On August 28, 2018, our world seemed to have stopped as we heard those dreaded words: “there is no heartbeat.” We got the news on our due date, at exactly 40 weeks gestation. I screamed. We cried. I hyperventilated. I couldn’t catch my breath. We lost our little boy. We had been preparing for his arrival for 9 months, waiting for him to make his debut only to find out that he was gone. We were admitted and induced right away. My plan was for an all-natural birth. I felt like I had to suffer because my baby passed away and, in my mind, he suffered. But my husband, Mick, said “we have been through enough pain, don’t make yourself go through more,” so I got the epidural. After 17 hours of labor and 4 hours of pushing (21 hours total), Jace Alexander Lowry was born at 2:47am on August 30, 2018. He was/is the most beautiful baby I’ve ever laid my eyes on. I finally had my twin.
We had a birth photographer there to take pictures during our delivery, pictures of our family and our precious, sleeping little Jace. The nurses dressed him in the cutest outfit and wrapped him in a nice blanket. I was able to introduce his big brother to him. His dad held him tightly. I held him while I slept. I kissed him, told him I was sorry and that I loved him over and over. The hospital did not have a working CuddleCot to keep him cool so I had the air turned to the lowest possible setting to try to preserve his body for long as I could. I didn’t want to say goodbye. I wasn’t ready to send him to the morgue. The nurse kept saying he was deteriorating, but in my eyes, he was still perfect. We spent 19 hours with Jace. That night, we had to say our goodbyes to our son forever, giving him one last kiss to last a lifetime.
After leaving the hospital and going to our quiet home, we knew we wanted to gift a CuddleCot and/or a Caring Cradle to the hospital so other parents who unfortunately have to go through the pain of losing a child will be able to spend as much time with them as possible.
So, what is a CuddleCot and a Caring Cradle?
The CuddleCot is a cooling pad that is placed in any Moses basket, crib, bed or other receptacle. It is connected by a specially insulated hose and is quietly cooled using the CuddleCot cooling unit. The price of this is around $3000.
The Caring Cradle is a bassinet and cart that does not require staff monitoring to keep cool and will remain cool for 3 days. Because of the ease of this device, the price is more expensive at $5000.
Both units keep the baby’s temperature low to allow grieving parents to have more time with their child before sending them to the morgue.
For Jace’s 1st birthday, we don’t get to throw a party with cute decorations, watch him crawl or take some steps, smash cake in his face or sing happy birthday. Instead, with broken hearts and empty arms, we will donate something healing and powerful to keep Jace’s memory alive. For his birthday, we want to give other parents the “Gift of Time” by donating a CuddleCot or 2 or 3 to the hospital where I delivered, Atrium Health Pineville (formerly CMC Pineville).
Thank you for all of your support. Our village has been amazing and we know Jace is so loved!
Links for the CuddleCot and Caring Cradle if you would like to see what they look like and how they function: