My name is Kayla Joiner and my husband and I met and said goodbye to our first born baby, Luca, on the same day. 24 weeks and two days. My stillborn baby.
July 10th, 2018 the best and worst day of my life. On February 16th 2018, a few days after my 27th birthday, I took a positive pregnancy test and my husband and I were over the moon excited. The weeks went by like normal. One dating ultrasound scan and then one at 15 weeks for an early gender reveal. Everything was going smoothly so we thought.
Our life changed forever when we went in for our 20 week anatomy scan and they told us our sweet baby was showing signs of possible Spina Bifida and a few other things that they thought may indicate a chromosomal abnormality. I was completely shocked and heartbroken at the thought that my sweet boy may struggle throughout his life. They sent us to a specialist who confirmed the suspicions of our OBGYN. She said there was a chance they could correct the spina bifida while he was still in my belly, but we needed a confirmed diagnosis in order to proceed so we did an amniocentesis in office that day.
I was almost 21 weeks at this point and they liked to do the surgeries around 22 weeks for best results. It was painful physically, but the moment the needle touched my belly the tears started flowing and didn’t stop as all of my emotions came to the surface. I was just so worried about Luca and what challenges life had in store for him.
That weekend my family and I spent all of our time researching hospitals that performed the in utero spina bifida surgery to decide which one we wanted to go to. At this moment the only thought that my mind had was that Luca may have Down Syndrome and Spina Bifida. I was extremely emotional and scared, but I was positive we could give him the best life possible. When Monday came and the specialists office called us to tell us they had the results from the amnio and they were ready for us to come in to discuss them.
My husband and I rushed over as fast as we could. I was more scared than I’ve ever been, but I kept praying and was being as positive that I could. I was holding on to every thread of hope that I could that this was all going to be okay and that maybe they got it wrong and the amnio results would show no abnormalities at all.
But, things took another turn in just a few seconds. “The results of the amniocentesis show that your baby has Triploidy, he has 3 sets of chromosomes instead of two. It is not hereditary or genetic, but it is incompatible with life.”
She said there was no way to tell how long Luca would live. Would he pass away while I was carrying him or make it to birth and live for minutes or hours? She gave us options that no mother ever wants to hear.
We decided that since Luca’s fate had already been decided for him that I would carry him for as long as his little body would let me. Since he wasn’t in any pain, we wanted to spend any time we had with him. I had a home doppler and we listened to his little heartbeat beat strong every night.
One weekend I couldn’t find it and even though I tried to be positive and say that he was just being in a stubborn position I knew he was gone. Everything until this point had been terrible, but the worst thing had to be that Monday morning when they brought us in for an ultrasound to check for his heartbeat.
As soon as the ultrasound tech put the machine to my belly and I saw him I knew he was gone.
My baby who had once been so active on all the ultrasounds was now so so still. My husband and I just hugged each other harder than I think we ever had.
‘They sent us over to be induced and he was born the next day. July 10th, 2018 at 12:51 pm. 3 days before my husbands 28th birthday. We met and said goodbye to Luca in the same day. We hugged and kissed and loved on his sweet little self as much as we could. We love him more than anyone could ever understand. He has taught us so much about unconditional love. He now has a little sister. Our rainbow girl, Mila. She’s a year old now and we’re trying to teach her her big brothers name. She always gets a huge smile on her face when we say it and I know that’s a sign from Heaven. I see our Luca in her sweet face every day. And we are so blessed to be their mommy and daddy. No matter if that means loving and honoring our Luca from afar.
What receiving a Project Robby Keepsake Set meant to her:
When Luca was born he was so fragile and so we weren’t able to change him into the little clothes we had brought. So when we got the Project Robby Keepsake it meant SO much to my husband and I. Now we have something his size to cherish forever. And to share with Luca’s little sister. The angel wings are my favorite reminder that we will see him again one day.