18 months {& Kaden’s Birth Story}

February 5, 2015

18 months ago I was induced with Kaden. It’s taken me this long to write it out because I have felt so robbed and cheated and tricked. I couldn’t even process how I went from finally holding him to empty arms.

(You can read Preston and Julian’s birth story here)

(Bella’s here)

I was determined to have a natural birth – I mean natural besides the induction. That I didn’t have much of an option in. I’d been on the blood thinner Lovenox, and the Dr found I was dialted 4 inches when she took the cerclage out. So letting me go home was a big risk.

I planned to do hypnobirthing, and shared a lot about it on Babble. Even my therapist got into it a bit with me, and we practiced some of the techniques like breathing and focusing in our sessions.

I had the coolest doula. Ever. Emily is still one of my best friends although we barely knew each other back then. Thanks for being ok with seeing me naked and screaming at you Emily – then sticking around after too. 😉

Sam was there. My mom was on the way. We’d hired a birth photographer to take pics (“From the stomach up,” I told her. “Nothing down there, I don’t even want to see that.”).

When my water broke, I covered my face with my hands on the hospital bed and bawled, because it flashed me back to being on the bathroom floor, towel between my legs, praying to God that I wasn’t going to lose the twins.

Then the hard part. Labor. At first, I was like, “I can do this. This isn’t too bad. Why did I think this was so bad when I had Bella? This is fine. Painful – Doable.”


I was offered an epidural like – 27 million times. Emily kept gently refusing, as I’d asked her to, saying I really wanted to do this without one. It wasn’t a competition thing. I didn’t feel I needed to prove anything. But I wanted a healing, empowering birth after what happened with the twins.

The hospital staff was super nervous about letting me out of bed. I had all kinds of rules I had to follow to use my birth ball, to squat – basically any position but flat on my back they frowned on. We had two newer, younger nurses that were awesome about letting me get up and walk/bounce. Emily snuck me food and water when, 12 hours in, I thought I might pass out from hunger.

Then it hit me. And oh, the pain. THE PAIN. I thought of all my hypnobirthing podcasts about a flower unfolding and focusing on breathing and all I could do was grit my teeth and hang on to the side of the hospital bed for dear life. I wanted to murder everyone – including the hypnobirth lady. Had she ever BIRTHED a child?

I sobbed out, “I think I want an epidural,” and Emily said, “Are you sure because I don’t think you really do…”

So I waited.

My OB had gone home, assuring us it would be a while. Emily began to ask the staff about calling her. “She’s fine,” they told her. “She’s like at a 6.”

“But she has to push,” Emily said. “She’s saying she needs to push.”

They rolled eyes and checked me and SURPRISE there was a baby’s head and I reeeeeeallly wanted to push. So then they told me, “Don’t push! Keep your legs shut (8 months too late) and the doctor will be here soon!”


Finally I yelled at them, “I need to push. NEED. I’m going to push now.”

And they called in the stand by anesthesiologist to help.

My OB didn’t make it in time.

Then Kaden was there. Blinking, perfect, a little cry. They tried to take him to the warmer but Emily intervened and said that one of my wishes was immediate skin to skin. So I had him. He was so tiny and wonderful, looking around at us quietly. I couldn’t believe he was here.

He had a little cough, and when the staff started checking him, I shut down. I remember my brain just – stopped processing. I wanted to go home right then. It was if, at that moment, I knew. I knew everything was wrong even though I was being told it wasn’t a big deal, they’d take him just as a precaution. I knew. And those few minutes were the only time I ever held him without NICU staff or wires and tubes all over.

I was able to see him later that evening, in an isolette. I sat by his bed and sobbed and sobbed. I headed to my room, Sam and my mom waiting. I cried the whole night.

In the days that passed, whenever I made a remark about how much I wanted him home, some people would chide me saying, “He’ll be home soon, just relax, don’t stress about it.”


Kaden 3 days old

I tried not to worry. But the morning he passed his car seat check, and we went to get him, I was a mess. I snapped at my mom, Sam, and burst into tears when he asked what on earth was the matter with me. I told him I just felt like something more was going to be wrong and they’d keep him longer, and he said,

“The only reason they can keep him now is if something is really wrong – and it’s not. We’ll be home with him soon.”

And in a few hours, we sat in the room I’d nursed him for the last time in, hearing a cardiologist say the words, “Life threatening, valves not pumping, amazing he’s even alive right now.”

“Kaden has a very, very sick heart.”

I kept frantically repeating over and over, “But we just did this, we just had two of our babies die…” As if somehow, that protected us from anything else.

They called Dallas Children’s to come get him. I might be able to go with, they said. Sam would come the next day. Pack light.

I went home, threw things in a bag, kissed and hugged Bella through my shock, and 12 hours later, was on a plane to Dallas, watching my little boy struggle for life in an incubator that took up most of the room on the jet. All I could think was, “Oh my God, please, please wake me up from this nightmare. Please don’t let this happen to him. Oh please, my heart can’t do this again. I can’t bear it. We can’t do this.”

And once again, our world crashed in.

18 months and it hurts as much as the day they took him out of my arms.


Sweet boy. You are so missed and so loved – and I can’t believe you’re not here with us. Keep your brothers close until we come home to you one day.


  • jess

    February 10, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Diana, he was so beautiful. There’s nothing else to say. You are a blessing and a reminder to us about the preciousness of life and love.

  • Crystal

    February 6, 2015 at 10:08 pm


    I have no words of wisdom, and I cannot even begin to comprehend your losses. Please know, that although we’ve never met, I pray for your sweet family so often.

    May our gracious God give you peace that passes all understanding.

    Thank you for your sharing with us your strength, courage, grit, and grace. Hugs!

  • Brooke

    February 6, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for your bravery and tenderness in sharing your story. I pray through your authentic sharing that you feel comfort as so other mamas who have lost little ones. Bless you!

    1. Brooke

      February 6, 2015 at 12:22 pm

      That was suppose to say…that you feel comfort and other mamas who have lost babies feel comfort through your story. Love and prayers to you

  • Alexia

    February 6, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Sweet mama. I saw this yesterday but just didn’t have the heart to read it. I’ve been suffering so much sadness from losing my baby around Thanksgiving. But I just knew I had to. Had to continue on this journey with you, because you are hands-down the strongest woman I can think of. Thank you for sharing Kaden’s birth story with us. Sending you so much love and hugs. Please know you and your family are often in my thoughts.

  • ace1028

    February 6, 2015 at 9:51 am

    Oh, Diana. So so sweet and beautiful. Thank you for sharing, not just these words, but your entire story. Thank you for allowing us to know Kaden. We think of you as our own – is that okay? maybe not, but so many of us do. Our hearts swell for you. Sending you love and continued strength.

  • Suz

    February 6, 2015 at 8:23 am

    Oh you have a gift with such a beautiful way with words. Kaden & you are often in my thoughts.

  • Jerad M Hucke

    February 6, 2015 at 7:59 am

    The pain is tremendous, even year(s) later there is nothing I can say that will make either of us feel better. I'm personally still searching for…something, anything to make me feel "normal" again. My wife and I lost our son to a mistake by a nurse and then were cold shouldered by the hospital 13 months ago (12/31/2013), his twin sister is doing better then could be imagined. I do understand what you go through, I go through "some" of the same things(I say "some" because our situations are slightly different with the same horrible outcome). My life is mostly consumed by anger and frustration then sadness, I try not to think about it because it just gets me mad or sad or both.

    So I hide away to escape these horrible feelings and thoughts that race through my mind most days and EVERY night. No therapy or pill will ever replace what is lost when you lose a child, for any reason.

    I wish the best for you Diana and your husband, be strong because that's all we can do!

  • Kristin Maki

    February 6, 2015 at 7:12 am

    Diana, oh, mama. Tears are streaming. I remember your post right after he was born, that he was here with a hiccup, and through it all, I kep thinking how you didn't get to write his birth story. Thank you for sharing it. I can't imagine the emotions your went through in writing it. My heart goes out to you and all mamas/daddies that have had to live that experience. Big hugs.

  • Rosalind

    February 5, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    Beautiful name, beautiful boy. I’m sorry he never came home.

  • Micaela

    February 5, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    All the love for you and that beautiful boy. It’s just so not fair.

  • chgdiapers

    February 5, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    It may sound meaningless but I think of you, Kaden, Preston & Julian very often. When you were pregnant with Kaden, when you were in labor, I was cheering. When I heard the news I didn’t believe it. I prayed, I hoped. Then I was angry. 18 months later my heart aches for you. I know it doesn’t help and I can’t begin to feel your grief but I want you to know I haven’t forgotten your boys.

  • Jennifer @ Also Known As…the Wife

    February 5, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    Oh friend, I cannot even begin to imagine. What a sweet perfect little boy. I still think about your boys all the time.

  • Jessica Moody Wyndham

    February 6, 2015 at 1:25 am

    Diana, I can't even imagine how your heart breaks over this sweet boy. He is gorgeous and perfect, and thank you so much for sharing him with us. Praying for you as you miss him.

  • Lindsay Askins

    February 6, 2015 at 12:48 am

    so much love for you diana. so much love. the tears flowing down my face right now are completely filled with heartache for you. you are so amazing. i love every word you write. i hope you feel loved and supported and encouraged by the vast amount of women that love you and care about you, even if we've never met you. oh sweet kade, you have the best mommy in the world <3

  • Jan Thoreen Lewis

    February 6, 2015 at 12:01 am

    Diana, thank you for sharing your heartbreaking, beautiful story. What courage. I'm so, so sorry you've had to bear what you have. I don't have any words of wisdom or comfort, except that I'm a mother, and I know. Love sometimes hurts . . . like alot. Blessings, dear one.

  • Deb Duncan-Hite

    February 5, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    I followed your posts and prayed many times for his healing. Just want you to know that I still think of Kaden and your entire family. To this day, I pray for peace for you ♡

  • elizabethclements

    February 5, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    I prayed so hard and was so sure of the happy ending you would get. I still don’t get it. I wish I could just hug you.

  • Jessi Wallace

    February 5, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    I can’t stop crying. My heart is with you, Diana.

  • Rebecca

    February 5, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    My heart breaks all over again. What a beautiful birth <3

  • Kristen | The Frugal Girl

    February 5, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    Oh. He is just so, so precious. His sweet little fuzzy head…

    Much love coming your way.

  • Kara-Kae James

    February 5, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    Oh friend, wish I could hug you today. So proud of you for so bravely sharing your story.

  • redheadkimie

    February 5, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    He is so incredibly beautiful. My heart is aching for you. I can’t imagine the pain you live with. I’m sincerely sorry you had to go through this and at the same time I am in awe of how strong you are.

  • Shelly Richards

    February 5, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    He is so beautiful Diana! Even though I know how it ended, my heart still briefly surged with that photo of you holding him, newly born.

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