For the Love of Kaitlyn: Jennifer Wirey
Children are the most precious gifts any parent can ever receive. No matter how long a child or an adult is on earth their lives have an impact on everyone they meet. Kaitlyn’s life span was only four months but in those four months she held a special and permanent place in the hearts of her parents and her sister, Kendra. This special place grows stronger every day. The memories of Kaitlyn that fill the pages of this book that allow readers to meet this precious child, her parents and understand the courage, the determination and the persistence of one mother who would not give up on her child, demanded answers and would not stop until she had them, I hope will help other parents understand that being a parent is a blessing and children are to be taught, nurtured, cared for and loved. Every child is special and losing one is hardest for any parents, grandmother and sister. No child can ever replace the one you lost and no one can take that child’s place in a parent’s heart. But, by writing this story and sharing Kaitlyn with readers, mothers, families and parents, I hope all parents will understand that children make mistakes, sometimes they say and do the wrong thing and it is your job not to yell, hit or scream but to teach them the right way or the right thing to do. For the Love of Kaitlyn: Jennifer Wirey: This book is a must read for all parents and young adults.
From the moment you open this book and hear the author’s voice in the introduction you can hear the sadness, feel the frustration and understand the unanswered questions that any parent would ask when they realize that their child whose life span was short. Kaitlyn lived four months and as the author relates in the introduction: You never think it could happen to you. Stories you hear. Newscasts about the death of young children at the hand of abusive parents who do not appreciate what they have been given, would anger anyone. Parents that mistreat their children why? Some children go without food, clothing and are pawned off because some parents could care less about their needs. As Jennifer and her husband Josh attended a showing of another child, they never thought that this would happen to them.
The happiest day of her life was April 12, 2012 when she confirmed that she was having a second child. Imagine the excitement, the joy and the feeling. Going to the doctor a week later for an ultrasound would start the journey for the next several months. Although her pregnancy was shaky at times and the ultrasounds alerted her to the fact that the child might have some physical problems, Jennifer never wavered, never faltered and persisted and decided that this child was going to be born and keeping a positive attitude was the answer.
Kaitlyn Jean was going to be her name and from that point on she became a true member of the family way before she was even born. The first appointment with a new doctor where she tried to stay positive and prayed that the news would be good. Hoping that Kaitlyn had gained weight, that her blood flow was better she learned that she might have some abnormalities and was underweight. Throughout her pregnancy the stress and the doctor’s visits took its toll on Jennifer too affecting her physical condition causing her blood pressure to spike. Each time she received the news about Kaitlyn it seemed to mirror the time before. Like the replay button on a tape recorder the messages and the words seemed to be the same ones spoken each time. But, after numerous ultrasounds the author finally decides to forge ahead and have an amniocentesis to find out even more. The phone call was positive and the news better as Jennifer finally felt that God heard her prayers.
The author created a special journal that she wrote to Kaitlyn expressing her feelings, telling her what she was experiencing and how it affected both her, Josh and Kendra. On September 14, 2012 the author beings writing her journal or letter to Kaitlyn as the reader gets to meet Kaitlyn first hand in the pictures shared within this book, hears about the ups and downs of her physical challenges and understands how far this young mother would go to bring this special child into this world. Never once giving up on Kaitlyn, expressing at times feelings of guilt, not wanting to make the decision whether to bring her into this world, when or if not, she was grateful when on September 25, 2012 Kaitlyn entered this world. A breathing tube in place, placed on a ventilator as you can see on page 24, the author hopes that this child will have a fighting chance. From the high-risk unit to a hospital room to the many visits to just see her child, you can feel the love, the support and hope that Kaitlyn would stay strong and hang in there. But, as you read the journal and hear her words you realize the strength, the courage and the determination of this young mother and father to keep their hopes high and pray for a miracle.
As each day passed some where her heart rate was good and others where it might be elevated, Jennifer made sure that Kaitlyn knew she was there, heard her voice and made sure that Kendra was part of it all. Mommy and Daddy should be start her words with are here and then discuss whether she had an episode or not. But, sometimes miracles do happen if they are short lived when on October 24, 2012 Kaitlyn finally made it out of the Incubator and Jennifer, as you can see on page 44 got to hold Kaitlyn for the first time. This is where it becomes emotional for this reader just seeing her hold her daughter and then Josh on the next page was both heartbreaking and yet makes you smile. The journey continues and the final miracle does happen as she brings Kaitlyn home and both of her daughters are together side by side. Anxious, excited, trained for all emergencies and just wanting to have her family at home, preparing her for bed, taking care of all of her needs and Kendra’s just look at this beautiful child’s face on page 73. Equally as precious is Kendra standing next to her sister’s crib on page 76. Priceless!
January 27, 2013 is a day that she will never forget. Getting up to feed Kaitlyn in the middle of her night, checking her diaper and following what she knew was the plan of care, Jennifer never expected the chain of events that would follow. The final moments with her daughter are something she will never forget. Her life although just four months is precious, her time with her family will always be special and her memory will live on in their hearts forever. She will always be their daughter and Kendra’s sister.
Kaitlyn’s love and spirit will always be there for you and your family. She was beautiful and would want you to always remember her with happy thoughts and love. If you look up in the sky and see a shining star that twinkles so bright it will blind you just letting you know it’s there: That’s Kaitlyn saying I am always there with you! I will love you forever as my parents and I am your special shining star.
Fran Lewis: This book gets FIVE GOLDEN SHINING STARS