Our Dream, Dylan Earl Beatty By Amber Print
Birth Stories - Complicated Birth Stories
Thursday, 08 January 2009 09:55
I'm telling this story from an entirely different point of view, but I feel it's important it be told. Dylan is my cousin. I am 19 years old, Dylan was conceived when I was 16 and born when I was 17. At the time I was working in a Day Care Center, in the infant room. Most of my life, and definitely in that year, children and babies were my life. They still play a very large roll to it. And so, his life and death made a major impact on my life, and still affect me to this day.

Carol and Mark told us of the impending birth around Christmas time of 96. We were all very excited, all except Carol, as we were all going on a family cruise to the Caymens and she was sick the WHOLE time. Never the less, Dylan was a very real part of our life, right from the beginning. No one ever said "the baby" or "it". The moment Mark and Carol found out his sex, Dylan was Dylan. There was some debate over his middle name, as some of us wanted Dylan Michael, and others Dylan Earl. Eventually Dylan Earl was decided on, because Earl is my grandfather's name, and Dylan was his first male grandchild. You'll notice that I say "some of us wanted this" and "some of us wanted that" because right from the start, Dylan was a family baby. Everyone was involved, everyone loved him without reservation and without condition.

Fast Forward:
Carol is 7 and a half months pregnant. Everyone has been buying gifts for her and Dylan. We're planning this HUGE coed baby shower at my grandparents' home. What Carol and Mark don't know is that my grandparents bought this beautiful cherrywood Jenny Lind cradle for them and the rest of us have been filling it with every baby thing imaginable. By the time the shower is about to happen, there must be 800 to a thousand dollars worth of baby stuff in and around the cradle, which was covered with a sheet and tons of ribbon as a center peice to the room. My special purchase: Oh, The Places You'll Go! by Dr.Suess. By far my favorite book ever, and I just knew that Dylan would go far. There were lots of tears that day and lots of specialness. We had created a "Guesses about Dylan Earl" pamphlet and all the guests filled out the questionaire with what they thought Dylan's stats would be. All in all it was a great day, and I personally got to feel Dylan kick my hand for the first time. I was thrilled!

36 weeks:
Mark goes to Chicago for a cabinet show (he does the marketing for the company my mother works for, they build kitchen cabinets), leaving Carol behind. Carol goes to my grandparents' house for dinner, remarks that she hasn't felt Dylan move for a day or so. Both my mother and my grandmother reassure her, as when they get bigger, they have less room to move and sleep a bit more.

Monday morning comes:
Carol is worried, and Mark is home. They take their car into the shop, and Carol takes the truck to the doctor's office. Mark waits at home for a call about the car, so Carol goes alone. Carol gets an ultrasound, and there is no heartbeat. The doctor cries, Carol is devastated, and Mark is stuck at home, 20 minutes away, in his own horror. My grandparents call my mother, who just happened to be home for half of the day using up a bit of vacation. I had just woken up. I hear my mother sobbing. I go in and ask, "Mom, what is it, what's wrong?!" and she lookes at me with her face all red and her heart broken, "Dylan's dead". I never thought there could be such a pain in all the world.

Two days later, they induced Carol, she gave birth in a very silent, very sad room. Everyone was there, and everyone was sobbing. It was the most horrible feeling in the world to be standing in front of a L/D room, with your cousin being born dead, while everyone else around you is laughing and smiling. They felt bad when they looked at you crying, and you felt bad for making them feel guilty. Dylan weighed 3lbs 14oz, and was 18 inches long. He had looooooong black curly hair just like his momma. Everyone in the family got to hold him and kiss him and love him before they took him away. Later it was discerned that Dylan had blood clots in two of the three vessels of the umbilical cord. Normally this pregnancies end at 12 weeks, and they say it is a miracle in itself that he lived as long as he did. When the third vessel clotted, there was no nurishment getting to him and he just basically went to sleep and didn't wake up. This could partially be attributed to Rh factor, but they are really not sure. The reason that I share this story, which some may not feel is appropriate, is because Dylan changed my life and made an impact. He is a special angel that made our family closer and made us realize how precious life really is. We rose above the pain as a family and accepted that he was meant to touch us only briefly, but profoundly. Today, when I hold his little brother, Carson Reed, who is now a happy 8 month old, I know that it was all worth it. The pain, the tears, and definitely the love. Had Dylan lived, we wouldn't have Carson. And if Carson weren't in my life, I'd be me, but I'd be a little more empty. Know that you can get past the loss of a child, and that you will survive. I've seen it happen, not only in my family, but in several others. Life will prevail, and love will find you again.