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In Loving Memory
of

June 26th-June 27th, 1999



God needed an angel in Heaven
To stand at the Savior's feet;
His choice must be the rarest
A lily pure and sweet.

He gazed upon the mighty throng
Then stopped and picked the best,
Our Nathan was His Chosen one
with Jesus he's now at rest.


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Nathan's Story

When I found Out I was pregnant I was so excited.
Shortly after, my two sister-in-laws found out they too
were expecting. How exciting, we would have three new
babies for Christmas. We were having so much fun comparing
everything.

At eighteen weeks my husband and I went in for
our first ultrasound. Hoping to find out if our baby was a
boy or girl. We had lost our first child at twelve weeks, due
to miscarriage. Our second child, Haley, now 3, was and
always has heen healthy. So we were certain we had no
reason to worry about the health of our unborn baby, right?

I knew something was wrong when the ultrasound nurse went to
get the doctor. He was very friendly but said nothing while
studying the ultrasound. Although the doctor did not appear
worried the nurse did. He was looking at the baby's head. I asked,
"is everything okay?" She said, softly, "I'll be right back."
I knew it was serious! My husband, Doug, came in.
I was hysterically crying and so upset I could not talk.
Doug was trying to calm me down. The nurse returned with
a box of Kleenex in hand and said, "The doctor is
waiting to talk with you in his office". We still did
not know if our baby was a boy or girl.

We were devastated and in shock. Maybe we can fix this with
surgery or something. We were not thinking that our baby
could die.

I tried to regain my composure, but all I could do is cry.
Our doctor sat with tears in his eyes and said, "I'm sorry
but your baby is going to die". We were shocked and numb.
He explained that our baby had a fatal birth defect, called
Anencephaly, which means the brainstem does not close completely
and the brain is unable to develop. I asked, "how can
he still be alive?" He explained that the baby is surviving
off of me. I was his lifeline. He then gave us two
options, terminate the pregnancy now or go full term and let
nature take its course. We were very confused. We had
never even heard of Anencephaly before. We left feeling numb,
still not knowing if our baby was a boy or girl.

That evening our doctor called. He informed us our unborn
baby was a boy. Our first son. Shortly after, we chose his
name, Nathan Douglas. We prayed that our son's future would
be determined by God, not by us. We knew we could
not handle this. We prayed to God to give us strength and the
wisdom to deal with the days to come.

We now had to decide what decision would be right for us.
We researched everything. I called everyone I could think of;
the Anencephaly Support Foundation, March of Dimes and even
accessed the Internet for information. How could this be happening?

Doug held it together pretty well until we had to tell Haley.
We told her that her little brother was sick and was
going to die. She knew that Nathan's head was broke and he
was very sick. She knew Jesus would take him to heaven
soon and that he would be her guardian angel.

Within the next few days we told our doctor we would be
continuing the pregnancy. Our doctor was relieved with our
decision, We called our family and asked for their support. God
chose us to be his parents for a reason. We were going
to do everything we could for him. Nathan would know we didn't
give up on him and that under all circumstances he would
have a safe and happy home. He is a true gift from God.

I did not want to tell my sister-in-laws, I was afraid
they would think this would happen to them. I was praying that
their babies were fine. It was hard to be happy for them
knowing mine was going to die. I did not want to take away
from their joy. It was difficult to hide my true feelings.
I felt jealous knowing they would be having healthy baby
boys and I felt guilty for my feelings.

I People were shocked at our decision. They would say, 'He's going
to die anyway, just get over it and move on", or 'he's not
a real person if he doesn't have a brain". These statements were
so very hurtful. We knew what was right for Nathan and
us. They had no idea what we were going through. They thought
they were being helpful. I know now they just didn't understand.

It is the most devastating hurt that goes deep in your
heart and soul. They say that it gets easier. I hope so.
I worked hard to bring Nathan into this world. I gave him life
for a short while, but God will give him eternal life.

It was so hard to be happy and funtion doing my daily
tasks. I had no energy. I felt numb to the world, like I'm
walking in someone else's shoes. My world was shattering around
me. People prayed for a miracle not realizing I believed
Nathan was already our miracle. I believe God does not give
you more than you can handle, but it was a lot to absorb.

I am powerless, I am helpless, and I am frustrated.
I can only sit and cry for my son.

June 26, 1999, the day had come to be induced. We had
mixed emotions. We would be happy to finally meet our son
and sad to know the end was near. We were praying for him
to be born alive. I wanted a chance to say hello before I
had to say goodbye, forever. We asked my mother to be
in the room in order to perform his baptism which was very
important to us.

At 7:44p.m., Nathan came into the world and met his mommy
and daddy. As soon as he was born he let out a huge cry.
He was alive!
We were shocked but extremely happy. Our family was outside
the door and came running in after hearing his cry. They were
overcome with joy. There were a lot of hugs and tears.
We were so happy and overjoyed but we knew he could
die any minute. He weighed 5 lb. 2 oz. and was 17 " long.
He had tons of black hair. Nathan was just perfect!

We were able to take our son home a few hours after he
was born. We were not prepared for this. I didn't do a
nursery, buy clothes or even diapers. Nothing was ready. We
were more prepared for his death. When we arrived home
everything was decorated with balloons and banners. There were
family and friends there to greet us. It was very overwhelming.
I felt like I was having an out of body experience.

Nathan was getting weak toward the end. His breathing very shallow.

At 8:46p.m. on June 27, 1999, just 25 hours and 2
wonderful minutes after his birth, Nathan looked at me, took
his last breath and peacefully went to heaven to be our precious
baby angel. I will cherish that moment forever. He died exactly
the way I planned. I was rocking him in the same chair that I
rocked and nursed my daughter. My husband was kneeling
beside me and my mom on the other side. We prayed as we
all said our good-byes. It was the most heart wrenching moment
in my life, to have my son die in my arms.

I think of all the other babies who died way to soon. I
think of the other grieving parents. It's sadness like no other.
We as parents are left to wonder at the "what its". Our dreams
are shattered of what could have been. When you become
pregnant you have all these hopes and dreams for your children
and when they die you are left with such sorrow and unexplainable
ache. Only those loosing an infant can understand this pain. My
breast ache to nurse my son. My arms ache to hold him.

Writing these words is a part of my healing. I want to
remember every detail forever. Haley is just three and understands
that her mom cries a lot. If you ask Haley where her brother is
she now points to heaven. I want her to know what we have
gained because of Nathan. Doug and I are closer than ever. We
appreciate life and value our relationships. We learned life is
very short and you need to share your feelings and love for
others. We learned every life is a precious gift. We speak of
Nathan, not denying his death, but proclaiming his life, learning
to live with his absence. We learned to take nothing for
granted and we have no regrets.

My husband has been so strong. I know he cries but doesn't
want me to see. We made our decision together. I'm glad
we had the strength to stand up for what is right. We
have a peace in our hearts knowing we did the right thing. Nathan
was worth all the tears and grieving we will go through.
His memory will burn in our heart and souls forever.

I'm glad I had time to prepare for Nathan's death. I
was able to take pictures and video. We have embossed his
footprints. I am making a memory album and journaling my
thoughts. I feel a lot of peace in my heart when I write. It
gives me comfort to read the words of encouragement from
family, friends and even strangers.

It was very unnatural to have to plan a funeral for our unborn
son. I was glad I had eighteen weeks to prepare.
I wanted to make this the most beautiful goodbye for
our precious Nathan. We decided we did not want the traditional
casket and we chose something more meaningful. A bassinet
covered with Battenberg lace, bows and flowers, which cradled
our son during his funeral. His funeral was precious, pure and
peaceful.

I hope this letter gives people hope that all babies are worth
our love.

God Bless,
Kim & Doug Higgins

We are willing to talk with anyone in a similar situation,
please contact us at Doughiggins9@aol.com


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Nathan was truly blessed to know
the gentleness of his mothers touch,
the soothing sounds of her voice,
the tenderness of her hugs and kisses.
He went to heaven having experienced
the most pure and perfect love!
That of a family!
Written by
Robin Bishop

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Note:
Anencephaly affects 1 in 1000 babies.
They have a 35% chance of making it full term and a 50%
chance of being born alive. It is always fatal.


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