Our sweet boy, Kade was born just a few days shy of me being 20 weeks along in my first pregnancy. I went into labor too soon and will never, ever forget the look on my doctor’s face when she broke the news to me. “It’s too soon. He won’t survive this.” I still don’t have exact answers as to why I went into labor so soon. I’ve accepted that I’ll probably never know why.
After a terribly painful labor and delivery, our sweet boy arrived at 2:30 am. I vividly remember sobbing to my doctor, begging her to do something and just saying “no” over and over.
I vividly remember the looks on everyone’s faces as they rushed out of the room to give our family time together. When I first held him, I sobbed and told him how sorry I was. I felt like it was all my fault that he wouldn’t get to grow up.
Kade was expected to survive two or three minutes. But our little guy held on for 99 minutes. We passed him around to the family that came to the hospital. All of his grandparents got to hold him, which was such a blessing.
Kade passed away in my arms. I remember watching his little chest start to take a bit longer between each breath. I told him it was okay to go and told him how loved he was. I promised him we’d keep his memory alive.
When he passed, I felt a peace come across the room. It was a feeling I truly can’t explain. Angels were definitely in the room at that moment. When we were ready, we handed Kade over to the nurse who took him away. I can remember that moment like it happened yesterday- seeing my baby for the last time.
Kade should be starting kindergarten in just a couple of weeks. His seat will be empty. We won’t get to snap those first day pictures and we won’t get to pick him up and see how his first day went. Even though five years have passed, I find myself fresh in grief as we hit another milestone of “should’ve beens.”
Kade’s death taught me to be more loving and kind to others. To give more grace. To judge and assume less. While you may think you know what someone is going through, you don’t. Kade taught me that life is far too short to be anything but kind.
Love your people while you can because you never know when they’ll be gone. Smile at that random stranger because you don’t know what life is throwing at them. Kade’s life was short, but he sure taught me a lot and I’ve come out stronger than ever.
I grieve loudly in hopes others know it’s okay and that they aren’t alone. We live in a world where people don’t openly talk about grief- especially child loss, miscarriages, etc… After the loss, people move on with their lives and stop checking in. People get uncomfortable if you bring up your baby’s name, picture, or talk about what happened. I continue to talk about it and will forever mention Kade’s name because he matters. All babies matter. Everyone’s loss matters and doesn’t just go away. Kade’s picture will forever be hung in our home proudly- even if it makes others uncomfortable to look at. It brings me so much joy to see other family members acknowledge him, hang his pictures, hang his name, hang a Christmas stocking in his memory, etc… my husband and I are more grateful for that than anyone may ever realize.
When I see a cardinal fly past me, I smile and my eyes fill up with tears every single time. I know it’s my baby giving me little signs that he’s okay and that his daddy and I will see him again one day.
Kade David Lauer, may you rest in peace. You are loved. You are remembered. Your life mattered, sweet boy and we will always honor that.