Time heals all wounds, right? Not always.
In the summer of 2017, I shared our story of Valerie and I learning we would be grandparents; and only days after hearing we would have a little girl, we discovered her odds of survival were nearly nonexistent.
Teagan Elizabeth Cary passed away on June 28th, 2017, just prior to her third trimester, and I shared the story of her July 1st birth and July 5th funeral. My son, Austin, and his wife, Kira, have since had a little boy, Oliver, who is as close to being the PERFECT baby I have ever seen (yes, I’m serious. No, I’m not biased…much). They’re happy, they love him and they’re good parents, but they still miss Teagan.
Kira shares below her story and her struggles that continue, two years after Teagan’s passing. Feel free to leave your words of encouragement for her in the comments afterwards.
Two years ago today, we heard the words that every expecting parent fears. No one speaks of the fear; it’s the boogeyman that haunts all pregnancies, but is never mentioned. But the concern is always there, in the back of your mind at every ultrasound appointment, the fear of hearing the dreaded words, “I’m sorry, we can’t find her heartbeat.”
I remember actually feeling badly for the ultrasound tech. When we first walked in, it became apparent that she had not be apprised of our unique situation. She asked me if I was feeling movements, I responded, no. The shock in her eyes told me everything I needed to know. She hadn’t been told that Teagan had a chromosomal anomaly; she didn’t know that Teagan was so swollen that she wasn’t able to move. She took my explanations with grace and got started, but soon enough I could feel the concern growing in her, and then I knew. She continued searching, even went to go get another tech, I almost wanted to just tell her to stop. Just go get the doctor. I know what you’re going to say.
Austin and I were lucky—feels strange to say that, but in many instances it’s true— we were not blindsided by this news. We had known for 6 weeks that our Teagan had very serious complications and was not expected to make it. What we felt at that moment was not shock, but it was still devastating. We had made the very personal decision to hold onto Teagan for as long as we could, to hold onto a hope that a miracle could happen. We both faced Teagan’s prognosis realistically, but you hope you can be the exception, the rarity, the miracle story, but it was not to be.
It’s hard to imagine that it has been two years since we had to do the impossible task of saying hello and goodbye to our first child. It’s hard to imagine that we are here on our way up to Oklahoma to go see our daughter on her 2nd birthday and we get to celebrate it for the first time with her little brother. This will be an annual trip for us, without a doubt.
I know that when tragedy happens many people want to hear the happy ending. They want to hear about the rainbow after the flood. I can’t speak for Austin, but I’m still not entirely there. I love my son, I love my little family, but deep in my heart I can feel that missing piece. I still struggle with anger that this happened, and that’s okay, grief is a process and I am still working through this. She is always on my mind and my heart.
What I can say with certainty is that Austin and I are so lucky to be the parents of two amazing kids. If you will just keep our family in your thoughts and prayers this weekend as we celebrate Teagan’s life, we would really appreciate it. I also welcome you to either comment, message or text us and let us know that you are thinking of us, especially on Monday, her birthday. I cannot tell you how comforting it is for us to know that others are thinking about her, too. Love you all.
In spite of life’s challenges, for becoming a grandfather, I’m Still Thankful.
P.S. The image at the top is Teagan’s grave next to her second cousin, Alyssa. My brother and his wife lost a daughter not long after her birth in 2000. All these years later, there was still a place available for Teagan with Alyssa. For that, I’m Still Thankful.