My Story

Shannon-Kip-SkylarLife seemed almost perfect. We were married with a beautiful son and we were expecting another baby to add some sweetness to our lives. Sure, we had some ups and downs, but we went with the flow and everything always worked out. I was 19 weeks along and just beginning to feel the little butterflies and nudges from inside my tummy. Our 2 1/2 yr old son Jadon was already kissing my belly and talking to his brother or sister. It was the day we had anticipated since I first saw that beautiful blue line telling me that yes…we were going to have a baby…it was time to find out if we were going to paint the room with butterflies or jungle animals. It was a day that changed my life forever. We found out we were having a daughter, a little sister for Jadon. We also found out that our sweet baby girl who was dancing and waving to us on the US screen would not live long if at all after she was delivered. She was diagnosed with anencephaly, a nuero tube defect that is fatal. My daughter was going to die, maybe before she was even able to take a breath. My image of what the world should be was shattered.

Our journey of grief began and it has been overflowing with so many different emotions. The fear, the anger, the hope, the helplessness, the sadness, the inspiration, the Love, and the healing were all fighting for their place in my life. We named our daughter Skylar Tianna Brooks and decided that we wanted to meet her, shower her with love, and show her that whatever happened we were her family and we would love her. \

During the rest of my pregnancy we talked to Skylar, read Goodnight moon and Jadons favorite books to her, Jadon kissed my tummy, we took maternity pictures with NILMDTS, we had an angel shower and we prayed for her. I had wonderful support from friends, family and Be Not Afraid (an organization that helps parents deal with a prenatal diagnosis). Even with all this support my heart was broken.

Our baby girl was born on August 7th, 2010, and she amazed me with her strength and determination. My husband Kip and I held her in our arms as Jadon met his little sister. He told us that she was beautiful and gazed lovingly at her and touched her fingers before scampering into another room. My mom and other family and friends gathered close to share their deepest love with this baby so pure. Time stood still and I was blessed. Skylar lived 99 minutes before she was lifted up to heaven. We had welcomed our daughter into the world and then we had to do the hardest thing imaginable…say goodbye.

The journey continued and we left the hospital with empty arms. The tears flowed. I remember not wanting to go anywhere or see anyone. My birthday was the following week. The one thing I wanted more than anything in the world, I could never have. My family surrounded me with their love. Jadon would wipe away my tears and bring me his favorite stuffed animals. I was held up by those closest to me. I made it through the holidays and remember so many bittersweet moments. Jadon would blow kisses up to heaven. My mom made Skylar her own beautiful stocking and we hung it next to Jadons. I made an Angel tree and decorated it with the names of 106 babies who celebrated Christmas in Heaven. They were all children of parents I had met since our loss. I decided I wanted to share my love and memories of Skylar by giving comfort to others who have lost children. I created Seasons of Grief to help hearts heal and for memories to be celebrated.