my body would slow its progress – midnight hits and the nurse hooks me to a heart monitor so I can hear Lindin’s heartbeat (which they wouldn’t do until that point). His heartbeat was music to my ears. Now I can CHOOSE to try and have NICU save his life. At 5:30 a.m. Lindin’s heart rate has begun to slow so I have two choices. If I wait for my body to give birth to him naturally his body wouldn’t be able to handle the stress of the birth so I immediately tell the doctor to do a C-section and give him the highest chance of survival.
At 6:25 a.m. with my amazing husband by my side – our precious Lindin is born – a micro preemie weighing only 1 lb. 4 oz. and 11 ½” long and he was given a 20% survival rate. I was unable to see him as he was immediately rushed in to NICU’s hands in a side room. I tell my husband to go be with our son as they finish the C-section.
After recovery I was wheeled by NICU in my bed to see Lindin for the first time. Seeing his tiny body covered in so many wires and tubes was difficult but it was love at first sight. HE was MY sweet little boy and we celebrated as his vital signs looked good for being a micro preemie.
As a mother you dream of holding your child in your arms. As a micro preemie mom I just dreamed of being able to TOUCH my sweet baby’s hand. On Day 3 a nurse finally let me touch Lindin’s hand. I slowly reached my finger in to the incubator and ever so gently placed my finger in his hand. As I did that Lindin slowly wrapped his tiny fingers around my finger. The best feeling a mother could ever feel and my heart is full in that moment.
Each day brings a new challenge for Lindin – it’s a daily/hourly roller coaster. By Day 7 our little guy is getting much sicker and we flood heaven with prayers for our baby hoping for a miracle.
October 24, 2015 will forever be the hardest day of my life. It was the day we had to say goodbye to Lindin. I heard him take his last breath and later just held him in my arms as I cried for the loss of my baby.
My husband and I are crushed. The child we wanted so badly now gone; born too soon and taken from us. It’s so hard to think about all those “first parent dreams” I will never experience. I never heard him cry, never saw him smile, and never changed his diapers, so many NEVERS that I am left with…
The hospital gave us a memory box with a small crocheted hat and other things that Lindin used. This memory box is what I lay in bed and hold on to. I ask the same questions over and over again. How did this happen? How could my perfect pregnancy end so soon? Our emotions are all over the place. The pain we feel from our broken heart. Why us we ask?! Why us!?
I take each day, one day at a time now. Through my prayers I’ve realized I must focus my energy in a positive way. I was BLESSED to have had 9 days with our beautiful son.
We have had so much love and support through all of this and know that some people do not have the support system that we have. By sharing this story I want to make sure that Lindin’s life is never forgotten. I want others in my situation to know that they are not alone.
If I can reach and connect with ONE person then sharing Lindin’s story, as hard as it may be, will be worth it.
I am currently in the process of having micro preemie and preemie hats crocheted to donate to NICU and also hope to have four rocking chairs, two bookshelves with books donated in memory of Lindin so that parents can read to their babies in the NICU.
I have started a GoFund Me account to assist in raising money to fund as many of these donations as possible. If you feel called to donate I am very grateful and hope to add a little comfort to the families in the NICU.
Thank you for reading our story and for allowing Lindin to shine so bright on this day! Even though he was only here for 9 days and not many people got to meet him…on this day everyone is going to meet him and hopefully remember his name!
TO DONATE TO LINDIN’S GOFUND ME ACCOUNT CLICK HERE.