On August 12th 2020 we went to our anatomy ultrasound. When we arrived, the ultrasound technician asked us if we wanted to find out the gender. We explained that my sister and sister-in-law were planning a gender reveal party so we needed her to put the gender in an envelope. She said that would be fine and started the ultrasound. About 5 minutes into the scanning Nicki noticed that it kept saying 16 weeks on the measurements when it should have been nearly 20. When asked, the technician said she needed to take a few more measurements and then she would talk to us about it. At that point we knew something was wrong. A minute later (it felt like an hour and I'm not even sure I took a breath) she told us that unfortunately there was no heartbeat.
Nothing can prepare you to hear those words. I really mean NOTHING! I was in shock. We went home, told our family to stop planning the party, packed a bag, got our 2 other children to grandma's house, and headed back to the hospital to deliver our baby who had no heartbeat. We were only half way there. This wasn't supposed to happen for another 5 months.
Our journey to get here was a long one. Nicki and I were married in October of 2014. A month later we found out that we were pregnant with our first child. We were both scared and excited to go on the parenthood journey together. Blake was born 9 month later and we were parents!
About 6 months later we started trying for baby #2. This time it took 3 months. At the time this seemed like an eternity. Reece was born 9 months after that! We already knew that we wanted more children but this time we were supposed to wait a year to start (back to back cesarean births so....).
Once it was time, we got started again. After a year of trying we decided we needed some help. We started some infertility treatments. Even with help it took a long time! In April 2019 (2 + years after Reece was born) we got the positive pregnancy test! Our doctor wanted to run tests to make sure everything was going well. After a few weeks of tests our number started declining. We were losing the baby. This one was early on but it felt like the rug was pulled out from under us. We had the positive test, we had done it. How could it be taken away so soon.
We are a resilient couple so we asked how soon we could start again. Soooo...... back on the fertility treatments and off we went again! We tried a few more months on the fertility medicine. We did some testing to find out if there were any issues. Everything was fine but we were still struggling. At this point we decided to try IUI. We did this without any success. We were about to start another round and then the Covid-19 stay at home order came down. We talked to the doctor and this was not an essential procedure. He suggested we still try on our own with the fertility medicine. In April 2020 we got another positive pregnancy test! We did the testing again this time and the numbers were good. We made it! We were past the scary wall of 6 weeks where we lost the child last time. With each passing day we felt a little better about the pregnancy.
Going through a pregnancy during Covid-19 was an interesting experience. You think staying home is hard? Imagine worrying every time you left the house that you'd catch Covid-19, give it to your wife, and increase your chance of miscarriage. It was terrifying. We avoided everything. We were not going to let this one get away. We couldn't lose another one. And then it was over. I want to be clear, Covid-19 had nothing to do with it. We were so careful that there was no way we'd catch that and then we lost the baby anyway. This one was not meant to be.
Back to August 12th, we arrived at the hospital about noon to deliver our baby. The baby had no heartbeat so our baby would not be alive but we still couldn't wait to meet them! We went through labor, anxiously awaiting the arrival of our baby. It was a sad day for us, we knew we were going through this and at the end we wouldn't be bringing the baby home with us. We'd be going through this for nothing! Boy were we wrong.....
Our beautiful baby was born at 1:15 am on August 13th 2020. My sadness was instantly gone. We got to spend 12+ hours in the hospital with our little baby. The doctor warned us that we should not get to attached to a name because it was hard to tell the gender for sure when a baby is only measuring at 16 weeks. We were pretty sure it was a boy but didn't want to get too attached to the idea at this point. The nurses and staff were so amazing!! They took some amazing pictures and got us anything we needed. Some time in the afternoon the funeral home came to collect our baby.
The baby was cremated and we got the urn back early the next week. We took the urn with us on a few hikes (to see some waterfalls that were apparently dried up for the summer, who knew?), planted a memorial tree, and spent the week grieving together with our boys.
About 3 weeks later we found out that it was in fact a boy. We named him Crew Roger Liebergen. We also found out that there was no identifiable cause and no reason to believe this will happen again. Being the resilient couple that we are, our next question was "when can we try again?" The answer to that was "soon". This isn't the end of our journey yet. We're still in the middle.
The loss of Crew didn't hit me until we found out he was a boy. I was sad but I wasn't prepared for how hard that would hit me. I am forever changed. Crew made a huge impact on us. He wasn't able to join this world and make his impact on everyone else. That is not OK with me! He could have been so many things to so many people. The weekend after we found out he was a boy was Labor Day weekend. It was very rough for me. I was repeatedly overwhelmed with the loss. At one point I took a walk on my own. I asked myself how I could make Crew's impact on me spread to the world. I was determined to be more kind and make some changes but that wasn't enough. The idea for this site was born. Together we can change the world one act of kindness at a time!
I realize this story is long. Thank you for making it this far if you did! I'm asking for your help to change the world so I wanted to get this whole story out there for you. We are very blessed for the family we have. Our boys are the entire world for Nicki and I. Crew is a part of our family now too. We have to change the world for him since he can't be here to do it himself.