The 1 in 4: Axel Wyatt's Warriors

When I was asked to write for the Anna’s Grace blog, I was so excited and immediately said yes. Throughout this journey, I have found solace in reading quotes, poems, and stories from other parents. Their emotions, their experiences, and their thoughts – it helped me to feel not as alone. Because of that, this post is raw, it is real. I wrote this in hope that if another grieving parent reads this, they too, will find solace. Everything about my experience was traumatic, from his birth to the NICU stay to, of course, his passing. I knew that there was so much I wanted to say, about my son, about my journey, about grief. But how do you even begin to formulate the words of such a deep, inconceivable pain?

I guess I’ll start with my pregnancy. When we found out we were pregnant, I was in shock. We tried for a year to get pregnant with our daughter, and we weren’t even trying for a second yet. Our daughter, Blakely, was only 9 months old at the time. I was terrified of having two under two. Dare I say it – I was upset about being pregnant. In my mind, at that time, I was worried about my daughter. How could she manage without my undivided attention? Would I miss out on her milestones because I would be so focused on the new baby? Getting pregnant meant the end of our breastfeeding journey, and that was neither of our choices, and I resented it to an extent. As natural and normal as these thoughts were, they now cause a huge sense of guilt and will forever haunt me. As the pregnancy progressed, however, I realized that I would have had all of these fears no matter when I got pregnant with 2.0. I began to get so excited about having two under two, 17 months apart to be exact. They could share friends, share interests, and they would always have each other.

After 6 weeks of bleeding, low fluid, and four weeks of bedrest, Axel Wyatt was born on September 14, 2018, at 24 weeks and 1 day. His entrance into this world was tumultuous, as we flew down Airline Hwy to the hospital and arrived just 18 minutes before he was born. He weighed 1lb 10oz and was 11.8 inches long. We decided to name him Axel Wyatt. Axel was a name we had agreed upon prior, and Wyatt we decided on the night after he was born. Wyatt means “little warrior,” and he was just that.

Axel was on this earth for 24 days. Some of the best truth I received was that the NICU was a rollercoaster, a rollercoaster that we soon learned was filled with ups and