I was not prepared when this journey began. None of us were. From shock at finding out I was to be a grandma, to acceptance, and finally to being over the moon excited to embrace my new role.
Heading into the ultrasound in early May of 2016 we chatted excitedly about whether the baby would be a boy or a girl, and even made a few jokes about the possibility of twins. Nothing seemed amiss – we weren’t concerned when the tech asked us to look away temporarily to take photos. The gender would be revealed at a party later on, and we didn’t want to ruin the surprise.
Then the tech left, and returned with a doctor. We were all still smiling, and happy. The last blissful minutes before our hearts were broken into a million pieces.
You see, the doctor had come in to inform us that the baby had anencephaly. The baby had not developed a brain.
Shocked silence. And then the sound of an intense pain that cannot be described…the sound coming from each one of us in that room. While we were still grasping reality, I watched my sons face. The handsome, loving face I have protected my entire life. I watched it crumple into a pain that no one should have to bear. A pain that I could do absolutely nothing to fix. I watched him provide comfort through his own pain. We came together holding, hugging, crying.
“Would you like to know if it is a girl or a boy?” the tech asked.
“Yes”, she whispered.
“It’s a boy”
Endless tears and hugs later, the decision had been made to carry to term, and so we all settled in to wait.
In June of 2016 I received a phone call to tell me it was time. I picked up my camera and headed to the hospital. I was unsure what to expect, but what I found was the same anticipation and excitement as any birth. The same love.
Landon Mitchell Davis entered the world on June 23, 2016 at 9:47pm. At 1 lb, 2.9 ounces and 11 1/4″ long, he was a tiny, beautiful baby who would never take a breath in this world. He was perfect, down to his tiny little fingers and toes.
My first grandchild. The one we had to say goodbye to, so soon after saying hello. The one who has left a profound imprint on so many lives – not only his parents and grandparents, but the many aunts, uncles and extended family who so love him.
Celebrating who is is, we honor him in the ways that we can – photos on the wall, a memorial ornament on the Christmas tree at his grave, and the number 23 worn on the back of his 9 year old uncles hockey jersey.
Has it really been almost a year? It doesn’t seem possible, and yet here we are ready to head into June of 2017.
As we now anticipate the birth of Landon’s little sister Aubrey, due June 6, I am thinking of him. Hoping Landon knows how very loved he is, and how very loved his little sister will be. Hoping he is watching over Aubrey, and all of us as we embark on this newest journey.
For families experiencing the loss of an infant who are interested in remembrance photography, please contact https://www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org/. While we can no longer hold dear Landon, we will always have photos to remember him.=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Tressie Davis is a portrait photographer located in Chelsea, MI. Portrait work may be viewed at www.tressiedavis.com.