We are visiting Dawn today, who’s speaking about her little boy Kayden. After reading this questionnaire I realized I should have gone more in-depth about the actual mothers themselves as well. In reading about Kayden, I learned he had a brother who he joined when he passed. This shows how much Anencephaly/Acrania doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t matter if you have healthy children, ones already gone or none at all; it can happen. Thank you Dawn, for sharing Kayden with us. ❤
by: Dawn Greene
1. How long has it been since you gave birth/been diagnosed?
Kayden was born on December 3rd, in 2012. So it’s been about 3 ½ years.
2. How and during what stage of pregnancy was your child diagnosed? How did you react?
Kayden was diagnosed with anencephaly at his 20-week ultrasound. On the ultrasound, the first thing we saw was that he was a boy. When the tech got to the head, we were all laughing and smiling and then she stopped. She said I can’t go on, I have to get the doctor. I said what’s wrong, she whispered anencephaly.
3. Do you know what caused the defect for your case
4. Did you ever consider terminating? Why didn’t you?
No. God gave me this baby. My job was to be his mother for as long as he lived.
5. Would you change anything about your experience?
Yes. When Kayden was born, I did not bring my other children to the hospital to meet him, then ages 6 and 7. I chose not to because of the birth defect. But he was their brother and I wish I would’ve allowed them to meet him.
6. What was your favorite moment while being pregnant?
My favorite moment while being pregnant was the evening before Kayden died. I was in a bath and he was so active. The kids and I played with him in my belly. He responded to every poke with a kick or an elbow. It was like he was with us outside of the womb.
7. What was your favorite part of meeting your child?
My favorite part of meeting my son was seeing his face. And knowing God had him.
8. Is there any special meaning behind your son/daughter’s name?
9. If you could tell anyone anything about your child, what would it be?
He was perfect, just the way he was.
10. Birthdays!! How long did they live? Born sleeping?
Kayden’s birthday is December 3rd, 2012. He was born sleeping.
11. Do you belong to any support groups that have helped? Any that didn’t?
I was a part of a children’s hospice group. It helped some. I am a part of an anencephaly group on Facebook for parents who chose to carry their babies to term. It was been very helpful. I was a part of another group on Facebook for all parents of anencephalic children, but it wasn’t helpful to hear the stories of women choosing not to carry their babies.
12. What were your most effective coping mechanisms?
Gardening. Continuing to be a wife and mom. Prayer.
13. How did it affect your relationships; marriage, family and/or friends?
It brought my husband and I closer. It made me appreciate my children more than I already did.
14. How do you want them to be remembered?
I want Kayden to be remembered as my son who taught me the value of life. Life is so precious, so valuable. In the blink of an eye it can be gone. It is so important to cherish every single moment; that’s what Kayden taught me.
15. What’s your favorite keepsake?
It’s a plum and a peach tree. I lost a son previous to this one. And I planted a peach tree in his honor. The peach tree died. For Kayden’s first birthday I planted a plum tree for him. The peach tree came back and is intertwined with the plum tree, and they are both very productive. My two boys together.
16. What do you want everyone to know about Anencephaly/Acrania?
It can happen to anyone.
17. What dreams and hopes did you have for your child?
I guess the same dreams and hopes I have for the rest of my children, for him to be a loving and productive member of society…
18. What kind of things did you do to bond with your child?
I talked to him. I shared him with everyone I could. I read to him. I had a real relationship with him, not just like a mom being pregnant, but I made sure to include him in everything I did.
19. Did you have a baby shower or celebration of life? What was most exciting about it?
I did not have a baby shower. I did have a memorial ceremony for him. The best thing about it was sharing my story of him with others.
20. Did you or do you have any other children? How has this loss affected them? Did they ask any questions? If so, what were they?
I have another son and a daughter. They were 6 and 7 at the time. They wanted to know how he looked, how he died, and why he didn’t come home. They cried for him, a lot. My daughter wants a baby brother. She lost two.
21. How do you incorporate your son/daughter into your lives and the lives of your family?
We include our babies in everything we do, and we pray for them daily.
22. Did you have twins? Were both Anencephalic? How did having twins change your bonding? How do you cope seeing one twin and not the other?
23. Were there any unhelpful comments made to you? If so, what were they?
Some of my family didn’t understand why I chose to keep my baby. Some told me I would regret keeping him. My sister didn’t attend my memorial service, she said it was too hard for her.
24. In what way would you want to inform the world of your child or Anencephaly/Acrania?
I wish they’d do a documentary on tv. Most people I talk to have never heard of it. Everyone knows what Spina Bifida is, but there is no awareness about Anencephaly.
25. Do you run a blog, Facebook page or other support or organization? If so, what do you hope to accomplish with it and how has it benefited you? Links?
26. Were you able to keep your child with you after they passed? How long? What do you cherish the most about that time? i.e. their toes, eyelashes.
I kept Kayden with me for several hours after he was born. I cherished all of him. He was so precious, I couldn’t imagine giving him up. I dressed him in an outfit and we took pictures. The time we shared was very special.
27. In what part of the world are you in? Have you met any other mother’s who’ve lost their child to this?
I’m in Virginia Beach, Va. There is another girl who lost her daughter a few years ago. We chat on Facebook but we haven’t met yet.
28. If you’ve lost more than one child to this, how did one experience change from the other?
This is my only child lost to anencephaly.
29. How do you celebrate your child’s birthday?
I get a cake, we sing happy birthday, and we either plant a special flower, or we release balloons, and one time we released butterflies.
30. Mother’s day is soon, how do you celebrate? Is it difficult for you and in what way?
Mother’s Day was difficult for me 1 year. But I celebrate with the two children I have left here on Earth.
31. Have you published any news articles or gained media attention? If so, would you mind sharing your experience and links?
No I haven’t.
32. Did you do neonatal donation? How has that helped you?
No I didn’t.
33. Were you able to pump and donate your child’s milk? Why did you choose to donate or why not? How did it help you?
I wanted to pump and donate my milk. I thought it would be as easy as walking downtown to the children’s hospital, pumping my milk and handing it over. It wasn’t that easy. The process for me to donate my milk included ordering a thermometer, monitoring my freezer for 24 hours, taking blood tests… needless to say, before I could even start the process my milk had started to dry up. I wish a child could’ve benefitted from my milk, but it all went down in the shower.
As I stated before, this defect does not discriminate. It also shows how strong these lives and the lives of the mothers are. Kayden had everything he could possibly be given, and then some. He got to bond with his mother and hear her voice constantly. Even though people doubted Dawn, she did not doubt Kayden and now she has another captivating life to show for it.